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There is a gap of 2 and a half years between my two children. I had planned it this way so that by the time baby number two came along, my first would be out of nappies and would no longer require a pushchair. Sadly, neither of these things happened! Since my toddler still sometimes took a nap in his pushchair I ended up buying a double for those longer outings and purchasing the buggyboard to use for shorter journeys. I was tempted to get the mini version as it retails for slightly less, but in the end I decided to go with the maxi to give my son more space to stand. He doesn't have the best sense of balance! I think I paid something like £58 for mine, although the price is slightly less at the moment - currently £49.99 on Amazon.
If you are thinking of buying this product, make sure you check out the Lascal website first. It has a list of all the pushchairs and prams that the board will fit onto, and shows photographs so you can see exactly how it will look on each model. This is brilliant when it comes to fitting the board to your pushchair too, as you can see precisely how to do it. It tells you which hole in the arm the pin needs to go into for that particular model, and gives a height from the ground at which the connectors should be attached. Once you have that taken care of, you then slide the arms in or out so that they are the correct width apart for your pushchair chassis, and clip the pin into the connector bolt. Finally, you adjust the angle of the arms until the platform is level. Lascal recommend that any excess strap on the connectors is cut once you have it correctly fitted, but I haven't found that to be necessary. If you intend to use the buggyboard with more than one pushchair you may find you need a longer length of strap. Also, if you want to sell the buggyboard on when you've finished with it, they fetch a higher price with uncut straps than with cut ones.
Being a pramaholic, I have used my buggyboard on a few different models! I first used it on my Britax b-smart, (both in pram mode and with the pushchair seat in parent facing mode), then on my Babystyle Oyster with the seat parent facing, and finally on my Mountain Buggy Swift, which is a forward facing pushchair. I found it to work well in all of these set ups, although pram/parent facing is definitely better than forward facing because it gives your toddler more space. It also means that your children are facing each other and can interact with each other, which is an added bonus. All of these pushchairs are of the type with a single handle, so your toddler stands inside the handle when he's on the buggyboard. This was fine with the Britax and Babystyle, but is a little on the snug side with the Mountain Buggy.
Initially I found walking to be a bit awkward with the buggyboard in place. I think I just didn't trust that my feet would fit under it, when in actual fact there is plenty of room. Once you get used to it you really can walk comfortably. I do find the pushchair difficult to steer with my toddler on the buggyboard, but then he does weigh 2 and a half stone, so I'm not sure why I expected it to be easy! The suspension was a pleasant surprise, it works really well. I was cautious going up and down kerbs at first, but there wasn't any need to be, it springs beautifully without dislodging my son. The only time he has slipped around is if he has let go of the handlebars, so you do need to make sure your child holds on. It also helps if your child stands centrally on the buggyboard, with both feet firmly planted. This took a bit of training with my little boy!
When not in use, the buggyboard can be hooked up out of the way using the strap provided. You do have to find some way to secure it though. If you have a stroller type pushchair you can loop the strap over one of the handlebars, but with single handlebars you have to get a bit more creative! At the moment I wrap the excess strap length around the handlebar and loop the end onto a pram hook, and this seems to be working ok. When the buggyboard is hooked up you will probably find that access to your pushchair basket is blocked, which can be a real pain. Thankfully with my Mountain Buggy there is good basket access from the side, so it doesn't cause a problem. When the board is down it will block access to most pushchair's brakes. Usually you wouldn't need to apply the brake while the buggyboard is in use, but sometimes I'm a bit lazy and wish I didn't have to hook it up all the time when we reach our destination.
If you want to remove the buggyboard, this is very easy to do. You simply unclip the pins from the connector bolts. The board and arms come off while the connectors stay in place. I find it easier to leave it hooked up on the pushchair most of the time as it takes up less space this way. I do tend to remove it if I go out just with my baby, without my toddler, so that I can make use of my pram hook for it's intended purpose!
