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Products You'll Love

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Product Reviews - baby and toddler products

Please be aware that, although these products are reviewed in good faith, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of the product and of your baby or toddler at all times.
 kidscast2 Kidscast is the new activity website and app for children launched January 2017.t Kidscast as a safe and fun platform for children 3-8 which is user-friendly and easy to navigate for parents and kids. There are no in-app purchases, so parents can relax when their children use it. Activities can be downloaded and enjoyed off-line too. There are currently 10 games, offering a good variety and including a maths game. Kidscast is the perfect website/app for keeping children busy with new activities, especially during school holidays. It's the shows, I think, that will really appeal to parents, with a nostalgic range on offer - Little Monsters Microscopic Milton Om Nom Stories Cockleshell Bay Alias the Jester Creepy Crawlies Victor & Hugo Sooty Rainbow The Wind in the Willows. The monthly subscription (January 2017) is just £3.99, and there is currently a free trial offer.
  kidscast4
 Buggi Lights
 
Scooti light

Buggi Lights

Here is a super product - a simple and extremely practical idea, beautifully executed. In the winter, it can be worrying pushing your buggy around in the dark, so Buggi Lights are a super product to give you some added peace of mind. Gorgeously shaped like ladybirds and easy to fit, Buggi Lights are a fun, simple way to make buggies safe in the dark. Available in six match-to-your-buggy colours, Buggi Lights can be seen from 500 meters away – an essential when crossing the street after dusk. I was amazed by the brightness of these and they really do live up to the claim. We collect children from a rural school where there is no street lighting, so the safety aspect is really important when walking and when loading up the car. In each box there is a white LED light to face forward and a red LED light to face back. There's a stretchy loop which fits any sized bar so it only takes a few seconds to make sure your baby’s buggy is safe and seen whenever you go out. There are three light modes - fast flash, slower flash and constant; they operate easily - just push down on the top to turn off and on and change mode. Buggi Lights come in a range of colours, so you can find a set to co-ordinate with your baby's pushchair; as your child gets older, the lights also fit scooters. See the whole range and buy yours from Buggi Lights - priced at £14.99 a pair (11/12/16). You can also buy Scooti Lights (£9.99 11/12/16) which come packed singly and have all the same great attributes. This really is an exceptionally good product; such a simple idea, so easy to use and a great way to enhance safety.
Buggi LightsBiggi lights
 bib

Funky Giraffe Bibs

I was sent a super selection of stylish bibs and bandanas from Funky Giraffe. They have a fabulous range of bibs and other neckwear, with something to suit every occasion, from those first messy meals to smart dining out. When I unpacked the package, the lovely bib shown on the left immediately took my eye. Perfect for occasions when you want your little girl to look extra-smart, this frilly edged bib is just the job. It is the 'Navy Stars Cutie Collar Bandana Bib' and it is made from soft cotton and polar fleece. It feels lovely and soft, warm and snuggly, and a good fit is guaranteed with two sets of poppers.  "The idea behind Funky Giraffe is that dressing your child should be a pleasure and not a chore. I provide the knowledge of textile quality, our team of inspired designers provides an exciting range of products, we price them sensibly – and you get what every customer dreams about: real style, top quality, excellent value."
 bib
bib
bib

Bandana Bibs from Funky Giraffe

Alongside, you will see three lovely designs for bandana bibs. are perfect for the fashion-savvy baby and toddler. The 100% cotton front feels soft to the touch, the fleece backing keeps dribble from soaking through, and the double poppers mean you can adjust the fit. They fit snugly - but not tightly and they are lovely and soft to the touch. They are all machine washable. Funky Giraffe have a huge range of bandana bibs to choose from and you can view them all on their website. It's worth noting that the more you buy, the better value they are, as Funky Giraffe will give you excellent prices when you buy several - and the prices are very reasonable to start with so the value is exceptional. With such a wide range on offer, you can have a bib to match every outfit, and then some. You are bound to find designs to your taste - there are flowers, giraffes (of course!), aeroplanes, dinosaurs, spots, stripes... the list goes on and on. And the colour range is just as wide too - every colour you could want is here.
 snood
scood

Scoods

Keep babies and young children warm and snuggly around the neck with these innovative Scoods. They are an excellent idea which are a practical and safe alternative to a both a Scarf and a Snood. Poppers at the back mean they are easy to put on and like our bibs they stay on. Made from a warm polar fleece, Scoods are gently elasticated to give a comfy fit.They are such a good idea, because it can be hard to keep little ones' necks warm and these are a safe and comfortable option that will stay put, however wriggly your child may be. I was sent two quite different ones. The pink retro camper van scood is ideal for little ones, as it is soft and not at all bulky; of course there are plenty of other attractive patterns too, including apples, chicks and cupcakes. The second scood is more suited to older children - the one I was sent is red/navy reversible and is a thicker, more thickly padded product which will be ideal for really chilly weather. Do take a look at the Funky Giraffe website - I am sure you will be impressed by their wonderful range and excellent quality.
 duvet
 
duvet
 
duvet
 

Night-time Numbers toddler duvet cover and pillowcase

We all want our children to have a good night's sleep, but sometimes it can seem an impossible dream. Do you get tired of your child complaining that their bedding is all rucked up, and of straightening it, night after night? Duvets are a great idea, but nothing keeps in place quite like old fashioned sheets and blankets. If you want your child to feel safe and secure at night, you will love this innovative product, which combines the best of both worlds. It's ideal to help the transition from cot to bed, as it gives young ones a real feeling of security. I really can't put it better than Tuckn'Snug themselves - "making a good night’s sleep as easy as... abc. a. Allow the three fabric flaps on the sides and end of the duvet cover to hang over the edge of the bed. Do the same for the two flaps on the pillowcase. Tuck the flaps underneath the mattress as shown in picture b. The bedding is now held in place. Smooth down the duvet cover to conceal all flaps, giving the appearance of a standard duvet cover – as shown in picture c.
abedbbedcbed
Children sleep much better when they feel snug and secure, and this duvet cover (which comes with a matching pillowcase) really does achieve that aim, without in the least feeling tight or restricting. The duvet cover/pillowcase sets come in a lovely range of patterns which will please both girls and boys. I was sent a set from the gorgeous pattern range called ‘Night-time Numbers’, which you can see on the left. With its bright colours and lively illustrations, children will have great fun seeing what they can spot, reading the fun words and learning their numbers from one to ten. This is a top quality product, manufactured in Britain from 200 thread count cotton percale, which feels really soft. It's easy care too, washes at 40oC and it doesn't need ironing - a big plus. The pillow case is 40cm x 60cm (width x length) and the duvet cover 120cm x 150cm; the flaps are generously sized to give plenty of fabric to tuck under securely. The benefits to children (and adults!) of getting a good night's sleep are inestimable. If you want to help your child sleep well, then I recommend your try these duvet covers. Buy from Tuckn'Snug. The set costs £49.95 (October 2016). Do look at the full range, which includes a range of patterns for both toddler and single beds, and find out more about the benefits on the website.
 
Sophie
 
 Sophie
 
 
 

So Pure Sophie la Girafe Teething ComforterSophie

This is a lovely variant on the original Sophie La Girafe teether - it neatly combines a comforter and a soothing teething toy. The Ring Teether cleverly fits through the centre of the comforter to provide little ones with two textures to discover. It's a soft rubber textured ring with a ridged surface for developing teeth and round dots to help sooth painful gums; made of 100% natural rubber, it's an ideal toy to chew on to alleviate those teething pains. As well, for different textures, your baby can chew on the ears and horns - Sophie's head is all rubber. The comforter is made from really soft organic cotton with two different textures - and Sophie's fabric feet neatly hang over the edge. The comforter is very lightweight and easy for little fingers to grasp, with plenty of different pieces to grab hold of. Usefully, Sophie is machine washable at 40 Sophie La Girafe has been a hugely popular product in France for many years, and the range has increased to include some super products. This would make a wonderful present for a new-born, as it comes beautifully presented in a gift box tied up with a special Sophie ribbon. I love Sophie's soft colours which have a definite element of French chic. Buy from the Sophie La Girafe website - and do look at all the other lovely products in the range.
   

