When building out my baby registry, I’ll admit I was lost. What do babies actually need? I knew for sure that tummy time is important, but wasn’t sure how to best facilitate it. Thanks to recommendations from friends and family, I added the Lovevery play gym to our registry, and we set it up a few days after we brought Felix home.
I’m also subscribed to the playkits, which are sent every couple of months, and are filled with toys that are meant to be perfect for my baby’s developmental stages.
I’ll admit, in a sea of pricey possibilities for babies, I wondered if this was really going to be worth it. Do babies care about toys anyway?
Yes, they do!
There’s a reason why I have continued with the subscription after receiving the first box. This is everything to know to make your decision about whether or not Lovevery is worth it for you:
First, The Specs:
- Montessori-inspired, providing play that engages a child’s natural interests, builds real-life skills, and connects your child to the world around them.
- Designed by child development experts for ages 0 to 4.
- Committed to sustainability, creating products that will outlast a single child and can be passed on to another family (with a 2050 goal to achieve net zero carbon).
- Family-founded and run.
- Made from nontoxic materials including organic cotton, wood, and silicone.
- Playkits cost $80/month and the Play Gym is $140.
The Montessori Approach
So what does it mean if a toy is “Montessori”? While there is no official Montessori toy, these are designed to enhance a child’s natural interests and help build neural pathways in their brain.
According to the founders, “through reading the study, Jessica learned that the human brain has about 100 billion nerve cells—all of which are present at birth—but have few links between them. Babies brains develop by constructing an intricate communication network. The network’s structure is formed by experiences children have in the first 3 years of life. The research revealed the more you expose babies to how the world works, the richer the neural networks become. Jessica’s takeaway was that early development experiences wouldn’t just happen on their own, she had to create them.”
While it may be a tall order to expect toys to be the answer to better brain development, they are one of the many pieces of the puzzle. I have been impressed with how well suited they have been to our baby’s developmental stages. Many of his firsts from rolling over, to zeroing in and hitting a ball, to being intrigued by contrast cards have all been with Lovevery toys.
The Play Gym
I’m sure we would have found a tummy time mat for our baby nomatter what, but the best thing about this play gym is all of the sensory opportunities for exploration. The first thing that Felix got into it was staring at the contrast cards that we could fix to the top of the play gym. It gave me valuable time I needed to pump, clean bottles, or eat.
For tummy time, once he could push up enough to see himself in the mirror, he loved gazing at that beautiful baby looking right back at him. For most babies, tummy time is something they will tolerate at best and hate at worst, so I was glad that we had this to encourage him.
This became more useful once he was able to lift his head and up to see himself in the mirror. Until then, his favorite place for tummy time was on someone’s chest.
Once he got a bit older and had more dexterity, I saw him look at the contrast ball hanging from the top and hit it with his hand. It was the first time I saw him do anything like that. He also rolled over for the first time on his play gym mat.
Of course he would’ve had these firsts eventually, but I feel that the Lovevery play gym gave us the tools that we needed as new parents without much of a clue as to how to best help him through his development. It took out the guesswork for me.
The Play Kits
Since I loved the play gym so much, I wondered how I would feel about the play kits. At $80 every couple of months it felt like a big expense. I honestly didn’t intend on signing up for the subscription, but Lovevery gifted me a couple of play kits and I liked them so much that I became a paying customer.
Our first play kit was The Looker, with contrast mittens, rattles, plush contrast ‘sausages’ as we called them, and a portable contrast card holder, among other things. This made tummy time on the go a breeze. He still still loves the contrast cards, and we relied on the mittens when he slept at night to keep him from scratching his face.
This was the kit that sold me. When I initially opened it, I wasn’t sure if what we got was worth $80, but after letting Felix play with each part of it, I realized it’s the craftsmanship and the research and thought that goes into the stage-based play that makes it worth it. It’s not about quantity when the quality is there. I’ve also looked up similar high-quality Montessori toys and when bought individually, they cost more than these play kits.
The following play kits have all had the same effect, encouraging him to explore, and giving us something to entertain him with. At this point, I’m subscribed in part because it makes life easier. He loves to play with the toys, and I know that they’re appropriate for his age.
Plus, since babies put everything in their mouths, I’m happy we’re giving him nontoxic options rather than a mountain of plastic toys.
How the Subscription Works
Here’s what you’ll get with the infant playkits:
- The Looker, weeks 0-12: Contrast cards, mits, sensory links, silicone rattle, mobile, and more.
- The Charmer, months 3-4: Wooden rattle, silicone teether, books, and more.
- The Senser, months 5-6: Magic tissue box, spinning rainbow, Parts of Me book, and more.
- The Inspector, months 7-8: Ball drop box, My First Signs wooden book, nesting stacking drip-drop cups, and more.
- The Explorer, months 9-10: Tip and turn, Montessori egg cup, first blocks, stainless steel jiggle keys, and more
- The Thinker, months 11-12: Organic cotton baby doll, pincer puzzle, wooden egg drop, and more.
They also have toddler playkits, which you can explore here.
You’ll begin by inputting your baby’s birthday, which will automatically get you signed up for the best playkit.
From there you will pick how many you want to buy, whether it’s starting with one or paying upfront for more kids at a time to save a bit of money.
Each kit ships free until you cancel the subscription, or your child finishes the kits and ages out of them. I’ve found they arrive in plenty of time for the next milestone.
Since these are so well-made, they can easily be saved for another child or sold on the secondhand market once your little one is done with them.
Are There Any Downsides?
I really wish that it were easier to just buy an individual kit. Since I already had the first two kits, and we were asked which ones we would like for Christmas, we had to do a bit of digging to figure out how to receive one as a gift. (the buyer just buys a credit, then an email is sent to the parent and they put in their baby’s birthday for the appropriate corresponding kit, in case you’re curious).
Maybe we were in a unique situation that most people would not find themselves in, but since we already had a couple of play kits, and can’t just pick an individual play kit, we had to do the math and then put a birthday that would match up to the play kits we wanted. It’s not a huge deal, but the corresponding developmental emails are way ahead of my little guy’s birthday since we did it this way.
Of course it’s also possible that you’ll get one kit and decide it’s not for you, in which case you’ll have to remember to cancel the subscription. Subscription models are a smart business move, and I can’t fault anyone for wanting to encourage a subscription rather than just buying individual boxes. But as the consumer, I just wish it were an option.
In terms of toys, obviously every baby and child develops on their own timeline, and not every toy is going to be a smashing success with your child. I like to introduce things a little bit on the earlier side just in case. If Felix isn’t quite there, we put it away and try again in a week or two.
The final thing is, if you really keep at this subscription all the way until the toddler years, you were going to have a boatload of toys. Again, since these are so well-made I don’t see why you couldn’t just resell them or gift them to another baby, assuming you don’t have another one on the way to save them for.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with both the play gym and the play kits. For now, it’s the only toys we get for Felix. I love that it has taken the guesswork out of picking appropriate toys for him, and that they just arrive without me having to think about it.
Pin me for later:
*Some links in this post are affiliate links, any purchase you make through them supports this site at no extra cost to you. Thanks for helping us do what we do!