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Babies were born to play

THE study of 500 Irish parents, commissioned by Pampers as part of its ' Born to Play' campaign, has discovered that items go missing on average three times a week. The most likely to go missing as babies turn them into a toy include television controllers ( 40pc), car keys ( 23pc), mobile phones ( 19pc), and myriad of other items including shoes, baby's soother and wallets!

The Pampers Born to Play campaign has been created with baby development expert Dr Maggie Redshaw to help parents and babies take playtime to the max.

The most common places toddlers hide items, which are then found by parents, are down or under the back of the sofa ( 54pc), in the baby's toy chest ( 33pc), under the table (21pc), behind the curtains (17pc) in the pram ( 12pc) and behind the TV ( 8pc). The strangest places parents have found missing household items or small toys include the washing machine or tumble dryer ( one in five), the dog's bed ( one in 10) and even down the toilet ( 4pc).

Sixty-eight percent of parents are less concerned with keeping up appearances and are unperturbed by a messy house following the arrival of their baby. However, in order to ensure that the home is a safer place for baby to play, 65pc of parents have locked away ornaments, with smaller objects such as pens ( one in two parents), candles ( 49pc), keys ( 28pc) and picture frames ( 28pc) being moved out of reach.

Replacing the household breakables are toys, with 71pc of parents reporting that playthings now occupy the most space in their homes.

Redshaw says of the findings: "All babies are born to play. Picking up everyday items and playing with them is very common as it's their way of mimicking mummy and daddy's behaviour, and in doing so learning about life through play. It is no wonder then that items go missing on a regular basis, and it doesn't surprise me that parents all over Ireland search their house for at least 30 minutes each week. As frustrating as this may be on occasions, it is important to remember that young children are naturally curious and playful and this is hugely important to their development."

For more information on the Pampers Born to Play campaign, which has identified four main types of play – active, exploratory, social and make-believe – to help provide parents with ideas and inspiration about different ways to play with their baby, visit the Pampers Village website: www. pampers.ie/play.

Mother & Babies