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I have rather sensitive skin and suffer from roseacea, therefore I am reluctant to try new moisturisers as they often irritate my skin. However, due to our budget being tighter since having my daughter, I have been looking at cutting back on things. So when doing the weekly shop in Aldi I spotted this and decided to give it a try.
~ Price and Availability ~
Lacura is the Aldi's own brand of skin care, I have seen this online, however, I have only seen it available in the Aldi's shops. For a tiny price of £1.99 for 50ml, I didn't think it was much of a cost to gamble on a moisturiser.
~ The Product ~
Firstly it comes in a matt glass pot, inside a cardboard box. This packaging looks high quality, if you didnt know it only cost £2 from Aldi you would not think that it was a budget moisturiser.
The moisturiser has a fresh pleasent smell, not overpowering or too feminine, so both myself and my other half can use it. It is quite a thin moisturiser, which is great for me as I have quite dry skin and find the thicker moisurisers dont absorb properly and makes it difficult for makeup application ontop. This moisturiser absorbs into the skin very easily and is a great base under makeup, as makeup smoothly goes ontop. No scaly or dry patches which normally show up terribly normally when makeup applied.
I have quite dry skin and this makes my skin feel soft without feeling greasy. Also it doesnt irritate my skin.
My only bug with this moisturiser is that it only has 6 spf, I normally look for a moisturiser with a minimum of 15 spf to protect my skin in the sun. If this had 15 spf it would have easily been a 5 star.
~ Conclusion ~
I was pleasently surprised at the quality of this CHEAP moistuiser, by no means is it cheap feeling or smelling and works great for my skin. I would definately recommend this for anyone to try! I was soo pleased with this purchase I am going to try a few more of the products from this brand.
For my daugthers first birthday I wanted to get her a variety of toys, not just "girly" ones. I wanted to get her some cars which are suitable for her age. When I saw these on Amazon I knew they would be perfect.
~ Price and Availability ~
I have seen these in many toys shops, also online in major online toy shops. I got mine from
Amazon for about £12, they RRP for £17.
~ The Toy ~
You get three toy vehicles car, van and truck. Each of which are brightly coloured with its name on the side and a chirpy face on the windscreen. They are very attractive for little children who like the bright toys and are quite study so look like they will take some throwing around!
They are quite chunky with no loose bits so are ideal for smaller children.
They recommend 12months+ however, I cannot see why they cannot be givens to children a bit younger ie able to sit alone/crawl. They are relatvely light, so easy for small hands to pick up & not too much problem if they are thrown!
Each toy plays a different sound track, with a song describing the vehicle ie "I a yellow car, Toot Toot, beep beep!"... and vehicle noises.
They never fail to catch my daughters attention if she is getting a little grumpy (teething at the moment), and always makes her grin. You can make the toys start the sounds by either running them along the floor or pressing the vehicle windscreen, which is a very easy to press button.
When the music/sounds is playing the windscreen flashes making them bright and attractive.
I quite like the sounds that come from them, however, it can get a little much when all three toys are singing their own little song at the same time. I can see why some people find this a little annoying. But I find myself singing along, not really a toy if you are easily annoyed!
I find that these are good to encourage crawling. As you can roll them and have your little one chase. They do roll quite easy on my carpet.
The little phrases will help with vocabulary, and also word recognition ie car/van
These are good for when she is a little older and doing more of a role play imaginative games, so hopefully these will last a while.
If you do get annoyed by the music, there is an off switch on the bottom and these can just be used as a normal car.
~ The range ~
You can also buy a fire enging/police car/amulance set (around £15) and a garage to run the cars in (£35-40). Which I am considering getting to add to the set.
~ Batteries ~
Each car takes an AA battery each, we are still on our first set. I will do an update when they run out of juice...
~ Overall ~
These are one of my daughters favourite toys at the moment. She can crawl around with them, bash them together, dance to the music and press the button, all of her favourite things at the moment. I would definately recommend them.
We bought this for my daughter at Christmas when my daughter was 6 months old. I was looking for toys which are fun but educational and will last for a while, this is why I liked to look of this toy.
~ Cost and Availability ~
I bought this from Amazon for around £15, at the moment it is on there for £19.29. It is also available at many other toy retailers i.e. ELC, Tesco, Mothercare, ToyRus all for around £20-25.
I understand that this is quite a costly toy, however, I feel that its variety and length of use it is worth the money.
~ The Toy ~
The recommended age for this toy is 6 months to 3 years, which I feel is about right. My daughter was 6 months and sitting on her own when we got this.
The toy consists of a number of aspects which keeps the interest for a variety of ages.
