As part of our preparations to get the mobile site up and running we are changing the way we do reviews to make sure they work just as well on a phone or tablet as they do on the desktop site.
This means discontinuing the old-style review pages and moving them onto the forums instead. We will also be losing the product reviews topic on the forums as we reckon it's far easier to find reviews for beauty products, say, under 'Style and beauty' or great hotels under 'Travel' than it is to trawl through reams of things that are not relevant to your search.
That bit coming soon - but for now we will be reposting all your reviews for baby equipment on this thread so that the info is still available to anyone who'd like to use it. Of course if you have others that you would like to rave/moan about do feel free to add here too.
Baby equipment(34 Posts)
Babydumdum soother, Cuddle Kids - overall rating 10/10
(2011) Sophie is an iconic teething toy made of natural rubber. It has a squeak and is just right size for little hands to hold and to get their fingers around.
Silver Cross Simplicity Group 0+ Car Seat and ISOFIX base - overall rating 10/10
(2015) I received the Simplicity Group 0+ Car Seat to review from Silver Cross, in Black - a rearward facing car seat suitable from birth to 13kg (approx 9-12 months).
We've been using this car seat since day one, coming home from hospital with our first born. After a 41 hour labour and long sleepless stay on the postnatal ward, nerves were jangling about how to make sure we didn't break this new tiny thing. This car seat was really easy to use, even for the exceptionally sleep-deprived. And although our daughter looked absolutely tiny in it, the padding around her head reassured us that she was perfectly comfy and safe in there.
Our baby is now 4 months old and fills up a lot more of the car seat but she still looks perfectly happy in there. There are a few really great things about this car seat:
- It clips into and out of the ISOFIX base really easily, and has green/red indicators on the base to tell you whether you've clipped it in correctly or not
- The straps adjust really easily by pressing a button on the front of the seat and pulling the straps at the same time. This is really handy if you have a wriggly baby because you can loosen them to strap them in then pull them tighter again once their in.
- The adaptors that you put on the bottom of the car seat to make it go on your buggy (we have the Silver Cross Surf2 travel system but I believe you can use this car seat with other pushchairs/travel systems too) don't need to be put on and removed every time you want to put the car seat on the buggy base - you can just leave them on all the time if you want to. That obviously minimises the risk of losing an adaptor and makes it really simple to clip them in and out of the car and onto the buggy.
The car seat is only compatible with the Simplicity ISOFIX base, which is a shame, because this is a really good quality and easy to use and install car seat base, but we'll have to get a different one when we move up to the next size of car seat. That's the only slight negative about this car seat but otherwise we absolutely love it.
We opted for black but there are loads of colours to choose from and the fabric is lovely. The removable apron is also quite handy when it's cold and/or wet for added protection from the elements.
(2014) I received the Simplcity Car Seat and ISOFIX base to review from Silver Cross. The car seat is rear facing and is perfect for newborns up to infants of 13kg. The seat slots easily onto the ISOFIX base and is also designed to slot right on top of your Surf2 for those early days when you have a newborn, which can make your life easier. I have the Simplcity in ‘Aubergine’ to match my Surf2, and it looks really snazzy! One of the things I love most about the Silver Cross range is the wealth of colours that you can choose from and the excellent high quality nature of the materials that they use - it's so reasuring, especially for nervous parents of a newborn! The Simplicity also comes in: Chilli Red, Lime Green, Raspberry Pink, Sand, Sky Blue, Damson Purple and Black.
I have found the Simplicty Car Seat to be super simple to slot into to my car - especially if you have an ISOFix base. I’ve also trialled it without the ISOFIX base (with a seat belt in the 'old fashioned' way), and it was very easy indeed to instal. I’ve felt really confident putting my newborn in the seat because I trust the Silver Cross brand and I know that the seat is specifically designed to aid the transition from newborn to infant. In these early days, we were quite nervous about everything (!), so we spent a lot of time wiggling it this way and that to ensure that it felt secure before putting our PFB in there, and it really didn’t move at all, which was very reassuring. The seat has a 5 point harness and the materials used are of a really high quality. The shoulder pads and straps seem to be really comfy and the seat itself is cosy looking, especially the newborn insert for those early months. I feel confident that my DD is well supported with the newborn insert. The apron is proving particularly handy now that the weather is getting colder.
The Simplicity seems pretty perfect so far, and I have been recommending it (especially as part of the whole Silver Cross travel system) to all my friends who are pregnant. It's just so great to have a product that is reliably safe, looks great and comfy for my little one. I would definitely recommend it - especially as part of the whole Travel System. It's been a real hit in our house!
For more info on the product, visit the Silver Cross website: http://www.silvercrossbaby.com/our-products/car-seats/simplicity/
(2014) I received the Simplicity Group 0+ Car Seat and ISOFIX base to review from Silver Cross, in Simplicity Aubergine - a rearward facing car seat suitable from birth to 13kg (approx 9-12 months).
