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LucyG (London,UK)

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BabyBjörn Safe Step (Bright Red)
BabyBjörn Safe Step (Bright Red)
Price: £17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth every penny, 24 May 2012
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Similarly, to other reviewers, we used a different brand step before getting the BB one. The John Lewis step barely has any grip at the bottom (so I only use it on a bath mat as it slips on our lino bathroom floor), doesn't have any space for picking it up from beneath (the whole bottom surface touches the floor), the top is so slippery even if dry and tips over very easily. At the moment we use a BB for our toddler to get onto the toilet and the John Lewis step by the sink. But now that my boy has a swollen lip and his nose was bleeding after his second accident on the darned JL step, I've ordered another BB one and don't care how much it costs. The BB step is worth every penny-its incredibly stable, never slippery (even when covered in water) and has a very useful space beneath the stool so its incredibly easy to move around. Would very highly recommend it. It will last you years so its well worth investing in this one and it will keep your child safe, unlike cheaper versions.

Potette Plus Green
Potette Plus Green
Offered by Baby Lurve
Price: £15.95

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely over-priced!, 20 April 2012
This review is from: Potette Plus Green (Baby Product)
I bought this Potette because I thought it would offer something essential and critically different from a normal potty. I expected the liners to be specially designed and for the item to be easily folded and unfolded. I expected the carry bag (which is mentioned as a selling point on the packaging) to last more than one hour.

Unfortunately I sorely regret buying the Potette, not because its so expensive but because its so overpriced. The whole thing should be sold for £5 tops. Its the cheapest plastic with the cheapest, most un-user friendly folding mechanism (you have to yank the legs which takes far too long and is frustrating and can take a few attempts each time). I had ignored the reviews of people mentioning problems with the legs as I'd assumed they were klutzes and just couldn't follow the instructions correctly. No. The Potette really is that awkward to use.

In addition the liner bags are simply normal plastic bags with a bit of a (heavily scented) paper in the bottom to absorb wee. Yes, normal plastic bags. And they do not at all feel durable and I don't trust they wouldn't leak or rip easily.

The Potette, when folded does save a bit of space compared to carrying a potty around but it is much less user-friendly. Most importantly, it doesn't feel at all comfortable or robust, especially for a little boy. It is also ridiculously rubbish as a toilet seat compared to the BabyBjorn Trainer Seat which is absolute luxury in comparison. I wouldn't recommend using it as a toilet seat to anyone, mostly because the thing slips around so you would need to place your child on it which isn't practical if you have a child that insists on doing everything themselves, including getting onto the toilet.

Overall, you are getting a product that should really cost just a few pounds that is a market leader simply because there is no competition out there. If you have a little bit of space in your pram or car or rucksack, just take a normal potty and line it with a tough sandwich or freezer bag from the supermarket and a piece of kitchen towel. Works perfectly well.

The Potette is seriously not worth it.

Melissa & Doug Multi-Activity Play Table
Melissa & Doug Multi-Activity Play Table
Price: £79.59

15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea but not good enough, 19 April 2012
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
I bought this table just a few months ago for my 2 year old boy. Its an incredibly useful piece of kit and is used throughout the day. It does keep things a bit tidier as he loves to put his toys on the table, rather than have them all over the floor. He loves putting his food on there too. HOWEVER! thats where the problem comes in-the table is made of cheap materials and so if you get just a few drops of water on the surface, it will get damaged. Getting a table wet is inevitable if you have small children, particularly if you have visitors and lots of kids crowded round the table.

In addition, all the sides have chipped really easily and the table now looks like we've had it for ten years. It really doesn't look good and now we're moving home I'm planning on getting a real wood table that will look presentable in our new home.

The idea of a large table for kids is a great one i.e. having raised edges so toys don't fall off and the very large surface area.

However, this one just isn't good enough. It gets damaged far too easily (bear in mind I only have one boy-I can't 'imagine what it would be looking like with more than one child in the house!).

It is also not very well thought through-the drawer is extremely difficult to use, even for an adult and we've already had a child trap their finger in it by accident as it is so stiff and so suddenly gave when the child wasn't expecting it. The shorter sides of the table also go too low so you are limited in what sort of underneath storage you can use. The Pintoy table for example looks like it has plenty of room underneath for storage or even pulling up chairs.

I definitely wouldn't recommend this, mostly because it looks so incredibly shabby after just a few months and isn't as functional as other tables. Pay a little bit more and get something more durable and more useful if you can!

Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves
Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves
by Naomi Aldort
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.59

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must-must-must read, 15 May 2011
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One word for this book: essential.

This book is the most important, fundamental book every parent should be reading. Unlike many parenting books, it not only gives you a philosophy by which to approach parenting but on each page offers the real nitty-gritty of how best to deal with situations. Aldort walks you through the main emotional experiences children and parents have and shows you how to deal with them in the most effective way both for the present and for the long-run. Her concern is in parents guiding children towards being self-confident, self-sufficient, authentic adults. She offers a damn-near perfect balance of parent as leader and guide and child as independent authentic self and shows how both roles are important and symbiotic.

She shows how gentle, respectful parenting can be incredibly effective and also how mainstream parenting techniques might seem effective in the short term but actually impact a child's emotional and even intellectual development often in negative ways.

Aldort raises fascinating issues such as why praising a child can actually be damaging or how parent-led play reduces a child's creativity.

