By Christina VanGinkel
Crib toys are a wonderful way for parents to sneak in a few extra minutes of sleep upon baby awakening in the morning, as baby will often play with them instead of immediately wanting out of their crib. Too often, parents may think they can just toss a toy or two into the crib with baby, but this is never a good idea, for many reasons actually. If baby is a climber, the toys could become nothing more than fuel for their feet to climb on for one, and if they are restless sleepers, they could easily roll onto the toys in the middle of the night.
A toy such as the Ocean Wonders Aquarium from Fisher Price, which attaches to the side of the crib is an excellent choice in place of those toys that are just tossed in a half hazard fashion. It can be securely attached to the side of the crib, allowing the parents to choose exactly where to place it. With my youngest son, we attached his crib toy to the side of his crib that faced the wall, as he was a climber, and would use anything left in his crib to help him reach his destination (the floor!). While we did not have the luxury of the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium, I would have bought it in an instant.
It is easy enough for young children to learn to operate on their own, and combines play with soothing music to help lull baby to sleep when it is bedtime. Depending on your infant though, this might be too much temptation, and instead of lulling them to sleep, it may entice them to stay awake and play, so that could be a concern. When I mentioned this to a friend with a young toddler, who is who showed this amazing toy to me in the first place, she admitted that they went through a transition when she had to take the toy out of the crib before putting her daughter to sleep. Then, she would slip it back on once she was asleep, so that it was there in the morning to keep her occupied. There are three setting though, and she said that now that her daughter is a bit older, she knows that when mom puts the music on by itself on low, melodic sounding setting, it is bedtime. She will occasionally also turn on the soft, glowing lights with the music, especially on nights her daughter might be a bit restless. When she wakes up though, you can always find her daughter with all of it turned on, full light, music on one of the more spacey sounding settings, and the fish swimming around. The different sound settings are suppose to sound like a babbling brook and other water sounds, but we both decided they sound more like something you would hear on a space cartoon! Overall, a fun crib toy to have.
The Ocean Wonders Aquarium from Fisher Price would make an ideal choice for a gift to give at a baby shower, or to a friend that is expecting a second or third child. They will be able to really appreciate the few extra minutes of sleep this toy might afford them on some mornings when it captivates baby's attention for a while when they wake.
If you are looking for a toy for your own child to place in their crib, this might be just the toy you have been looking for. Also, keep inn mind that if you have a pack and play type crib that baby uses frequently at a sitter's house or at a grandparents, you might want to pick up two, so baby always has the familiarity of the music to go to sleep with. I am not sure exactly how it would attach, but the same friend who showed me hers, said there are attachments that you can buy to attach a crib toy to a pack and play type crib. If not, I would not recommend placing it into the playpen anymore than I would the crib, as I am sure baby would soon be using it as something to stack and crawl onto.