There were so many colours to choose from; Chilli Red, Black, Lime Green, Damson Purple, Raspberry Pink, Sky Blue and Sand.
The instructions for the seat were really clear, almost too easy with illustrations. The ISOFIX base was easy to install, with a simple one-click attachment and four indicators that show green when it's correctly fitted. There is also a green indicator on the leg of the base to show it's made contact with the floor. The base came with ISOFIX guide cups, which made it so much easier to put into place.
The seat clicked onto the base seamlessly and clicks out just as easily. When the seat is in there is a green indicator showing. I'm very impressed with how secure it feels, even when we try to move it about.
The seat has a five point harness and a head support that can be adjusted with the baby in the seat. The straps and shoulder pads are soft and our baby appears to be comfy. We haven't used the apron yet as it's quite hot in the car, but I imagine it'll come in handy during the colder months. The hood has been great at blocking out the sun light.
I would definitely recommend this car seat and base to others. It's reasonably priced and as the name suggests, really simple and easy to use. It's not compatible with the pram I have, but you can create a full travel system with Silver Cross's Surf 2, Pioneer, Wayfarer, Sleepover, Freeway and Reflex.
Time has flown by and my baby is now five months old! I've since stripped the car seat and washed seat cover in the washing machine, following the guidelines on the labels. I was a bit anxious about doing this (but my baby was sick ALL OVER the seat so I didn't have much of a choice...) but it came out perfectly fine and fresh.
I love how easy it is to click the car seat into the ISOFIX base, so I can strap him in and carry him quickly to the car without faffing about in the cold.
We've also had to readjust the straps as they were starting to press his shoulders down. We were too lazy to dig out the instructions, but we worked it out in a matter of minutes. There is a flap at the back of the carseat and you can move the hight of the straps with a clip - it's really that easy.
I stand by this carseat, it's brilliant!
You can visit the Silver Cross website here: www.silvercrossbaby.com
Sophie Le Giraffe teether - overall rating 10/10
(2014) I received a Sophie Le Giraffe teether to review. I like how it's made of natural rubber and food grade paint. It's very soft - unlike lots of other teethers on sale. It's especially light and a good size, for a baby to grab and hold onto. The cute giraffe has actually become a favourite for my four-year-old, who obviously doesn't use it as a teether, but as an animal to play with in his barn (who knew you could find giraffes on a farm?) Multi-purpose toy it seems!
(2012) As soon as I gave the giraffe to my 16wks old, she knew instinctively what to do with it. She loves the fact that it squeaks as well. Lovely & soft, she can easily get her gums round the various parts of the giraffe to get some relief. Easy clean with soapy water & a soft cloth. Do not sterilise. Would definitely recommend.
(2011) Sophie is an iconic teething toy made of natural rubber. It has a squeak and is just right size for little hands to hold and to get their fingers around.
Baby Bjorn travel cot light - overall rating 10/10
Small children do not travel light. From prams to car seats, thermometers, nappies, countless clothing changes, sterilisers, toys etc, it's easy to forget your own bag when trying to remember all the paraphernalia your little one might need. When my daughter was first born we were travelling a fair amount. She had clocked up airmiles to South Africa and Australia as well as various places in Europe before she was 6 months old. And that't not counting a camping trip, a stay in Cornwall and a weekend in Scotland to see the grandparents. Getting her to acclimatise and sleep in new environments was sometimes challenging, not least because she had to get used to a new cot on each occasion - or when one wasn't available she had to be in with us. The travel cot we had was extremely heavy and quite frankly a pain to put up and even more so to put down. I don't think I ever managed it to be honest - my other half battled with it each time. And the mattress was really thin and hard. We ended up putting a duvet underneath it to cushion it which wasn't ideal.
I was sceptical at first when asked to review the Baby Bjorn Travel Cot. Although I'm a big fan of the brand - I love their carriers and have only heard excellent things about their bouncer - I wondered how different it could be from all the other travel cots I've used over the years. My son is 3 months old and we tested it out recently on a trip up to see my inlaws.
Firstly, the weight. At only 6kgs it's much lighter than anything else we've used and the handy case and carry handle make it really easy to pick up with one hand while carrying a baby in the other.
The instructions are straightforward - although to be honest you shouldn't really need them. Once up, it looks deceptively small but my almost 3 year old (who is average to tall for her age) insisted on getting in and demonstrated it was (just) big enough for her too.
The mattress is lovely and comfortable. My old travel cot (which weighted a tonne!) came with a really thin and hard mattress. This is pure luxury in comparison.
My little boy is a good sleeper but even so in a new environment I expected a little bit of restlessness during the night. But he seemed quite comfortable and didn't stir once until 5:30am (what I now consider a lie-in).
I would definitely recommend paying a little bit more for a travel cot like this. There really is not point in spending less and either a) not taking it with you because it weighs too much or takes up too much room or b) your little one isn't comfortable and you're up half the night anyway. Sleep is paramount...