The basket itself is a plastic picnic basket with a cute cartoon style face, with a lid which opens both sides and a handle. The basket is electronic using 3 AA batteries, we are still on our first set of batteries 4 months later. There are two electronic settings "shapes & colours" and "music".
Shapes & Colours setting - the basket talks to you either when you open and close the lid or press the "butterfly" button on the basket. It asks questions regarding the food items, shapes and colours.
Music setting - when either opening/closing the lid or pressing the butterfly button the basket sings a couple of songs relating to picnics
With the basket there are a number of picnic items, two shape sorting plates, two cups, two forks and 6 different food items which are shapes either circle, triangle or square, which fit into the plate shapes and a picnic blanket.
The basket firstly encourages the fine motor skills of picking up the separate items in the early months. The size of the food items are perfect for practicing the pincer grip and passing items between hands. My daughter also enjoys banging the different items together to make different sounds developing cause and effect.
Then my daughter got into opening and closing things, which she loved this toy for this as the lid makes different noises when you open/close the lids.
Then my daughter enjoyed rummaging through the basket with all the items inside and choosing which items she wanted to pick up. This encourages her visual and choice making skills.
Now she enjoys emptying the basket then placing (or more normally throwing) the items back into the basket.
This toy also encourages sharing, as I sit with my daughter when she is playing and point and ask different items for her to pass to me. When she is a little older this is good and there is two of each item for more role playing sharing.
This toy is also good for encouraging vocabulary and shape/colour recognition, as you can ask for different items like the round orange or triangle melon etc.
My daughter is a little young at the moment to understand shape sorting, however, she did work out she can put the round items inside the cups, but the triangle items do not fit. When she is playing you can see her thinking and looking at things, so I don't think it will be long before she can work out the shapes sorting into the plates.
We recently went camping and took this toy with us. We found that my daughter and her cousin (7 months) both enjoyed playing with it together. Also my friends daughter who is 2 years old, also really enjoyed playing with this toy, but in a slightly more role playing way.
~ Conclusion ~
I feel that this toy is a great learning aid developing a lot of different aspect varying for a wide range of ages. Well worth the cost!
We bought this walker for my daughter for Christmas, as she was 6 months we thought we'd better get prepared for the impending learning to walk. I likes this walker as it had a removable electronic "learning pad" that she can play with until she can pull herself up.
~ Cost and Availability ~
This walker is by Vtech and is available almost anywhere that sells toys. It retails for around £25, however, we purchased this from Amazon in November for just under £20.
~ The Toy ~
The walker comes in two colours, I have the normal yellow walker with red handle & blue legs, however you can get a pink version which is more girly. My friend has the pink one and it is exactly the same, just a different colour.
The walker was relatively easy to set up, just a few clicks and its set up. On the battery door it is designed to use a 2p to unscrew, instead of having to root for a screw driver on Christmas morning, which is very handy.
The walker takes 3 AA batteries, so relatively cheap compared to some of the toys I have that take C or D, which cost a fortune & we never have any handy at home. We are still on our first set of batteries after over 4 months of nearly daily use.
The "learning pad" is easily removed from the walker unit and can be used on the floor or propped up against something so smaller children can play with it. At Christmas my daughter had only be sitting unaided for a few weeks so didn't have the best of balance, so I placed the pad on a cushion on her lap so she could reach and play. Now she is much more mobile and she can easily reach over at the buttons when it is laid flat on the floor.
The pad consists of a number of buttons each providing different sounds. There is a switch where there are two noise levels. I normally have it on low, as it can get a bit grating after a while. Starting at the top:
- There is a button in the shape of a puppy, which when pressed says "puppy says ...". This is more for older children to interact than my daughter, however, it will assist in vocabulary and recognising body parts i.e. clap your hands, stomp your feet etc
- There are 3 brightly coloured cogs, which can be twiddled with and turned. My daughter loves this part and always manoeuvres herself to this part when she is playing with it. When I was with my friend and her daughter they were sitting at either side of the pad and were both flicking the cogs against each other. When they are moved they say "twisting, turning around and around".
- On the right side there is a detachable telephone, which has rattling balls inside it. This never stays on the toy very long as is easily removed, but has nothing to keep it connected to the pad, so often gets put into the toy box with the other rattles. My daughter loves shaking anything that makes a noise, so this is another good separate toy. She is not old enough to understand role play & phones yet, however, does think it's funny when I hold it up to my ear and talk into it, then hold it to hers. It is a good size and shape her for little hands to practice passing from hand to hand. When you put the phone back onto the pad it says "well done", this will probably teach older children to put the toy back once played with, however, at the moment my daughter just likes to flick the button sensor on the pad separately, but it says "well done" anyway.