Ardega LightsOut Premium Pop-Up Blackout Blinds (2 Pack)

If you have a baby or young child who wakes when daylight arrives - or won't go to sleep on longblind summer evenings, then you will love these blackout blinds which can be easily used home or away. These blinds reduce the amount of sunlight coming into your baby's room at night. There are two blinds in the one bag - individual blind dimension is 120 x100 cm; they use a simple metal frame that folds down into a carry bag and pops up in seconds; they really are very simple to use, popping up easily and fitting back into the bag just as quickly. The blinds work by attaching the blind to the to the window with a suction pad, then drawing them towards the window using the draw string. The blind does not interfere with other blinds or curtains, or even with opening the window, due to the neat way it fits to the window. So many blinds don't allow the window to open, so that is a real bonus point. A big window is no problem either - just overlap two or more blinds; they even fit recessed and bay windows by using the expandable arms provided. The blinds are compact and light enough to fit into a suitcase while travelling and ideal for use through the summer months when the nights stay lighter. Highly recommended and a real asset for young families.

Peter Rabbit Comfort Toy from Rainbow Designs

We all know how many babies become inseparable from their comfort blankets, so why not make sure that they have one which is a real pleasure to see? This lovely soft cuddly Peter Rabbit comforter is perfect and is one of the nicest I have seen. A large blue and white square in the softest imaginable fabric has Peter right at its centre; he has long ears to caress too. At each corner is a knot of fabric to extend the tactile value and the backing is a pretty Peter Rabbit cotton print. The comfort blanket is hand washable. I can see this becoming a firm favourite and it's perfect as a gift for a new-born.
 alphapets travel grobag

Alphapets Travel Grobag

This is such a good idea! How often have parents had to wake a slumbering baby in order to take him out of travel clothes and into bedtime clothes? No the ever-innovative Gro Company have come up with a refinement on their popular grobags which means they fit into a five point harness. So, whether your baby is in a car seat or a pushchair, you can lift him out without disturbance straight to bed. And when you are out and about, your know your baby is snugly wrapped up and still safely strapped in. It  has a two way zip which can be closed around a 5 point harness. It also has back vent to allow a harness strap to be fastened., This has a velcro fastening so when not in use the travel grobag can be sealed and used as any other grobag.  I was sent the 2.5 tog travel grobag for 0-6 months 6-18 months is also available) in a delightful unisex Alphapets print; the grobag is also available in 1 tog and this weight is perfect for summer holidays. It washes well and can be tumble dried on a low heat. As with all grobags, baby's comfort and safety is the paramount consideration (there's even a thermometer) so you can buy and use with total confidence - with all the normal safety provisos, of course. Buy from Amazon - Grobag Alphapet 0.5 Tog Baby Sleep Bag (0-6 Months). An excellent and extremely practical idea which will be warmly welcomed by parents.
 gro swaddle

Gro-swaddle from The Gro Company

We know babies love to feel secure and many of us have tried swaddling our babies only to find that, frustratingly, whatever we use seems to come unwrapped. Not a problem with the Gro Swaddle -  it is a cleverly shaped wrap that goes round your baby with no need for poppers, Velcro or ties. Just the right amount of material to keep baby secure without loads of excess flapping around. The soft good quality fabric is light and breathable so your baby won't get overheated. I received the charming Woodland Friends design which is unisex so would make a lovely pre-birth gift. You can purchase from Amazon - Grobag Swaddle (Woodland Friends)
This is The Gro Company in their own words: "As an award-winning and industry accredited manufacturer of safer sleep solutions, we produce a range of much loved products for babies and young children, so if you’re lucky enough to have a newborn baby or an energetic toddler but could use a bit more sleep - you’ve come to the right place." A statement I fully endorse - their products are practical, innovative and they really work. Ensuring your child has a good night's sleep is uppermost in parents' minds so these products will be warmly welcomed.
 Gro Egg

Gro Egg Room Thermometer

Temperature - a vital concern for all parents of babies, and here is an innovative and very attractive product to keep an eye on temperature. Most of us, as adults, just need to know that we feel comfortable with the heat and we don't keep checking the room temperature but for babies it's essential. Some of us feel the cold more than others too! A product which will be used for many years. The Gro Egg gives an accurate reading and you therefore know how much extra bedding to add or remove (the instructions give guidance too). The Gro Egg also provides a reassuring night time glow for your child. It's mains operated so no need to hunt around for batteries. There are several fun shells to choose from too! Buy from Amazon - Gro-Egg Room Thermometer
 
Gro-Egg temperature displays
The egg changes colour so you can monitor that the temperature is safe just by glancing into baby's room.
 gor to bed

Gro to Bed

The move to a big bed can be challenging for parent and child. Parents need to know their baby will feel as secure as they did in their cot and this ingeniously designed set will provide that reassurance. The duvet cover is attached to a fitted sheet with specifically placed zips - these also ensure that restless toddlers do not kick off the covers in the night - I know a little one who did just that before trying the Gro to Bed and with cold winter nights, she would then wake up. This is well designed so the sheet stays on the mattress and the attached pillow case also helps everything stay in place. It's well made with good quality materials and promises to last well. I was sent the Hetty Pop design but look at the Gro website to see the full range of super patterns available. Want to see it in action? Watch the video. Also available from Amazon - The Gro Company Gro to Bed Hetty Pop
Gro Clock

Gro Clock

Does your child get you up too early? Then you should try the Gro-clock. This innovative clock uses fun images of the stars and stars - blue for the stars and yellow when the sun shows - to show your child when to go back to sleep and when it's time to get mum and dad up. You can set the clock to display the sun at the time you want your child to get up (usefully, you can even change this for weekends!) so they can watch for the change. This version of the Gro-Clock has a new feature allowing parents to choose whether or not to display the digital clock during the usual ‘stars to sun’ countdown - so older children can start to learn to tell the time. The clock is compact and fits neatly on a shelf in the child's bedroom. The light is subtle so it doesn't disturb sleep but provides a gentle reassuring glow through the night. Reinforce the clock's message with the fun story which comes with the clock - all about the farmyard animals and the pig who is always tired. I asked the mum of an almost 3 year old to try this out and he loves it! First he enjoys the story and then settles down happily knowing the clock is glowing away. He still wakes early but one look at the clock and he knows it's too early for mum and dad! They are trying gradual movement towards an acceptable time and so far the signs are excellent! The neat size means it can be put on a shelf safely out of the little one's reach. I can see another being requested for the one year old! They are also hoping to see the benefit when the clocks change! Buy your gro clock from The Gro Store and see all their great products here. You can also purchase from Amazon - Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer

Oilcloth from Messy Me

Messy Me sell four different designs of oilcloth which can be cut by them to an exact size to suit your table so no waste. The designs are stylish and are an attractive addition to your kitchen table - no need to take them off once the children have finished eating/playing as the subtle designs and colours complement your decor. It's good quality and durable with a wipe-clean surface - I tried it out with paints and they all wiped off really easily. I also used it with play-doh and it makes an excellent surface for this. I haven't tried, but I am sure it will also be excellent as a surface for cooking with children. Of course, it is not suitable for hot dishes. Visit "Messy Me, home of the original oilcloth high chair cover and other beautiful oilcloth products. Designed for busy mums and messy little ones. Messy Me is all about stylish products to help with the mess created by babies and toddlers." See below for more of their practical and attractive products.

Mini changing bag

Pourty Flexi-Fit Toilet Trainer

I well remember how wobbly toilet seats were for young children and this was an additional concern for them when trying to come to terms with learning a new skill. Unlike most trainer seats, Pourty's Flexi-Fit Toilet Trainer can be adjusted for size with its squeeze flex action and adjustable prongs, giving secure fit onto almost all adult toilet seats. The instructions are nice and clear too, with diagrams. Once adjusted, it's easy to take on and off, meaning that children can put it on for themselves and then climb onto the toilet without risk of wobbling - the confidence this engenders is a good way to encourage independence. The smooth plastic and contoured make it comfortable for the child to sit on with confidence; it's not too high either, so children don't feel miles off the ground and the raised part at the back adds to the feeling of security - my young tester certainly displayed no reluctance to sit on it. Those inevitable oversprays are avoided as the seat features splash guards above and below; it's easy to clean too. The seat is neat and unobtrusive and the blue and white fits with many bathroom decors. I highly recommend this product to use from the start of training on the big toilet - yes, it is more expensive than some of its competitors but well worth it for a good start on this all-important aspect of growing up. Find out more, see a video and buy from Pourty.
flexi-fit prongs
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B.sensible fitted sheet 70 x 140 White