Baby Crawl and Learn Bright Lights Ball, Vtech - overall rating 10/10
(2014) If your baby is starting to learn to crawl and you’re looking for a toy to encourage him or her… then this may the toy for you! It’s called the VTech Baby Crawl and Learn Bright Lights Ball and it is, without question, one of the biggest motivators to get my little boy moving around! As he is attempting to crawl, the bright lights, sounds, and constant movement of the ball capture his attention and he tries to reach this fascinating little contraption! He is now rather swift at pulling himself across the floor to chase after it! Just a matter of time now before I will be running around the lounge trying to keep up with him – oh how time flies…….
The VTech Ball has a motorized random movement which, in combination with the sound and lights, is what really helps promote the crawling and motor development. It is an interactive moving ball with a specially built-in motor activated to make the ball roll around. It lights up and plays different music too – either by pushing the buttons on its surface or it will play catchy songs at random.
It’s such a fantastic idea as it's very durable, has great movement, bright colours, textures, music and encourages learning of shapes, numbers and animals.
My son loves the flashing lights and different noises. It’s a magical little ball as, even though we have had it now for a number of months, we have recently found a few new sounds to sing to! It is easy to use and the buttons are really sensitive, so great for younger babies. We purchased it when my son was about 5 months old to encourage him to sit up too.
I have to say in the beginning I thought this just a gimmicky toy that would be stored and never played with. Boy was I so wrong. This is definitely a must-have toy! It encourages learning with play, therefore is an absolute favourite of mine.
Bamboozle cloth - overall rating 10/10
(2011) These cloth nappies are just amazing. They are beautifully made, really pretty, an amazing saving against disposable nappies, smell far nicer than disposables, are good for the environment and maintain optimum hip position for babies. They are easy to wash and dry and have an excellent resale value. Babies are far less likely to have nappy rash too. Couldn't recommend them more.
Buggy clip/lock, Jo Jo Maman Bebe - overall rating 10/10
(2011) This is an amazing little inexpensive piece of equipment (£9) that clips on to the buggy handle. You can either clip your handbag/shopping to it or you can clip the buggy to a fence or something if you are leaving your buggy, for instance when visiting a castle or such. It has a simple combination lock. There is also a cheaper version (£6) without a lock simply for hanging shopping on to. Don't know how we managed without it!!
Diono Buggy Buddy - overall rating 10/10
(2014) As a new parent you can be inundated with 'stuff' for your baby. Separating the pointless knick knacks from the clever gadgets that really do make your life that little bit easier is difficult task. The Diono Buggy Buddy definitely falls under the latter category. With adjustable velcro fastening it fits easily onto any pushchair or buggy and it's the perfect place for keeping to hand those everyday essentials - keys, phone, credit card. With two insulated drink holders as well as a zipped compartment for valuables, this has saved me many an awkward fumble in my blackhole of a change bag looking for house keys in the middle of a downpour!
Dummy (0-2 months/0-6 months), Mam - overall rating 10/10
(2011) Mam dummies are brilliant, they stay in the babies' mouths and provide real comfort for the baby and sanity for parents/grandparents.
I am a nana of one and work as a maternity nurse and always recommend these dummies.
iCandy Peach 3 Pushchair - overall rating 10/10
(2014) Try it to believe it... its smooth running. Its robust, strong, smooth to drive. Feels unusually light. Clean attractive appearance. Was simple to remove from packaging when it arrived easy to put together and get started.
It glides on the pavement.
The little princess finds it comfy it seems she sits in it like she's on a throne! A princess is how she makes out to be ( not sure if that's just her personality or the way she feels when in the Peach 3).
She rode in it to the baby show last Friday and we tried it out on the bus, underground, overground and British rail all for the very first time. It was exceptionally easy to get on and of trains despite the large gap on the British rail at some stations I managed as the large wheels assist with this.
What's important to us all when we buy babies wheels is: how easy is it to fold and open? Easy if I can do it so can you check out the demo video. It fits in my A-class boot fine only have to remove one wheel that's easy too just the press of a button. The seat recline positions are great and the adjustable handles easy to adjust with a push of one button.
What would I change if anything? If only the seat lay flat I wouldn't need to buy a separate carry cot. This ones for you ICandy can you create the next version without the fixed angle so it lies completely flat? Also can you sell a set of all terrain wheels?
She sleeps well in it at 8 months even without the complete flat seat. It almost impossible to find a pushchair in this range on the market that does a lie flat position.
Forgot to mention, rain covers great - easy to put on too.
Gran gives it the thumbs up and that's all that matters in my family... Lol. One last note - the shopping basket is easily accessible and carries loads!
iMonitor Digital Video Baby Monitor, Graco - overall rating 10/10
(2012) Now this is a must for any new mum. The monitor has a very clear picture of your baby to the point that you can see them breathing. You can see your baby in colour during the day and in black and white at night when it reverts to night vision.
