In updating my Amby Baby Motion Bed review, I realized there is another item in our home that is a favorite of ours, which I just had to share: the Bright Starts Tropical Smiles Around We Go, available at Target. Aside from the ridiculously long and impossible-to-remember name (I've been calling it "the walker-tainer" for over a year now--who is doing their marketing? sheesh!) it is a fabulous product. Kudos to the inventors. There is nothing else out there like it.
At first I gagged at the price tag. I don't remember exactly how much I paid for it, but I'm thinking in the ninety dollar range 18 months ago (it's on sale now at Target.com for $63.98, down from $79.98) but it turned out to be worth it. Aside from the many gadgets and toys on the circular table (which my preschool children also enjoy playing with), it has a walker-style seat that is attached to the table base, which twists so the baby can see what is going on around him, as well as travels around the circumference of the activity table. It was a bit of an adventure putting it together, but not terribly difficult. It looked way too hard to disassemble, so we kept it intact when we moved.
There are a myriad of toys to play with, including a piano-like toy that has a "book" with plastic "pages". Every time you turn the page, the piano plays different sounds: musical notes, songs, or animal voices. There is a star-shaped water pad with shaped sponges inside, and buttons you can push to make lights under the water light up and steel drum tropical music plays. Those toys have on/off and low/high volume switches (nice). There is also a fish on a pull-string, a spinning dolphin rattle, a tree shaped mirror, beads on a plastic arc, pop-up dolphins, and more.
We bought it when our younger daughter was on the upper age limits of using it. She liked it alright inside on the carpet, but LOVED it on the smooth garage floor, watching the other children play in the driveway. She could get herself running around it pretty fast...a bit too fast. She was probably getting a bit big for it. But it never was in danger of tipping over. A baby can definitely go fast in it on a smooth surface.
My youngest son, however, loves this thing to death! Inside, outside, carpet, deck, concrete, linoleum, anywhere you put it, the child loves this thing! He doesn't want to lay on the floor for "tummy time" or spend much time trying to sit up or play with other toys. He will play with other toys...as he holds them and runs around his "walker-tainer". (Yes, I'm refusing to use that ridiculous, long-winded name.) He loves being held, but if we can't hold him, forget the floor, he wants to "run"! The older children love to push him around in it, or "help" him play with the toys (you do need to keep an eye on older children...they tend to want to push a baby around too fast).
One nice thing about this product is that there is an adjustable strap under the cloth seat for adjusting the height of the seat. The seat, in its lowest position, is pretty deep/low, so you can start a child in it younger than a lot of walkers/entertainers.
I always recommend "babywearing" with a baby sling, but when you can't, this toy is a lifesaver! My nine month old son has never been too interested in being in a sling when I'm sitting or doing things (cleaning, cooking, etc.), unlike the others. It's so helpful at dinnertime, too! I'd say this is a fabulous investment for a mom with a large family. It may be pricey, but it's one heck of a toy! New moms, skip the bouncer (all my kids hated them) and the bassinet (a waste of money after a couple of months) and the baby bathtub (a slippery accident waiting to happen...use a foam bath cushion or a towel in the tub with two inches of water) and invest in this.
And no, I don't sell them. But I should! And the Amby Hammock...I should be making money off this, lol. I don't think Amby will be calling...read my review. While I raved the product, I reamed the American distributor for bad service. So I guess I won't wait by my inbox to hear from them. But hey, Bright Starts, call me! :-P