Products You'll Love - Baby & Toddler
With the growing importance of creating less waste and using fewer single use or disposable items, we have been trying to find ways in which we can do this as a family so we have been trying out reusable nappies in a bid to reduce our waste. We were very kindly sent a reusable nappy from Baba & Boo, the nappy came with two bamboo mix inserts, which is standard if you order a one size pocket nappy from them. Being completely new to reusable nappies, I was impressed with how soft the inside of the nappy is, it has elasticated sides to prevent leaks as well as an extra gusset which makes them even more leak proof! At the back of the nappy is an elasticated pocked in which you put the bamboo mix inserts. You can use either one or two, depending on how much absorbency you need; it is advised to wash the inserts and the nappy a couple of times before you first use it as this increases the absorbency of the material. The nappy is waterproof and made from 100% polyester with a polyurethane lining, the inside is a soft mirco-fleece and the inserts are made from two layers of bamboo and two layers of microfibre. This is a one-size nappy which means it has a selection of poppers on the front of it so that you can get the perfect fit for your child, and it will fit from around 10lbs to potty training (smaller newborn nappies are available and are more suited to tiny babies).
The first time you use it you will be able to work out where the poppers need to be for the height and they can stay done up when washed and used again, so you will only need to do up the ones that do the nappy up each time you use it. We used the nappy with a biodegradable liner, which can be put in the bin or composted after use, you don't need to use a liner but the advantage is that it catches the solid waste and it can be disposed of easily, leaving the nappy clean, with just liquid waste to wash out. We found the nappy really easy to put on, the different popper options ensure that you can get a perfect fit and the elasticated sides fit snugly around the legs; my mini reviewer is on the slim side and we had no problem being able to get a tight enough fit. The nappy can be washed at 60 degrees if needed, but we have found that 40 degrees is sufficient. In comparison to disposable nappies, we have found the absorbency to be just as good, we have had no leaks and they certainly feel a lot kinder to the skin as they are so soft. They are bulkier than disposable nappies but not so much so that they haven't fit under any of his trousers.
A one-size nappy costs around £14.95, it comes with two inserts and the nappies should last you from around 10lbs to potty training, with many people keep them for their next child as they as designed to last. Baba & Boo have some absolutely gorgeous nappy designs, so head over to their website to take a look for yourself!
The Joie Mimzy Snacker high chair can be used from around 6 months onwards up until your child is 15kg (which can be anywhere around 3-4 years old) so a high chair purchase can be a part of your life for quite a few years. The Joie Mimzy Snacker high chair boasts a unique one-handed fold system which makes it really easy to tidy up after a mealtime; once the tray is removed you can easily access the strap which sits in the base of the seat, pull up on the strap and the high chair folds neatly in half for easy storage and you can also clip the tray to the legs so that everything is kept together. The high chair has three recline positions and a huge storage basket underneath which we have never had on a high chair before and have found to be particularly helpful as toys are often used to keep the youngest happy if his food is still too hot or not quite ready yet! The removable tray has 3 different positions for your growing child as well as a cup holder and it is dishwasher safe, the seat fabric is easy to wipe clean and the 5 point harness can also be washed. The tray is large and when in use extends over the sides of the high chair which reduces the amount of food that gets pushed or dropped over the edges as well as stopping any from dropping in to the storage basket below. This is a particularly good high chair if space is a problem as the ease at which it can be folded up means it is never a chore and it stands by itself when folded, it would also be perfect for keeping at a grandparents house.
The high chair weighs just over 6kg and when folded the dimensions are just 29.5cm long, 50.2cm wide and 91cm deep. The Joie Mimzy Snacker comes in a range of unisex designs; we received the alphabet design to review which is a lovely mix of animals, woodland images and alphabet letters. High chairs can be used over three times a day in a household with a baby or toddler and will be in use for many years so it is a really good idea to think about all the features that you might find important, we have found the Joie Mimzy Snacker to be really well thought out and from experience we find that having a high chair that is easy to clean is a priority, and this high chair fills that requirement. The storage underneath is a real help but above all else the one handed fold system and the lightweight design make it a top buy and the seat cover designs are all really stylish. The Joie Mimzy Snacker is available from Kiddies Kingdom and you can see Kiddies Kindom's collection of Joie products here.
We received a selection of toothbrushes for review from Brush-Baby, their products are designed to meet every stage of tooth development starting from newborn to toddlers and then on to older children. Read on to find out how we got on...
