The “It” Baby Teething Toy

The “It” Baby Teething Toy

Imagine my surprise when my youngest daughter informed me she had just purchased a $25 teething toy at Dillard’s. She’d bought a Sophie La Girafe. She raved about it.  She was quick to recommend it to my then pregnant daughter-in-law, who in fact was gifted 2 at her baby shower, one for each of her soon to be born twins.

Back in the day when my first child was teething we went to the  drug store and purchased a teething ring, a hard plastic ring for her to chew on.  By the time my third child was teething 6 years later we went to the same store and purchased a new and improved teething ring, a plastic ring filled with liquid that could be frozen thus soothing irritated gums.  Both types of teething rings cost no more that $3.

Sophie

I was curious about such an expensive teether specially when I noticed that my cousin’s baby had one too.  I decided to find out what was so wonderful about this teether and turned to the web to do some basic research.  I learned that it’s been around as long as I have.  Popular in France for decades it only became popular in this country when celebrity babies started using them.  I found pictures of celebrities including Elton John carrying around their babies holding a Sophie.

So what is this teether and what makes her so great?

Sophie was born near Paris in Asnières-sur-Oise, on St. Sophie’s Day May 25, 1961.  She will be celebrating her 53rd. birthday this year.

Made of “100 percent natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea tree” as explained in the pamphlet she arrives with, Sophie is a national icon in France.  2010 sales of 816,000 pieces outnumbered the 796,000 babies born in France that same year.

She has been available in the US for decades and was in the 1987 movie Three Men and a Baby.  But she didn’t become popular until Hollywood babies like Kate Hudson’s son Ryder made chewing on them trendy, they became “status teethers”.   Sophie’s popularity spread by word of mouth and has been one of the bestselling toys at Amazon.com since 2008.

Sophie is kid safe and eco-friendly.  The sap from the Hevea tree is not hazardous, and her paint is made from food paint.
She fits perfectly in babies’  hands and gives them lots of points to chew on.  It stimulates all their senses.
  •      Taste – the natural rubber and food paint makes her safe to chew, her soft texture soothes sore gums.
  •          Sight – The dark and light spots all over Sophie’s body provides visual stimulation
  •          Sound – The squeaky sound Sophie makes when squeezed stimulates hearing and helps baby understand cause and effect.
  •          Touch – The soft feel, like mother’s skin, soothes baby
  •          Smell – The unique scent of the natural rubber she is made of makes Sophie easy to find amid other toys.
 My daughter says, ” I believe she is worth every penny.  My son is teething and gets very irritable, chewing on Sophie calms and quiets him.  Sophie La Girafe is not just a teether, she is also a toy.  She keeps my son occupied for hours, we never leave home without her.”
Sophie’s product line has grown to include other “friends” and toys made of the same material,  baby linens, wooden toys, books and even an iphone/ipad app.  She even has her own fan page https://www.facebook.com/sophiethegiraffe.
 I still think she’s a bit pricey, but my grandson does love it and I’m sure the twins will too.  She’s available online and at many retail stores including Toys R Us and Nordstrom’s.  She does  make a great baby shower gift when you can’t think of anything to gift.
To learn more about Sophie and her friends click here!
Update 3/28/2015

The twins are now teething and like Jett their favorite toy/teether is Sophie!  I saw the other day that Walmart now carries her in their baby department; the gift set which includes the teether and matching stuffed Sophie was priced at $34.  

Sophie the Giraffe

Twins with their Sophies Photo by Savvy Nana