You can zoom in and out, set the time etc. Why is it so good? You do not rush into your baby's room every time they make a noise because you can see exactly what they are doing which is normally changing position. My daughter who is now 2 cried very little when she woke up because I would always pre-empt her waking up by the monitor. It really does give you peace of mind and reduces your little ones uneccessary crying because they are calling for their mummy.
We live in an area where both neighbours and their neighbours have babies. They are always saying how they get interference on their monitors. I have not experienced any interference at all. The range of the monitor is great and allows you to sip a Pimms in the garden during summer. A good looking, small and stylish item which fits into any home.
Lamaze Pond Motion Baby Gym - overall rating 10/10
(2014) I was given the Lamaze Pond Motion Gym to review. My DD has just turned 6 weeks, and I set up the playmat this morning in a bid to entertain her whilst I made a cup of tea (!). She was totally mesmerised with the moving animals and the mirror, in particular. The Lamaze Playmat is small enough to be tucked away in the corner of a room without making your whole house feel like it's full of baby paraphernalia, but yet there is no compromise on the quality of the product and the entertainment factor for your little one. I particularly like the fact that the arms that hover above the playmat move/rotate automatically, which in turn move the little animals that dangle from the loops, which is great fromm an entertainment perspective. It's super easy to put together, and brilliant value for money. There are two settings - each with a different 'song' that plays whilst the arms rotate. It's amazing to see my DD look up and coo and interact with the moving animals in the 'pond'. The base of the play gym is colourful and soft with different textures underneath the material which I can already see will be a delight for my DD once the crawling and turning over begins. The play gym is also great for a bit of tummy time. I'd really recommend this product.
Silver Cross Surf 2 Pram and Travel System - overall rating 10/10
I received the Silver Cross Surf2 Travel System to review, and wow – I feel like one very yummy mummy! The travel system is comprised of a pram chassis, car seat, a carry cot for newborns, and a seat for when your DC is old enough to sit up.
We had the Surf 2 Travel System delivered a couple of months before our baby was due, which was great because it allayed my fears of ‘not being ready on time’. The Silver Cross customer service was excellent. I totally fell in love with the gorgeous ‘Aubergine’ colour when we got it out of the box, and I was delighted by the prospect of our little one being all snuggled up in the carry cot. I love how stylish it looks as well - I love parading it around.
The Surf 2 comes with a carry cot designed for a newborn, and you can complete the Travel System set by adding in the Simplicity car seat. I must say that the carry cot has proved to be super useful, since our PFB is an Autumn baby and it’s perfect for keeping them nice and cosy and protected against the autumnal gusts of wind. I’d definitely get the carry cot again for future children.
You can adjust the height of the pram handle really easily (just by pressing on a button in the middle of the handle), which is really useful, and makes the whole experience more comfortable and less of a strain on your back. The materials are of a very high quality, which is noticeable in comparison to other prams. The Surf 2 looks really stylish, and I've had loads of compliments on it! The other thing I love about it, is how easy and smooth it is to push around. It doesn't feel heavy at all when out and about. The suspension is excellent, and it’s such a smooth ‘drive’ over pretty much any surface (including uneven pavements).
I was quite nervous about taking my PFB out for the first time, and found that the Surf 2 was so robust and reliable that it eased my anxiety. It’s a great pram for a nervous new mum in that respect!
The whole travel system is really easy to put together, and there are lots of useful YouTube videos showing you exactly how to go about putting it all together if you're feeling flustered in those early newborn days. The only thing I would say, is that it would be great if the basket could be a little bigger, but I can also see that that would compromise the sleek style of the rest of the pram. So I'm willing to compromise on having less storage for the shopping in favour of a neat sized pram. It’s super easy to put the pram down when using the Silver Cross Simplicity car seat - I literally lift the car seat out, pop it on the IsoFix in the car, and then collapse the body of the pram.
I completely love this pram. It's light, it has brilliant suspension, it's a smooth ride for my little one and above all, it feels very reliable and robust. It's a really high quality product. I'm delighted with it, and I'm already thinking about how great it'll be for future babies! Considering how high quality this product is, the price is a real bargain. I've received SO many compliments on it, and my new mum friends have all asked to 'have a go' on it!
Update: Now that my little one is able to sit up unaided I have swapped over the carrycot for the forward facing pushchair seat. First things first – it’s super easy to replace the carrycot for the pushchair seat – simply click it on to the chassis of the pram. I love that you can swivel the seat around, so that the lucky passenger (!) can either face you or face outwards. You can also very easily adjust the seat so that your little one can lie flat when sleeping. As with the carrycot, the pushchair seat is made of super high quality material and my little one is really comfy, safe and snug with the foot muff and 5 point harness combo. The rain cover fits on the pushchair seat very easily, which is useful since the English summer is on its way smile. I’m also really impressed with how comfortable and the car seat seems to be, since my little one still enjoys sitting in it, both in the car and on the chassis of the pram. Overall, I am so impressed with the Surf2 and I still get so many compliments with how sleek and stylish it looks – 6 months on! The carrycot was soft and safe – perfect for my newborn, and the pushchair seat is robust, and versatile, which is perfect for my 6 month old.