My FirstBrush & Teether Set
This is set is everything you need to looks after your baby's dental hygiene once they get their first tooth. The teether is designed for your baby to use as it has an easy grip handle and the bristles are very soft so they will gently clean your baby's teeth. The flower shaped guard simply clips over the top and stops your baby from putting the teether too far in to their mouth. The accompanying toothbrush is long handled so that you can brush your baby's teeth and the brush head is small and really soft. It is important that you start to brush your baby's teeth as soon as they start to show, and the teether can be used earlier than this to help soothe gums when teething. My littlest reviewer is 12 months old and is usually happy to have his teeth brushed, the length of the toothbrush is really handy for being able to comfortably get right to the back teeth and the teether is a good distraction for him too! These two products compliment each other perfectly and are suitable from 0-18 months, they retail at £6.75 - Buy here.
This toothbrush is great for little ones who like to be a little more independent when it comes to brushing their teeth. The toothbrush is short and wide with a rubbery Grip'n'Chew handle which makes it really easy to hold; the brush head is bigger than that of the FirstBrush and has both long and short bristles to help clean all the tricky areas between the teeth and gums. The bristles are two different colours which cleverly shows you how much toothpaste to use! My second smallest reviewer is quite a headstrong two year old and likes to take charge, we found this brush really easy for her to use and she lets us brush them for her after she has had her turn to make sure they are done thoroughly. The FlossBrush 0-3 is £1.85 - Buy here.
This brush will certainly encourage more reluctant brushers to spend more time doing their teeth; this electric toothbrush for ages 3-6 has flashing lights and a two minute timer to make sure that your child is brushing their teeth for the right amount of time. To use the brush you apply the toothpaste and push the power button on once to put the light on and a second time to turn on the toothbrush, gently move it across the teeth and gums with small up and down movements, when the brush starts pulsing you move on to the next section of the mouth until all four sections (up, down, left and right) have been cleaned, the brush will turn itself off after two minutes. The lights flash different colours for two minutes and the quick pulse is a really helpful indicator of when it is time to move on to cleaning a different area of your teeth. The toothbrush is light to hold which is good as it is designed for younger children. My second oldest mini reviewer is 6 and has mixed teeth and lots of gaps; she is generally very good at brushing her teeth but sometimes doesn't spend long enough doing them so having the timer that switches off by itself means that they are always getting a long enough clean. She said she loved the flashing lights as they made it really fun and that it didn't hurt her very wobbly teeth. The KidzSonic brush has the different length flossing bristles and comes with three brush heads as well as one AAA battery that is needed for use and it is £12.95. Buy here.
This is a bigger brush aimed at ages 6+ and again comes with the different sized bristles for getting teeth really clean. The handle is longer and slimmer than the above brush but still has an easy grip handle as well as a suction base so it stands up and sticks to the bathroom sink for quick and easy storage. The brush is especially good for mixed teeth (milk and adult) as well as gaps and for children who don't floss. My oldest mini reviewer is 7, he has a mix of milk teeth, adult teeth, wobbly teeth and gaps! He said this toothbrush feels soft and that the bristles move around his mouth more than his normal toothbrush which I think means that the different length bristles are doing their job and getting in to all the areas between her teeth. He also likes the design (we have the purple and orange one with paw-prints on), and the sucker base. The FlossBrush is £1.85 - Buy here. We have been really impressed with the Brush-Baby toothbrushes, we have been able to try out a great range which have suited every stage of our mini reviewers. Each of the brushes that we have tried come in a range of designs and there are other brushes suited for different ages and stages. Take a look at the Brush-Baby website where you will find their whole range of products which also includes dental wipes and toothpastes.
We've been using bandana shape bibs since our eldest was a baby (over 7 years ago), we found that they had a better fit round the neck which meant that more dibble (and sick) was caught and stopped the clothes underneath getting wet so quickly. Funky Giraffe Bibs have a gorgeous collection of bibs for you to choose from; the designs are fresh and fun and there are so many to choose from that there is something to suit every taste. The quality of the bibs is outstanding, made from cotton on the front and a lovely soft fleece layer on the back which helps to stop any dampness soaking through. The bandana bibs come with nickel-free popper fastenings and the printed bibs have a water-based ink used on them which is solvent free. Each bib has the Funky Giraffe motif on a label stitched on to the side which also contains washing instructions.
