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Product Type: Toys
Age: Infants
Categories: The Horizontal Infant

 


2011 Award
Lamaze Northern Lights Soother
(Learning Curve International $44 Score:)

Attach this fabric-framed toy to the crib rail for soothing music and soft colorful lights. There are no moving figures inside the see through window. All the animals are rather static and have big eyes that look out as the music box plays. The best part is the unusual electronic music. It is not the usual tinny variety. It begins with birds chirping and meadow sounds followed by several piano sound tracks. It comes loaded with four tunes including the Minuet in G and Hush Little Baby. Happily, it is designed with a volume control as well as lights that go fast or slow and turn the light features on and off. As an added value, you can attach you mp3 player to add more music.  Eventually baby can push the ladybug on the frame to activate it. For starters, you will be the one to push the buttons on top that are well out of baby's reach. The photo does not do the product justice.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Lamaze Panda Rattle
(Learning Curve International $8 Score:) Ideal for early tracking games with newborns, this bold black and white rattle has a quiet sound and a high contrast face that will grab baby's attention. Research shows that infants are visually attracted to the eyes on faces. This clever little plaything has big eyes and a smiling little face. It has an easy to grasp ring and the whole toy is soft enough for young babies. One side is done in short velour like plush and the back is done in silky satin. A small bunch of short green ribbons are clutched in the panda's hand, that will tickle little cheeks or toes as you use this for early social lap games. For starters you will be moving this from side to side for baby to focus on. Before long, it will be a safe choice for baby to grasp. It is soft enough so that it will not hurt even if baby hits herself in the face with her still unrefined hand movements. This is the kind of soft toy for those early months when baby is still getting control of such seemingly simple eye hand movements. Unfortunately it is a surface wash only, but it's not the kind of toy that baby will be handing independently for a while. Newborn and up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Smarty On the Go Owl, Bug or Dog Rattles
(Kids Preferred $12 Score:)

Choose one of these take along 7-inch rattles that clips to infant chair or stroller. There's a blue faced dog with green plaid ring that baby can easily grip; a purple Owl with big eyes and calico checked triangular body; and a yellow faced bug with green wings and square shaped body. All three are made of patterned knit fabrics with contrasting patterns and plastic rings to finger or chew on. They have a quiet rattle sound and are machine washable. Good for gazing and early lap games. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011.

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2011 Award
Kids Preferred Lolly Pop Squeaker Stick Rattles
(Kids Preferred $8 Score:)

Fabric rattles with bright graphics with licks of black and white patterns that have a lot of eye appeal. Shaped like lolly pops the tops of some have a single colorful image such as a big yellow and black bumblebee or a polka-dotted butterfly with crinkles in its wings. Others have a photo of a baby's face--take your pick. All of them have a rattle sound and quiet, non-startling squealer in the handle. The reverse side of each has a small unbreakable reflective mirror. Though the handle is fat for little hands, it is squish-able. Best of all it's soft enough for babies to grasp and shake and not bop themselves before they have full control of their hand movements. Infants and up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Smarty Kids H is for Hippo Mama-Baby Action Musical
(Kids Preferred $22 Score:) Unlike most musical toys with keys that turn, this 10-inch pink plush Mama Hippo has a sweet little calico checked baby on her back winds up to make music.  Baby hippo turns slowly as it plays Brahms Lullaby with true music box sounds rather than electronic sounds--a real plus. It has several textures that range from short plush, smooth cotton with a lively print pattern and a short satin ribbon tail. This is one of a new line of musicals from the Smarty Kid line. Also new, see W is for Whale Mama-Baby Action Musical. The G is for Giraffe plays the Alphabet Song has a neck that turns.  It is cute but a bit top heavy and topples over more often than not. Infants. Surface washable only.  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Tiny Love Animal Friends Take-Along Mobile
(Tiny Love $24.99 Score:)

Smaller than the usual crib size musical mobile, this is designed as a take-along extra for changing board or trips away from home. It has three small dangly toy animals that can be seen as your horizontal baby looks up at them. All too often mobiles are made with dangly toys that baby cannot really see when they hang sideways. Such mobiles are room decorations, but not designed for baby. Despite the photo shown here, this mobile's dangly toys are actually well positioned so baby looks at the faces. They move slowly and the little musical interludes by Beethoven and Mozart are quiet and soothing. Our recent tester mom was happy to have this take along version, since the full sized mobile is way too heavy for her pack ad go crib. There is a Tiny Love Tiny Princess Take-Along Mobile, a pink version of this toy for those who prefer gender specific toys. SAFETY NOTE: Mobiles should be removed when baby can reach out and touch. The manufacturers say infants to 5 months, but if your baby is able to touch it--it's time to move it or remove it.   Also, note, the manufacturer warns that this is not to be used in a moving vehicle.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Tiny Love Tiny Princess Take-Along Mobile
(Tiny Love $24.99 Score:)

Smaller than the usual crib size musical mobile, this is designed as a take-along extra for changing board or trips away from home. It has three small dangly toys that can be seen as your horizontal baby looks up at them. All too often mobiles are made with dangly toys that baby cannot really see when they hang sideways. Such mobiles are room decorations, but not designed for baby. Despite the photo shown here, this mobile's dangly toys are actually positioned so baby looks at the faces. They move slowly and the little musical interludes by Beethoven and Mozart are quiet and soothing. We generally less gender specific toys, but some will love the pinkness of it all. There is also a Tiny Love Animal Take-Along Mobile, a non-pink version of this toy that will suit little princes. SAFETY NOTE: Mobiles should be removed when baby can reach out and touch. The manufacturers say infants to 5 months, but if your baby is able to touch it--it's time to move it or remove it. Also, note, the manufacturer warns that this is not to be used in a moving vehicle.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Gymini Move & Play Mat
(Tiny Love $74.99 Score:)

Newest in a line of well made play mats, and this one is better than most. Tiny Love was the company that introduced play mats with crossbars and tends to do them better. This big new mat is no exception. It has bold animal graphics that can be enjoyed for tummy time. The cross bars can actually slide on a mechanism that allow you to change their position with ease. The designers have not put a lot of "stuff" on the mat that would be unpleasant for baby to lie on. Soft animal toys and rattle rings attach to the bars and can be slid down to the corners or above for gazing. There is a good-sized unbreakable mirror that will slide down for tummy time looking. The musical attachment plays electronic sounds that are less annoying than most and there is also a not-too-bright-light mechanism that changes color when the sound is turned on. Happily there is a volume control and the mat can be enjoyed with the sounds and lights turned off completely, too. 

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Developmental Bee
(Kids Preferred $16 Score:)

Hang this in the stroller for gazing interest of young babies. It's a bee with many colored wings and bright dangly rings that sway as you move along. Use it for lap games that encourage baby to reach out and touch. It has crinkle and squeaker sounds as well as colorful patterns. A good take along.
Surface washable only. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Smarty Kids W is for Whale Mama-Baby Action Musical
(Kids Preferred $22 Score:)

Unlike most musical toys with keys that turn, this 10-inch blue plush Mama Whale has a sweet little green baby on her back that winds up to make music. Baby whale turns slowly as it plays Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head with true music box sounds rather than electronic sounds--a real plus. It has several textures that range from short plush, waffled cotton and smooth cotton with a lively print pattern. This is one of a new line of musicals from the Smarty Kid line. Also new, see H is for Hippo Mama-Baby Action Musical. The G is for Giraffe plays the Alphabet Song while its neck turns. It is cute but a bit top heavy and topples over more often than not. Infants. Surface washable only. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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