This is one in an innovative range of soft, breathable, waterproof bedding. The range is made from Tencel, a 100% natural fibre that comes from eucalyptus trees, The 2 in 1 fitted protector is surprisingly soft and remains so even after washing. Recommended particularly for babies and children with sensitive skin, B.sensible is a waterproof, breathable fitted sheet and comes in a selection of sizes from Moses Baskets upwards. It's fitted sheet and protector all in one, cutting down on that inevitable laundry and making it good value. B.sensible sheeting can be machine washed up to 90% and tumble dried - this is useful so the sheet can be put back on for the next night. It would be great to take when travelling, even if a bed is provided, to avoid embarrassing accidents; and if you are using the larger versions for older children, they are not obviously waterproof sheets so no embarrassment there either. The sheets come in a range of colours and sizes - take a look at the B.Sensible website to see the range. 100% natural tencel nanofibre offers a unique combination of the most desirable properties for the comfort and and care of your baby's skin. The sensitive breathable membrane is elastic and water resistant, protecting your baby's mattress while acting as a barrier against dust mites and bacteria - the fabric is much cooler than a conventional waterproof sheet so not nearly so uncomfortable in hot weather; it's absorbent enough to cope with little accidents and give your child a good night's sleep in complete comfort. Not just useful for bed-wetting either - children can get quite sweaty and uncomfortable on hot nights and this will help them keep cool. I reviewed the cot bed size and it fitted perfectly - smooth and no wrinkles and just as good after the first wash. I was also sent a 2-in-1 pillow protector and this has all the same good qualities and I especially liked the softness for sensitive young skins and the fact that the child's face is kept nice and cool. For full details, see the B.Sensible website. The products can be purchased online from Tilly's World.
  sheets

Pacific Baby 7 ounce 3-in-One Thermal Baby Bottle (Swirls)

It seems that we spend so much money on baby products that are used for a few months at most, but here is an innovative idea that will be useful from very early days up to the age of 5 and it's great if you spend lots of time out and about. The well insulated Thermal Baby Bottle, which is made of durable stainless steel, keeps liquid warm or cold for up to ten hours.I received the drink top Pacific Baby Drink Top (Yellow) , wide neck teats Pacific Baby Teats Wide Neck Teats Fast Flow (Pack of 2) and the handle set, making this a universal product to last many years. To keep your child safe the bottle's plastic parts are free of BPA, PVC and Phthalates. These thermal baby bottles enable you to keep warm sterilised water sealed in the bottle and mix the formula at feed time (obviously, the bottle would not be used to store prepared warm milk). Mums have quite enough to cart around, so there is no need to weigh down your changing bag even more with extra thermos flasks or bottle warmers.. Conversion to a sippy cup and drinks bottle is simple with Pourty's accessories - and there are plenty of colours to choose from too. Stainless steel is a simple and clean material, without a lot of chemicals. It is naturally bacteria resistant, easy to clean and doesn't scratch The durable stainless steel flask is well made and although I obviously haven't tested it over time, it does seem of sufficient quality to last for many years, making it very eco-friendly - something we should all think about. I tested the product with an 8 month old and a two year old and the bottle worked well for both, with the appropriate tops. You can buy the bottles direct from Pourty and see their innovative potty training products at the same time.

  thermal baby bottles that convert to sippy cup and drinks bottle

Vital Baby Weaning Set from Vital Baby

A really neat product! Vital Baby's weaning bowl comes with a lid with the spoon neatly slotted in and the bowl of the spoon under a clip cover. The spoon itself is soft and a practical slightly elongated bowl shape, with a comfortable handle. The set is ideal for travel and comes in a range of colours. The product is BPA, Latex and PVC free. Visit Vital Baby to see and buy from their world of innovation and stunning, functional design that offers a fantastic selection of modern, safe, BPA-free baby feeding products for every stage of baby’s development.

 Wondercube from My Wondercube

I gave this to a 21-month old and he greeted it with great enthusiasm. Of course, the concept of pulling squares out of a box (like baby wipes) is familiar to little ones and they love the excuse to do so! The look of wonderment on his face as he pulled and piece after piece unfolded was gorgeous to see. And even more so as he realised there was a bell, a squeaker and crinkly paper to enjoy - and then to show to his little sister. The soft cube is brightly decorated with appealing characters and there are five more soft squares to pull out of the box. The squares can be detached and used in any order for story telling. The great thing is that you can buy additional 'fillings' including Goldilocks, Farmyard, Letters and Emotions (these contain a varying number of squares) to extend the value of this toy and ensure many years of fun. A super way to introduce children to stories and to encourage imaginative play. Find out more and buy your Wondercubes.
  wondercube

Brother Max 1st Stage Weaning Pots

These are 6 individual pots that click together. They can be used in the freezer, microwave, dishwasher and steriliser and you can feed baby direct from the pot. The pots click together so you can pour food directly into them and the lids stay open while you fill and use the pots. The food pops out easily, using the button on the bottom of the pot, so you can transfer food to freezer bags and re-use the pots. Brother Max think of everything - there's even a pen included. I like the fact they clip together, as it's so easy for little pots to get lost in the freezer. The size is perfect for weaning and it's great that they come complete with lids, making it easy to pop one or two into your bag for trips out, especially as the small size means they defrost while you are out. A very neat and practical product. Take a look at the Brother Max website - you will find lots of innovative and practical products for babies and toddlers.

Brother Max Catch and Fold Cotton Bibs

This is a super product which cleverly combines the best of two bib styles. Soft bibs are comfortable and fit neatly around the neck and the plastic ones with pouches are far better for catching spills. This pack combines three cotton bibs with a soft plastic pouch which attaches with poppers to the bottom of the bibs. Once you have used the bib, unpop the cotton part and roll it up into the pouch for clean, neat travel. The cotton bibs are backed with plastic to keep baby dry - and they are machine washable and can be tumble dried. Great when out and about as you have a clean bib for each meal and the pouch can easily be wiped clean with a baby wipe. They are less bulky than a plastic bib, of course, and far more comfortable for little ones. A great product!
Breastvest

BreastVest Breastfeeding Tops

It's expensive for new mums to buy special breastfeeding tops, and there aren't too many to choose from, so this innovative product is a great idea. Breastvests allow mums to feed discreetly in public and these have the benefit of hiding that sometimes flabby post-natal tum. It sits comfortably under a nursing bra and is easy and convenient to use. It's not bulky either - the fabric is light and soft and neat-fitting. Excellent to give mums confidence when breastfeeding out-and-about. It would also be good for use in the later stages of pregnancy when the bump can be too big for maternity tops to cover. Basic colours include black and white and there are some fun colours too - I love the bright red one pictured which is really cheery. Breastvest run charitable promotions each month, when the profits from a particular limited edition vest go to charity - see the Breastvest website for more details and up-to-date info on this excellent initiative. This simple and very practical product can also be purchased from Amazon - Breastvest Breastfeeding Vest Top

Bundlebean 5-in-1 Waterproof Fleece

Wow! This product got such an enthusiastic reception from my tester. She welcomed it with open arms for her newborn, as it is absolutely perfect for tucking around the car seat for the short journey from house to car. It saves waking the baby in order to wrap her in her all in one and means the baby can be left sleeping in the car seat once taken back indoors - and as we all know, most babies are lulled to sleep in the car and it is such a shame to have to disturb them to undress them. The Bundlebean wraps snugly around the end of the car seat and can easily be tightened to a snug fit. And that's just one use - it is equally useful for covering an older child in the pushchair. In fact, I think two are required! It is so simple to use - it tightens with drawstrings and can be zipped up with the adjustable zips - it goes over the child so no struggling to get the child in. Velcro straps keep it safely in place and there is even a handy pouch to keep hands warm - perfect for those little ones who don't like gloves. Neatly packaged in a clear plastic tube, it is easily portable. This practical versatile product has a waterproof nylon shell backed with cosy fleece and comes in a range of colours and is machine washable. The great thing about this is the multitude of uses - it's not a product that will be used for only a couple of months - it can be used on pushchairs, car seats, bike seats, forward facing baby carriers, and can even be used as a playmat. It's a fantastic product for Out and About Dads too and a super way to ensure your child can join Dad on some exciting adventures! What more can any parent ask of a product? There are too many features for a short review so please take a look at the video and go to the Bundlebean website to see the full range. A fantastic product highly recommended.
 Bundlebean