Also available are matching bib and teether sets; I love the design of these teethers - they have a wooden ring and tied on to the ring is the fabric that matches the bib in two petal shapes. They are really easy for little ones to grab and hold and I think the combination of materials makes them really interesting and tactile for babies.
Funky Giraffe bibs are great value for money, at just £3.00 each or £5.00 for the matching teether sets. There is also a range of other accessories on their website and we recommend the 'Scood' scarves as they are safe for little ones with popper fastenings at the back and will keep them just as warm as a standard scarf. Head over to the Funky Giraffe website to take a look!
We were very kindly sent a Clutch Bag from Messy Me to review. We have two little ones in nappies at the moment and our main changing bag is enormous; it's heavy, bulky and full of stuff that half the time never gets used but I need to have with me 'just in case'. I do lots of short trips as we have two older children too and most of the time if I am out for less than a couple of hours I will drag the huge changing bag along with me and find that I never need to touch it. The Messy Me Clutch Bag is perfect for these trips; it is made from oil cloth so it is easy to keep clean and you also get an oil cloth changing mat inside which is finished off with clear piping around the edges to match the bag and the bag fastens with a large velcro tab.
The clutch bag measures 30cm x 19cm and I was really surprised at the size of it as I can fit in much more than I thought I would be able to. The changing mat measures 52cm x 41cm which is more generous than most mats that come with changing bags. When I first packed it for a trip out I added three nappies, the changing mat, a few nappy bags, a full pack of wipes and a large bib. There was still room for more and since then I also carry around a muslin and a small bottle of hand sanitiser.
I love the design of the bag as it doesn't look like a changing bag and the styling of the front flap is a nice touch. I have been using this almost every day over the past couple of weeks, sometimes I haven't needed it, but I know it is there in the car or the buggy if I do. There have been occasions where I have done a quick trip and decided not to take our big changing bag out, and you can guarantee that one of them needs changing within 5 minutes of leaving so the ease of having this little one is great. It also makes a huge difference to the weight of the buggy just carrying this little bag around. It now lives in the car so I don't even have to remember to pick it up, I just bring it in to refill it and it's straight back in there!
The Clutch Bag is £18.50 you can buy it from Messy Me; click here to visit their website and take a look at all the other products that are available. Messy Me specialise in a range of items that aim to keep your little ones mess free and easy to clean!
The Beaba Silicone Meal Set comprises of a dusky pink plate with suction base, a grey bowl with a suction base, a deep pink cup and a clear and pink spoon.
The plate has raised sides which stops food being accidentally pushed off the edge and the suction base will help keep the plate in one place which will stop food ending up on the floor. It is a good size, perfect for a toddler as sometimes meal sets have fairly small plates which are quickly grown out of. The bowl also has the advantage of the suction base and the gently curved sides make it easier for your little one to scoop their food from it. The set also comes with a lovely silicone cup, we don't have any other silicone cups so it we enjoyed finding out if it was any different to use; the silicone has far more grip than a plastic cup or beaker, it grips better on the surface it has been placed on, there is no 'donk' when it's put back down on the table and in my opinion it is far more tactile. The final item is a silicone spoon and this again is of a decent size suited to toddlers, rather than babies.
Every item in the set is microwave and dishwasher safe, or you can wash them in warm soapy water. Your little one will love having their own set of tableware and the suction bases ensure mealtimes will be spill-free. The Beaba Silicone Meal Set also comes in a blue set and would make a perfect gift. Take a look at the other great products Beaba offer here.
A good bib is essential when you have little ones, from weaning until a good few years after that. Sleeved bibs are always a preference as they are the best at protecting the clothes underneath and the Beaba Sleeved Bib does just that. Made from a flexible plastic material, the bib allows your little one to move around freely without restriction and it closes behind the back of the neck with a velcro fastening which keeps it on well. The bib is quick and easy to put on and has the bonus of being anti-stain which means it stays looking good, unlike many cotton bibs we have that stain easily and the stains are impossible to remove. The bib can also be used as a coverall for messy activities such as painting and crafts, it can be easily wiped clean with a damp sponge which is another benefit of this material; once a cotton bib is dirty it has to go in to the wash and then be dried before it can be used again, but with this one it will be ready for the next mealtime.
We have used this bib on our toddler for every mealtime over the last week and all marks from bolognaise to dried on cereal have been easy to clean off. The bib is a great size too and will fit your little one for a long time so it's great value for money. The gorgeous bunny, deer and bird design with grey edging is unisex and it would make a lovely gift. See more products from Beaba here.
