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Where have all the simple baby items gone? - Page 2

post #21 of 50
Here's a link to an article about the TV ADD connection:
http://www.whitedot.org/issue/iss_st...DHD%20Toddlers
post #22 of 50
I just got my first baby item today, a gently used swing off of craigslist It was $40, as opposed to $140, and it's the only big thing we plan to have around for the baby. My son loved his swing. In fact, I had really hard time putting him to sleep without it. He would make my nipples sore, and still wouldn't fall asleep. This baby might be different and might just be OK being simply held, but my son would only calm down with a swinging motion. It has music and a little rotating mobile, but it's mostly just for swinging from side to side, and for taking a nap, strapped in for safety. It does take those huge batteries. I think we had to change ours 3 or 4 times last time. There would be days, where I would just swing my son with my hand or my feet to calm him down for a nap. So while it might have too many bells and whistles, it can be used in a simple way too.
post #23 of 50
I love simple toys and baby items. They are just so much more expensive! I buy the simple, natural items but we tend to get the loud flashy stuff as gifts. I did really like the rainforest bouncy seat http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...ductId=2508008 . I usually took the toy bar off and bounced it with my foot - but the waterfall thing on the toy bar was really pretty
post #24 of 50
BabyBjörn got a babysitter/bouncy that is very simple - it is one of the most popular and highest ranked in Scandinavia: http://www.babybjorn.com/en/American...itter-Balance/

We actually only used the babycarseat the few minutes our daughter needed such an item - she was happy on the floor most of the time - and that is better for strengthening their back and neck... This time it may be that we get this one since we have a toddler needing attention, too.

For toys we got a lot of wooden toys - stacking blocks, puzzles and animal on wheeles to be pushed or dragged - rocking horse and a baby doll (my old one actually almost real size doll). They have generally been more popular than the noisy objects which are only popular for a period then "boring".

But, as someone commented, it is good to have a few noisy objects as that is something that they need to adjust to and learn to be fun and not scary.

Personally, I also believe that too much of noisy flashy objects, cartoons and similar stimulation from early on can be one of the triggers for consentration problems later on - things that do not entertain get boring and they are constantly craving new info to focus on and being stimulated by. Old cartoons are boring because the action is too slow. Learning in school is boring because they cannot learn fast enough, too slow progress, no release for tension builds... But this got rather OT - sorry
post #25 of 50
I like simple, but I know that some kids like the more "fancy" stuff that vibrates or has music or lights. Sometimes when nothing else works, a little distraction with music or lights helps. Not really in the newborn stage, but then they get a little older and are more aware.

I try to avoid super noisy toys (like toy fire engines!). Darn...when those batteries run out, I never seem to have any on hand to replace them.
post #26 of 50
I had the baby papasan vibrating seat and the baby papasan swing, no frills there...but I haven't seen them around?
http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-B...=cm_cr_pr_pb_t
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-me...e=UTF8&index=0

my daughter loved both and I loved the natural colors and no LOUD and annoying things (the swing does have nature sounds, not bad though)
I saved them both for future kids
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by erickalynne View Post
I had the baby papasan vibrating seat and the baby papasan swing, no frills there...but I haven't seen them around?
They probably have changed the colors/animals/name. There is always some new design coming out every year or two, but I have noticed the big brands always advertising their "zen" or "natural" designs.

Yes, *sometimes* the more simple/natural toys do cost more, but it often only *seems* that way. I remember when we first started getting into natural toys this time last year, I was blown away by the cost. Then I pulled out an actual conventional toy catalog and did side-by-side comparisons. Know what? The prices really are not that different. I can buy a plastic, electronic zoo toy that makes noise, etc for $50. I can also buy play silks, a baby doll, and a couple rattles/teethers for $50 total. You just have to look beyond the surface and compare what you would REALLY be buying. The nicest part about natural & open-ended toys for the young ones is that you do not need to have many toys, either. They WILL play w/ the same ones over and over b/c they can do so many things w/ them. There are also lots and lots of toys that are non-flashy that you can get from the regular toy store or thrift store. There is a set of metal pots and pans at Toys R Us for only $10! It is good quality, too, we have it in our church nursery. Toys R Us also has their own line of eco-friendly toys that are high-quality and not expensive. If you have an Ikea nearby, their toys are all made in Europe and are cheaply priced. So, yeah, some of the stuff is WAAAAY overpriced, imo, but overall, you will be buying less of it & there are plenty of bargains out there

ps: Haba brand makes more toys for babies than Plan does, & Plan makes more toys for toddlers than Haba. I love both companies, just lettin' ya know!
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenfl View Post
Yeah, shopping for simple things is so hard!