Teddy Tug Teddy Strap

Ever known that dreadful moment when you realise that your child's favourite teddy is no longer in his hands? So often do we check in the pushchair when out with little ones who won't be parted from a favourite toy that this product is just what mums need. Teddy Tug can be attached to teddy and to the pushchair with the stretchy strap and you can rest assured that teddy will still be there at the end of a long day out. And it saves all that bedding down when your toddler plays his favourite game of throwing teddy out for mum to pick up! TeddyTug is fully safety tested and is so easy to use. Dind out about all the excellent BuggyTug products on their website.
Sleepybumps

Sleepybumps

'The perfect way to help soothe your baby to sleep whilst in their pram.' Ever stood jiggling a pushchair around in the hope that a baby or toddler will be jiggled to sleep? Or had to push a little one around outside because they would only drop off when the going is bumpy? Well, you don't need to any more! I must confess that I was a little sceptical about this product but having tried it with an 18 month old, I am won over! Rolling the pushchair over the mat produces just enough bumpiness to soothe the child off to sleep, and I actually found that the shushing noise it produced was also very soothing. It works well on vinyl but I did find it moved around a little on carpet, unless put against the wall to start with.As a side benefit, the 18 month old also thought it was a great playmat to practise gymnastics! The manufacturers are proud of the fact that Sleepybumps is designed and produced in the UK. It's a practical product that will be the answer to many parents' prayers. Find out more and buy your Sleepybumps from the Sleepybumps website.

Totseat

At last, a child seat that is totally portable - no more worrying if friends or relatives have anywhere safe for your child to sit. Totseat is perfect for youngsters between 8 - 30 months. Neat and light to carry everywhere, it converts all sorts of chairs into safe seats -  high-backed, low-backed, knobbly, open-backed or rounded.. It is really easy to use - simply slip over the chair back, adjust the length, clip firmly, and sit back and enjoy your meal, knowing your child is safe and comfortable. The cummerbund prevents your child from sliding through the back of a gappy chair, as well as providing additional support, if required, when wrapped around a chair and child. Totseat even comes with its own drawstring pouch which is invaluable if lunch has been a messy experience! Of course, it is washable. When my twins were young, I had a very similar(but less sophisticated)  product and found it invaluable. It reduced the huge amount of paraphernalia we had to carry everywhere, and often we found that places only had one high chair, so they came in very handy! I was delighted to see that this product is available in this somewhat more substantial form than the ones I used. There are lots of different designs - have a look at the Totseat website to see and buy the full range, and see the animation below to see how easy it is too use - it really is that simple and easy to use even with a wriggly toddler! It complies with all the appropriate safety standards but of course you should never leave your child unattended. An excellent idea and well worth having.

Oobicoo from Totseat Ltd

Have you got (or are expecting) a new baby? Well now your older child can have a baby of their very own!  I was sent Olwyn, the baby girl (also available is Orla) but there is also Ollie, just right for little boys. She arrived neatly nestled into her own fabric 'basket' and her own removable vest, just like a real baby's. If you really don't want to get rid of some of those very special baby clothes, here is the ideal excuse to keep them! Oobicoo is designed to fit out-grown baby clothes. This gives your little one the opportunity for hours of imaginative play as well as encouraging those all-important dressing skills. Oobicoo is soft and cuddly and just the right size to be a comforting friend. The advent of a new baby can be a confusing time for the older child, and Oobicoo gives the opportunity for role play and for discussion - whether between parent or child, or as someone for your child to 'talk' to. Communication skills are thereby enhanced.  I am sure that young ones will have hours of pleasure from their new friend.  Buy yours now from Totseat.and take a look at their other innovative products at the same time. Every Oobicoo sold in the UK is raising at least £1 for the Children’s Immunology Fund, the charity which support the Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and is also now establishing an Immunology Unit at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. Can also be purchased from Amazon OOBICOO The Soft Toy Tot Orla Doll
 

Dream Tubes from Dusky Moon

A really ingenious idea - two long inflatable tubes which fit snugly into pockets in a soft cotton fitted sheet, providing a safe and secure environment for your child. Toddlers often feel insecure when they make the transition from cot to 'big bed' and this is an excellent way to ease that, as young ones love the feeling of security without the harshness of wooden or metal sides. Simply blow up the inflatable tubes and insert them into the specially sewn pockets at the side of the sheet (I would quite like to see the set come with a spare sheet, but these can be purchased separately). They fold into a really neat compact carrying case, so are ideal for holidays or trips to relatives. Or if your little one regularly visits Granny, why not get her a set? Much neater that having to have a cot or special bed. Dream Tubes conform to British Safety Standard BS7972:2001 for children’s bed guards, and are suitable for 18 months to 5 years..

The founders of Dusky Moon say: “The idea for Dream Tubes® arose after the countless sleepless nights that every parent experiences. We were looking for a soft and reassuring solution to cope with the often difficult time when young children move from a cot to a bed. The idea of a cosy double sided, portable bed guard was formed and Dream Tubes created." Testing the product showed that it is easy to use, very quick to inflate and slip the tubes into the sheet. There is still room for teddy and other cuddly toys too. I like the fact that there is no barrier to mum or dad giving the child a cuddle either. My young tester looked very comfortable! Buy from Dusky Moon.

 Sprout Ware Infant Spoons from Green Sprouts

Green Sprouts is an environmentally friendly company which makes its products from vegetable starch.spoons Every single Sprout Ware® spoon, plate, and cup is made from chemical-free, bio-based, materials from renewable resources and, as if that wasn’t innovative enough, every item will break down over time. Award-winning in America, the range is now available in the UK. This set of 10 spoons features a curved handle for easy feeding; the handle is also, usefully, much longer than most. The bowl is quite small - fine for the younger end of the age range of 3 - 12 months. They are disposable, but allow for around 10 washes in the dishwasher (or more if washed by hand). The spoons can be stacked for easy storage. I love the attractive pastel colours! Ideal for all environmentally conscious parents.
 

Sippy Cup from Green Sprouts

A well-shaped cup with easy to grip handles for baby - I especially like the ridges inside the handles, ensuring the cup does not slip. A soft teat is comfortable for sucking and the whole cup feels attractively soft - no harsh edges. It is leak-proof and this is ensured by the silicone insert. The wide opening makes cleaning easy. A friendly animal (from a range) decorates the front of the cup. This cup holds 180ml and is marketed as suitable for 3 - 24 months, although most toddlers will want a larger cup most times. Other items in the extensive range are a 4-pack of snack cups, 3-pack of sippy cups with lids and a 2-pack of divided bowls/plates.

 Hooter t shirt

 Mama Feels Good Nursing Tops

Even though breastfeeding is socially acceptable, new mums still want to be discreet. Being a new mum doesn't have to mean losing your sense of style with these excellent and attractive nusring tops from Mama Feels Good. The t shirts feature a double layer - lift the top layer to access nursing openings. There's plenty of room for that post-natal tummy too! The quality is excellent - good quality cotton, with a little Astana in the under layer to allow stretch. I was sent one to review and gave it to a 6 month pregnant mum for her views. She was delighted to find that it fits over her bump now, making it doubly useful as she will wear it during pregnancy as well as using it after - in fact, she was so pleased that she has already ordered two more. She tells me that it is really hard to find attractive feeding tops, so these really do fill a gap in the market. What better recommendation can there be? The Hooter design, shown left, is one of the newest designs and this is really stylish and contemporary - bound to make any new mum feel good about herself. There are lots of other great designs on the website, so do take a look. 

Hoppy

Hoppy and Patch from Safe Dreams

Hoppy
This is a wonderful product which new mums can use with confidence with babies from newborn. So many little ones love to have a comforter to snuggle up to and make them feel secure at sleep time, but parents are (quite rightly) concerned about having soft toys in the cot. Hoppy and Patch are different, because they are made  from specially designed 3D Airmesh with an outer surface of 100% cotton and stuffed with Hollowfibre, a hypoallergenic filling which has air pumped into each fibre during the spinning process. If you put your nose to these soft toys and breathe, you will find no impediment whatever to taking full breaths. No need with this product to watch your little one and risk waking them by moving the comforter away while sleeping! As well as being very practical, the two (a rabbit and a dog) are very lovable, with long floppy ears and lovely faces. My daughter, with a toddler, searched everywhere unsuccessfully to find a breathable cot toy, and was delighted to see these. Her comment was that it is good to see a comforter that is not too big - she feels Hoppy and Patch are just the right size. The toys are machine washable and suitable for tumble drying - for real peace of mind, why not have two? Then, if your baby is irrevocably attached, you can substitute the second when washing, or in the (we hope unlikely) event of losing one. To further put your mind at rest, the soft toys have been developed with help from Allergy UK to ensure they are as allergy-friendly as possible. Hoppy and Patch cost £14.99 each and they can be purchased direct from Safe Dreams
Mama Jewels

Mama Jewels Fleur Necklace

For too long, breast-feeding mums and mothers of young children have been unable to wear pretty jewellery without risking it being broken. Now there's a range of beautiful jewellery that mums can wear safely, knowing that baby can't break it. In addition, the jewellery is non-toxic and washable - useful to know as inevitably it will end up in baby's mouth at some point! The Fleur range - it comes in four different colour designs; Violet/smoky grey, teal/beige, Chocolate and pretty Petal. These colours are combined with the signature floral beads to make a really unusual piece of jewellery which anyone would be pleased to wear. The necklace comes packaged in a box and one (or more!) would make a pretty and thoughtful gift for a new mum. You can see the whole range at the Mama Jewels website.

