Baby Einstein has does done again with the Rhythm of The Reef Prop Pillow, created specifically for an amazing experience with infant tummy time. If you follow my blog, you know that my son has L1 Syndrome and is severely handicap. He will be five months old this Friday, and has the head strength of a 1.5-2 month old baby. I recently purchased this prop pillow above all the other choices after beyond much consideration and research. And in under a week’s span, I can already tell a huge difference in his head control! It is saving my son!
This pillow is about 17-18 inches long and weighs a little over a pound. While I would never recommend leaving an infant unattended on their stomachs or on a developmental toy such as this … I would suspect the way it is made dissuades infant suffocation. While soft, it is firm in comparison to a prop pillow such as a boppy. For my needs, this was super beneficial as my son’s low muscle tone keeps him from pushing himself up as most babies up to two months younger than he can accomplish.
For a size comparison, he is five months old and around 14.5 pounds in this photo.
This is one of the cheapest tummy time prop pillows I could find. Yet somehow one of my favorites; I’m shocked there aren’t a wider variety of pillows for this purpose! Most I could find come with the tummy time mats and do not raise the baby very far. Being five months old and still unable to sit assisted or hold his head up unassisted, I have a lot of work to do daily in the department of head shaping from all that laying down! Our boppy is comfortable and squishy and I feel uncomfortable with him on his tummy. I absolutely think that the $19, reduced to $14 pricetag is a phenomenal steal! When I price an item, I try to think of how much I would be willing to him to use something for a single day or a single time. If I priced this one at $0.50 per use, he uses it three times per day. We’ve had it four days, soo we will most certainly get our money’s worth!
This thing really makes him work!
My number one turn off about this toy is its colors. While vibrant and bright is great for most babies, and that means probably yours, I was really looking for a red and black one. My son is exhibiting symptoms of cranial nerve 3 palsy and cortical vision impairment. He needs high contrast black and white, black and red, red and white type visual stimulation. So why did I purchase? Two reasons.
1. I’m willing to look past it. Two of the toys are removable via a simple velcro peice that appears it will not pile as the toy ages. How hard would it be for me to add a red and black toy? NOT HARD! We already own them!
2. The height he gains on this (and therefore not making it great for small infants I would presume) sets him in the perfect position to want to lift his head. I can rotate him so he only has to lift it 45 degrees and be in line with his body to look infront of him instead of lifting a full 90 degree angle. How hard would it be to place black and white photos and toys in front of him in this situation? Not hard!
I love these flaps! For older children who may learn by pushing this toy across the floor as they begin to crawl and roll… it is a great introduction to seek and find, cause and effect. The pages are super soft, and do not poke baby if baby rolls his/her face on top of them. They actually enticed my son Noah and he began shaking his head back and forth to explore it with his mouth (a HUGE accomplishment as he doesn’t put things in his mouth at all yet!)
This toy is also SLAP FULL of sensory equipment. The leaves are stitched in a way that their pattern explores the sense of touch. The material of the middle of the roll, while smooth, feels different than the two ends. The leaves alternate between shiny and softer felt with stitching. The stitched leaves also crinkle. The sun is soft enough for chewing but also has a mirror on the back of it for baby to see themselves. The leaf is an excellent tool for my son. I can position him on it and he can play with it similar to how he plays with the Oball: a boy that has a ton of holes for small fingers to explore. The crab that plays music and has mouthing toys and the mouthing toy with holes are my two favorite sensory toys. The crab (although many reviews find it beyond annoying) does not remove by velcro and has no on/off switch.We love it! The music encourages play for him because the slightly motion activates it and even my son who is not developmentally at his age can experience cause and effect from it. The music is not that loud, especially when compared to other infant toys, and my son loves it! If it really becomes that annoying, a screwdriver can help you remove the battery. It really isn’t hard.
Honestly, I believe this toy has benefit to any baby that has the opportunity to fall in love with it. Not all babies like all toys. I do believe that if you are easily annoyed by baby toy music and don’t want to grab a screwdriver to remove a battery though, you probably shouldn’t purchase this one.
What are your favorite infant tummy time toys? Do you own this one? I will be updating this review at different time intervals (maybe in a month or two and then in a few months) – how has it held up for your children long term? Please leave a comment and let me know as I’m always on the lookout for the best tools to help my son!