There are a ton of frequently asked questions at The Badass Breastfeeder, but one of the most common ones lately is “what is that thing Jack is standing on?”
I figured if that many people were asking then I should just tell you all about it! It is called a Learning Tower. I got it from Little Partners. I am not doing a review for them so I am not going to go into their marketing pitch. You can read that for yourself if you want. I will just tell you my personal experience with it. I heard about it from a friend. Jack’s 1st birthday was coming up and so I asked my parents if they would get it for him. They did and they also got the art easel that hangs off the back of it. That is optional. We have actually had to take it off since Jack doesn’t really understand what it is right now and just tries to do bench presses with it.
Jack enjoyed it instantly. Its home is at our kitchen island. Jack likes to stand there and eat snacks or watch me prepare lunch or help my husband cook dinner. Jack is not a fan of us doing busy work without him and some things are just not easy to do with him in my arms or in a carrier. I like to do things with Jack. I believe that Jack learns about his world by watching me and being involved in what I am doing. I am not a fan of putting him on the carpet and having him play alone while I do other things. Well, I should say I would be a fan of this sometimes if Jack would do this, but he is just not that type of kid. He likes to be next to me all the time.
He also likes to pull it over to the silverware drawer and do some reorganizing of our things. We have two silverware drawers. One for the sharp stuff and one for the safestuff. We can also pull it over to the stove where he can watch what we are doing and he is not able to get close enough to get hurt.
Some down sides. He is getting taller and has been able to climb onto the counter from the tower. It has different levels so we lowered it so that he could not as easily do this, but we can’t lower it too far or then it is useless because he is no longer at counter height. Also once it is lowered it is a bit more difficult for him to climb into because there is a ledge now. This is not a problem with more advanced climbers. Another problem is that it can get really slippery if he spills water or something so I have to have a towel ready to wipe it up if he spills. Or pees… Bottom line this is not a place to stick your kid and walk away. They need to be supervised.
Overall we really like it. We use it all the time. Jack uses it all the time. He thinks it is just another normal piece of furniture. He can use it up until like 6 years old so it is worth it for us. It is a bit expensive, but you can find used ones on Craigslist or if you are handy you can make one. If you are going to make one I suggest it be by someone who is very handy because you want it to be safe. It also comes with a little blanket which no one is quite sure the real purpose of. We put it underneath the tower to catch the mess and to keep it from scratching the floor if Jack pushes it around.
Another thing that I have to say about price is that we often accept that certain things are going to be expensive like cribs or strollers when these items are designed to create distance between us and our children and they are not really essential. This is an item that is essential to me. Now that I have lived with it I can’t imagine not having it. It’s like my Ergo or ring sling. They have become essential to me because they make my life easier and are designed to keep Jack close to me. Where he belongs.
It’s also fun to pretend to be my friend Jamie from I am Not the Babysitter. And you didn’t really think I would do a post and not have breastfeeding in it somewhere, did you?
Abby Theuring, MSW