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Nadine Goodinson "Taffybird" (Derby, UK)

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Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer
Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer
Price: 19.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Product!, 5 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Does anyone know who invented this? I want to send them flowers.

What an indispensable gadget it has turned out to be. My daughter was a hopeless sleeper. She was nearly 12 months before she stopped waking for milk in the night, and even then she'd be wide awake at 5am every day. By 18 months this hadn't changed and we'd given up hope of ever sleeping until sunrise again. We started using this clock, setting it to turn to daytime mode 5 minutes later every few days. By 20 months she was sleeping until 6.30. She's now two and a half, the clock is usually set for 7.30, and we often see her on the monitor sitting up in bed at about 7, looking at the clock and then settling herself back down to sleep until it's time for "Mister Sun" to appear.

The only reason I haven't given it 5 stars is because it doesn't have a battery back up, so if there's a power cut it loses the correct time. Also, one thing that would make it an absolutely perfect product in my opinion would be a remote control so that it could be adjusted from outside the child's room. In the rare event that the little one actually seems to want to sleep late, tired parents could then "cheat" and set the sun to come up later than usual.

But I'm not greedy. As it is it's a fab piece of kit and it's changed our lives!

Tippitoes Travel Potty
Tippitoes Travel Potty
Price: 5.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not A Bad Potty. Rubbish Little Plastic Bags Though!, 5 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Initially I was disappointed with this potty. It was fiddly to put together, looked too small and low to the ground for my 2 year old to feel safe sitting on, and the first few times I tried it out it leaked.

But I'm glad I persevered. It just takes a bit of practice to get the hang of assembling it in a hurry. In the very early stages of potty training when a toddler needs the potty *NOW* it is rather frustrating messing about with plastic bags, but once she can hold it for 20 seconds it's fine.

The bags that come with it are useless. They are too small. You have to stretch them to fit them over the seat and if you try to do it in a rush (which let's face it, will usually be the case) they split! I thought I must be doing something wrong at first and tried fitting the bag just over the base section, and then placing the seat on top. This caused the aforementioned leaks. I was right first time - the bag needs to be fitted over the entire seat. I've given up with the supplied bags and followed another reviewer's advice. I now use pedal bin liners. Tips for anyone planning to do the same:

1) Make sure the liners you choose do not have safety holes. Obviously.
2) Use bags with tie-handles so they can be secured over the edge of the base.
3) Before packing your potty bag, fully open the bags and blow into them so they're no longer "stuck" together, then roll them up to pack. Saves precious seconds later on.
4) Tie a knot in each bag about 4 ins from the bottom. It just stops excess plastic bag billowing about and makes it fit the potty better. 5) Pack 2 squares of kitchen roll for each bag, folded into quarters.
6) Take some nappy sacks along for an extra layer of protection if you have to carry it all home, and for courtesy when using someone else's bin!

So with a bit of creative adaptation it can be successful. For a 2-year old girl, at least. If the supplied bags fitted properly it would have had 4 stars.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 19, 2014 11:08 PM BST

500 Baby & Toddler Foods
500 Baby & Toddler Foods
by Beverley Glock
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sensible, straightforward and tasty recipes, 21 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I used this book to make my daughter's first pureed meals and I'm still using it now (she's nearly 2). The recipes are delightfully straightforward, using simple, healthy ingredients and with easy to follow instructions. Even hopeless cooks like me will have no trouble. Not all of the recipes have been massive hits (my daughter didn't take to the chicken and carrot dinner or the vegetable korma) but most have gone down extremely well, and it's so gratifying when something I've made myself is more popular than a shop-bought meal or a jar. Whenever she's going through a fussy phase or feeling a bit off-colour I can always be sure that she will devour the family fish pie or the beef goulash with enthusiasm and there is never any waste. I make large batches now, freezing individual portions and serving up big bowlfuls for my husband as well! It was a pleasant surprise to find that such simple recipes with no added salt could be tasty and filling enough for the whole family to enjoy.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone (whether experienced cooks or novices) who would like to give nutritious home-made meals to their children.

