Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Fisher-Price Hippo Cuddle Projection Soother Review

I am excited to announce that Lily and Alexander have been selected to be a Toyologist and Babyologist respectively. They are very lucky children to receive age-appropriate products from Toys R Us and Babies R Us to experience in return for a honest review. On this occasion - our first Babyologist review post - Alexander received a Fisher-Price Hippo Cuddle Projection Soother.

This product could not have been more perfect in terms of timing and its function. Alexander's Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow blue seahorse had done its duty and after many times being ejected from the cot, the battery connections weren't too great, so it has now been retired in favour of the hippo.

Fisher-Price Hippo Cuddle Projection Soother
I hadn't seen a toy nightlight like this before, but just from the name I imagined it would incorporate some kind of dome like a turtle.

This is more than what the seahorse can offer but I have to mention that the noteable difference is that the Hippo soother is best placed somewhere within the baby's room, rather than in the cot. The Hippo projection soother has a plush light blue exterior complete with hippo-like facial features including sweet little blue lovehearts on its cheeks. Each floppy leg has either a spotty or stripy foot for decoration. Ultimately this soother focusses on the projection and lullabies rather than being a cuddler; the light-up central projection dome is made of hard clear plastic in order to project soft-glow star light onto the ceiling and walls of the bedroom. We found that the best location for optimum ceiling coverage of soft-glow stars was the very centre of the room. I did pop the soother into Alexander's cot to see what the effect would be, but the projection was visually reduced.

Plush detail and features
I'd expect that although the plush material could be spot-cleaned, due to the nature of the use of the soother it would probably just require a dust or wipe-down occasionally.

On the side of the Hippo projection soother are a trio of buttons. Once 3 x AA batteries (not included) have been inserted into the battery case, the buttons can be used to switch on a variety of different soothing sounds. You can choose from white noise, nature sounds, complete with croaking frogs and a classical musical lullaby Whichever setting you choose, combined with 5 minutes of star projection, you can be assured that your baby will have 30 minutes of delightful sounds and sights which aren't audio-visually over-stimulating; perfect to help your baby wind down, ready for a peaceful night's rest.
I personally prefer to use the lullaby or white noise settings, the wetland nature sounds sound a little peculiar to me but I would expect that if this product was used from an earlier age than the recommended age of 12 months then it could be ideal.

Battery and instructions
This product only provides the hippo; don't forget AA batteries.

In terms of improvements, I think that a cry-sensor function would be an ideal addition to the Hippo Projection Soother, to add extra peace of mind to parents. Perhaps white noise would be activated rather than the light to help calm the baby down. The starlight projection only lasts 5 minutes which I think is a bit too short. I think it could be useful for the projection to last at least 15 minutes whilst gradually fading out in the final 5 minutes. The main improvement that could be made would have to be including the option of volume control. Currently there is no volume control which we found to be quite surprising. Even the Soothe and Glow seahorse has volume control which proves very useful when we use it whilst staying overnight somewhere else as to not wake or disturb other young children. Consequently the Hippo Projection Soother is too loud, particularly when using the music or nature sounds settings. The white noise can be effective at the volume the soother uses but for some children the sounds could be more of a distraction than a soothing, restful tune but ultimately it depends on your child.
Aside from that, it is a brilliant soother that entrances both my children. I would recommend it for infants from birth. In fact, recently my almost 4 year old has commandeered it for her own use!

Actions shots with the children
Alexander getting to grips with the different button functions and Lily demonstrating how well it sends her to sleep!


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