Mama Jewels

SnoozeShade Cot Blackout Blind

Are you one of those unfortunate parents with a baby who just will not sleep in a bright room? I well remember having to clamber around attaching blackout material to hotel bedroom windows, and reading by the dimmest of lights to avoid disturbing my baby. So for all of you who have similar experiences, the SnoozeShade will be a really welcome product. It's also great to use at home for those long light summer days, or for daytime naps. It helps to cut out distractions and also acts to somewhat reduce noise levels. It's lightweight to transport and clips easily to a standard size cot - there are even strategically positioned zips to regulate light and allow easy access to the baby. It was tested out on holiday and baby had no problems sleeping - and parents had no problem reading and chatting quietly in the same room. If you try it out before a holiday, your baby will be familiar with the SnoozeShade and find that familiarity reassuring.  It's best for younger babies who do not want to stand in their cots, although perhaps once they are used to it, this does not pose a problem. Visit the SnoozeShade website to view all their products.
baby wash

The Little Green Sheep Organic Baby Wash and Nappy Balm

If you want to be sure that you are only using pure natural products for your baby, then products from The Little Green Sheep are ideal for you. I was sent the baby wash and nappy balm to test. The Baby Wash is a gentle cleanser and I like the fact it comes in a pump dispenser - anything that makes bathtime easier with a slippery little bodynappy balm is great! The product is ideal for babies with sensitive skin, as it is completely natural so can be used from the earliest age. The product is quite thick, so you only need a little - this makes it economical and long-lasting. The inclusion of lavender should help to make bathtime a relaxing experience. It costs £4.95 for 200ml. The Nappy Balm glides on easily  without being at all greasy and has a delicate natural fragrance. It's ideal for any dry, flaky skin, not just the nappy area and because it rubs in well and you only need a little, it does not stain. Like the baby wash, a little goes a long way, making the price of £6.95 for 50g compare well with other organic products. Products are made in the UK, so that's an added ecological benefit.

baby walker

Leapfrog Scout and Friends Baby Walker

 Encourage those all-important first steps with this colourful interactive baby walker from Leapfrog Toys. Packed with activities, your baby will have hours of fun exploring the different options. Flip the 'book' in the middle to change from music mode to learning mode. The various features on the toy react differently depending which mode the walker is in - this alone will intrigue baby, as he will see and hear different effects each time. Colourful flashing lights light up the abcd letters as the music plays and this captures the attention brilliantly - there are lots of different tunes, so parents won't get too tired of hearing the same ones over and over again! This is a great way for babies to learn to relate cause and effect  as they press buttons, flip the rattle, move the dog in and out and more. Lots of learning opportunities - counting, alphabet and colours as well as plenty of opportunities to hone those fine motor skills.The play section can be detached and used on the floor. The walker is easy to set up and fold down again - just pull out the legs - and compact and light enough to take out. The braking mechanism on the back wheels is excellent - no more frustration when the walker runs away in the middle of a game! It also means, as in the case of my young tester who isn't quite ready to walk, that he can lean on the walker and play with it. The toy phone was a great success - take it off and it talks to you! A really well thought-out walker, sturdy and stable to encourage baby's confidence. It will give your baby many hours of entertainment from the ages of around 6 months to about 2 years.

You can purchase the LeapFrog Scout and Friends Baby Walker, and other Leapfrog toys at Argos.

gumigem necklace

Gumigem Teething Necklace

I was delighted to be sent a Gumigem teething necklace for review. Babies are always attracted to mummy's necklaces and this is a lovely way to be able to continue wearing necklaces while your baby keeps grabbing them. Not only that, but the necklaces are made of baby safe silicone, just like many other teething products, so they can be used as a teether. When worn with our five month old tester, it went immediately in his mouth and he had a lovely time chewing on it. The really clever thing is the way these really look like a real stone. We were sent the Pearl Storm disc pendant (shown left) and it appears beautifully faceted with fascinating variations of shade which catch the light. The necklace is long, and there is a breakaway clasp so you don't get strangled - something that concerned us with a strong baby!!  The range available is great, both in shape and design - a necklace to match every outfit and at £12.50 for the pendants, the price is comparable to conventional jewellery. These would make a great gift for new mums - or grandmothers! An innovative, practical and attractive product.  Visit the Gumigem website to see the full range.Now, is there an answer to wearing earrings with baby around?

   

pillow

 Theraline Animal Neck Pillow

Babies and young children can look so uncomfortable when their heads flop to the side when they are sleeping in car seats, pushchairs etc, so this colourful neck pillow is a great idea. Far more than just a pillow though - these are also cuddly toys, ideal to take with you when travelling. Then, when you arrive your child has his very own pillow. Available in large and small and in three colourful designs - sheep, dragon and sun. As with all Theraline products, they are subject to stringent safety checks so you can be sure the pillow is totally safe for your little one. We were sent the dragon to review - it is made of lovely soft plushy material and the fine sand-like micro beads make it flexible and comfortable. As you can see from the picture on the right, it is VERY relaxing!! Buy yours here. You can see all the Theraline products on their website.

socks

Raindrops - Outdoor Clothing from Scandinavia

Raindrops approached us to ask if we would review some of the products from their wide range.

Swedish Moccasins 

Their Swedish children’s moccasins are available in a wide range of colours and patterns for boys and girls from six months up to 6 years. Partway between shoe and sock, they are machine washable and hand-stitched and are really high quality. I was sent a pair in cream for a 3 month old boy. They fitted excellently and remain in place despite lots of wriggling about.This makes them ideal for crawling and those first steps and they will be perfect in winter. I think the bright colours would be better suited to boys. From Raindrops website: 'Nowali moccasins use a cotton, wool and lycra mix for a soft and natural feel against your child’s skin. The double elastic around the ankle makes sure that the moccasins stay on and don’t wriggle off like socks! The soft leather soles allow the foot to move freely so that the muscles develop naturally. The non-slip soles are perfect for young walkers – especially useful if areas of your home have stone, tiled or wooden floors. They make fabulous gifts too for friends and relatives.'

socks

Car and Stripe Design Socks

I was really impressed with the quality of these socks. The double weave makes them thick yet soft. They stayed on brilliantly, on a baby who is very wriggly and whose socks generally fall down - this is due to the soft elasticated cuff. The car design was very popular with his parents. It is hard to get socks that stay on tiny feet, so it is good to know these are available from premature (in white only) to 6 months. Good value at £3.50 for two pairs.

dungarees

 Classic Waterproof Dungareesdreamtubes

These dungarees are such a practical idea. In our climate, it is so useful to be able to take young children outside, whatever the weather. In a range of 4 bright colours, they are 100% waterproof but with none of the stiffness traditionally associated with waterproof clothing. The soft, comfortable feel will mean children are very happy to wear them. Easy to get on and off - another important consideration, especially if you are using these with a group of little children - and they would be an excellent addition to nursery and reception classes to ensure outside play is always on the timetable. The stirrup straps to hold wellies in place are a neat idea. Available from 1 year olds up to 9 years (with room for growth) - machine washable too.

