Bea the Banana at a glance
Tying into the ever-increasing trend of healthy eating, Bea the Banana is part of Lamaze's latest launch - My First Garden collection. Encouraging fine motor skills, tactile development and problem solving, Bea is full of textures to explore, from the knottie arms to the satin ribbons and chewy leaf to support teething. Babies can peel Bea for peek-a-boo fun, and as a clip & go, attach it to their pram, their highchair, or the baby bag - it's the perfect toy for keeping baby entertained when you're on the go.
We spoke to these real parent testers to get their review...
How did this product make your life easier?
Jessica: At the beginning of using this product, Ivy-Rose was only 4 weeks old and wasn't interested in the product at all. It didn't initially make life easier, I was spending a lot of time trying to get my daughter to play with it and showing her the different sensory parts of the item. As the weeks have passed, it has helped Ivy-Rose be distracted in the pram and on nappy changes by interacting with the banana. She grabs the banana peel and the leaf and tries to put them in her mouth.
April: My son loves this toy and it is one that we reach for when we are preparing to go out for the day. We can count on this toy as one he will be able to hold and keep hold of, and it also has the handy clip ring to attach to the car seat or pushchair. The shape makes it one of my favourite lamaze toys because he can grab hold of it easily and is far less likely to drop it unlike the chunky animal versions. The toy also doubles as a teething toy because of the easily accessed teething shape positioned at the end of the banana. The textures and patterns hidden in the peel make it an interesting toy for him as he can explore the toy more than the others which are in one simple piece. I can rely on this toy to sit alongside him comfortably in the pushchair or car seat without getting in his way or being too chunky and falling out easily. This is a lightweight toy but you can still feel the quality of it, just like the rest of the lamaze range. This is definitely one of my favourite toys overall.
Sarah: Bea the Banana makes my life easier as a Mum as it can be attached easily to a car seat, pram or bassinet. It also provides instant entertainment and or distraction with its bright contrasting colours, it’s different engaging noises and the different variety of textures provided and can be used completely independently.
Would you recommend this to other parents?
Linsey: For a compact toy which is very good value for money, Bea The Banana provides much entertainment for our wee one, while also allowing her to practise her fine and gross motor skills. The combination of materials and textures give her plenty to explore and prevent her becoming bored in the high chair or the car.
Nathaniel: I would recommend it as I feel it’s a fabulous sensory toy for their development. It’s small size is good for travel and also for their small hands to grasp. The hook is a great touch as I can attach it to his pram and his bouncer, so he can’t drop the toy completely. The ‘peel’ is a really good idea, especially with the sensory crinkle noises that it makes.
Kelly: I feel that this product helps my babies auditory development . My baby is currently teething and he likes to bite the leaf as it's made of hard material. Like that it's got a clip so that it can be clipped onto my pram. The design of the Bea is vibrant and eye-catching for my baby. Lightweight and great quality material.
Would you choose this product above all others on the market?
Michelle: I have always loved the lamaze range but never bought one because I have always felt they were quite expensive for what they are. I was over the moon to be asked to test out Bea and she didn’t disappoint! I wouldn’t have normally chosen this product over others because of the price point but having now been given the opportunity to have one, I absolutely would. There is so much involved in one toy and my daughter loves it!
Jennie: I would choose this product over other products on the market. This product stands out. It is bright, colourful and very cheerful. I know if I think it is entertaining, so will my baby! I know my little one finds this product fun and entertaining as it keeps her busy for a good length of time which makes it a winner for me.
Jessica: I don't know if I would necessarily choose this over other items on the market. For a branded toy, I would choose this item but I have ALDI toys which are much cheaper that my baby likes to play with just as much. The brightness of the colours and the textures and the noises the banana makes really makes it stand out. I don't know what other products this banana is pitched against in the awards but I would definitely recommend it.
What changes would you make to this product?
April: The only thing I would change about this toy is adding a couple more features to make it even more exciting for baby. I really like the teething shape and the peel down parts, but I would love it even more if there were more accessories attached, for example, if each segment of peel had a different attachment. However, I really do appreciate how lightweight it is for what the product already features. When the banana peels are up the toy does look far more plain that the other toys in the Lamaze range. Although this owes to the surprise nature of the toy and perhaps engages the baby to seek out the patterns, I do think the banana toy would benefit from being brighter overall to make it a bit more exciting for babies to want to reach for it. To make my life easier the attachment for the pushchair or car seat could be made of fabric or a softer plastic to make it even more comfortable for baby when used as a comforter. As this is often how I like to use this toy because of its easy to hold shape.
Sarah: The one thing I would change about this product would be the attachment to a car seat, pram etc. Even though I like the fact that it can easily be attached and it is a robust attachment. At times, this particular attachment can be fiddly and difficult to administer when in a rush and therefore I feel something like a Velcro attachment would be better.
Linsey: We need an advanced version along the same lines so that our toddler stops taking Bea The Banana from his little sister!! The only thing I can think of to change would possibly be a removal leaf on the bottom. With it being a teething aid, it is very often in our baby's mouth and if it does land on the floor or I feel it needs a clean, it is a little fiddly to wash without getting the rest of the banana wet!