I’d definitely recommend this travel system. It’s such high quality, looks amazing, and is reassuringly robust and versatile.
For more info on the product, visit the Silver Cross website: www.silvercrossbaby.com/our-products/prams-and-pushchairs/surf-2/aubergine/
Skip Hop Forma change bag - overall rating 10/10
(2014) Is it too over the top to say this change bag has revolutionised my life? Where there was chaos, there is now organisation, where there used to be a number of bags and packets, there is now just one Skip Hop Forma bag fulfilling all purposes. I am smitten.
First, the outside package. It’s lightweight (you’re already carrying around a lot of stuff - no need for unnecessarily heavy fabrics weighing you down) and water resistant (no funny watermarks from being caught in the rain and easily wipeable from mucky handprints).
The bag has loads of zips and pockets and compartments so you can really organise all the gear you seem to have to carry around with you when you have little ones. Other change bags I’ve used have been really stingy with compartments and honestly this really does make all the difference when you’re one-handedly trying desperately to find the pack of wipes in a black hole of a change bag.
What I’ve found really useful are the two matching storage cubes that are included with the bag. The insulated one is great for storing my daughter’s lunch or snacks (and mine) and the second mesh one is perfectly big enough for storing a spare change of clothes for both my kids.
There’s even a slot for my purse, a little pocket for my phone - it takes me seconds to find anything.
A padded change mat is included too with it’s very own external pocket so it's easy to reach.
There are also handy straps so you can safely and easily slip the bag over the handlebars of your pushchair - very useful.
I am absolutely in love with this change bag. My previous bags have either been too small, lacking in enough separate compartments (no one wants nappies next to snacks) or too mumsy (just because you have kids does not mean you have to lose all sense of style).
I’m becoming a huge fan of Skip Hop - I recently reviewed their bath products too. Will keep on eye on their other products with interest.
Skip Hop Moby bath products - overall rating 10/10
(2014) While I can’t say my knees have ever been my piece de resistance, it’s fair to say that since I’ve had a child, they’re looking a lot more worn and rough than before. This is mostly to do with bathtime. My 2 ½ year old likes me to be very involved with bath time play and while this inevitably results in wet clothes and rough knees, I’m usually more than happy to oblige. But with summer (and summer skirts) on the horizon, I was thrilled to be asked to review the Skip Hop Moby Bath Kneeler. It comes in a cute whale design (and as such I had to convince my little one that it was for me to use, and not for her to take into the bath with her) and is large and squishy with non-slip backing (so no sliding all over the bathroom floor). It also dries really quickly and there’s a handy holder for you to hang it up on hooks or rails so it’s out of the way if you’re tight on space. My poor knees are very grateful.
We were also sent a set of three Skip Hop Dunck stacking ducks which my daughter loved pouring water in and out of. Rinsing hair is always an ordeal for us so once I feel up to the challenge I might see if these do the trick. She’s quite enthralled by the bright colours so we’re in with a chance…
Very impressed with both sets of products - will keep an eye out to see what else they do.
As a note for people wanting to buy gifts for new grandchildren/friends' babies etc, something like this is ideal. We have so many lovely (but used once) clothes, blankets and fluffy toys (for which we are extremely grateful), but bath toys or useful goodies like this are ideal gifts for new parents.
Comfort Pro car seat, Kiddyoverall - overall rating 9.5/10
(From Twobabes) My daughter bought this when the first size seat was too small and is very pleased with it.
It is light and really easy to move from car to car, needing no special fixings, or to sling in the boot to make room for big people!
In the Which tests it is one of the all round highest scorers for both ease of use and, most importantly, for safety,
I find it much easier to use than the Isofix Britax one I have in my car - broken nails and much silent swearing!
(2011) I was struggling to get my two year old DGD into her harness seat and not doing my back any favours in the process. The Kiddy was recommended to me and works on quite a different concept, being a standard older childs car seat with a cushion which goes across the front of the child and which you strap in with the normal seatbelt. She was not sure about it at first but now likes the fact that she can have toys or paper to draw on the cushion. It is not cheap at £120+ but can be used until the child is 12 and is saving me a fortune in osteopath charges.
The Comfort Pro is the one I have but has now been updated to other models. Kiddy is a German make but is available on the internet.
Silver Cross Reflex Stroller - overall rating 9.5/10
(2014) Choosing a pram/travel system is one of the most perplexing (and expensive) things you have to get your head around when having a baby, so I was delighted to have the decision made for me when Silver Cross asked me to review their new Reflex pushchair. I tried it out on both my newborn son and my 3 year old daughter.
In my experience big is not necessarily better. We went the full travel system option for our first baby and honestly did not need it. We used the carrycot for the first few months and then ended up buying a cheap and cheerful stroller and used that from around 4 months. I think the Silver Cross Reflex is an excellent option if you don’t have the space or indeed the budget for the big travel systems. And it means you have a stroller from day one that will last them until they’re old enough not to need it all anymore.
