Why Do Babies Love Sophie the Giraffe?
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room of many baby showers. Or rather, the giraffe in the room: Sophie the Giraffe to be exact. I first remember Sophie at my cousin’s baby shower. My sister and her husband claimed Sophie the Giraffe from the registry. When they went to pick it up, they were expecting a life-size giraffe for the price they paid. Instead they were stunned to receive what looked like a small, glorified doggie chew toy.
Oh, we just did not know. We laughed as we read the marketing materials – 100% natural rubber and food-grade paints? Now that I’m a parent, I totally get it. Although Sophie is hit and miss among babies (they’re all different, after all) – Sophie has been a big hit with my daughter.
So how has a seemingly overpriced doggie chew toy stolen the hearts of so many babies? Here are a few reasons why.
When your baby’s in pain, you’ll give your right arm to make it better. Maybe it’s the rubber or maybe it’s the shape, but Sophie just feels really good on baby gums. My daughter seems to focus on the head region and legs. Sophie’s shape provides continuous fun when baby gets tired of chewing on any one part. The only thing worse than a baby in pain is a bored baby, so Sophie wins on both of those fronts.
Sophie keeps babies entertained. It’s not unheard of for a baby to spend hours chewing on it and playing with it. This is great news not only for baby but also for moms who need time to get things done. For example, if you’re at the supermarket with baby, and she begins to get upset, it’s a great way to soothe your little one and get the grocery shopping done at the same time.
Babies have even been known to treat it like a toy instead of teething on it. This can make it last even longer as a toy, far surpassing the teething stage. Because it’s big and easy to hold, babies of all ages don’t have trouble holding on. My only complaint, however, is having to pick it up every time my daughter decides to drop or throw it – that thing really needs a harness that can clip to her.
Our favorite giraffe has many different surfaces that baby can explore. Between the four legs, the body, and the neck, it stimulates baby’s curiosity and provides entertainment. She’s soft to the touch, just like mommy’s skin, and this stimulates a psychological response that soothes baby and enhances their well being. It’s 100% rubber, which is a comforting texture for babies. Her texture is similar to that of a feeding bottle nipple
Teething comfort, engagement and textures are the top reasons Sophie’s a hit, but there are a few more tidbits to consider. Sophie is also made with food-based, non-toxic paints, which makes her safe to chew on. She also has dark spots on her to provide visual stimulation. Younger babies enjoy just looking at her because of her color contrast. She also squeaks, which stimulates their heating. Squeaking noises are also fun for baby to make with toys, so they may even get a giggle out of it, all the while enhancing their hearing, and their ability to distinguish cause from effect.
The Mold Controversy
You can’t talk about Sophie without talking about the mold controversy. In short, a photo went viral in recent years of a Sophie cut in half and it was full of mold. It was all over the news and people lost their minds. This happened right around when I was gifted one, and I actually was going to take it back. However, after reading it into more I got to the bottom of it. Here’s the real deal: Sophie is not meant to be submerged in water and must be cleaned properly on a regular basis. It’s as simple as that. Follow those rules and your little one will be just fine.
With all this said about Sophie the Giraffe, it’s ultimately up to you as to whether it is a good teething option for your baby. Every baby is different, and mom always knows best. Sophie is a very popular option, as mentioned earlier, for good reason. From teething comfort to tons of engagement, it gets a thumbs up from me. This is with the caveat that your baby may not react to her like mine did – it’s not a guarantee. If you’re in love with the idea of Sophie, but still can’t get over the price tag, check out these Sophie alternatives. Need more toy recommendations? Check out these picks for tummy time and visual stimulation!
Have you tried Sophie the giraffe with your baby? How did they respond?
Categorised in: New Mom Life