It’s ridiculous how time flies. How quickly everything seems to pass as a blur, particularly as a new mum. In the early days, we wait for our babies to smile – that is one of the first real milestones us mums are waiting for. Then, it is the ability to roll; then sit; then crawl. We are always watching the natural progression of development (and comparing our babies to others – I’m guilty of it too!) and navigating through their milestones. At 9 months of age, our son has well and truly hit the “throwing” stage. Read here about Navigating Baby Milestones The throwing stage.
Throwing as part of a baby’s development
This throwing stage starts innocently enough – it always seems that our baby is accidentally “dropping” an object. You pick it up and give it back to them because, if your child is like mine, they’ll either scream or whinge if you don’t. However, babies soon learn this skill of throwing that they implement constantly, usually when sitting anywhere that requires an adult to bend down to pick up the thrown object. For example, from a high chair or sitting next to an adult on the lounge. It is exciting (they are learning a skill!) and infuriating (if I have to bend down to pick that object up one more time…) all at the same time. Throwing is a small part of a child’s gross motor development (large muscles – the arms), fine motor development (small muscles, fingers and hands) and their hand-eye coordination (eventually throwing towards something). While babies aren’t particularly throwing to or for someone, they are still learning while they’re throwing their toys.
But it can be annoying, right? What mum hasn’t gotten over bending down to pick up their child’s ball for the umpteenth time? Even though I know my son is learning, growing and having fun continuously throwing toys and food, there are still times it irks me to continuously pick them up. If only there were a way he could throw his food or toys and I didn’t have to bend down after them. Well, now there is.
Introducing the Grapple
The Grapple is an innovative (not to mention cute!) toy created by Jellystone Designs. It is designed to take the hassle out of dining out with your babies, as we know how tiring it can be! The Grapple is made of soft silicone (BPA and Phthalate free) making it safe for those teething bubs who love to chew on everything (this is my Starfish). The silicone is easy to clean, as it can easily catch dust. To add to the gorgeous apple design, the Grapple also has a handy leaf-shaped clip on top so you can attach it to your nappy bag on the go.
The Grapple opens to show 3 silicone cords which allow you to tie toys onto the cords. It also has a suction cap at the bottom of the Grapple, so it can stay attached to your baby’s high chair tray. Once it is securely attached, your baby can play with their toys and throw them around without losing them on the floor. Such an ingenious idea!
Playing with the Grapple
When we first received the Grapple, I fell instantly in love with it. Dining out with my son a few times, it was clear to me that it would work a treat in keeping him entertained without me losing my mind over picking up toys. My husband needed a bit of extra convincing however. We initially used the Grapple at home as I honestly kept forgetting to pack the Grapple in my bag. While it is nicely compact (again, designed this way for ease of use and transportation in a nappy bag), it does involve a bit of pack up in removing the cord from each toy, wrapping up the cords and then putting the Grapple and toys in your bag (still requiring space for the toys). This may sound like I’m splitting hairs – and maybe I am, as the Grapple really doesn’t have any other drawbacks – but as a busy mum, usually rushing out the door to get somewhere, sometimes it’s those extra couple of minutes that make a difference.
However what the Grapple might spend in a couple of minutes of attaching and detaching toys, it saves in the time spent picking up toys. It creates a hassle free dining out experience for mums, which already carry with them a certain level of angst or anxiety. For mums who want to catch up with friends or dine out with family, the Grapple is the perfect accessory for ensuring your baby is entertained throughout the process.
Stamp of Approval
While it has been a while since I completed a proper review and given my Stamp of Approval, the Grapple well and truly earns it. As a new mum, I love anything that minimizes my stress and anxiety around leaving the house. The Grapple is the perfect accessory for any dining out experience (I’ll have to add it to my list of essentials for dining out with a baby).
If you’re interested in getting your hands on a Grapple (they have red ones as well!), you can purchase them through the amazing Mamma Bee Online Store. Visit their website HERE or Facebook HERE for more information.