The Silver Cross brand is one of the best and the quality finishes in this pushchair is noticeable - as you’d expect for the £250 price tag. We chose the Chilli Red and absolutely love the look and feel of it. These for me were the winning points:
1) The huge hood. This is the best coverage I have ever seen in a pushchair. The hood opens up to give good standard coverage, and then, by accessing a concealed zip, you can extend it even further giving great protection from the sun (or wind).
2) Seat adjustment. The biggest bugbear I had with my previous stroller was the finicky way of adjusting the seat from reclining to sitting up. The Relfex, however, has a simple click and slide mechanism that takes a second and I can do one-handed. It’s also very smooth and has been really useful on the occasions my 3 year old daughter had fallen asleep in it and I’ve been able to adjust to a horizontal position without waking her up.
3) Extendable handles. I can’t quite understand why almost all buggies/travel systems have the option to extend handles but so few pushchairs do? So it was great to see that the Reflex has a very neat button on the handles which extends them for us taller folk. It’s not a huge extension mind you, but certainly good enough.
3) Gadgets. I love a good gadget and the LED integrated safety lights are my favourite feature and will really come into their own in the winter. These are on either side of the pushchair and you can set them to constant, flashing or rotating. You have to press them quite hard for 4 seconds before they activate so there’s no chance of my 3 year old wearing out the batteries unnecessarily or me knocking them on by accident.
I didn’t it easy to unfold the stroller because of the safety clips on both sides. Great for keeping it all together but not ideal if you’re trying to unfold it with one hand while holding a baby in the other.
At 8.5kgs it’s relatively heavy compared to other strollers on the market and not as easy to throw into the boot. But then, I wouldn’t be happy putting my newborn in any of those lightweight strollers so that’s the trade-off.
What’s impressed me most about this pushchair is how comfy it seems to be for not only my 3 month old son but also my 3 year old daughter. A lot of care seems to have gone into making this as versatile as possible for all ages (there's a baby nest, it fits a car seat etc). You end up spending so much money on things for your baby that they grow out of in weeks that it’s nice to know at least one of your investments will last a good few years.
You can buy the Reflex from www.silvercrossbaby.com
(2014) I was asked by silver cross to review their new Reflex pushchair. I have a 14 month old son, and we have been using the reflex for 2 months now. We are all really happy with it.
It's easy to push, manoeuvrable, my son is very comfortable and sleeps really well, it is also very easy to recline with one hand, I like that their are 4 definite positions and it clips in to place. My son particularly likes the bumper bar it gives him something to hold onto (or drape hie feet over) when were out and about, and me something to attach toys to. One of our favourite features is the hood, its fantastic we love how big it is, when you unzip the extension it really protects him from the sun, also a life saver to create a dark environment for a nap. The visibility is excellent too, with a flap covering a window in the main hood. There are also plenty of mesh panels in the hood extension for both ventilation and extra visibility.
The brakes feel secure, the wheels are nimble yet sturdy, the rain cover is easy to fit and has ventilation, the handles extend up (perfect for us as we are both tall) the basket underneath is comparable to other strollers this size and folding is very easy to do with just one hand. The size when folded is perfect to fit in the boot of our Ford Focus and leaves plenty of room for our weekly shop too.
It is not the cheapest on the market however you do not need to buy an additional foot muff as it comes included (it's been too warm for us to try it out so far but it looks plenty big enough to fit winter boots in and still keep them warm) so it could work out cheaper when looking at alternatives. We are also impressed with the lights on both sides of the frame, with the nights drawing in we are bound to get a lot of use out of them, it feels good to know that the lights and the reflective strips make it really visible in the dark.
The choice of colours available is great though I would recommend a dark colour, we have lime green and the seat liner (which is handwash only) has been washed down twice already. My son is in and out with dirty shoes, he also snacks on the go and the lime green is beginning to look very grubby.
One final down side is that my husband finds the clips on the straps very fiddly to hold together so they can clip in the buckle. However I haven't had a problem with them and I think they are really secure and feel confident my son won't escape, however much he would like to. They may just be easier for smaller fingers.
The stroller comes with car seat clips as standard, however we didn't use them as my son is out of baby car seat.
As far as we are concerned overall it is as good as the market leader, but with the added extras like the foot muff included and the enormous hood it edges out in front for us. We think it's perfect for us.
You can visit the Silver Cross website at www.silvercrossbaby.com.
Snugglebundl - overall rating 9.5/10
(2014) We received a Snugglebundl and thought we'd try it out on our baby niece before our baby is due in August. It's so soft (made from 100% cotton), but still tough fabric so there's no risk the baby would be too heavy.
The way the blanket is angled and the padded area for the head, keeps the baby secure in the center, with a handle either side so you can lift the baby with ease. We originally thought this could be done with a normal blanket, however it proved difficult as the baby wouldn't naturally stay in place.