- on the left side there is a butterfly, which one of its wings flips over, changing the rest of the learning pad between numbers and letters to music. When you flip it over it makes a jingling noise.
- There is a group of 4 buttons numbered, in different colours and shapes. When the butterfly is on the letters/numbers side, when the buttons presses it says either 1-4 or blue square etc. This is also to develop recognition and vocabulary. When the butterfly is on music, it plays different types of music i.e. "jazz it up" or "rock and roll". My daughter loves music so she loves this, and bats away at them.
- along the bottom are 5 keys, like keyboard keys. When the butterfly is on letters/numbers it has a-e in phonetic "ahh" and says "a is for apple" - then the sound of an apple crunching. This is good for vocabulary and letter recognition, however can get a little annoying after a while, so we flick the butterfly over to the music option & it then becomes a 5 note keyboard C to G. My daughter loves to play with the keyboard and make music & I'm sure this will be a popular toy for a while to come. I also have tried to work out different song you can play with the 5 notes, which is surprisingly quite a lot!
The walker is my main concern with this toy, it is quite sturdy and doesn't look like it will topple over sideways, however, the wheels are completely free rolling which means there is no traction against the baby's movement when trying to walk, so I find that the walker just runs away with itself and leaves baby laying face down on the floor. My friend whose daughter is a little older than mine & a bit more steady on her feet & she agreed that the walker wasn't good when her little girl was trying to learn to walk, however, now she can do a few steps on her own and has better balance she is quite happy for her daughter to use it. It is probably good for those baby's who are capable of walking on their own, but are too scared to let go of anything.
~ Conclusion ~
This is one of my daughters favourite toys to play with the "learning pad" however, as she is only just learning to walk it is not the best one available & I would not class it as "first steps". However in a few months when she is more confident in walking I feel that this would be more suitable.
Building blocks are the ideal versatile but very simple toy for little ones. When looking for Christmas presents for my little girl I knew I had to get some. She turned 6 months just before Christmas, so it was an ideal time to get her this type of toy.
The ones I ended up getting were the Galt Soft Blocks.
~ Price and Availability ~
I purchased these from Amazon in around November for about £6, however, I see the price has risen to around £11 at the time I am writing this. They are also available at a number of online retailers though I have never seen them in any shops.
~ The Blocks ~
The set consists of 6 soft foam blocks, in a handy plastic travel case. They are very soft and surprisingly light. Each block is about 10cm cube. At first I was concerned that my daughter would have trouble picking them up, as her little hand have to grab quite hard to keep hold without the foam springing out, however, she quickly leant how much pressure to place on the blocks to keep hold of them. She also picks them up with both hands and throws them. My daughter is now 8 months old and loves to play with them. I feel that these were a very good tool to help her learn hand/eye co-ordination and grasp strength required.
These blocks are very brightly coloured, with cartoon pictures of different animals and numbers. They are very attractive looking and feel very well made. The pictures are not only attractive to look at, but also can be used for games and learning when your child is a little older. One side has numbers in figures and represented by the number of animals on the side to assist with leaning to count. Other sides also include groups of animals i.e. farm yard, pets, zoo animals, which you can play recognition and vocabulary games.
My daughters' favourite game, however, at the moments is watching Mummy or Daddy stacking the blocks high and she hits them with her hands knocking them down in fits of giggles. As the blocks are lights and soft there are no concerns for little ones getting bumped on the head. Also one of the blocks has a jingle inside, so when the blocks fall down them make a noise.
The blocks are recommended from 3 months + which I would say was about right. There is nothing that can hurt a younger baby, however, it does take some hand co-ordination to play. This toy I think will remain in the toy box for a long time though due to the variety of play you can get out of them.
They are also machine washable which is always handy.
~ Conclusion ~
Well in my opinion every baby should have this toy. You can get such a variety of play out of them and they will last a long time. They assist many different development areas over the first year onwards but are also great fun to play with.
This is basically a set of toys which each make a different type of noise, really glorified rattles, however I have been really pleased with this set.
Halilit wasn't a brand I was familiar with before and I just happened across this set when searching Amazon for Christmas present ideas.
~ Cost and Availability ~
As I said above I bought this from Amazon for around £15. I can also see that you can buy this from a number of different online retails costing between £15 - £20 for the set.
~ The Set ~
To start this is called "First Birthday" set, however, my daughter was only 6 months at Christmas. In my opinion this set is good for babies who are able to pick items up - around 3-4 months old. There is nothing in this set which is dangerous i.e. small pieces and I feel that it has assisted in my daughters development.
The set consists of 5 "instruments" and a CD of music to "play" along to.