Aqua Wipes are biodegradable baby wipes which means that over just a few weeks they will break down, whereas normal baby wipes usually contain non-biodegradable plastics and could take up to 100 years to disappear. Baby wipes have been in the news recently as we use so many and they are not good for the environment, so it's great to see wipes that are helping to tackle the problem. The wipes are suitable from birth, dermatologically tested and are formulated with more than 99% purified water, they have organic Aloe Vera and are plastic, perfume and paraben free. Aqua Wipes come in two different pack sizes - standard packs of 64 wipes (measuring 19cm x 16cm) and a travel pack of 12.
The wipes themselves feel really soft and moist, they are smooth and moisturising on the skin and they clean really well. We used them on four children; two in nappies and the older two for sticky hands and faces when out and about. Our youngest has eczema and these were really gentle on his skin. The travel pack was great for keeping to hand in the car and I now have one in my mini changing bag (2 nappies, 2 bags, wipes, muslin & a spare bodysuit) which I use if I'm just nipping out quickly and it is so much more convenient than having a large pack in there. Aqua Wipes are stocked in lots of retailers including Amazon and Ocado, for more information head over to the Aqua Wipes website.
I was really excited to receive my Itsy Blitz in the post as we are currently weaning baby number four, so not only have we had lots of weaning practice, but it also means that we have a busy household so we love products that make life that little bit easier.
The Itsy Blitz is a portable baby food blender, it has a rechargeable battery so you can take it out with you as well as use it at home. In the box you get the Itsy Blitz blender unit, charging base, plug (with adapters for other countries) USB charging cable, blender blade, blender bowl, spoon, carry pouch and instructions. I followed the instructions to charge the blender before we started using it and I decided to use it at home a few times to get to grips with it! I had made a large batch of bolognaise earlier in the day for everyone else so I decided to try and blend some up for our youngest. I filled the bowl around halfway, as directed, and then added some water so it wasn't too thick.
The blade screws easily on to the bowl which you then slot on to the blender. Press the button to blend the food for a few seconds at a time. If it gets stuck you can simply take the pot off and give it a bit of a shake to dislodge any bits that have got stuck and then carry on. We are a couple of months in to weaning so I didn't blend it in to a complete puree, but kept a little bit of texture. I was really impressed by the end result as it was so evenly blended.
Over the following days I also blended cheesy vegetables as well as fruit with some yoghurt instead of adding water. I made these with varying degrees of smoothness, the Itsy Blitz leaves you in complete control of how pureed or how lumpy you want to make your baby's food. This means that the blender won't just be useful through those early weaning days, it will grow with your baby as they are able to eat more textured foods.
So, after using the Itsy Blitz at home, we ventured out with it! We live near the coast and love taking walks along the seafront and going to the arcades with the children. There is a very child-friendly cafe close to the beach which we will often eat in so this was where we tried it out for the first time. Our second youngest is only 20 months so she can eat most things from a children's menu but often won't finish them (especially if there is a long wait and she's filled herself up on biscuit bribes). I ordered her a tomato pasta dish so I could steal a bit for the baby. I used the Itsy Blitz in the exact same way as I did at home and slotted the pot on to the blender after filling it with the pasta dish. Just 15 seconds in the blender created a dish perfect for the little one and I could feed him straight from the blender bowl. I usually have a spoon with me but if you do forget one then the Itsy Blitz also come with a spoon that attaches to the blender unit so it doesn't get lost. We were inside so I did wonder if the blender would be noisy, or if anyone would notice us using it, but it wasn't too noisy at all and we didn't disturb anyone. You can screw the bowl back on to the blade to keep it tidy until you get home to wash it. I must say that I felt really good that the little one's meal was essentially free, and it also meant that no food was wasted.
You will save a huge amount of money if you would usually use jars and pouches; on average a pouch of food (one serving) costs around £1.50. If you use two of these a day for just six months it would cost you almost £500. I made a large lasagne this week that made two servings for all three children and two adults, I also made three small portions on the Itsy Blitz. It was impossible to work out the exact costs as I didn't use full packets of ingredients, but at the very most each baby portion was 20 pence, which would be make it just £73 for the same period.