An interesting consequence of choosing not to have noisy or battery-operated toys in the house -- DD is now terrified of them. We can't go over to other people's houses or into mainstream toy stores without her breaking down about some musical ball or dancing Elmo. I never really expected that.
Might just be your DDs sensitive. My friend buys nothing but plastic lights, musics, blinking stuff for her children and her DD went through a phase of not liking - to the point of being terrified - of all such toys/materials.

My DS on the other hand grew up with not much of that. And if it was plastic, it didn't require batteries! lmao ...And he has always been fine with those toys (despite other sensitivities).

I however am convinced it makes a difference in a childs concentration levels. Because you have to use more of your imagination and appreciate things for their intrinsic value when they are plain and simple (like a wooden toy) - I have noticed that many children whom have most access to toys that do stuff for them (plastic lights electronics, etc) have a much shorter attention/concentration span. But thats just my observation and my opinion! lol

It is pretty amazing though isn't it. Its hard to buy simple stuff any longer. When I had my DS I wanted it all ...a bit of a first time materialist. lol...This time I just feel like...theres nothing there for me.
post #29 of 50
We have some Ikea wooden toys and they have been great. My DD has the easel and one of those toys with the metal loops and big beads you push along. I don't know what it's called, but they are often in doctor's offices. It was only $7 at Ikea!

We have some Melissa and Doug toys too...several puzzles that DD loves, a shapes sorting cube, and a lot of wooden food. The paint on the food has chipped off some, but the rest of the things are fine. We also have some Haba food and the paint doesn't chip off, but it wears off. Also some of our Haba food cracked! My DD isn't hard on it at all, she's pretty gentle.

DD has a Kidcraft wooden kitchen that she loves. I liked the simple non-painted wooden kitchens better, but I couldn't find one we could afford at the time. The Kidcraft one she has is all wood but it's more particle board than anything. It has plastic handles and a plastic faucet. It's got lots of room for imagination though! One night she locked our cat in the microwave overnight.

My DD really loves Little People. They are made in China plastic, but oh well. She has some wooden play house people and a wooden house too, but she *really* loves the Little People the best. She will play with them for hours! I got a huge Little People collection at a consignment sale for incredibly cheap a few years ago.

Playdoh has been another big thing around my house. DD has the ice cream factory and she gets it out for at least half an hour everyday. Santa is bringing her another playdoh thing...I haven't decided which one yet.

We have a mix of wooden toys and plastic ones. DD never put much in her mouth as a baby and doesn't at all now at age 3, but I'm worried about the new babe mouthing made in china plastic and painted toys. I haven't decided what to do about that yet...I'm going to get some simple wooden baby toys I think. I've seen some really cute ones on Etsy.
post #30 of 50
The wooden/natural toys are out there - sometimes a bit harder to find, but they are there!

This I'm planning on getting DD#2 a few arts and crafts kits and making her a big batch of play-dough. DS is getting a new train table - probably the Imaginarium one. We have a train table, and TONS of Thomas but it's all really beat up. My girls are/were rough on toys. It's harder as they get older - for example DD#1 is almost 7. I can't think of anything to get her. They get tons of books every year (there is a great warehouse book fair here - this week actually) but she isn't really into anything else except her leapster.


When it comes to baby stuff - well it just depends. I got all the ocean wonders stuff when DD#1 was born - she used it. She was not a cuddly baby, and didn't really like being held. When DD#2 was born, I never used any of it with her. She spent the first year in a sling. I gave away all the 'gear'. When DS was born - we got a bunch of the rainforest stuff - the bouncy seat, swing, a jumperoo. I used it with him, although I may not have if I hadn't become a single mom and started working at the same time. This time around - I don't anticipate using the baby gear, and I won't be buying any gear other than a new double stroller and maybe a new carrier or two. If I had bought the gear myself, I would have gone for simple stuff - wood, or very basic. I'm a bit too frugal to replace baby gear I won't use that often.
post #31 of 50
This is a pet peeve of mine, and recently I have been seeing commercials for a toy that I almost cannot believe--- the fisher price easel that plays music more and more quickly the more quickly a baby scribbles on it. What in the world is this teaching children except that a) the purpose of art/creative expression is just to achieve some other purpose (i.e., not for the pleasure of the act itself) and b) scribble as hard and fast as you can?