My little boy loves to go on his buggyboard, maybe a little too much! I find I need to encourage him to walk rather than go on it all of the time. It's a fantastic piece of kit, and particularly useful if you're in a hurry to get somewhere. There are a few things that annoy me about it, but it's much easier than dragging a tired child along behind you.
Having previously bought a Beko fridge freezer and being happy with that, I decided to go for the Beko brand again when looking for a dishwasher. I read a few reviews of similar models to the DSFN1534 and they got great write ups by all accounts, so I went ahead and ordered it. I paid £210 from ao.com, including free delivery, which I thought was a good price. It is currently for sale at £240.
I didn't pay for installation, so it was up to Mr Felixboo to get the dishwasher installed. We were putting it into a space previously occupied by our washing machine, and were hoping that the plumbing required would be the same. Thankfully it was and the job was quick and easy. The dishwasher has 4 adjustable feet to ensure it is standing flat, but our floor must be pretty level, because we didn't need to fiddle around with these. We switched it on and ran a cycle without any dishes inside, as recommended in the manual. Naturally, I wanted to run the quickest cycle for the test run, and that's when I came to the first hurdle. The programme chart provided makes absolutely no sense! It appears that all of the information in the chart has been randomly placed rather than put into the boxes which correspond to the correct programme. So, for instance, the description of the rapid cycle says it takes 58 mins, but the figures section of the chart says it takes 30 mins. (Incidentally, if you select this programme number, it takes neither of these durations to complete). There are other similar discrepancies, and I am left not knowing what any of the programmes actually are. I just select one at random now, it doesn't seem to make any difference!
This machine is said to hold 12 place settings. I think that is probably a fair assessment, but only if you're not putting in any pans or oven dishes, just the plates, bowls, cups etc used to eat with. The upper basket has a height adjustment feature, but I haven't found this to be particularly useful - my oven trays still don't fit in the bottom basket, regardless of how high the top basket is. I find the spacing of the racking in the upper basket quite infuriating. I'm not sure what (if anything) it has been designed for. Small baby/toddler sized bowls go in ok, but ordinary adult sized bowls just don't fit. I have to put these in the lower basket where there is a section with wider spaced racking. The lower basket is better designed. The rear half has the capability to fold down, either completely or in portions, to allow you to place a variety of items or combinations of items inside. The left hand side has wider spaced racks which work well for items such as pasta bowls, while the right hand side has closer spaced racks designed for plates. The cutlery basket can be moved from left to right which gives good versatility. I should mention here that when I opened the dishwasher after only the second or third use, I noticed that part of the racking had bent completely out of shape. I have no idea how it happened, perhaps the contents shifted around during the cycle. I was able to bend it most of the way back, but it's not perfect. I feel this is indicative of it's low-ish quality.
One of the things that attracted me to this particular model was the fact that the control panel is located inside the machine. With an inquisitive toddler in the house this was an absolute essential for me. The only button on the outside is the start/pause button, and since the power button is inside, my little one couldn't start a cycle unless I had neglected to turn the machine off. I do wish there was some kind of child lock or door lock though. Once he is a bit taller, there is nothing to stop him from opening the door mid-cycle and potentially being injured by escaping steam.
As far as cleanliness goes I have no complaints with this dishwasher. Everything comes out as clean as if I had hand washed it, if not cleaner. It is particularly effective at getting greasy utensils clean, and at removing the orange stains of baby food from plastic feeding spoons. It seems a bit too intensive for some items though - the handles of my kitchen knives are looking rather faded. I also don't like the squeaky feel of the glassware, but that's a personal issue I think!
Drying is another matter. When I unload the dishwasher almost every item has to be hand dried with a tea towel. I also find that small beakers and small tupperware tend to get flipped over during the cycle, meaning that when I come to take them out at the end, they are completely full of water. Sometimes they have found their way onto their sides and I don't realise there is water inside until it's too late and it has spilled all over the items in the lower basket. Perhaps I just need more practice at loading the dishwasher, but I do find this annoying.