Every part of the Itsy Blitz is dishwasher safe (apart from the charging base and the main blender unit) which is always handy and the carry pouch is great for keeping everything together, you can grab it quickly as you leave the house and it stays charged for several meals so you don't need to worry about getting it out to charge it all the time.
With our eldest child I had loads of spare time, I remember spending hours in the kitchen cooking, blending and freezing huge batches of food every weekend so the baby always had home-cooked, nutritious meals and I knew exactly that was in each one. With baby number two I had less time but I was still cooking every night for the older one so I would use a small kitchen blender for making the meals smoother. However, this was frustrating as it never got the food that smooth and the odd jar of food did creep in here and there. With baby number three there was very little home-cooked food. I would cook for the older two but I often just found that a lack of time stopped me making anything from scratch and the small blender I had used in the years before had long broken. The Itsy Blitz blender has really made it possible to start giving our baby better food again; the bowl makes the perfect amount for a portion size, it is quick and easy to use, it works extremely well to evenly blend all types of food that are put in it and the fact that it is portable means it can go wherever you go!
The My Little Treasure box is an absolutely beautiful chest in which you can keep baby keepsakes, as well as having a special place on top that you can display your child's hand or foot print which can be made using the included kit. The box has three drawers at the front which are a good size as they are almost as deep as the box (12cm), under these is one large drawer and there is also one drawer in each side. Each drawer has a small ribbon tab so that you can pull them out easily and under the lid are four compartments and a space for adding a photo. One large ribbon is tied to keep the box lid secure.
The box comes with a small tube of baby-safe white paint, a roller for application and instructions for use. I decided to do a footprint as my mini reviewer was far too interested in trying to grab everything with his hands! For the print you use the blank card which sits in the lid of the box, open the tube of paint and use the roller to apply it all over your child's hand or foot. As quickly as possible, before it dries, hold your child's hand down on to the card while keeping it as still as you can to make the print and then take the card away and leave it to dry for a few hours. Make sure you wash the paint off your baby straight away! The print can then be displayed on top of the keepsake box.
The box can be used to store all sorts of mementos such as your baby's hospital bracelet, a first lock of hair, first booties, special gifts and even baby teeth once they are a little older. I really like the size of this box (21cm L x 13cm W x 15cm H), it stores so much more than any baby memory boxes I have had in the past as it makes such good use of space. The My Little Treasure baby keepsake box would make the perfect baby shower or christening gift and I love the unisex colours. It currently retails for £24.99 and you can browse the range of other other from Baby Art here.
The VTech Little Friendlies Glow & Giggle Playmat is a refreshing change from the usual round playmats with crossing arches over them. This playmat is rectangular with a single arch over the middle. On the arch are four removable toys (a caterpillar, a bee, a butterfly with crinkly wings and a mirror), these can be taken off and easily attached to items like your baby's car seat or buggy so that they can enjoy them when you are out and about.
At the end of the playmat is a piano activity centre comprising of a large tree with light up buttons which give great visual stimulation and a piano with 4 buttons, a spinning ball, animal, colour or shape modes and volume controls. It plays 6 different songs and has 20 melodies for your child to enjoy and introduces them to colours, shapes and animals. The mat itself is comfortable and well padded and is bright and interesting to look at. This playmat grows with your child as it can be used when your baby is lying on their back where they can grab at the dangling animals and shapes, they can also kick the piano buttons if they are placed close to it. It can then be used for tummy time as the piano can be raised slightly to make it sit at an easy angle for your baby to play with. Once your baby is sitting, the piano can again be moved so your baby can sit and play with it at the correct height. It is perfect for motor skills and will generate hours of fascinating play for your baby.
The Little Friendlies Glow & Giggle Playmat has plenty to stimulate your baby and to keep them entertained. It is well designed and thought out as well as having the high quality that you would expect from Vtech toys. The playmat is suitable for use from birth onwards and currently retails for £42.99.
My tiny reviewer is 8 months old and we have been weaning him now for a couple of months. He is baby number four and just as we did with the others, we are sticking with purees and some finger food, rather than baby-led weaning. The Baby Wings Mash 'n' Stash Weaning Pots store up to 10 portions of food in 60ml/2oz sections. The 10 serving pots are all joined together in a flexible silicone tray and silicone lid. The trays are also microwave and freezer safe, and can be placed on to the top rack of the dishwasher as well as in the oven up to 218 degrees C. Products like this are essential in our home as it makes a huge difference being able to wash them with everything else, so this is a real plus point for us!