We got rid of our exersaucer and I don't plan to buy another one. DD enjoyed it a bit, but it took up huge space and was really a bit of an eyesore. This new baby is a boy, so I am planning to really crack down on toy mania around here. It would be one thing to just have lots of dolls lying around, but I cannot cope, in terms of cleanliness, with the plethora of new types of toys that will be coming our way. Oh my.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaterPrimaePuellae View Post
This is a pet peeve of mine, and recently I have been seeing commercials for a toy that I almost cannot believe--- the fisher price easel that plays music more and more quickly the more quickly a baby scribbles on it. What in the world is this teaching children except that a) the purpose of art/creative expression is just to achieve some other purpose (i.e., not for the pleasure of the act itself) and b) scribble as hard and fast as you can?

We got rid of our exersaucer and I don't plan to buy another one. DD enjoyed it a bit, but it took up huge space and was really a bit of an eyesore. This new baby is a boy, so I am planning to really crack down on toy mania around here. It would be one thing to just have lots of dolls lying around, but I cannot cope, in terms of cleanliness, with the plethora of new types of toys that will be coming our way. Oh my.

It seems like I get rid of 5X more toys than we buy. A lot of the toys/gifts that people have bought for my kids wind up at goodwill. I've tried suggesting things that are more in line with our family values, but I think when people give gifts they are often giving more for themselves, to live viacariously. A few times, I've put gifts away to re-gift later - to someone who would appreciate it more than we do or to give to toys-for-tots. I routinely clean out my girls room and purge. Just last week I got rid of 4 LARGE boxes of books and toys (they went to Daddy's new apartment).
post #33 of 50
I happen to not mind some plastic, flashy toys, to be honest. DS has a LeapFrog table that he loves to play with, and he gets a real kick out of toys that have buttons he can push to get a reaction. I got him a calculator, and a toy laptop for his birthday. He also has unfinished wooden cars, a play kitchen from 1980 that doesn't need batteries, a bead rollercoaster, and giant legos.

Little babies don't need all that crap, though. I've told people not to get us ANYTHING that we don't specifically request, because we have all our stuff from DS still. I did put this bouncer on my amazon wish list because I like the low-tech toy bar. I also have one of these that I used with DS to much success. We also have a wind-up swing that we got from a tag sale or freecycle or somewhere, and a battery-operated one that creeps me out a bit. The swings and seats I think will come in handy during toddler diaper changes when DH has the kids alone. I also just got an ERGO for $80 on sale that I think DH will find handy (he has a hard time with other carriers).

Now if I can just find a bell-and-whistle free potty chair, I'll be golden.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivymae View Post
I completely agree, and while i have been able to find simple items, they are $$$$$ and i am way too cheap for them.

Like this: http://www.csnbaby.com/bloom-E10601-CCW-OOM1049.html or this: http://www.csnbaby.com/Cariboo-C8412-1-VE1053.html

Most of our baby stuff has been thrifted/handed down from friends, so we have been fairly lucky about finding simple toys on a budget. Of course, then I gave away all of that stuff after DD2 was born.... We'll see what make it's way back to us, but I can see taking off the flashy bars and batteries out of loads of things.
Oh those are so beautiful!
post #35 of 50
i agree w/ the pps who have pointed out that when you actually can find nice, simple baby things that aren't overstimulating, they're ridiculously expensive!!
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaterPrimaePuellae View Post
This is a pet peeve of mine, and recently I have been seeing commercials for a toy that I almost cannot believe--- the fisher price easel that plays music more and more quickly the more quickly a baby scribbles on it. What in the world is this teaching children except that a) the purpose of art/creative expression is just to achieve some other purpose (i.e., not for the pleasure of the act itself) and b) scribble as hard and fast as you can?
Oh my god! I'm trying so hard to make those feelings go AWAY in my life (work housecleaning trying to fit everything in hurry hurry must meditate etc)! I can't believe they're trying to train it into the kids! Scary