I had never owned a dishwasher before, so perhaps some of my gripes with the Beko DSFN1534 are true of most, I don't know. I've used dishwashers in holiday cottages and at family members' houses though. and don't recall having any issues. My impression is that this model is decidedly average. I can't say that there's anything amazing about it, but then there's nothing awful either. It functions, just not as well as I would have liked. In the time it takes to load it, unload it and dry everything I could have washed it all by hand. It leaves me wondering why I bothered to get a dishwasher at all.
When my baby was a newborn I had a cheap Red Kite carrier that cost me about a tenner in the Asda baby event. I found it really useful for around the house and my son was much happier coming around the house with me than he was being put down. Once he got to be a couple of months old my back was really struggling with it and the straps dug into me, so I gave up using it. It wasn't until he was about 9 months old that I heard a lot of great things about the Ergo carrier. I thought he was too old to be carried at this point, but I was assured that people continue to use the Ergo right into toddlerhood, so I went ahead and bought one. Anything that might stop my clingy baby from whining all day long was worth a try!
The Ergo I purchased is exactly like the one pictured - colour 'outback', with the new orange and grey logo. Upon getting it out of the box I was immediately impressed with the quality. The whole thing feels very well made, and the shoulder straps in particular are highly padded for comfort. There's a zip pocket on it which is great for putting your keys in, or other small essentials. There's also a hood which is intended for supporting your baby's head when they're sleepy. I haven't used this as my baby would rather die than take a nap! Reading through the instructions I felt a bit overwhelmed, so I decided to look up the instructional videos on YouTube instead. Aside from the cheesy grins, these are actually really helpful.
The front carry position is the simplest (and the only one suitable for babies under 6 months), so I tried this first. Step 1 is to fasten the carrier around your waist and pull the strap tight. Now, I'm not overly skinny, an average size 12, and I find I need the strap tightened as far as it will go. If you were any skinnier, you may have issues with this. Step 2 is to lift your baby into position and pull on the shoulder straps. The next part proved rather difficult for me - you need to reach your hands behind your head to fasten the buckle at the back, which attaches the shoulder straps together. I'm not very flexible and I just can't reach to do it. I did find a way of getting around it though. I place the part of the buckle with the prongs into my mouth before pulling the shoulder straps on. This avoids having to wildly flap around trying to reach for it. Plus, my baby thinks it's hilarious that Mammy has a buckle in her mouth! Once this buckle is fastened, all you need to do is tighten up the straps. If you wear glasses, be prepared for your baby to swipe them from your face as you're doing this.
The difference between the Ergo and my old carrier is amazing. Straight away I noticed that my back wasn't being strained in the same way, in fact hardly at all. A great deal of your baby's weight is taken by the waist strap, making it a much more comfortable experience. The padded shoulder straps are great for reducing the pressure too. Unfortunately for me, I have problems with my pelvis, (brought on by pregnancy), so the directing of weight to that area really isn't good for me. It was fine the first time I used the Ergo, but I soon noticed I was getting pain from it. As a result, I can only use the Ergo for short periods of time. I do still use it for the school run, but I'm ready to take it off as soon as I get home.
How comfortable is the Ergo for baby? The first time we used it, baby was really happy. He enjoyed being close to me and getting those extra cuddles. The novelty soon wore off though. He began squirming around, impatient to get down, and leaning to one side to try to get a better view. I decided to try out the hip carry position to see if he preferred that.
The hip carry is much harder to do. There's no need to put any buckles in your mouth, but getting the baby into the carrier is quite tricky. You need to have one of the shoulder straps fastened across your body before you position the baby. This means lifting him quite high, with his tummy level with my face, and then trying to wriggle his legs into the correct position between the straps. Once he's in, he is happier than he was in the front carry position, but he will still lean to the side. In this position he seems more able to dislodge himself. The instruction manual states "The baby's position should be checked regularly. Ensure your baby's bottom is centered and low in the Carrier". This is impossible with my wriggly little man! I'm not sure it's realistic for many babies. The hip carry is more uncomfortable for me too. I really feel the strain in my pelvis on the opposite side to where baby is positioned. I appreciate that this is because of my particular health issue though, I'm sure it would be perfectly fine for most people.
