Description: Whether it is a caterpillar, dog or random unidentified animal on a string, it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes babies bond to their pull-along toys as if there might actually be a maternal or paternal bond. Don’t worry: this is obviously a load of rubbish. They really do love you, but sometimes a bright red dog or a yellow caterpillar just has more appeal to your little one. Sorry, Dad. Babies love pull/push along toys – it is a simple indisputable fact. You can’t really complain too much about jealousy. It was probably you who bought the thing in the first place!
Pros: The first toys that our children choose to play with, in a way, begin to define them as human beings. Our daughter took a particular fancy to a blanket which was given to her as one of many first-birthday presents. Our son was given a small blue bunny rabbit – a toy, not the real thing – and that has been his favourite since the day he first learnt to grab. These are the items that our children simply can’t live without, but the veritable army of push/pull along toys that have massed under the stairs and in every single cupboard in our house come a close second. There are simple wooden pull-alongs, like the classic nodding spotty dog and then there are the complex noisy plastic musical pull-alongs that offend the local cat population and for some strange reason never seem to run out of batteries.
Cons: Having children adds a decibel or two to the general ambience of a home. Part of the increased noise will be the emissions from your son and heir, but Push/Pull Along Toys make their own significant contribution. The simple wooden pull-along toys that clatter away to themselves are fine, but the plastic electronic versions are a complete pain in the arse. Not only will they annoy you throughout the day, but just as you’ve got the little one off to sleep in the evening and you’re tidying up the mess, you’ll trip over one of the little fuckers. It only takes one small flick, movement or a blatant kick and you’ll end up with a high-volume Casio concerto on seemingly endless repeat. There’s nothing worse than waking your baby up to the sound of his favourite toy. If you’ve ever wondered why people throw things into canals – here’s the answer.
What’s it all about? Hours of fun for your precious babes, but choose your toy wisely, or you’re chucking money down the drain – or in the canal, to be more precise.
Bloke’s Rating: You can’t escape push/pull along toys, so don’t even try. There is definitely a photo opportunity to be had with the little one dragging a large green plastic caterpillar along the floor – but wise is the dad who refuses to put batteries in right from the start. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.