We found it great for swaddling and just as a general blanket. Great for in the car and the pram, where she would naturally fall asleep and we could lift her without waking!
We've washed it a few times since and it comes out as good as new. I would definitely recommend this for a newborn baby and for older babies it's great as a general blanket.
Fisher Price 3-in-1 Swing 'n Rocker - overall rating 9/10
For my first born, I swore by my Fisher Price bouncer to settle him to sleep up to seven months. Compared to other bouncers, the seat was deeper and the swing was simultaneously forceful yet gentle. When I was offered the Fisher Price 3-in-1 Swing ’n’ Rocker to review for my second baby, I jumped at the chance!
Setting up was effortless, as the swing came with very clear instructions. It really straightforward to assemble and slot the seat onto the swing frame, as it has easy release seat handles. Considering the swing frame itself being rather bulky, it’s lightweight, study and can be folded up for storage.
On the side of the swing frame, there are clear on/off button, and buttons for the songs, swing speeds and volume. There are six swing speeds, which gradually build up. I like that when it’s switched off, it gently continues to swing and gradually comes to a stop. If you push the swing without using the SmartSwing Technology, it rocks back and forth for some time before you having to give it a nudge again. There’s a great range of 16 songs that rotate and an option of more natural soothing sounds. For the functions to work, you need four D batteries. It’s worth investing in rechargeable batteries, as I imagine they would run out quickly with regular use of the swing function and the songs.
The seat itself has a five point harness, which is a bit big for my newborn, but the chair is designed to grow with your child up to three years. Luckily the seat cover appears to be quite easy to remove and is machine washable - I imagine I’ll end up washing it quite regularly! The toy bar has a lion and an elephant, and has a unisex design so suitable for boys and girls. The toy bar can be removed and there’s a bar that can be pulled open to stabilise the chair and turn into a toddler seat. My 4.5yo is definitely too big for this (he insisted on testing it!) but it’ll come in handy when my baby turns into a toddler.
This swing seat without a doubt lived up to my expectations of Fisher Price - the swing is great quality with a simple design, it’s sturdy and my newborn love the functions. The only thing I would improve would be having a vibrate function for the seat when it’s not on the swing - that would make it the ultimate chair!
(2014) I’m looking at my not so newborn baby and wondering where on earth the last 5 weeks went! Toys, clothes, Moses baskets - despite their huge expense, our little ones grow out of them all so quickly. So when I was asked to review the Three in One Swing from Fisher Price I was relieved to see it had a longer than usual shelf life. Not only is it a full size open top swing, but it’s also an infant seat and a toddler rocker. Apparently it will last from birth until your child is around 3 years old (or 18 kgs).
The seat features a really lively and beautifully designed print of lions, frogs and monkeys that will suit both boys and girls. The overhead bar has two plastic toys - a lion and an elephant - to keep your child entertained. All in all it’s a very attractive piece of equipment and although a bit of a faff to put together, if you can manage ikea, you’ll manage this.
The swing stand is rather large so bear that in mind if you are short of space. Still, it folds up neatly when you’re just using the seat bit.
My little one loves the swing. I think it's got something to do with it being off the ground. You know how babies will be happily soothed when you're pacing about the room but they sense it as soon as you sit down? I've popped him in the swing and managed to prepare an entire cottage pie before he wanted picking up again.
The swing has 6 speed settings but we're quite happy with the first one for now which has plenty of movement. There are 16 (mostly familiar) songs which play in rotation. Because there are so many you're unlikely to be driven mad by it as with some other toys. Also, the sound quality is good - not the tinny noise you sometimes get. And if you do want a break from the songs there is the option to listen to 'nature sounds' too - running water, birds tweeting, frogs croaking etc. I find these quite soothing but my son seems to prefer the music. And as with any good quality product there is the all important volume control! Bear in mind it needs four D size batteries which don’t come supplied with the product.
The infant seat is deep and cosy and looks incredibly comfortable - my baby seems to like being in this slightly raised position when he is awake instead of lying on his back on a playmat. His 2 year old sister like to rock him (gently) on the seat and educate him (loudly) on the noises various animals make. The rocking motion seems to soothe him and there’s a secure looking strap to make sure he’s not going to fall out of the seat when he is more mobile.
Adjusting the seat to make it into a toddler rocker is fairly straightforward and I can see this being a useful feature later on. All in all I think this is a great product and amazing value considering how long it lasts.
Milestone cards - overall rating 9/10
(2014) I was given these Milestone cards recently, and I must say, they are fantastic quality and presented in a lovely box.
The illustrations are cute with neutral colours, so perfect to buy in advance or as a gift if you're looking for something unisex (definitely hard to find anything gender neutral these days!)
All the pictures from when DS was born are categorised in files labelled with his age by month on the harddrive (I am scarily organised), but admittedly this has taken a lot of effort to maintain. While I'll still do the same for my newborn, these cards will make it a lot easier to record milestones.