Getting baby out of the Ergo is straightforward for the front carry, but I find it awkward with the hip carry. You're supposed to unfasten one of the straps and then lift your baby up out of the carrier with the other strap still fastened across your body. Getting him in like this was hard enough, but now the strap is tightened there's a lot less room for maneuver. If I could unfasten the strap he would come out easily enough, but once tightened the buckle is out of reach. Maybe if you're flexible you'd be able to do it this way. For me, I have to undo the shoulder strap that I can reach, then undo the waist strap so that I can lift the whole carrier upwards with baby still in it, and free the strap which crosses my body. I then put baby and carrier on the floor and proceed to disentangle them. Not ideal!
The difficulties I've had getting the Ergo on and off in the front and hip carry positions have put me off even attempting the back carry, as it looks harder still. I'll probably try it at some point, but not on my own. Maybe on a family trip to a museum or something I'll give it a go and my husband can help me with it.
I can see why people rave about the Ergo, it really is a great design. Unfortunately, with my physical limitations, it just doesn't work well for me. Add to that a baby who dislikes being confined, and you can see why it's not for us.
We bought our first aquapod when my son was around 6 months old and had just started sitting confidently. It lasted about a year, by which point it was ready for the bin. We bought a new one when my second son arrived. I had looked at other bath seats and they just seemed too impractical to me for actually washing your baby! The great thing about this design is that the 'seat' part is actually open at the sides, with a back rest behind baby and a support across the front. This allows you much better access for washing.
Assembly for the aquapod is minimal - all you have to do is slot the hard plastic seat through the holes in the base mat and you're ready to go. There are large suckers on the underside of the seat and numerous small suckers on the underside of the mat to hold it securely in place. I find it tends to get a bit dislodged when the bath is running, but once I press the suckers back down they stay firmly in place. In fact, maybe a bit too firmly, it can be difficult to remove it. The best way I have found to get it off is to pull up all of the suckers on the mat, leaving the seat suckers attached, and then slide the whole thing up the side of the bath. If you just try to pull it up, the large suckers on the seat can be stuck so well that the seat will come up, but the suckers come out of it and remain stuck to the bath. It may be tempting to just leave it attached to the bath, but trust me, that's not a good idea! There are so many attractive places for mould to grow under there, that cleaning it off is a major task and not something you want to have to do!
Once the bath is run it's quite easy to get baby into place. Having said that, no matter how good a design it is, an uncooperative baby who refuses to bend his legs still poses a problem! I have to stand him up in the seat area and sort of swipe his legs from under him. He's very happy once he's sat down in it. He enjoys the freedom it allows him to lean and reach for toys. It was a bit unnerving the first few times we used it as I was afraid he would lean too far to the side and fall face first into the water. He soon learned though and I no longer felt the need to keep my hands hovering next to him. He really enjoys his baths and the aquapod keeps him safe enough to play happily for as long as he wants. I usually only keep him in ten minutes or so though, because by that point most of the water is all over the bathroom floor!
An added bonus with the aquapod is the long length of the mat. This allows you to place an older child in the bath at the same time without having to buy a separate non slip mat for him. My boys certainly enjoy having their baths together! There is also a version which has two seats if you have twins or babies close in age.
On the downside, the heat sensor on the mat is pretty useless. We have a few bath toys/accessories which claim to let you know if the water is too hot, but none of them are reliable. I just judge the temperature by dipping my hand in. Also, the longevity of the mat is not as good as I had hoped. I would have expected it to last for more than one child considering the price tag of £29.99, and the fact that it is Mothercare branded. Our original aquapod developed cracks in the mat, radiating outwards from where the seat slots in. It seems that the stress put on the mat when removing it from the bath is too much for it to take. Despite this, I was happy enough to buy a replacement, just a little annoyed that I had to!