In short, I have been recommending this book to as many people as possible because I have seen how it has transformed my own approach to my child. I was already practicing attachment and unconditional parenting as best I could but this has really helped me parent even more peacefully and beneficially for my son (2 years old). So far he has never had a tantrum and is the most gentle boy anyone has met. It could be coincidence but it could also be that gentle, understanding, Aldort-style parenting enables children to be gentle for longer (I know that even Aldort's kids have had their moments!)

I truly believe that if all parents parented according to this book the world would be a much, much, nicer, safer, more peaceful world to live in. It frees parents to be the kind, patient people they always imagined they'd be but mainstream parenting has drawn them away from.

Whatever your current approach to parenting and whatever age your child is, you really can't afford to be without this book!

If I could I would give this book 10 stars just for how important I think it is to the world we live in.

Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
by Gordon Neufeld
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.35

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adequate, 14 May 2011
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I have been reading the book for a few days and have to say that i wouldn't bother buying it if you're already familiar with attachment parenting and non-mainstream parenting approaches. The general gist can be summarised in a few lines (as other reviewers have noted) and it is that kids need to be strongly attached to their parents and not 'peer-oriented' as that's better for their development and for their relationship with their parents. it gives support to parents who instinctively feel that they want to keep their kids quite close by. the quotes given on the amazon reviews (and the reason for why i bought the book!) are excellent but i havent managed to find them in the book yet which is really badly edited-as one of the reviewers said-the whole thing could be summarised in a chapter and the repetitiveness is frustrating and a complete waste of time! It is very difficult to find the meaty bits in the book. But the message is very very important and gives credence to many people's unease about having kids, especially tiny babies and toddlers, spend so much time with other kids in nurseries forming peer attachments and losing their attachments to adults.

if you know anybody who is immersed in mainstream parenting culture (toddler groups, obsession with 'socialisation', pushing kids into 'independence' etc) then they would certainly benefit from having a look at this book. otherwise, unless you have loads of time, i would save your pennies for something more concise!

I have given the book 4 stars for the importance of what it's trying to convey.

BaByliss 5137U Eco Hair Dryer
BaByliss 5137U Eco Hair Dryer

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling! It doesn't dry!!!, 22 Feb 2011
I bought this hairdryer as there were so many positive reviews here! And the packaging says something about how the dryer dries as well as other non-eco dryers.
HOWEVER! This is a con!
Because this dryer dries as well as non-eco dryers when those dryers are set on COOL.
This dryer literally blows cool air for the first minute or so and then barely warms up. My medium length hair was literally greasy by the time I had finished and was still noticeably damp!!!
This dryer is a complete waste of time unless a) you have almost no hair to dry and it's super short or b) you just feel like blowing cool air at your head.
I have since ordered a Turbo Babyliss dryer as I just don't have the time to spend 10 minutes (yes, 10 whole minutes) to make my hair damp instead of wet.
Don't waste your time on this dryer!

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
by Alfie Kohn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.39

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only regret, 26 April 2010
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My only regret with this book is that I hadn't read it many, many years sooner.

This book is crucially essential for absolutely everyone. It will help you understand your own upbringing as well as the ingrained assumptions you have about how to bring up your own (and other people's) children and indeed how you view children altogether.

I could not possibly recommend this book more highly-its the most useful book I've ever read! Its about much more than just punishments/rewards but even that is absolutely fascinating enough. It helps you understand why 'cry it out' or 'time out' make you uncomfortable and what exactly is wrong with these techniques.

Kohn does explain that its difficult to be prescriptive about exactly what 'techniques' should be used instead as what he's advocating is more of a mindset change than a 'to do' list of tactics.

I have a 9 month old son and I am so pleased I found this book when I did as, God willing, it will help prevent me accidentally damaging my son in the way so many kids are damaged!

This is also a key read for attachment parents!

Vaccination: A Guide for Making Personal Choices
Vaccination: A Guide for Making Personal Choices
by Hans-Peter Studer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.76

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only book you'll need, 26 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you're looking for a concise, accurate, balanced text to help you with the difficult decisions around vaccinating your child, then this is the book for you.

There is no scare-mongering in here and every salient point around vaccinations is mentioned. The points are all well referenced too.

My friend and I have between us bought about 10 books on vaccines and this, along with Dr Sears Vaccine Book, is the most useful and does not in any way force an opinion through hysterical hyperbole.

Through its balanced, careful approach it shows the pros and cons of vaccinating.

Having read it we're going to go for minimum vaccinations-polio and tetanus-and feel well enough informed to stand by our decision whatever happens.

The Allergy Bible: Understanding, Diagnosing, Treating Allergies and Intolerances
The Allergy Bible: Understanding, Diagnosing, Treating Allergies and Intolerances
by Linda Gamlin
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, 14 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was sceptical about this book as there wasn't that much information available about it online and I was worried it wouldn't be relevant or informative enough.

Our 8 month old son seems to have a few allergies which are seriously affecting his sleep in particular and I wanted to read some basic information about allergies before seeing a private paediatric allergist.

This book is perfect for this! It gives basic information on almost all possible allergies and also gives amazing detail including up to date studies and medications. It includes brief descriptions of scientific studies from all over the world. It also arms you with a massive amount of extremely useful knowledge on symptoms as well as things you can do yourself to minimise exposure to allergens. Particularly useful is the section on dealing with mites and moulds in the home.

I couldn't recommend this book highly enough! I will be encouraging my parents to read it too as they know near to nothing to allergies but seem to be suffering from some.

Anolon Advanced Hand Grater
Anolon Advanced Hand Grater

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit overpriced, 4 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lovely quality, very useful. However its not as small as it seems and does not come with any other sized graters as the product description implies.

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