To use the pots you simply have to make up your baby's food and then pour or spoon it in to each of the pots and then put the lid on. If the food is still warm then it is advised to leave it until it reaches room temperature and then put the tray in the freezer. If you have more than one tray then they will stack neatly on top of each other to save space. When you want a portion of food the silicone pots allow you to easily pop out one serving at a time in to a bowl ready for defrosting. We have found at 8 months that two of the servings is about right for our baby's appetite.
We have found these pots really useful as I will often make up a large bolognese base or similar that I can use with pasta and rice for the other three children and two adults. I can blend up some of it and then freeze it and add mashed pasta or rice to it to make easy and quick meals for the youngest. They are really easy to use and the frozen food pops out really easily due to the flexible silicone tray. The silicone used for the tray and lid is made from LGFB and FDA approved food grade silicone and has no fillers. Food grade silicone is naturally free from BPA, Phthalatites, PVC, Lead and Cadmium or other toxins so they are totally safe for your little ones.
The Baby Wings Mash 'n' Stash Weaning Pots also come with 3 quick and easy recipes on the back of the packet, a really great idea as sometimes you do run out of ideas and you wouldn't always think about putting certain food together. The Mash 'n' Stash Weaning Pots currently retail at £9.93 and can be found over on the Baby Wings website.
We love wooden toys, and this gorgeous pull along toy from Hape is really different. Tito the Turtle has a green shell on his back that is filled with a dark green liquid that slowly sloshes from one chamber to the next.. The shell cleverly moves round while Tito is being pulled along which your little one will find fascinating. Tito is very strong, sturdy and of the high quality that you would expect from Hape products and the bright lime green colour is very attractive. The shell has four compartments inside in which the liquid can move in and out of as Tito moves. The tail on Tito twists and the shell is removable so your little one can take a closer look at what is going on inside.
Tito is aimed at children of 10+ months as it encourages them to learn to walk and balance. You can watch your child work out that they can make the water go in a different direction by making Tito go backwards. This is a really lovely toy and one that would also make a fantastic gift. Tito currently retails at £14.99.
The Ultimate Baby Box
This is an absolutely fantastic gift for any new mum. It really does contain everything a new born baby needs. I can really imagine the overwhelming joy that will come from receiving this box when expecting a baby and it is simply wonderful to unpack - so exciting. It all comes in the lovely box shown below, which can be used as baby's first bed, with the mattress and sheet that are included. Even if you already have a cot, the box would be ideal for use at a grandparent's house, or for a few days away. It will also make a super toy box and the design is perfect for a boy or a girl - as are all the contents of the box. Read the full review here.
We have been testing out the Wetherby Teething Necklace in Lavender and Marble from Nibbling. This was an ideal time to review this teething necklace as our youngest reviewer is currently the proud owner of three (very nearly four) teeth.
These necklaces are a brilliant idea for mums who want to wear jewellery and accessorise an outfit but don't want their baby to grab at it and break it. The necklaces are made from food-grade silicone beads so they are completely safe for a baby to chew on. This particular design has three large beads in the middle and six round beads on each side. They are held together on a 66cm purple cord which has a safe, break-away clasp. This clasp allows the baby to gently tug on the necklace but it will come apart with any more pressure than this.
The different shapes of the beads on the necklace give it a tactile feel for your little one and they can happily chew away at them as the silicone is soft to touch as well as being soft against their sore gums. The necklace is stylish and will hold your baby's attention. There is a huge range of styles, designs and colours to choose from on the Nibbling website.
The necklace is also dishwasher and steriliser safe so you can be sure that it is as clean as it can be for your baby to chew on. This particular necklace retails for £22 and can be purchased directly from Nibbling here. While you are there take a look at the other teething items which include bracelets, dummy clips, rattles and teethers.
Googly Fruit Organic are on a mission to help children make a lifelong friendship with fruit and vegetables. They make eating fruit and veg fun for toddlers with their range of tasty and attractive 100% organic fruit and veg snacks.
We were sent a delicious box full of goodies to try out. Inside the box we received a selection of Crunchy Puffs, Real Fruit made Crunchy, Squeezy Pouches, stickers, googly eyes and a brilliantly illustrated alphabet book to help children learn about different types of fruit and veg. I had no problem finding testers and soon had my 6, 4 and 1 year old mini reviewers trying out the snacks!