I got the Mamas and Papas Luna when my first son was about a year old. The travel system we had was just so big and heavy that I really wanted something easier to use. I had seen Lunas around a fair bit and liked the look of them. This, combined with the good reputation of the Mamas and Papas brand, made me go for it. The model I have is the Luna mix, which has the option of various coloured interchangeable hoods.
The Luna seat is both tall and wide, so there's plenty of room for toddlers. My first son was in it until he was 2 and half and there was still plenty of space for him to grow. I would have kept using it if I hadn't needed to switch to a double when his baby brother arrived. It is a very flat seat, by which I mean there is no shape to the backrest. This is fine for older ones and is great for lying newborns flat, but I wasn't altogether happy with it for the stage in between. When my second son was around 5 or 6 months he was wanting to sit rather than lie down, but because the seat is so wide and has no shape, it gave very little support. The result was that he flopped around a bit and would end up slumped to one side. For a one year old though it is perfect. The seat can recline from any position from lie flat to fairly upright by means of sliding the strap behind the backrest. I much prefer this method to having fixed positions you have to choose between. There is also an adjustable leg rest. I tend to have this down most of the time and then raise it up for naps to make it more comfortable.
My model has the floating harness, which is fantastic. Basically, where the harness would usually attach to the backrest of the seat, it doesn't. Instead it loops around your child, meaning that they are free to lean forward. My son was so much happier with this than being fully restrained. It did take a bit of getting used to though, since he could be leaning to the side and potentially bump his head on something if you weren't paying enough attention. The bumper bar stopped him from leaning too far, so I didn't see it as a dangerous harness, although I know others feel that it is. The one issue I have with this harness is the fact that you can't use a footmuff. Well, you can, but you can only put the waist straps through it, so the back portion has nothing to secure it and it flaps around. I chose to just use the apron that came with the Luna instead. This is fairly warm anyway, although not all that roomy for a toddler. I had to tuck his feet into it rather than hooking it under the leg rest in order for him to be able to move his legs around.
The hood is one area that I felt let it down. It is quite small and doesn't offer much coverage. If my son was leaning forward he was entirely exposed to the rain/sun. I found I had to use a rain cover or sun shade more often than I would have liked. I wasn't impressed with the Luna raincover either. It is structured to form a big bubble as opposed to following the shape of the seat. Presumably this is so that it fits over when the pushchair is being used with a carrycot or carseat, but as I didn't use either with it, I just found it a hassle. It took up way too much room in the basket and the boning in it got bent out of shape. I bought a universal raincover instead and got on fine with it.
The bumper bar is easy to get on and off, you simply push a button underneath and it slides out. You can also release one side and swing it out of the way for getting baby in and out. The cover isn't very good though. The material is flimsy and it isn't removable so you can't put it through the wash either. Mine got a rip in the bumper cover quite quickly.
The handle is comfortable to hold, with a padded foam cover. It adjusts to a variety of heights using the buttons at the sides. Most people will be able to find a suitable position.
Basket size is something I look for in a pushchair, and the Luna doesn't disappoint on that front. There is space for a couple of decent sized shopping bags in there. It is shallow though, so you can't just throw bits and pieces in there, they do need to be secured inside a bag. I don't like to hang bags on the handlebar because the pushchair does tip quite easily, so the basket is really the only place you can put things. It is also prone to tipping when the seat is reclined back, so you do need to be careful of that.
The fold is simple to do, you just pull up two sliders on either side of the frame and it collapses down in one piece. Opening it back up is easy too, although mine in it's old age does stick a bit and need some persuasion to click into place.
The brake is easy to apply and has a push on and push off mechanism which is friendly to toes in the summer! It feels secure when applied too, which you might take for granted but isn't always the case.
This pushchair is beautiful to push. It has solid rubber tyres which give a smooth ride without the risk of a puncture. I've had quite a few objects, such as nails and glass, stuck in the wheels and been very thankful that they weren't air tyres. They did leave small holes, but it hasn't affected the performance. The centre of gravity is quite far back, meaning that it is very easy to steer one handed and to get up and down kerbs. It does also mean that it is liable to tip though, as I mentioned previously.