My father in law has been talking about buying us a ton of crappy, noisy, light up toys for the baby. This was one of the first things he mentioned after we told him I'm pregnant... apparently DH was given some direct-from-Taiwan (where his grandfather lived) super obnoxious toys that have made my FIL build up some revenge scenario in his head for years. There was immediate mention of "Hungry Hungry Hippos" (and I thought, "oh, good, I loved that game!", but apparently it's suuuuuper annoying to hear your kid play that, or something) and all kinds of light up musical instrument toys. I still think that it's kind of ridiculous - just because they let my husband make a ton of noise and drive everyone crazy doesn't mean I won't know how to give bad toys to the Goodwill or at least take out the batteries - but I can see this "indulgent grandparent revenge" thing becoming a problem as the kids get older...

Nevermind that my husband is also a musician, and spent years making awful "teaching himself to play" noises in his parents' basement. I know it sounds awful, but my hope is that at least our girl will want to play the guitar or keyboards instead of the drums! DH literally made an old lady move away from next door to his parents' condo (they shared a wall) with his drumming
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsh7809 View Post
Nevermind that my husband is also a musician, and spent years making awful "teaching himself to play" noises in his parents' basement. I know it sounds awful, but my hope is that at least our girl will want to play the guitar or keyboards instead of the drums! DH literally made an old lady move away from next door to his parents' condo (they shared a wall) with his drumming
My husband, also a musician (though not professionally) has recently started teaching himself to play drums. We live in a town house! Luckily our neighbors don't seem to mind, and he doesn't play often or overly loudly (not that you can play a regular drum set quietly). But, yeah, we have those "teaching himself to play" noises and my DH is an adult!

I told my mom I didn't want a ton of loud flashy plastic toys and she basically told me, "too bad."
post #38 of 50
I always recommended practice pads to the parents/spouses of my percussion students. There is also a way to dampen drumsets if they are playing set (although I can't easily explain it here). Really, though, they need to learn rudiments before starting set, so an inexpensive drum pad to practice on would be invaluable.

Concerning gifts...remember, as the gift giver they can give whatever they want. However, as the parent, you can keep, donate, return, or trash whatever you want. This has worked well for us. By the time the kids were old enough to understand, they understood about quality toys and what we really care about, that there are some kis who don't have toys, etc. My MIL gave my dd a "slap in the face" gift this year for her 5th birthday. We saw MIL this weekend and MIL asked if dd had played with it. Dd answered, "No. We took it back." MIL wanted to know why and dd very politely and matter of factly replied, "It was against my values, but I was able to get a lovely music box. Thank you."
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
I told my mom I didn't want a ton of loud flashy plastic toys and she basically told me, "too bad."
Then "too bad", it goes to goodwill!! My mom did that, but I think she's realized that the tons of plastic crap she's brought over here is NOT HERE ANYMORE! It just disappears... So, she stopped bringing it, and her compromise is if she buys anything noisy/obnoxious, it stays at her house. I'm an adult now and she can't dictate what's in my home. Unfortunately, ds has realized this, and now begs grandma to bring HER toys over whenever she visits. We live in a townhome too- a tiny one, so I also use that as an excuse when she gets something huge and crazy- sorry, no room, keep it at your house.
post #40 of 50
We make our preferences clear to those who ask, but most people either do not ask, do not understand, or will buy whatever they want to regardless. We've donated a bunch of toys to the toys for tots program (like new, still in the box, just taken out to look at), and toys that don't fit their bill either go to the local crisis nursery or to ARC. We really, really try to keep our toys simple and geared towards imagination play, but there are certainly some that sneak in and we let run its coarse. My girls are young enough that even the flashiest toy gets forgotten in a short period, and then those toys 'disappear'.

We also have the tradition of doing a toy purge before birthdays/Christmas. We donate the toys we are getting rid of, and there is room in the toy box for the new things.

A great thing for older kids (toddler+) is to find out what is offered in your area (children's museums, church play room, etc) and you may find that there is already a fully stocked play kitchen that they can play with there, and you can save room in your own house. We had a ton of dress up clothes, but then i realized that they preferred to play dress up at our co-op school, since their friends were there, and I donated the entire trunk. I have more space, the girls will actually play with it now, and other kids get to play as well.
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