Quinny Zapp Stroller (Rocking Black)
Quinny Zapp Stroller (Rocking Black)

4.0 out of 5 stars Essential for Small Car Boots, 18 Jun 2013
I couldn't have lived without the Quinny Zapp when my daughter was tiny. Along with the Maxi-Cosi cabriofix car seat it was the most useful item of baby gadgetry I bought. Very easy to collapse/assemble and attach the car seat - after a few days' practice I could be in and out of the car, with baby safely strapped in, in about 25 seconds. Beautifully manoeuverable and lightweight, but still very stable, and it folds down to not much bigger than a briefcase (ideal for tiny car boots like the one in my Corsa). I even had enough room left over for weekend luggage or a week's grocery shopping.

It doesn't come with a shopping basket but one is available separately, which I bought. It's not very big and it's awkward to get things in and out of because of the central bar on the chassis getting in the way, but it holds a few odds and ends and doesn't cost much. One of the best features of this buggy (and I doubt the manufacturers intended this but it's a very happy accident) is that a standard supermarket basket fits beautifully into the gap under the car seat when it is fitted on the frame, making quick grocery shops an absolute breeze. Now that my daughter is too big for the car seat and uses the proper pushchair seat I REALLY miss that.

It's not quite as impressive when fully assembled as a pushchair, although still extremely neat, compact and easy to operate. The compactness does have its downside, as my 20-month-old is already looking a bit squashed-in. I doubt she'll fit in it much longer. The hood feels a bit flimsy and doesn't have a catch mechanism to hold it open - it just sort of hovers there until the little one works out that they can give it a push and close it. The raincover doesn't attach very securely. Every time I've used it she has kicked it off at the bottom and ended up with wet feet. (By the way, the raincover can't be used when the car seat is attached. But Maxi-cosi make a raincover that just fits over the seat and I found that perfectly adequate).

The only other fault I can think of is that the buckle on the harness is a bit awkward to release.

I'd say this is an essential piece of kit for anyone with a small car boot who is planning to use a maxi-cosi car seat. But consider moving on to an umbrella-fold buggy once the little one moves up to a stage 2 car seat.

My Very Favourite Nursery Rhyme Record
My Very Favourite Nursery Rhyme Record
Price: 12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Educational and Fun for both Children and Parents, 6 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as a stocking filler for my 16 month old, and a few days later played it more or less continually on a long car journey. She didn't tire of it and neither did I. All the well known nursery rhymes are here along with some that I wasn't familiar with, all beautifully and respectfully produced as the delightful little folk tunes that they are.

I think this is the first time I have ever heard nursery rhymes treated as pieces of music worthy of a decent performance, instead of something to be tunelessly hummed by a sleep-deprived parent to a protesting infant. It makes all the difference, as two hours in the car with a fascinated toddler has shown me.

And as an unexpected bonus, I have learned some new songs.

Miffy Loop Rattle (Blue)
Miffy Loop Rattle (Blue)
Offered by Nest Shop
Price: 6.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Ever so cute!, 19 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A beautiful first toy for baby. It's cuddly, soft and easy to hold. It's not as easy to clean as a plastic rattle and obviously not ldeal if you're looking for a rattle that doubles as a teether, but my little one loves it and still sleeps with it at 16 months.

Vicks V-188UK Warm Steam Vaporiser
Vicks V-188UK Warm Steam Vaporiser
Price: 28.53

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does the job but badly designed, 19 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This vapouriser does what I wanted it to do (ie, makes warm vapour to help my little one sleep when she has a cold). It's fairly effective (but don't expect miracles) and the gentle bubbling sound is not noisy enough to keep anyone awake, in fact it's quite soothing.