Despite a few niggles I really do love this pushchair, especially for toddlers. The ease of use and the way it glides along are more than enough to compensate for any issues I've come across. I do prefer something with a more shaped seat for younger babies though.
I've had a fair few pushchairs over the 3 and a bit years since my first son was born, and this is one of the better ones. I had always fancied an Oyster, but had been put off by how low down your child is positioned. The sales people failed to point out that height adapters were available for the carrycot and carseat options. Maybe they weren't available back then, or maybe they just wanted to steer me in the direction of another model, I honestly don't know!
Fast forward to the arrival of my second son and I found myself checking out the Oyster again. This time I took the plunge. I didn't bother with a carrycot as my little one was 5 months when I bought the Oyster, so I put him straight into the seat unit (the manufacturer recommends not using the seat unit until 6 months of age, but he had good head control and sat well with support, so I went ahead and used it). He certainly looked comfortable in there. The seat liner is beautifully cushioned and soft, as well as coming in a wonderful range of colours. The seat back has 3 different positions. The lowest is quite close to flat, so great for naps. The middle position is the one we use most of the time. It keeps my little one sat up but in a relaxed reclining position. The uppermost position is very straight, almost entirely vertical. This isn't comfortable for him now (at 9 months old) but will be great for when he reaches toddlerhood. So few pushchairs have a good upright position.
The hood is one of the features that really attracted me to the Oyster. There's something really pleasing about the shape of it as well as the practicality of the sun visor. Again, there seem to be very few pushchairs which have this feature, when to me it seems like an essential. The hood does a great job of keeping the sun out of your child's eyes, but only if the seat is in one of the two upper positions. If it's in the lowest position it does very little. I opted to buy the sun shade net with UPF 50+ to protect my little one completely over the summer. It probably wouldn't have been necessary if we hadn't had such a hot summer this year.
The basket is surprisingly roomy. It looks small, but I can squeeze two shopping bags in there, or the changing bag and my toddler's rucksack. The raincover fits neatly underneath the bags too due to it's small size. I am a bit concerned about how long the raincover will last us though. At 9 months old my son is getting annoyed by how restrictive the cover is around his feet, and as he grows it's only going to get worse. I may end up buying a universal cover of some sort that doesn't wrap around the bottom of the seat.
The handlebar adjusts in height, but maybe not far enough for taller people. I'm only 5'5'' and find the highest position most comfortable. If I'm in a tight space like a cafe, for example, it's great to slide the handle right down and make it easier to fit between the tables.
The fold on the oyster is fantastic, I love it! The seat unit folds completely in half, making it small and so easy to lift in and out of the car. It's easier for us to take the seat off and fold the chassis separately because of the shape of our saloon's boot. If you have a hatchback though the shape of the fold as a one piece will probably work better. It's compact either way and you can pop off the back wheels to make it even smaller.
Maneuverability has been an issue for me. The compact frame is great in some respects, but the short distance between the front and rear wheels can make it difficult to get down high kerbs. I have to stick my foot on the rear bar of the chassis sometimes and forcibly push it down onto the road (be careful not to knock the wheel release if you do this though. I've done it without realising and then a bit further down the street one of the rear wheels has fallen off!). The small front wheels are a bit of an issue too. If there's a pothole or a wonky paving stone the wheels can get stuck and be almost impossible to move. It's also surprisingly difficult to steer considering how small and light it is. I find my wrists get sore after a while, particularly if I have to push it one handed so I can hold my toddler's hand. I still have the seat in parent facing mode most of the time though, which puts the centre of gravity a fair distance from the handlebar. It is considerably easier to maneuver in forward facing mode.
One finally warning: the colour packs are addictive! So far I've had black, ocean and carrot. Babystyle keep releasing new colours and designs so there's always a temptation there.
In my first pregnancy I suffered with agonising SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) and found nothing that gave relief. I didn't even know that products like the Serola belt existed. If only someone had told me, I could have saved myself a lot of misery!
