In the 21st Cen­tu­ry with more women work­ing and every par­ent well over­loaded with respon­si­bil­i­ties, can you believe that some toys – like things that dan­gle from car seats and strollers (even some baby clothes!) are not 100% machine wash­able and dry-able?! What is going on with the com­pa­nies that make these prod­ucts?

I looked online for the name of the com­pa­ny which makes one of those sets of dan­gling ‘things’ my son received as a gift for his soon-to-be-born child. In order to con­tact them I have to pro­vide so much per­son­al infor­ma­tion!

So I will tell Sassy Baby about their ‘Go-go bugs’ in this blog.

First­ly, their pack­ag­ing is very appeal­ing as are the quotes print­ed there­on: “inspir­ing the sens­es”. Real­ly? This is lit­tle bet­ter than Baby Ein­stein, and we all know what hap­pened after Dis­ney bought the brand.

These emi­nent­ly chew­able Sassy Baby objects aren’t even wash­able — how on earth can they be sani­tised after your lit­tle baby has chewed on them? Or in some cas­es – your dog!

I should say that I don’t believe in a lot of the ‘toys to keep your tiny baby amused’ objects that par­ents and gift givers can’t resist. I pre­fer much more low key objects.

One of my favourites is the ‘O’ ball. How ‘soft’ they are!

When a nine week-old baby in my moth­er & baby/nanny & baby class hooked his fin­ger into one of the holes by acci­dent and waved it about there was no way he could hurt him­self.

I have want­ed to find the larg­er ver­sion but have been unable to find one in a store — I am averse to buy­ing online, for many rea­sons. This baby’s moth­er admit­ted that she had the larg­er one, with a rain shak­er inside, and as a test she hit her own head with it and it made her eyes water! This ‘new and improved’ ‘O’ ball real­ly isn’t safe! How sad I felt – and yet I knew it.

I would still buy the small or large ‘O’ ball but nev­er one with any oth­er object (“to attract baby’s atten­tion”?) inside.

I’ve just weighed one of the orig­i­nal small ‘O’ balls – it weighs 1 oz. The same size with a rat­tle inside weighs 3 ozs! No won­der the heav­ier one might cause a baby to hurt him­self.

How­ev­er, who are the peo­ple who are redesign­ing a per­fect­ly good ‘O’ ball? They must not spend any time around babies, that’s cer­tain!

A bit like the researchers with PhDs who advise on ear­ly child­hood care – I doubt most of them have seen the inside of a day­care with­in liv­ing mem­o­ry. I’m sure if they had they would have let me know by respond­ing to my queries about their expe­ri­ence.

I agree with renowned, and respect­ed, news­pa­per design­er Mario Gar­cia Sr’s com­ments relat­ing to his world of design: “…research is an impor­tant com­po­nent, but not the only tool in the box.”

Please care­ful­ly eval­u­ate the ‘toys’ you think your baby needs.

Mag­da Ger­ber pro­posed “pas­sive play objects = active babies”

I much pre­fer active babies over pas­sive ones!

Please con­sid­er read­ing this very use­ful Janet Lans­bury blog post: http://janetlansbury.com/2010/10/better-toys-for-busy-babies/