Crunchy Puffs: These are a great alternative to crisps, they are air-puffed bites which are coated in tasty carrot powder and a few drops of sunflower oil. We tried them in Corn & Carrot, Corn, Banana & Strawberry and Corn and Tomato flavours and they were all equally popular. The serving size is just right and they are healthy as well as delicious.
Real Fruit made Crunchy: We had a packet of strawberry snacks inside our box, they are made from 100% fruit pieces which have been freeze-dried to make them in to crunchy bites. I really like these as the children feel like they have had a bit of a cheeky sweet treat but I am happy knowing that they haven't had something filled with sugar. My mini reviewers enjoyed the texture of these as they start off crunchy and then feel like they melt in your mouth a little once you start eating them.
Squeezy Pouches: These pouches contain 100% fruit and veg, and just like the other Googly Fruits products they contain no added flavourings, colourings or preservatives. They also count towards your child's 5-a-day and are perfect for taking out and about with their spill-free pouches. My youngest reviewer tried these pouches out for me, and although she can't talk yet, she didn't leave a drop in them so I would say they are pretty tasty too!
The design of the packaging is very appealing and fun, the snack flavours have been formulated for young palates and the size of the pieces are designed for small hands. The fruit and veg all have names such as: Carl Carrot, David Dragonfruit and Suzie Strawberry.
I am a parent who is often concerned about what is in the snacks my children eat and I was very impressed by the Googly Fruits range. All the snacks we tried were thoroughly enjoyed by my mini reviewers and they had a giggle at the googly faces, as well as making a couple of their own!
Googly Fruit Organic snacks are available to buy from Ocado, Superdrug, health stores and other independent retailers. For more information, along with fun activities then head on over to www.googlyfruit.co.uk.
Nibbling are a London based company set up by a Canadian born mum of three. Nibbling produce a range of teething rattles, jewellery and toys.
We were sent the Elephant teething toy to review. It is made from food-safe silicone which is safe for teething babies to chew on as this is the material that dummies and bottle teats are made from. The elephant design is simple yet attractive and is very easy for a young baby to hold. It comes with a black cord with a break-free clasp so it can be worn by an adult as a pendant or attached to a buggy or car seat.
The silicone teether is soft and tactile so babies enjoy holding it, it is lightweight and is smooth on one side and textured on the other. The teether is BPA free, Phthalate free and free from heavy metals and it is dishwasher safe which is always a bonus! With a baby of teething age this teether has proved to be very popular and the shape of it makes it easy to attach to the buggy when we are out and about without it getting lost.
The elephant teether retails for £12 and can be purchased via the Nibbling website, to take a look at the full Nibbling range visit them over at www.nibbling.co.uk.
Yummikeys original keys for babies are an exciting and unique sensory toy, designed and manufactured in the UK from stainless steel. Yummikeys come beautifully presented in a ribbon wrapped carton and have their own brushed cotton bag, you feel like you have purchased a gift, not a toy, the high quality and thought that has gone in to the product is very apparent from the start.
We were very excited to be reviewing Yummikeys, having 3 children myself and knowing lots of family and friends with babies, they have all seemed more interested in the bunch of house keys than the dozens of toys bought to entertain them! Yummikeys come as a set of 3 different shaped keys - zebra, crocodile and elephant, held together by a chunky keyring. This makes them really easy for babies to pick up themselves and hold on to. They are made from stainless steel (like your cutlery is) so they are perfectly safe for babies. The stainless steel is naturally bacteria resistant so the keys are hygienic, easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Stainless steel is also very strong so the Yummikeys will last without breaking even if dropped or thrown.
I tested the Yummikeys on my 9 month old, who has yet to cut her first tooth, but is very nearly there! They were an immediate hit, as soon as I jangled them in front of her she beamed at me and grabbed for them. They went straight to her mouth and to be honest, she barely put them down for the rest of the afternoon. They make noises like a real bunch of keys so they are fun to shake around and the keys are polished so they have a reflection which your baby will find fascinating to look at. The metal is soothing to your baby's gums and each key has a different and interesting texture.
