Most helpful positive review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
daddy bears can't carry babies in their abdomens
on February 14, 2013
My husband and I bought this bear for our son's first Christmas. It's now been a few months since we got it, so here are some of my impressions.
First of all, this is not a daddy bear. Oh, I know, it looks like a daddy bear. I thought it was a daddy bear. We wanted it to be a daddy bear. But on Christmas morning, when my four-year-old and two-year-old watched their baby brother open his present, they immediately said, "Aw, it's a mommy bear!" I tried to persuade them otherwise, but I was wrong. Know why? Because the tummy opens. And the baby bear fits inside. There is no picture showing that on the site here and so I totally didn't think of the correlation when I initially looked at it. But yeah. Kids know that daddies can't have babies in their abdomens. Only mommies do that. That makes this bear a mommy bear.
Second, if you're looking for a cuddly, tuck-under-the-arm-and-take-everywhere bear, this isn't it. In retrospect, I sort of wish we'd gotten just a plain old plush bear. Yes, this is super cute and well-made, and there are no choking hazards (like the noses on some bears). The fur is a neat sort of wooly texture. BUT it's not soft and plushy like the kinds of bears that kids usually gravitate toward actually cuddling with. Meaning, the fur isn't soft, but the body isn't really squishy either. It's also kind of awkward to hold, because the bear's bottom is so disproportionately big. More on that next.
Third, you know how the grown-up bear is sitting in the picture? As if it can sit up by itself? Well, it can't do that. Picture this scenario. You are on the floor with your baby, and you want him to like his new Christmas present. He spies the bear leaning against the couch and smiles. So you walk it slowly over, bobbing the head coyly. Baby loves it. Then you think you will set the bear down in front of the baby... only, you can't. The bear can't sit. You can hold him up so he is standing, or you can lay him down... awkwardly, because of the big bum issue... but he can't sit, because he's just not built that way. If you try to sit him by himself, he will just flop over. So you kind of hold him up and the baby plays with him until your arm gets tired and you have to lay the bear down awkwardly... which causes the baby to lose interest, because the bear just looks so awkward laying down like that.
Fourth... and these are not the most important points, but I'm going to mention them anyway... I think I'm just not that into the extra features after all. The fishing pole and flower stick in to the paws, and that is rather neat, but they don't really hold anyone's attention for long. None of us... my preschool aged kids included... are very interested in the opening belly feature. The baby bear fits in there, but it's tight. I guess I just think that the "toy" aspect of this bear is not really all that enticing. The baby bear does hold onto things, but not onto very big things, and this point our son just doesn't think much of it. He does like the big grown-up bear (you can pretend it's a daddy bear if you'd like, but my kids know better) but can't pick it up.
Fifth, is your little one going to sleep with this bear? If so, you'll need to take off/out all the extra things (including the baby bear) because they all crinkle, and the baby bear rattles. And there is nothing like a crinkly sound that accidentally wakes up baby during naptime to make everybody sad! I had thought to just let the baby bear stay in bed with my little one, but the rattle makes that impossible. I have left the big bear near him during naptime a few times, though, and he has been very gleeful to find it near him, so it may be that he will enjoy snuggling with it more as he grows.
Overall, you'll notice that I still gave this four stars, because I do think it's an adorable bear and very well-made, and my son likes it, even if he's not quite sure what to do with it. I think in retrospect, we likely would have just gotten a simple, nicely made, no-choking-hazards plush bear, because what we really wanted was a safe, soft bear that would be a buddy to sleep with kind of bear, not so much an activity center. And I think trying to achieve both made us succeed in achieving neither. Granted, our son is only eleven months old now, so he may play with it more later on, but I wanted to leave my current perspective here for other parents who may be considering getting this for a baby. It's definitely a cute bear, and it's great that it is so safe, but you may want to consider whether you really want a bear with the extra features like this or if you just want a traditional, soft, plush, snuggly teddy bear without the bells and whistles (or in this case, the crinkly sounds and unique fabrics).