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Mother and Baby

Fisher-Price Rainforest Music & Lights Deluxe Gym Review

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RRP:
£64.99
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Mother&Baby Awards
  • 2018 Shortlisted Best Product for a Newborn - 0-4 months
Mother & Baby 2018 Shortlist

At a glance:

A clever, interactive play mat to help aid your baby’s development. We love how soft the mat is, and how easy this is to fold up and take on the go. Stand out features include the detachable toys, which our panel of mum testers raved about!

What they say:

“Bring the rainforest to life with music, lights and nature sounds that respond to baby’s movement. During lay & play time, hanging activity toys & motion-activated music encourage teeny-tiny ones to reach, bat & play! Lower the toys or move them to the soft deluxe mat to encourage baby to push up for tummy time fun! Sweet details, including a soft, satiny mat border and large crinkle leaf, offer sensory development as your little one plays.” 

Tested by mum Melissa Sells for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

I would recommend this product to other mums, as it has a lot of different features –all of which help with children's development, especially their senses. The product is also really easy to transport, pack up and put away, and the mat is really comfortable for a baby’s head. The product is also very colourful and has a lot of brilliant accessories with it such as music, lights, a mirror, dangling toys (both soft and hard), so it’s good for a baby’s stimulation.

How did the product make your life easier?

My daughter is a particularly clingy baby, so it is quite a challenge to get things done. However, using this product has made life easier, as it causes a distraction for her, meaning I am able to put my daughter down and get things done. Even when she starts to fuss and move her hands around, it activates the music, so acts as a distraction once again.

Would you choose this product to win?

I would definitely choose this product over others, mainly because of the amazing features. For example, when my baby hits or kicks one of the dangling toys, it activates the music, making it particularly easy for me as when I'm doing some errands and my baby begins to fuss and move her hands, the music activates and distracts her.

What changes would you make to the product?

There is not an awful lot I would change, aside from maybe making the mat slightly longer so that babies who are particularly longer won’t grow out of it too fast. Another change would be possibly making the arch ever so slightly higher, as sometimes it’s a little tricky to pick baby up without the dangling toys bumping their head.

Tested by mum Nicola Souter for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

I would recommend the product to friends, as it was an instant hit with us. The product is compact enough to be stored and transported in the bag and is a high quality, well made product. I'm not sure how hygienic the fabric of the floor mat is, but fortunately I haven't had to worry about it too much. I think friends with newborn babies would love the product, as it is a lot of fun, and doesn't take up a huge amount of room.

How did this product make your life easier?

This has made my life a little easier as a mum by engaging my daughter from the first day. I love the fact that this product is easy to access, so that once it is set up; it is easy for baby to be laid down on the mat and automatically be engaged with the bright colours and patterns. The portable toucan is a fantastic idea and has allowed our family to enjoy mealtimes whilst the baby is engrossed with the tunes at her highchair. The detachable toys have also made life easier by being removed from the play mat so she can hold them when in the pushchair.

Would you choose this product to win?

I would definitely choose this product to win best product for a newborn, as it covers the many play needs of a baby. It incorporates colours and sounds, detachable toys and shiny fabric, and is portable enough to be packed away into a bag and taken with you for play days or staycations. It is unisex in colours, so is easy to gift to others. I'm not sure what stand out features there are, as there are a lot of play mats on the market, but I have thoroughly enjoyed watching my little one laugh and enjoy the magic of this one.

What changes would you make to this product?

The one major change I would make to this product is to be a bit more creative with the floor mat itself. There is so much going on above the baby’s head with toys and patterns that when they come to enjoy tummy time, there is very little 'excitement'. It is a beautiful, bright pattern of animals and a jungle scene that I feel is a little boring. It could have had a blue, shiny or glittery fabric for the water, or textured ears on some of the animals? That is my only suggestion to improve what is ultimately a lovely, fun product for both baby and parents.

Tested by mum Michelle Slinn for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

I would recommend this product to anyone with young children because of its vibrant colours and simple to clean design. The instructions state which parts are machine washable, which is great for my little girl as she has reflux, so can be sick quite often. The play mat was so simple to assemble and is also easy to transport in the carry case it comes with. It is a sturdy play gym (I have worked in a nursery, so have seen many play gyms which aren't of the same quality just fall down).