 

Reviews - products for children and families

 Hello Fresh 1

 

HelloFresh

I was delighted to be given the opportunity to review a Family Box from HelloFresh. It is a brand I have been interested in for a while so it was great to receive a box.
The first part of my review concentrates on the delivery and packaging, as this is such an important part of these services. Firstly - there is no need to be at home, as the delivery will be left in your specified safe place. Delivery dates can be chosen when you select your box. For anyone worried about food safety, there is no concern at all. The box arrived feeling very cool, and the fresh products, including meats, are all packed in a separate bag with insulated packaging and frozen ice packs - the food was cooler that food brought home from the supermarket. It's also easy to pick out which food needs refrigerating straight away - a boon for busy families when they arrive home with 101 things to do. I was impressed that the insulated packaging is compostable too - we plan to put it in the runner bean trench!
The remainder of the meals come in their own separate packs, so there's no wondering what goes with which meal. Everything is separately packaged where necessary, but not wastefully eg the vegetables are loose. You will find everything you need, barring a few very basic store cupboard ingredients eg olive oil, and in the right quantities too so there is no waste. I love the fact that everything is all together - there's nothing more frustrating than getting to the end of a busy day, starting to prepare a meal, and finding an essential ingredient is missing.

HF2

I tried the oven-baked mushroom and bacon risotto first. The packs come with a recipe card for each meal. The instructions are clear and very easy to follow - it even tells you the cooking utensils you will need. There are step-by-step photos too. The good thing here is that you can keep the recipe cards so you can re-create your favourite meals. The perishable food is dated and all had at least 7 days from receipt; it is also securely packed so ideal to put straight into the freezer if you don't want to cook the meals soon. The packs even tell you where the food comes from and it's all high quality. I love the individual packages for instance the 30gm butter pats, all labelled with the producer. and place of origin The portions were very generous and the meal really tasty, although we found the honey dressing for the mixed leaves too sweet for our taste.

Hello Fresh 3

The spaghetti pomodoro with melt-in-the-middle meatballs was another winner. I always have problems getting meatballs to actually stay as meatballs rather than landing up as mince, but the ingredients must be balanced just right as even with the yummy mozzarella filling, the meatballs stayed intact. The recipe says 40 minutes preparation time, and that was quite generous. Again, the recipe was easy to follow and I like the fact that the recipe cards are attractive to keep and will definitely encourage me to try the recipe again - although I much prefer to have all the ingredients ready to hand from HelloFresh!,  The meal was really tasty and the portions are very generous - the family box is designed for 2 adults and 2 children, but there is plenty for 4 hungry adults.

Hello Fresh 4

The third meal I cooked was Spiced Pork with Creamy Lentils and Nigella Chapatis. The outstanding part of this to me was the creamy lentils - lentils cooked with spices,  vegetables and creme fraiche, which was really tasty and a definite addition to my repertoire. Again, the portions were generous and the quality excellent. I did find frying the chapatis a little tedious though - eight of them at a minute each. However, the end result was well worthwhile, as it was an unusual and very tasty meal. The pork was tender and flavoursome and went perfectly with the accompaniments, making a well-balanced meal.

Hello Fresh pork

Our final meal was the Chicken Breasts in Buttery Garlic Sauce. So often, chicken breasts can be tasteless but once again, the quality was first-rate and the chicken really flavoursome - and very generously sized, too; we were so impressed with all the portion sizes, making the meals really good value. This was probably the quickest of the meals to prepare, and the roasted potato and carrot with thyme really tasty. I must confess to having used the broccoli which was part of the meal, earlier in the week, and I cooked the first of the new season asparagus with this, which was simply perfect. That's a bonus of the meals - you can add your own variations if required.

.Hello Fresh chicken

I am definitely hooked on HelloFresh meals and will be a regular from now on. It is great because it made me cook from scratch - with the accompanying satisfaction - without hours trawling around the supermarket. I love the way every item is pre-weighed and so well packaged too. Every meal was absolutely delicious and the portion size really good. The website is easy to use, too, and you can choose from a Classic, Veggie or Family Box with great choices within those. HelloFresh meals are a good way to take yourself outside your comfort zone, trying recipes you may not have done otherwise and thereby increasing your repertoire.

scooti 

Scooti Lights

Scooters are an increasingly popular means of transport and many children use them to travel to school. The long dark winter evenings can be a concern - but not if you have Scooti Lights. Shaped like ladybugs and extremely easy to fit Scooti Lights are a fun, simple way to make scooters safe in the dark. Available in 4 bright fun colours, Scooti Lights can be seen from 500 meters away – an essential when crossing the street after dusk. In each box there is a white LED forward facing light. And with a stretchy loop which fits any sized bar it’ll only take a few seconds to make sure your child’s scooter is safe and seen whenever you go out. See the whole range and buy yours from Buggi Lights.
 miniscoff
 
miniscoff
 
minoscoff

Miniscoff

Miniscoff make a range of award-winning organic frozen meals for children. They are 100% organic and are carefully hand prepared by their own chefs in Wiltshire. This way we can be sure you are getting the very best. They only use “ingredients that are 100% organic (and local where possible), ensuring the highest standards for taste and nutrition, the animals and the planet. No GM or artificial stuff is tolerated, our meat is from organic, British farms and all our meals have sensible levels of salt, sugar and fat (appropriate for a one year old). By naturally quick-freezing our meals everything is kept as fresh as the day it was made, ready for when you need it.” These are ‘proper’ meals, just like you would cook at home, and they are a real boon for busy parents. There are many times when having a delicious and nutritional meal ready in 10 – 12 minutes (microwave) or 30 to 40 minutes (conventional oven) is just what you need. Miniscoff home-deliver themselves, and you can choose from three meal packs to order direct from Scoff Central, selecting 6, 12 or 30 meal packs with your own choice from across the range. Deliveries can be made Tuesday to Friday between 8am and 12pm. Minoscoff do require that someone is available to sign for the delivery, so they will contact you to arrange a convenient time. The meals are also available through Ocado. The first thing parents will want to know is how well packed the food is, and whether it will really stay frozen. Well, the answer to that is a resounding ‘yes’. Deliveries only take place between 8am and noon, so you know the package hasn’t been languishing around for too long. The food arrived in a sturdy polystyrene box, surrounded by ice packs which were still completely frozen when I opened the box - you can see this in my photos.
 miniscoff
 
miniscoff
 
miniscogg
We received a super selection which incorporates meals that are all well-tried children’s favourites. All the meals are suitable from 1 to 8+ years, and give 1 to 2 servings, depending on your child’s age and appetite. I added additional vegetables to one of the meals and then a pack fed a 3 for two meals. Here’s what we got: ali baba's shepherd's pie is a yummy, succulent take on a traditional shepherd’s pie with organic British lamb & some hearty mash. curly wurly chicken is a scrummy Bolognese made with organic chicken in a rich tomato sauce with basil, served with very child-friendly curly pasta - you can see from my tester's face how much she enjoyed this. broccoli bill's pasta pie is a tasty vegetarian pasta dish with a tomato & mushroom ragu, broccoli florets and a creamy cheese sauce.; my young testers are not vegetarian, but they thoroughly enjoyed this one; broccoli is often popular with children, so it’s a good choice. salmon ocean pie is made with organically farmed Scottish salmon fillet in a creamy sauce with vegetables and mashed potato. I couldn’t resist trying this one myself – all in the interests of reviewing, of course! It made a good lunch, with plenty of flavour; there’s a danger that food prepared especially for children can be bland, but this certainly wasn’t. I can’t say that my presentation was as attractive as this, but it shows what can be done! planet spaghetti is organic pork & beef meatballs orbiting in a spaghetti galaxy & a rich tomato sauce. Miniscoff say this is the fastest selling meal on the menu, and when I offered my testers a choice of meals, this was their first choice. chilli yum yum is a mild chilli to tickle the tastebuds, sweetened with mango chutney and served with basmati rice; the evidence of enjoyment is clearly seen below! Brilliant to see a really tasty meal offered to children and this one was another hit, really enjoyed by the older child. Also available are ali baba’s shepherd’s pie, jolly spag bolly and creamy salmon pasta. Minoscoff also produce a range of organic sauces - chicken and bacon sauce, bolognese sauce, West Country cheddar sauce and cheese and tomato sauce; these are currently only available through Ocado. It’s excellent that the packs come with allergans clearly listed, as you can see in the image of broccoli bill’s pie. You can see nutritional information on the website, which lists ingredients, allergy advice and nutritional information. It’s so much easier to assimilate all this information in the peace of your own home than trying to absorb it in the middle of a busy supermarket. If you care about the food you give your children, then Miniscoff meals are definitely for you. They are truly excellent and most adults would be only too pleased to enjoy them along with their children. I recommend that you try them at Miniscoff.
minoscoff  miniscoff miniscoff miniscoff
Y cam
 