Yummikeys are aimed at babies aged 6 months and over who can sit unaided. They are a unique toy and we love the fact that they are made in the UK. Yummikeys now offer an engraving service, which I think is a lovely way to make them in to a keepsake, or if you are looking to buy a gift for someone then these are absolutely ideal. Yummikeys retail at £29.50 and can be purchased from the Yummikeys website here. For more information they can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Noddy Toyland Detective is a new game from the brilliant Kuato Studios, made in connection with Dreamworks Animation. Noddy has been a firm children's favourite for decades, starting off as popular books and now loved by new generations through the popular TV series. The Noddy Toyland Detective game enables you to help Noddy navigate his way around by driving Noddy's car along the on-screen map and solving mysteries by finding clues and playing mini games. Noddy is helped out by his friends who include Pat Pat and the Panda Pockets, Mr Squeaks, Fuse the Robot, the Naughticorns, Bumpy Dog and Revs the Car. Noddy uses a 'Who, What, Where' tablet to help him find the answers to the mysteries. Clues will appear as a silhouette on the screen and as you drive around you will find the clues, after which the image will be shown in colour. Each time a mystery is solved a storybook of your adventure is created that can be read with an adult, this helps to build on language skills through storytelling and memory skills as your child recalls what they have discovered and where they have visited.
As you travel around the map you can stop and play mini games which include jigsaw puzzles, making music with the Pirate Band and a sentence builder in which you can create questions through a series of given words. The game gives the user the freedom to explore where you want which is especially good for younger players who may not have the attention span to focus on one thing for too long. Revs the car is also customisable which really appealled to my testers as they could have it any colour they wanted! A great feature for adults is 'grown-up' corner which is passcode protected and allows you to set the length of time that your child plays the app for, gives you help with gameplay and the set up of email notifications when your child has created a new case.
We were particularly impressed with this game as it was designed with teachers, along with parents and children in order to develop literacy skills and aptitudes. The app has a clear focus on developing creativity through play. Noddy Toyland Detective is full of bright, fun colours, there is so much to discover as you help Noddy drive around finding clues to help solve mysteries. The game is aimed at ages 5 and below, perfect for this age group of children who will be just starting to read and expanding their creativity.
Noddy Toyland Detective costs £2.99 and can been downloaded through the Apple Store or from Google Play. If you enjoy this games then take a look at the other excellent games that Kuato Studios offer here.
Dinosaur Train: Paint & Match
Based on the popular Dinosaur Train TV series from the Jim Henson Company, Kuato Studios bring you Dinosaur Train: Paint & Match. This educational game unleashes your child's creativity as they play along with Buddy the dinosaur and colour in fun filled pictures of his friends and their adventures!
There are 24 dinosaur themed pictures to colour in, you can choose to use a paint brush or a pencil. The pencil leaves solid colour on the image giving equal coverage and the paint brush cleverly starts off with a light colour which gets darker as you go over the same area more than once, giving budding young artists a chance to create impressive effects. The pencil and paint brush each have 3 tip sizes and the colour can be changed by spinning the palette at the bottom of the screen, if you make a mistake there is an eraser too. When you have finished you can press the camera icon which takes a snapshot of your drawing and the app then notifies you by email that your child has created a new drawing (once you have entered your details in to the in-app settings).
The second game is a memory game. There are 4 difficulty levels in which you can choose 6, 12, 16 or 20 train ticket cards. You get 3 seconds to see where the cards are before they flip over and you can begin to play. A 60 second timer sits at the top and the aim is to find all the pairs before your time is up. You simply tap the cards you want to turn over to see if you have a match, they then stay face up once you have found a pair. This game is great for encouraging memory skills and the different levels mean that your child will continue to use the app as their skill level grows.
The app has fantastic quality graphics and is very aesthetically pleasing with fun, bright colours. It is simple and straight forward to use, it can be easily navigated by a young child, it is well laid out and the games boost hand-eye coordination. My testers were a 4 year old girl and a 5 year old boy and both really enjoyed using it, they never asked for help while playing and both games held their interest for a good period of time. Dinosaur Train: Paint & Match is aimed at ages 5 and under and this app perfectly fits those ages.
|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.|
|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.
|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."
|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.
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.
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.
abcChildren 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.
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 longsummer 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 |
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 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 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
The egg changes colour so you can monitor that the temperature is safe just by glancing into baby's room.
|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
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.
|;||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.
|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.
|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.
|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 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
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.
|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.
'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.
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.
|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.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.
| 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 and Patch from Safe Dreams |
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 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.
|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.
|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 bodyis 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.
|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 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?
| Theraline Animal Neck Pillow |
Babies and young children can look so uncomfortable when their heads flop to the side when they aresleeping 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.
|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.'
|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.
| Classic Waterproof Dungarees |
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.