Review: VTech Baby Lil’ Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo

Finding a good crib toy for your baby can be a challenging task. Safety is one of your primary concerns, so you don’t want to buy something that your baby can choke on while you’re sleeping. But it’s also nice to have something that can be soothing or entertaining when you’re not in the room with them. That’s what I was looking for online when I found this toy.

The VTech Baby Lil’ Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo is a crib projector that comes with lights and music to soothe your crying baby. Even better, the hippo’s music is activated by your baby’s cries.

Who Should Use This Product?

If you’re looking for a crib toy, chances are you have a very young child. This Soothing Starlight Hippo is made for infants or babies that are still sleeping in cribs. Because this toy is cry activated, it’s best for parents who are trying to help their babies sleep without the help of the parents rocking.

This hippo also takes part of the load off you as a parent because the music and lights are intended to calm your baby if they’re crying. This way, you’re not the one who has to calm them down all of the time while they’re sleeping. Obviously, a toy can’t replace a parent, but it can help you get some rest.

What You Should Know

Although it’s a pretty simple toy and not very expensive, the Soothing Starlight Hippo comes with a lot of cool features that will help calm your baby.

  • Crib toy that doubles as a stuffed animal to cuddle
  • Your baby’s cry activates music
  • Plays over 100 musical tunes
  • A timer that can play music for 10, 20, or 30 minutes
  • Volume control
  • Projects six different light displays

I think voice-activated music is one of the best features on this toy, so you don’t have to turn it off and on, but you can find out more on the Amazon listing by clicking below.

My First Impressions

I think this goes for most baby toys: there’s so many out there that you’re probably a little skeptical of how well it’s going to work for your baby. Obviously, every baby is different, so all toys are not going to work as well as they do for others, but this toy worked great.

I liked that there were different options for the sounds that the hippo plays. You can choose from nursery rhymes, white noise (which are nature sounds), music and nature sounds at the same time, or just music. The lights are also not so bright that they will keep your baby awake.

The first time I used this with my baby, I set it to nature sounds setting for 30 minutes; I also liked how you can have the sounds play much longer than other similar toys out there. My baby woke up in the middle of the night crying but fell back to sleep almost immediately after the hippo was activated.

The Use Phase

You’ll have to play around with the settings on this toy to find out what works best for your baby. If you’re an experienced parent, chances are you already know what helps your child fall asleep.

There’s not a big instruction manual that comes with this toy, but there are a lot of adjustable settings that help you customize the toy to your baby’s needs. Part of these kinds of toys is just trial and error and figuring out what kind of sounds you need and how long they need to play to get your baby to fall back asleep.

Luckily, this hippo seems to have something for every baby, so I’m sure that you’ll be able to find a setting to help your baby sleep just like I did. If you use it every day, you’ll probably have to replace the batteries every couple of weeks, but that’s the only long term thing you’ll have to think about with the VTech Baby Lil’ Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo.


I’m delighted with my purchase of this toy. It helped a lot solve my problem of always having to go into my baby’s room to calm them down when they’d wake up crying. It also helps me get more rest because the toy will do some of the work for me.

Final Thoughts

This product was absolutely worth trying. It’s not super expensive, and even if it doesn’t end up working for your baby, it’s returnable as well, so you don’t have to stress about your purchase. I give this crib toy five stars for all of the great features and settings, the price, and the amount of sleep I’m getting now.

Brett Gordon

The brains behind The Toy Report. Having clocked tons of time in toys research and online resource development, today, Brett is dedicated to making The Toy Report a trusted space in the world of toy reviews and recommendations.