How did this product make your life easier?

The play gym is great and as a first-time mum, I don't think you ever quite realise how little time you will get to yourself once your baby is here. My little girl will lie on the play mat and entertain herself long enough for me to have a warm drink, (which is a rare occurrence in our house) as she enjoys being entertained. Even simple things like putting a load of washing on are made easier knowing she is happy and content reaching for the toys on the play mat.

Would you choose this product to win?

I absolutely think this product should win. When I was pregnant, searching for a play gym was something I spent quite a bit of time doing. I made the massive mistake of choosing something I thought was pretty which, ultimately, was pale pink and had minimal toys, which my daughter still wouldn't be able to reach, even at four-months-old. The Fisher-Price Rainforest play gym completely exceeds all my expectations. It is eye-catching (the colours are captivating) and there are lots of different sensory aspects to the play gym (sound, sight, touch etc.). The play gym was so simple to assemble that I didn't actually need the instructions, though I did give them a quick check and even then, they were easy to understand, which is just what you want, really. I like how easy the play gym is to clean, and love how you can take the toys off and place them elsewhere or on the mat for the baby to play with.

What changes would you make to this product?

I would make the yellow giraffe teddy have more of a sensory feel to it, either by adding rattles in the feet or giving it crinkly ears. Other than this, I wouldn't change anything else about the product.

Tested by mum Samantha Sidaway for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

It encouraged my baby to roll and reach out, as when she did, it often played a song and made a noise. I would recommend this product for younger children, as my daughter was four-months-old, only seemed interested in it for a few weeks. It’s easy to wash, and I loved the fact that the toucan and the other toys were removable, meaning I could take the smaller items with us. It’s quite a big mat, so may be more ideal for two children as opposed to just one.

How did this product make your life easier?

As a busy full-time mum, this product has helped make my life easier by giving me the confidence to leave my daughter happily on the floor whilst I go about doing other jobs. I was able to be in another room and know she was safe, as when she moved and rolled the mat played music that could hear clearly. It was like having an extra pair of hands!

Would you choose this product to win?

I would choose this product above others, as it encouraged my daughter to roll whenever she wanted the music to play. The quality of the mat, toys and the sounds they made was amazing and clear. Compared to other toy mats this one goes above and beyond. I would like to see this mat win in regards to quality, however, I do feel is it a little over-priced, as my daughter soon lost interest, mainly because the same tunes played over and over.

What changes would you make to this product?

If I would change one thing about the product, it would be to add more sounds and songs in order to help keep my daughter entertained for longer. My daughter was an early sitter, so I would like to see more upright toys on it. She loved the toucan, for example, and could play with it either sitting or laying down.

Tested by mum Fiona Singleton for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

I originally was given a play gym as a gift, which was a pale pink colour – I only used it a couple of times and have actually thrown it out as it was really poor quality compared to this one. Fisher-Price’s Rainforest gym is much more stimulating, with the bright colours and the music, and my baby instantly liked it. It's also much sturdier, and it nowhere near as flimsy. I feel there's less chance of this one breaking, due to it being such good quality.

How did this product make your life easier?

I love this and because of the bright colours, my baby is happy to lie on it for ages without getting bored. It folds and snaps back into shape easily when you pull it out, and I love the detachable toys, as you can use them if there's no other toys in that room to give to baby even they’re not on the mat. The music on the toucan is great, and can play when baby kicks and generates movement.

Would you choose this product to win?

I would definitely recommend this, and have been looking at other Fisher-Price toys due to how good this one is. The bright colours really stand out, and the mat itself will be used for a long time. You can chat away about the animals – asking where the frog has gone or how many fish there are, for example. I've also detached the toys now and again for sitting with and the zebra is a great toy for chewing and for moving the beads on it. There's a detachable giraffe that baby can cuddle with, which is actually quite big, and the musical toucan which sits in the top can be removed for a music toy – great!

What changes would you make to this product?

You would need to make sure the detachable toucan is attached properly, as it is quite a thick piece of plastic, and could fall on baby's head if not in properly. I would not pay the recommended price of £69.99 – this is too expensive for me for a play gym.

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