As soon as I discovered I was pregnant the second time I took action to minimise my pain for the duration of the pregnancy. I saw a physiotherapist through my employer's occupational health department who assessed me and recommended I buy a Serola belt. Apparently these belts used to be given out by the NHS to pregnant women with SPD, but to save a few pounds they stopped being offered, in favour of cheaper, giant tubigrips which provide far less support. I was dubious about how helpful this belt would be, but decided to fork out the money for it on the off chance that it would help. Anything that could potentially reduce the pain was worth a try!
When it arrived I immediately tried it on and was surprised by the difference it made. As soon as it was tightened I could feel that my pelvis was pulled together and supported. Amazing! It allowed me to do so much more than I could in my first pregnancy, which was all the more important since I now had a 2 year old to run after! It wasn't a miracle cure, I still had pain and still had to take things easy, but the difference was incredible. I'd say it about halved my pain level and also stopped my condition from deteriorating much further.
As a bonus, the Serola belt is really easy to use. It is simply secured with velcro, making it quick to get on and off, while allowing you to get the perfect fit (the belt comes in several sizes and then the velcro adjusts to any length within the range of that belt). The positioning of the belt does mean that it needs to be removed in order to go to the toilet, so it's just as well that it's easy to do (especially for pregnant women)! I also found that if I was going to be sitting down for a long period of a time I needed to either loosen the belt a bit or take it off completely. I rarely took it off as it was helpful for support when getting in and out of a chair.
It's not the most attractive thing in the world - you can see the shape of it through your clothing - but to be honest I didn't care. I was far more concerned with the fact that it was actually working than with how I looked. My outfit of choice when pregnant was leggings with a long baggy top, and in that situation the belt was hardly noticeable.
The Tommee Tippee first cup is simple and brightly coloured. It is a freeflow design which teaches your baby how to drink, rather than a spill proof spout which needs to be sucked. Babies love to shake this cup and see the water spill, so it can be a bit messy, but it's all part of the learning process. The spout flips down to prevent spillages whilst transporting it in your bag. The cup has markings in ml on the side, so you can use it for milk as well as for water. My son at 9 months prefers this cup to a bottle for having his milk. He hasn't quite mastered using it himself yet. I tend to hold one handle and he holds the other.
I used these cups for my first son too, they are all you need to get you through weaning and toddlerhood. I eventually stopped using it when the quantity of liquid my toddler needed became more than this cup will hold.
The b-smart is attractive and comes in a nice range of colours. When I tested it instore it felt great, glided effortlessly. Once you take it out onto real pavements and have to get it up and down kerbs it's a different story. I found it heavy to steer and a real effort to get up a kerb, not only because of the weight, but also because the front wheel will swivel and get stuck in a sideways position. You can lock the front wheel to stop this happening, but then you'd have to tip the pushchair to turn corners, so this isn't very practical.
On the plus side, the seat unit is well built and the adjustable leg support makes it comfortable for both babies and toddlers. There are 3 recline positions, one of which is lie flat, so it is suitable for newborns. There is plenty of room for a 3 year old in the seat. I like that the seat is quite high up which makes access and contact with your child easier than on some smaller pushchairs. It can be either parent or forward facing and is straightforward to unclip the seat and reattach the other way round. The bumper bar comes on and off easily and can be swung to the side for access. One of the selling points of the hood is the zip which allows the front of the hood to come lower down and shield your child's eyes from the sun. The snag with this is that the section of hood which unzips is made of a mesh which does not give UV protection. If it offered sun protection, this would be a brilliant feature. The basket is a generous size, but is open at the back so whatever you put in has to be contained within a sturdy bag. If you just put things in loose or in an ordinary carrier bag they are likely to fall out. The brake isn't great, it only seems to lock one of the wheels so the pushchair rolls about a bit on public transport. It also sticks a bit and doesn't always go off and on properly.
I used the carrycot and car seat on the b-smart and was happy with how they worked. Both simply clip onto the frame without needing adapters. That was another selling point for me. I had seen friends lugging around huge adapters for their pushchairs and couldn't be bothered with that! The carrycot is lovely - sturdy and comfortable for my little one. It is also quite generous in size.