y cam
 
y cam

Y-cam HomeMonitor camera

We’ve teamed up with Y-cam the British home security camera specialists, who recently won Best Buy with The Sunday Times, to offer you the chance to win a HomeMonitor HDS camera worth £129.99. Giveaway open during March 2016. It’s a sad fact of modern life that security cameras are becoming more and more common. This excellent product from Y-Cam is perfect for domestic use and can be wi-fi or wired. It’s well-priced at £129.99 and the price includes free 7-day cloud storage (you can purchase 30 day storage). I must confess that I didn’t set it up myself but my husband did and he reported that it was quick and easy to do, with sufficient instructions to be clear. Once the camera is installed, simply set up your account and you’re ready to go. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Roku and Windows phones – this means it is accessible to almost everyone. You can watch what’s happening, wherever you are, in real time; the wide angle view gives good coverage. No need to worry if the device is stolen either as the cloud storage keeps the film safe. You can set the camera up to send instant notifications to your phone when movement is detected; you don’t need to keep on checking back. This versatile device allows you to set daily schedules and custom recording zones. Image and sound quality are excellent. It copes with low light with its powerful infra-red LEDs; crisp night-time images are produced from 15m away – it really does, as we tried this feature. I was impressed by one reviewer who said that he has one at his business premises and he was able to alert the police to an intruder and they got there in time to catch him red-handed. It’s a neat device that is not intrusive when installed. You can set it to only pick up movement above a certain height, so that you don’t get footage of your cat or dog wandering around! There are many uses beyond burglar protection. We thought it would be excellent in an elderly person’s house, especially if they live alone. Place this to film the bottom of the stairs or the kitchen and you can pick up any mishaps – or lack of expected movement; with their full knowledge and permission, of course. For peace of mind when away from home, I highly recommend this neat and effective HomeMonitor. Purchase from Y-CAM -  or from Amazon More information at www.y-cam.com. Buy from Amazon - Y-cam HomeMonitor HD, Motion Activated Cloud Security Camera Solution (No Monthly Fees) Pricing at 01/03/16 - VGA £99.99; HDS: £129.99; HD Pro: £179.99. Excellent value.
Good Taste Foods
 
Good Taste Foods

Good Taste Foods

Martin and John started Good Taste Foods in 1998 with the aim to supply and deliver quality frozen food that tastes as good as fresh. Good Taste Foods have now supplied 40,000 customers offering a convenient, personalised and reliable delivery service of specially selected quality frozen foods straight to your door. I was delighted to be asked to review a selection from their range. Perfect for busy families, the products are delivered to your door, with no delivery cost, and in packaging that keeps the food frozen for 24 hours. You don't even have to be in to accept delivery - just specify a safe place and your food will be waiting for you when you get home - our delivery came within the promised time slot. Good Taste products are packed in large clear plastic bags, which you can use to store the food in your freezer - the bags are sturdy and each item separately packaged so it's easy to take out just what you want. Storage and cooking instructions are on the packs - many products can be cooked straight from the freezer - perfect for busy people. Both the Good Taste boxes and plastic bags can be fully recycled. My food arrived in excellent condition, with dry ice packs around the food and the whole packed into a well sealed polystyrene box.Even though it was the end of the day, there was no suggestion of thawing; the food was deeply frozen.

chicken
 
good taste foods
We received packs of chicken en croute. First - they are well packed, in sturdy plastic bags, and labelled, ready to go straight into the freezer. The cooking instructions are clear, as they are for every item and were spot-on for timing. the products were very tasty, with crispy pastry and plenty of filling; the chicken was soft and tender and the whole meal was generously sized and very satisfying. They have though of everything - the croutes are even ready-glazed!
The salmon steaks were neatly individually packed as this made them really easy to use. So often, with a larger bag, you get some freezer burn once you start a pack, so this individual packaging is really good. The portion size is just right and the salmon was moist and tasty. The cod was also well packaged and easy to use.
duck  The duck leg confit was, I am told, quite delicious. The portions were generous and it was oh-so-easy to cook. Both this, and the pulled pork were packed in stout plastic bags that will withstand a bit of rough treatment in the freezer - always a concern with a chest freezer. The pulled pork was rich and tasty, very well flavoured but not overpowering. These are excellent products to buy ready prepared as they take a great deal of time to cook from scratch. The left-over pulled pork was delicious in rolls and would be great for summer barbecues. The products are not cheap, but you really do get what you pay for. Quick service, an easy-to-use website, excellent packaging and very tasty products that will save busy parents lots of time. The website showcases a fantastic range of products - there is plenty here for every family, including a good vegetarian range. There are also desserts - sadly, I haven't tried these, but if they are up to the standard of the food we enjoyed, then they will be well worth a try.
Good Taste Good taste Food
SnowGo gloves

SnowGo Gloves

SnowGo gloves are waterproof gloves in children's sizes - it's such a simple idea that you wonder why nobody has thought of it before! Children love to play in the snow, but woollen gloves inevitably end up soggy and children's hands cold and wet. Here's the answer - wear these over woollen gloves for snow protection.  They keep hands warm and dry, allowing children much longer to have fun in the snow. Of course, they can be used on their own for any wet or dirty play and for craft work; or when it's a bit too cold to be outside playing with sand or water with bare hands, use SnowGo gloves. Such a versatile product. They come in three sizes -  Small (age up to 3) Medium (age 4-8) and Large (age 9-12), as well as in a range of vibrant colours including red, pink, blue and orange. I wondered how easy they would be to put on, but my nearly 3 year old tester got them on with no trouble; the fingers are generously sized and the cuff length is sufficient to ensure hands keep dry. The gloves are 100% latex and they appear strong and durable. A super product that will be warmly welcomed by parents. You can purchase the gloves from EBay. Find SnowGo on Facebook.
SnowGo Gloves
readybed 

Despicable Me ReadyBed from Worlds Apart

ReadyBeds are superb! I am really impressed with the simplicity and ease of use and children love them. They make sleepovers great fun and their portability means they are easy to pack up and put in the car. It has an inflatable mattress (a pump is included) with machine washable bedding and an integral travel bag.  The bed inflates easily and quickly and it's equally easy to deflate; the neat packaging holds everything together for storage and travel. My young tester reported that the bed was very comfortable and he's looking forward to using it on his next visit. Excellent value for money too and easily affordable so you can have one at grandparents' homes or to keep one at home for unexpected little guests. Also good to take to hotels and self catering holidays - even if there are beds available, they are often rather high for young ones and they like the security and familiarity of their own special bed. Well made with a fun cover children will love, and looks very durable, too. Buy from Amazon - Worlds Apart ReadyBed Despicable Me Junior Bed. There are lots of other designs available on the Worlds Apart website, so you are bound to find one your child will love. The Junior ReadyBed measures W62, L150, H20cm.; the maximum user weight is 30kg. A great product which does just what it says on the box.
readybed readybed
Bearhug storage

BearHug Stack Storage from Worlds Apart

We all want our children to tidy their toys away when they finish playing, and with this gorgeous set of stacking storage boxes, they will be keen to help. The boxes feature cute and cuddly bears - they are even bear-shaped! Just like the three bears there's a small one, a middle-sized one and a big one - but even the big one is easy for children to move and they are just the right height for children, even when two are stacked. The design means it is easy to put toys in so no excuses! Make the most of your space by stacking them two high or side by side; they are attractive enough for a living area as well as being ideal for bedroom or playroom; definitely too nice to hide away! You do need to assemble the boxes but everything is included and the instructions are clear and easy to follow - and I was really impressed with the packaging which ensures the product reaches you in perfect condition. It's all very well made and the brightly-coloured fabric slings complete the effect. Of course, the product is tested to the highest safety standards. I love this - it's a really attractive way to solve a perennial problem and I can see it being a huge hit with children, and with their parents who will appreciate the quality of the design and the manufacture.
Buy from Worlds Apart and make sure you look at their other products too. Also available from Amazon - Hello Home Bear Hug Stack Storage, Multi-Colour. These toy boxes are part of the Hello Home Bear Hug toddler furniture family. You can buy other products to complete the look  including a toddler bed and desk to make a lovely bedroom for your little one, girl or boy.
Bearhug bed   Bearhug storage    desk

