Thursday, 4 September 2014

Who the hell is Sophie the Giraffe?

Joseph's Sophie collection.
I'm guilty of using (ok, over-using) #sophielagirafe and #sophiethegiraffe on my social network of choice; and they're fairly active hashtags... I've found some of my favourite accounts through those tags, in fact. However, one of my real-life mum friends had never seen nor heard of said giraffe until she saw photos of Joseph and his Sophie (along with the accompanying hashtags) all over my Instagram feed, so she asked me what the deal was.

I heard of Sophie the Giraffe through my friend, Emma, who hadn't heard of her until she was given one as a maternity-leaving gift from our other friend who's also named Sophie. I thought it was bought purely for the name until I realised, from the comments that Emma received after posting up a photo, that Sophie is actually a 'thing' in baby world.

Sophie telling Joseph to do bad things!
I didn't really get why she was so popular at first, and I don't think I was alone as it seemed that Emma's dog was more interested in it than her baby was. But as Matilda started to be able to hold things and her gummies started giving her gyp, she seemed to enjoy playing with it more and more... and I noticed that Emma took it everywhere they went. I hadn't had Joseph at this point so my weird compulsion to buy him all the toys hadn't kicked in yet. I eventually bought Joseph his Sophie on his two month-a-versary as he began holding things and in preparation for the apparent hell that is teething.

So, enough pointless back-story, just who is Sophie? Well, she was 'born' in France on the 25th of May 1961 (Saint Sophie's Day) and is supposedly the toy that French babies are bought and is meant to be the best teething toy, like, ever. The original Sophie is made from magical 100% natural rubber that is soft and flexible and has lots of body parts to grab onto - namely her ears, those weird bits that giraffes have on their heads, neck and tootsies - and she squeaks when you squeeze her. The squeak serves as a good distraction when Joseph his crying and he seems to like sucking on her tootsies the most. Her paint is non-toxic so is baby safe.

Frantically nomming her leg!

In the UK she usually comes in a lovely little gift box with a little story about how she came about but, judging from photos from around the globe, she comes in various packaging depending on the country she's bought in, or perhaps depending on who she's been licensed to. Sophie is pretty pricey at £12.95 (although I've seen her for less online) and I've read some reviews describing her as an 'overpriced dog toy', but loads of mums swear by her and quite a few people have recognised her when they've seen Joseph playing with his albeit have commented that they've seen them more on the continent than here in the UK.

I gave Sophie a bath and her squeak sounded asthmatic for a few days.
She soon recovered, though!

She has a seemingly less popular, and currently half-price in Mothercare, little brother (or friend, which would make more biological sense) called Fanfan the Fawn and there are now loads of products sporting Sophie's mug available... Including more traditional looking teething rings, bath toys, soft toys, books, stacking rings, building blocks, feeding paraphernalia and even toiletries.

I resisted buying a teething ring Sophie as I thought that the original Sophie was supposed to fulfil every teething baby's bitey needs, but a good friend bought one for Joseph last week and he actually seems to prefer it. The one I was given is a goodun as it's still made of the natural rubber whereas quite a lot of the other Sophie toys are made from harder plastic which doesn't seem quite as nom-friendly. Joseph was also very kindly given a bath time Sophie by his Granny which has a rubber ring painted around it and is meant squirt water but, a bit disappointingly, she doesn't float upright (i.e. her rubber ring isn't put to use) and the plastic is quite hard so it's a bit tricky to get enough water in her to squirt.

This Sophie you can submerge!

Overall, I would recommend the two natural rubber Sophie toys of the three Joseph has. They're both a really good size for grasping, and I think the original Sophie is rather pretty and fits nicely under-arm for a cuddle! Maybe there's a nack to the bath-time Sophie that I've not quite got, or perhaps Joseph will show me one day! To be honest, I'm not convinced by the non-rubber Sophie-branded teething paraphernalia that I've seen for sale (gel rings, mostly) as it seems like they are normal teething toys but have been overpriced because of the brand, but I may just be a bit cynical.

Does your bambino have a Sophie?

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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x