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Friday, November 17, 2006

A Little Night Music

You know those little musical crib toys that hang on the crib and play music, blow bubbles, and light up? We had a second-hand one, and the poor little fish were stuck. They didn't swim, but they clicked nicely. I was feeling pretty bad for my son. Maybe he was being deprived of swimming fishies. So I did a little research on some baby store websites and came up with a few options.

I always read the customer reviews on these sites because you learn all sorts of things about the product that the manufacturer wouldn't dare to mention. It's how I chose most of our trickier items for our baby, such as the stroller, the changing table, and the nail clippers. (For a new parent, even that last one can be a little nerve wracking.) So when I saw the mixed reviews for the popular Ocean Wonders Aquarium by Fischer Price, I thought I'd steer clear.

The general consensus was that it was very difficult to install on the crib, and the battery pack would somehow disconnect from the toy if not supported by a wall. But every person said they wouldn't give up the toy because their baby loved it so much. I just figured we wouldn't bother getting attached to it in the first place. But as I shopped around locally,, the Ocean Wonders was the only one I could even find.

In the end, those tired fish in our old unit taunted me until I bought the Ocean Wonders. I have to say, I was pretty excited. But getting it out of the box was worse than solving the Rubic's Cube with your eyes shut. I did have a terrible time getting it hooked to the crib, because the plastic straps are so darned tight. A safety precaution, I imagine. As for the battery pack, that actually must be attached after the aquarium is on the crib. It screws on, and I have a feeling that's why some people experience having the toy lose connection to its power source - the screws may not be tightened enough.

Once it was installed, though, I was mesmerized. I can stare at that thing for hours. Well, minutes. But the point is, it's very entertaining. My baby seems to like it too. The music is gentle and relaxing, and the bubbles and lights just about lull me to sleep hanging over the crib.

My son easily kicks the music on all by himself - I've heard it go on through the monitor in the wee hours. The toy's motor is a little loud, but it doesn't seem to bother him at all. Overall, I am pleased with it, and I'd recommend it regardless of installation and packaging hassles. After all, this is nothing compared to the bicycle I'll have to install in a few years.

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