It could be so much better designed though. It's bulky and awkward-shaped. It's tricky to get the heating element back in once you've taken it out to fill the tank. And it's impossible to empty the remains of the water out properly because the tank has a ridge all around the opening that prevents water draining freely. All you can do is hold it over the bath and shake it, then balance it on a radiator to evaporate the last drops.

The wall and celiling above the spot where you place it will get wet. There's no way around that unless you open the windows, which allows the steam to escape and defeats the object.

But it does help with little bunged-up noses. I'd say it's worth a try but don't expect to be overjoyed with it.

RECARO Akuna Pushchair Travel System (Grey)
RECARO Akuna Pushchair Travel System (Grey)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks lovely, well designed but not perfect, 3 July 2012
I've only just assembled my pushchair so this review is based entirely on first impressions.

It's well made, attractive, easy to assemble (despite the instructions having been written in German and rather inexpertly translated), and has some nice features. The big selling point for me was that the seat can be taken off and repositioned in the rear facing position. It's a bit of a fiddle to do this, but I have yet to find a pushchair that allows you to just twist a lever with toddler in situ and there you go - seat reversed.

The covers are lovely, with a luxurious suede-like feel and breathable fabric panels. The seat fully reclines in either position and the footrest adjusts properly so my little one can sleep comfortably. Thoughful extra touches include a cup holder, a detachable zipped compartment in the canopy for purse/keys etc, and a window in the canopy hood that has a fold-back cover.

It's supplied with the necessary adaptors to attach a car seat or carry cot but I can't comment on this as I won't be using it as a travel system.

Alas when folded it doesn't fit easily into my tiny car boot as I had hoped (I have a Corsa), even with the wheels taken off. With a bit of jiggling about it will just about fit (and with room for a few shopping bags too although I'd have to take them out to make room to manoeuvre).

The shopping basket is rather oddly designed. I haven't used it yet but it seems like it'll be a bit of a struggle to actually get anything into it. The front of it folds back on itself, (presumably to prevent anything falling out while walking downhill?) As far as I can tell though, this shape combined with the position of the seat makes it awkward to get anything in or out.

My pre-purchase research seemed to suggest that it didn't come with a raincover, but it did. An unexpected bonus although the cover itself is nothing to get excited about. It barely covers the seat and fastens to the frame with velcro and two mysterious toggles that I have yet to work out what to do with. It can't be used with the seat in the reverse facing position, and once unfolded it won't go back into its storage pouch without a fight.

The 5-point harness is another mystery. The horizontal straps can't be adjusted tight enough for my 10 month old. The vertical straps are ok, until the seat is reclined and then they need to be loosened.

It doesn't come with a footmuff.

On the whole I think I'm generally pleased with it. Disappointed that it won't fit in my boot but I already have a Quinny Zapp Stroller (Rocking Black)that I can use as a portable buggy (highly recommended for anyone with a small boot)

Sock ons (Grape, 0-6months)
Sock ons (Grape, 0-6months)
Price: 2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Effective!, 11 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I held off buying these for ages because I couldn't see how they would work. Surely if my little one has become adept at pulling her socks off, it won't be long until she can get these off as well? But no - I've been using them for a few months and no lost socks so far. It's worth getting a few pairs (in the same colour) because they're so tiny they tend to get lost in the wash and turn up weeks later stuck inside a sleeve or pocket. Well worth having - and I intend to pop some in the goody bag for every new baby I buy for.

Wooden playpen 100x75 cm blue insert incl.
Wooden playpen 100x75 cm blue insert incl.
Offered by feelma Online Shop
Price: 69.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but needs some padding, 11 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A lovely looking playpen, a nice size, easy to assemble, and the wheels and adjustable height make it super-practical.

The only improvement I could suggest is a bit of padding in the cloth insert because the base is very hard. I've put my yoga mat under the cloth to make it a bit more comfy. Now my 9 month old plays happily in there for ages.

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