Only little babies do that…

a blog by Emily\’s mother

Parental Guidance Suggested

Posted by Caroline on January 7, 2007

Of course I’m old enough for these…..and when I’m done playing I can wear themEmily is seven months old today. And as a special treat on her seven-month birthday (for we always sing Happy Birthday to her whenever another month goes by), I finally got out one of the toys – a set of ring-shaped animals on a stand – which we were given when she was just two weeks old.

The reason I’d been holding off giving it to her was because it said on the label ‘Age eight months and up’ – and naturally I was concerned about what would happen if I gave it to her before she hits that magic number.

As it was, I decided that seven months was quite old enough, and having had a similar toy since she was much younger, I thought the time had come. And surprise surprise, she loved it – and was more than capable of playing with it, despite being below the ‘recommended’ age.

This means one of two things. Either I have a fantastically clever and advanced daughter (a fact we knew already), or age recommendations on toys aren’t always what they seem.

Of course I can see the reason why certain toys are only suitable for a certain age – if there are tiny parts, for example, which small people might swallow, or if the toy in question is too complicated for Mummy and Daddy to figure out, never mind a little girl.

But we’ve been less strict with others – Laugh n’Learn Puppy, for example, is recommended for ages six months and up, yet Emily had learned how to press all the buttons and play the tunes – repeatedly – by the five-month mark. And we showed her toys recommended for older babies when she was younger, even if we didn’t actually allow her to play with them herself.

Like all these things, I suspect a certain amount of discretion comes into it – but of course it could equally have its uses if there’s a certain toy that either myself or my husband fancies having. With that in mind, perhaps I should buy her a Nintendo Wii for her first birthday. Of course, I’ll just have to play with it myself until she’s old enough to use it, but I daresay she won’t mind too much. 

8 Responses to “Parental Guidance Suggested”

  1. FourBear said

    Hehe, starting the video game addiction early?

    Sometimes I really think companies put overly conservative age recommendations on toys to keep them out of hot water. Unfortunately, some parents thinks toys can act as “babysitters” so they can leave their child unattended. Not the case! I think you have two things going for you: you are very attentive and caring mother, and have an intelligent daughter. 🙂 I think a few more toys a bit above her age would be fine (and probably extra stimulating).

  2. katharina said

    I think the Nintendo sounds like a great gift for… uh… Emily? hehe Every girl should have one for her 7th month milestone methinks! 🙂

  3. eldragon said

    Don’t buy her a Nintendo yet. They will outmode them every year until Emily turns 18 – by then they will fit in the palm of your hand – making it easier to use while flying your car.

  4. Melanie said

    Pout, back when I was 7 months old, my parents only got me a Pong game. 😀 I do think that those age recommendations are put in place to make parents feel that their child is a genius. But you know what? They probably are. 🙂

  5. tater03 said

    I use my insticts as a mother when it comes to the age recommendations. Happy Birthday to your very cute and beatiful daughter.

  6. LyricB said

    I have never seen a toy which had an age recommendation of 8 months or older. Was that a cognitive-type suggestion or instead a safety one?

  7. Stephanie2377 said

    Is that a photo of Emily with the animals from her ring toy? I have to say, “8 months and up” is an age range that I haven’t heard of before. My son is definitely playing with toys that are labelled for older children. I think some labels are for safety, while others are just general to show what ages will be more interested. As the parent, you have the discretion!
    I am sure Emily would love to share her Wii with you. 🙂

  8. katharina said

    I never understood why every toy has to be marked with an age recommendation. Sure things with small pieces, etc. have to be marked, but not everything. How would they know that a 7 month old couldn’t handle something the same as an 8 or 9 month old? I think the labels should be for safety issues and parents should decide what the child can or can’t master.

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