Each card has a different milestone (first time your baby eats solids, walks, crawls etc) with a bit in the corner for you to fill in the date. Then you simply lay the card down next to the baby and snap a picture - done! I can imagine you can be quite creative too, with the baby toddling towards you holding the card while you record a video etc.
The cards also display age milestones in weeks and months up until a year old. Great to watch your child grow in pictures through the months.
I would definitely recommend these cards as a gift, or if you're keen to keep records.
(2014) My son is already 7 weeks old and as I’m not intending to have any more children, savoring this time when he’s so little is particularly poignant. When my daughter was born we bought the baby book and filled in the first few sections - and then forgot about it. It required so much writing and we were so knackered. Or couldn’t find the book in amongst all the other baby paraphernalia.
You tell yourself you’ll remember the first smile, tooth etc but you don’t. That’s why I think these cards are so lovely. With beautiful illustrations the idea is that you simply write the date of the event on the card, hold it next to your baby and take a photo. And that’s that. Of course if you wanted to you could then print out the photo and stick it on the back of the card but it’s not necessary. Just last week I was going through the (literally!) thousands of photos of my daughter (only 2 ½) and trying to guess her age. Or realising this was the day she ate solids for the first time but not knowing exactly how old she was. WIth these cards the guesswork is taken out of the equation. They’re so pretty and boxed up so neatly, that they would make a lovely gift for new or prospective parents. Highly recommended.
Aden + Anais classic changing mat cover - overall rating 9/10
(From Anon) Everybody knows a newborn baby will let out a cry when any item of clothing has been removed, especially if they’re lying on a cold plastic changing mat. That’s why a changing mat cover is so great - it minimises the ‘trauma’ for baby, and you!
In true aden + anais fashion, the changing mat cover comes in a range of stylish prints. I had the blue Night Sky Starburst print for my baby boy, but they also have pink prints for girls and neutral unisex colours.
The changing mat cover is made of two layers of cotton muslin, so it’s thick enough for the baby not to feel the cold plastic, while also thin enough to dry any minor wet patches (you’d probably want to wash the cover if you had any big wet patches!). I’ve washed it a few times now and it definitely has not lost its softness. The cover is 33” x 17” (84cm x 42cm) and fits snugly on standard changing mats, it also fits on our wedge changing mat.
At £19.50 the changing mat cover isn’t cheap, but if you’re looking for something classic and you want to treat yourself or a friend/family member, aden + anais definitely delivers on quality and style.
Baby dribble bib, Dribblebuster - overall rating 9/10
(2011) This is a very soft bib that looks like a scarf. It does not hide baby's outfit and looks so much nicer than a bib to catch dribble.
Babybjorn Baby Carrier One - overall rating 9/10
(2014) I’ve been using the Babybjorn Baby Carrier One for the past month and it has been a lifesaver! When the pram just won’t do, the baby carrier can easily soothe my baby to sleep. My six week old baby absolutely loves feeling close to me and the motion of being walked around - he’s not too keen when I’m standing still though!
The best thing is that I can continue my day handsfree. I’ve found it particularly handy during the school-run; I’m no longer trying to squeeze my pram through the narrow paths and bashing into other parents’ prams.
When I first received the baby carrier I wasn’t entirely convinced, given my previous baby carrier for my first child was such a faff to put on. This baby carrier however comes with simple instructions and has been really easy to slip over like a jumper. The clips take some getting use to, but they are meant to be straightforward (my husband gets it right on his first attempt anyway - maybe it’s just me!). The easy release straps make it easy to slot baby into the carrier, and also take baby out without waking him. The ergonomic waist belt and padded shoulder straps means the weight of my baby can be redistributed.
The carrier can be worn in various ways, with baby at the front facing towards your chest, facing outwards, on your back. I really like the label attached displaying the different positions, saves me digging out the manual when my baby is big enough to be carried on my back. The baby carrier is for newborn to three years - I’m not convinced I’ll want to carry my toddler on my back, but we’ll see!
Although it’s a bit pricey at £119.99, the Babybjorn Baby Carrier One is great quality, simple to use and definitely makes life a lot easier.
Bubblebum booster seat - overall rating 9/10
(2014) I borrowed one from a friend a while back and loved it - it fits into a much smaller space than a regular booster seat which means it's possible to get three in the back of a car that would never fit three regular car or booster seats.
It's basically a lightweight car booster seat that inflates, so it's very light to carry (in a suitcase or handbag) or to store. It comes in its own carry bag and is comfortable and wipe clean.
When I first borrowed it I was concerned about safety but having looked into it reassured by the fact that it is made from very strong material (the same they use for life rafts!) with webbing and material to keep it rigid and it has clips to put the seatbelt through so it stays firmly in place. Most importantly, as their website confirms, BubbleBum meets and exceeds all US Federal Motor Vehicle Standards FMVSS213 and the European Regulations EU R44/o4
It's suitable for children aged 4 upwards weighing 15-36kg. Since getting one ourselves we have used it loads and would highly recommend.