Overall it is a decent pushchair, but the weight of it and the large fold ultimately made me replace it with something else.
We bought the ocean adventure playgym mostly because of it's attractive bright colours and fun theme. Once we had it set up though, I realised that it's not actually that interesting for a baby! The selection of toys just aren't that great. The previous two reviews here seem to be of an older version of this mat, which by the sounds of it, was much better! First there's an octopus which is basically just a soft toy, so not much fun. Then there are two plastic discs with texture on one side and a picture on the other. My little one quite liked to chew these, but unfortunately the picture is a sticker so inevitably it got soggy and peeled off, leaving bits in his mouth. Not great! The whale is good for tummy time, but my baby hated tummy time, so we didn't get to use this. There is a starfish shaped water filled teether and a circular mirror, both of which were fine, and a turtle rattle. The rattle was probably the most interesting bit of the mat. The triangular music and lights box is good and we still use it now that my baby has long outgrown the playmat itself. However, it wouldn't attach to the gym. Whenever I put it on it would slide down and pull the arches down, bunching up the mat. We have only ever been able to use it as a stand alone toy.
I really was disappointed with this gym, I'm just glad that we got it on sale! I much preferred the Fisher Price rainforest one that we had for my first child.
I was originally looking for an American style fridge freezer, but after doing some measurements and realising just how much of the kitchen one would take up, I decided to go for this model instead. It's wider than your average fridge freezer, which really does make a big difference to the capacity. I bought it 6 months ago and have never had any problems fitting in everything I need for a family of four.
The fridge section has two salad/vegetable drawers and 3 glass shelves, plus a half depth shelf right at the top which is handy for storing jars of jam, pickle etc. There's also a wine rack included. There are 2 full width shelves on the back of the door and 4 smaller ones to either side of the water dispenser. I removed one of these small ones in order to have a tall enough area to keep a 2 litre drinks bottle. Cold water is supplied via a tank that you fill up rather than a plumbed system. It's simple to use, but a few weeks after getting it the novelty wore off, and we haven't used it since (despite my husband's insistence that he needed a fridge with this feature!). The only issue we have had with the fridge is that recently the seal at the top has come loose, meaning that every time you close the door you have to check that it has closed properly. It's a bit of a pain, but nothing major.
The freezer section has a twist operated ice tray with a drawer beneath for storing the cubes. This is a great alternative to the ice dispensers on more expensive models. There are 3 full width drawers (although the bottom one isn't full depth) and one half width drawer alongside the ice cube tray. Again, there is plenty of space to store what you need for a family of four. The frost free feature actually works too, which I wasn't expecting!
Overall I'm pleased with my purchase and would buy from Beko again. It's nothing fancy, but is practical for family use.
I was drawn to the duet because of it's ultra slimline frame. Other side by sides claim to fit through doorways, but I had heard of people having problems, so at just 63cm this model was fantastic. I never had any problems getting it anywhere. The maneuverability is amazing, even with my chunky 3 year old and 6 month old baby in, it was a joy to push. I found it much easier than pushing a single buggy with a buggy board attached. It pops up kerbs easily and even went through the snow. It is quite bulky and heavy when folded though, so that's something to consider if you're planning to take it in and out of the car a lot.
Both of my boys were comfortable in the duet. I was concerned that the seat would be a bit snug for my toddler, but it was never an issue. I used the seat in the lie flat position for my newborn, with a cosytoe to keep him warm rather than buying the carrycot, and it worked great.
The basket is a good size and easy to access. If you wanted both seats in the lie flat position it might be a bit fiddly though.
I had read reviews saying that the ribbed handlebar could get uncomfortable, but I walked quite long distances and never had an issue. It has a good range of height adjustment too so you can get it just right for your height.
The hoods are good, although there is a slight gap between them, so I used the rain cover more often than I might have with a different model i.e. in moderate rain.
All in all I loved the duet and was so sad when I no longer needed it that I bought a single mountain buggy to replace it!