Thankfully I found another toy that keeps her entertained for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Sophie the Giraffe is sold as a teething toy for older babies, but my 12-week old daughter loves it.
Sophie is a plastic squeak toy specially designed for babies. Arya loves the high contrast color design of brown spots against a white body. She likes that Sophie is light with flexible limbs and neck for grabbing. Most importantly for her, my daughter is delighted that she can squeak Sophie any time she wants.
At 12-weeks old, Arya’s motor skills are still in basic development stage. While she can bat large targets, she has trouble grasping specific objects. With Sophie she does not have to be precise as squeezing any part of the giraffe’s body makes it squeak.
I learned to tuck Sophie under my daughter’s arm when I need 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to cook or take a shower. Arya will happily sit by herself squeaking Sophie every few seconds. She also likes to grab Sophie’s neck and head with her opposite hand while keeping the giraffe body tucked next to her body.
My baby eventually gets bored of playing with Sophie after a maximum of 20 minutes, but for the past three weeks Sophie has never failed to give Daddy 15 minutes a day of precious time. I use Sophie in a rotation with Arya’s other favorite toys whenever I need her to play by herself while I accomplish other tasks.
Sophie is sold as a teething toy for older babies suffering from their first tooth eruption. I’m not entirely comfortable with my baby eating plastic all day long, but Sophie the Giraffe is advertised as being BPA and phthalate-free.
There are limited reports [Original in French: Google Translate in English] that Sophie contains trace amounts of nitrosamines, a chemical the National Cancer Institute deems potentially carcinogenic in high quantities. The California Department of Public Health has a full discussion of the risk presented by nitrosamines.
Given the low quantities of nitrosamines reported by the French watchdog organization and the volume of Sophie toys on the market (over 50 million sold worldwide), I am very comfortable with my baby playing with Sophie for now. As Arya gets older and starts to chew on her toys I certainly wouldn’t want her to eat Sophie or any other plastic toy. But given the way she plays with Sophie I am satisfied there is insignificant risk to her from playing with her toy giraffe every day.