 Rain-Shine All-in-One Waterproofs

TogzThese all-in-one waterproof suits are perfect for home and school use. Increasingly, children in schools and Early Years settings are spending more tome outdoors - the popularity of Forest Schools and farm-based nurseries bears witness to this. I was sent an All In One Waterproof Suit from Togz, as supplied by Rain-Shine, for review.  They are fully waterproof and made in a breathChild running in red Togz All In One Waterproof Suitsable material which has a pleasingly soft feel, not hard and crinkly as sometimes happens.  The elasticated waist and velcro fastenings allow plenty of room for growth and velcro fastenings at wrist and ankle, as well as allowing for easy putting on/taking off, allow the suit to be customised to the child.There's plenty of space to put layers underneath, but the adaptability means the child won't be swamped when waring the suit with less underneath in warmer weather. I was particularly impressed with the zip, which really does do up and undo very easily and seems as though it will be very durable. The suits come with an integral hood which I found stays in position very well. As the suits are bound to be worn in wet and muddy conditions, it's great to know they are machine washable. The fact they come with a lifetime guarantee is testament to the durability - they are certainly very well made and comfortable to wear.  I reviewed a suit for a four year old, but the site explains that the suits for toddlers have special features making them easy to use, including a diagonal zip, sewn-in mittens and stirrup straps.Nurseries and schools will be pleased to know discounts are available on the already good value suits - see the website for details. An excellent product which will encourage outdoor play.

Peppa Pig Go Glow Light from Worlds Apart

Go GlowThe dark can be scary for young children and they like the reassurance of having a light on at night - but we don't always want to leave landing lights on all night so this is a friendly and practical alternative that young children will love. By being happy to offer children the comfort a night light offers, we can avoid fears getting out of hand until such a time as children are ready to sleep without extra light. This clever light is both night light and torch - as your child gets older, perhaps at the point she or he needs to go to the toilet in the night, the torch will really come into its own. The rechargeable light comes with a low voltage transformer so it's completely safe and can be left close to the bed at night in safety. The bright picture on the torch is very attractive - there's a Thomas the Tank Engine version too. A practical idea, well carried out and a product which will give children lots of pleasure as well as helping to conquer those night fears with a friendly companion. Find out more on the GoGlow website. Buy from Tesco.

Beltlock

How it WorksCan your child open a seat belt? A child opening the seat belt which secures the car seat is dangerous;  When we are driving, we need to have all our attention on the road - we can't afford to be looking around to check that little fingers haven't undone the seatbelt. Beltlock is the answer.
Keeping children safe, when traveling in the car, is our priority. When children open the seat belt securing the car seat it is dangerous for the child and distracting for the driver. As a parent, protect your children by using Beltlock to secure their car seats in place. It fits easily over the seat belt receiver and can be removed without difficulty by an adult. Beltlock prevents accidents and keep children safe - By the time you know they have undone the seat belt it could be too late. This is a simple, neat and inexpensive product which could save lives. Buy from Amazon Auto BeltLock Stop Children and kids Opening the Seat belt Securing the Car seat
 

Vegesentials Fresh Kids on the Go

I was thrilled by these drinks. Firstly, by the neat green insulated bag in which the arrived which is perfect for a children's lunchbox. And when I opened it - wow! 12 dinky bottles of drink which are so lovely to look at and shaped perfectly for little hands to hold without them slipping. Of course, looks aren't everything and I couldn't wait to try them. First up was the Carrot and Peach which is sweet and refreshing. Next - the Cucumber and Pineapple smoothie which is light and very refreshing. The beet and strawberry has a richer flavour; a good thing about all the flavours is that there is none of that sweet after-taste so often found with fruit juices. My young testers loved them and asked for more. Look at the labelling to find out exactly which fruits are in each bottle - there are more than the name indicates! Packed with goodness, these are 100% fruit and vegetable juice - as such, they have a short shelf life but that's an inevitable part of a truly fresh product with no preservatives. The child-appeal is explained by Vegesentials, who developed the brand in conjunction with their own children - the brand developed from making juices and smoothies for friends' children. We all know how vital it is that our children get their 5 a day and it can be a hard target to achieve. Most children enjoy fruit drinks and smoothies but making them at home is time-consuming and expensive - so here's where these super drinks come into their own. All the goodness of home-made without the hassle. Perfect for lunchboxes and meals on the go. Adults - don't worry, there's an adult range too - and I'm off to search it out!
VEG_Kids_Family_Real

Gro Clock

gro clockDoes your child get you up too early? Then you should try the Gro-clock. This innovative uses fun images of the stars and sugro clockn - blue for the stars and yellow when the sun shows - to show your child when to go back to sleep and when it's time to get mum and dad up. You can set the clock to display the sun at the time you want your child to get up (usefully, you can even change this for weekends!) so they can watch for the change. This version of the Gro-Clock has a new feature allowing parents to choose whether or not to display the digital clock during the usual ‘stars to sun’ countdown - so older children can start to learn to tell the time. The clock is compact and fits neatly on a shelf in the child's bedroom. The light is subtle so it doesn't disturb sleep but provides a gentle reassuring glow through the night.  Reinforce the clock's message with the fun story which comes with the clock - all about the farmyard animals and the pig who is always tired. I asked the mum of an almost 3 year old to try this out and he loves it! First he enjoys the story and then settels down happily knowing the clock is glowing away. He still wakes early but one look at the clock and he knows it's too early for mum and dad! They are trying gradual movement towards an acceptable time and so far the signs are excellent!  The neat size means it can be put on a shelf safely out of the little one's reach. I can see another being requested for the one year old!  They are also hoping to se the benefit when the clocks change! Buy your gro clock from The Gro Store and see all their great products here. You can also purchase from Amazon - Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer

Oilcloth from Messy Me

Messy Me sell four different designs of oilcloth which can be cut by them to an exact size to suit your table so no waoilclothste. The designs are stylish and are an attractive addition to your kitchen table - no need to take them off once the children have finished eating/playing as the subtle designs and colours complement your decor. It's good quality and durable with a wipe-clean surface - I tried it out with paints and they all wiped off really easily. I also used it with play-doh and it makes an excellent surface for this. I haven't tried, but I am sure it will also be excellent as a surface for cooking with children. Of course, it is not suitable for hot dishes. Visit "Messy Me, home of the original oilcloth high chair cover and other beautiful oilcloth products. Designed for busy mums and messy little ones. Messy Me is all about stylish products to help with the mess created by babies and toddlers." See below for more of their practical and attractive products.

 

 Snuguns Grippa Socks

SnugunsLittle ones spend so much time clambering and sliding around and you don't want them to be wearing shoes all the time - or else you are somewhere, like an indoor activity centre where shoes are not allowed. Snuguns Grippa socks are the answer, with their silicone mesh soles which give great grip (and the area increases as your little one's feet grow). In addition, the clever design features a "Fold-to-Fit" support band which folds down to the ankle bone - providing excellent support and fit.One size fits 6 months to four years and they come in pink or blue. They are ideal for little ones just taking their first steps around the house - especially as so many of us have laminate floors these days. They will also keep your child's feet warm . My young tester has tried them out around the house - he is just learning to walk and they give an excellent grip on our laminate floors. He has also used them in a soft play centre, where again they are a great asset. They have been through a few washes and still look as new, with no colour fading or loss of stretch. It is vital that children's feet are properly looked after so it's good to know Grippa Socks come recommended by The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists Buy them from Amazon - SNUGUNS GRIPPA Blue socks See all the Snuguns products here.

 Child Locator from Mommy I'm Here

Child LocatorEver had that heart-stopping moment when your child seems to have disappeared? We live in an increasingly dangerous world, and anything parents can do to keep their children safe must be welcomed.  However, whatever devices we use, nothing can replace constant vigilance and training our children to know what do do when lost and to be aware of Stranger Danger. The Child Locator is a fun device, in the shape of a teddy, either pink or brown, which will appeal to young children. It is designed to hook onto shoes or over the child's belt (there's also a mounting strap), while the parent kechild locatoreps the key fob. When the button on the fob is pressed, the teddy bear chirps (at 86dB), allowing you to locate your child. Don't forget - what sounds like a loud noise in the quiet of the home, won't sound so loud in a busy shopping centre or sporting venue. The device works within a range of around 50m, but obviously that can vary according to your location. It's very simple to use and attractive to young children. You can buy yours from the Mommy I'm Here website. Also available is an advanced model with an auto-alert, which makes the keyfob beep if your child strays beyond a set distance (shown left). A useful product, but remember to still be vigilant!
 


 

 

 

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