Bell shaped rattle - this is probably the easiest for a baby to use, as it is quite small, light and the handle is shaped for easy grasping. It is a bright orange plastic handle, with a bell shaped end made out of clear plastic with small plastic balls inside the. I think this would be appropriate from around 3 months as the child can practice their hand and eye coordination, as this was one of the first toys I saw my daughter pass from one hand to the other.
Jingle bell - This is a round shaped yellow plastic toy with a half moon cut out for a handle on one side, and the otherside are jingly bells inset into the plastic. This is larger and slightly heavier than the bell shaped rattle, but does make a lovely noise. It is probably my daughters favourite of the set. This is the one she chooses to shake around when Daddy is sitting with her playing guitar. She really does love music and I think this helps her feel she is joining in.
My daughter has never really been one to mouth and chew on toys, however, this is the only exception. All of the teething rings she rejected and has decided this is the best thing to chew on.
Clacking rattle - this is a bit larger than the other two, where one side is a handle, and the other side is a pole with shaped plastic disks which "clack" against each other when shaken. My daughter is more interested in touching and flicking the disks than shaking to make a noise, however, it does keep her interest.
Drum - This is a large and flat (about the size of a side plate) with two "drum" plastic surfaces, with a hard plastic rim. One side of the "drum" surface is colourful picture, and the other side is clear. Inside the drum there are plastic beads. My daughter both loves batting the drum and to pick it up with the rim and shake around to make different types of noise. It took a while for my daughter to grasp how to pick this toy up as it is larger than everything else, she started picking up with both hands and now is able to pick up with one (8 months).
Rainmaker - this is a small "rainmaker" which is a plastic cylinder with beads inside with bits that the beads have to fall through, mimicking the sound of falling rain. It is only short, less than 10cm long but quite wide, so my daughter has only just managed to pick it up (she does have quite dainty hands). However now she loves sitting there and shaking it around.
CD - this is a music CD with songs that can be played along to. I've only listened to the CD and do not usually put it on while my daughter it playing. I think when she is a little older 1-2 years this may be more relevant to her.
On the whole I think this is a brilliant set and is well made. I like the fact that each toy makes a different sound. It stimulates a lot of baby's senses - sound, sight and touch (and if your baby is like mine - taste) and helps develop fine motor skills i.e. picking up and dropping, choosing between toys on the floor in front of them, passing items from one hand to the other.
I also like that these are simple no battery toys, as too many of modern toys are heavily electronic orientated.
When I was pregnant I did a lot of research into which monitor to chose. I knew this was going to be a "must" purchase as the house we moved into is quite old and the sound doesn't travel at all through the walls! The reviews I read at the time pointed to this as one of the best, so I added it to my "amazon wishlist", which my Mother-in-law kindly bought for us.
I have been using this for the past 8 months and have found that it has good and bad points.
~ Cost and Availability ~
It cost around £75 to buy of Amazon, however, you can buy these in most shops selling baby items i.e. Argos, ToysRus, Mothercare and normally retails at around £99.99 in store or £75 online.
~ Features ~
This is not only a simple sound monitor, however, it also has a room temperature, nightlight & movement sensor pad.
~ Sound monitor ~
The sound is quite clear through the monitor, however, I have found that I do get interference occasionally. There is an option to chose the channel if the transmission is not clear or is causing a problem.
There is an option to have the sound on constantly, or activated by a certain level of sound. I chose to have the sound on constantly, as I want to hear every little sound in my little girls room.
~ Room temperature ~
This is a great feature as you have no need to buy any additional room thermometer. It show the temperature on the parent handset, so you can see if you need to turn the heating down without entering your baby's room and disturbing them. There is also an option to set an alarm when the temperature gets above/below a certain level. It is essential to make sure baby's room doesn't get too warm as overheating has been linked with SIDS.
~ Nightlight ~
The monitor has a mellow blue light, which can be turned on/off by a switch on the side of the transmitter, not affecting the settings for the sound/movement monitor. This is only a dim light and I tend to leave it on all night.
~ Movement sensor ~
This is probably the main reason people buy this monitor instead of the cheaper "sound only". Being a parent can be the scariest time of your life, being a worrier I like the idea that this pad telling me that my baby is breathing, it is such a relief and sets my mind at ease. The movement sensor is a pad, which is placed under the mattress in the centre of the cot, and plugs into the transmitter. This is an optional extra and the sound monitor will work with or without the movement sensor.
The pad detects when your baby moves and is so sensitive it can recognise every breath. If the pad doesn't detect a movement for 20 seconds it sets off a single beep on both the parents handset and the transmitter. This noise in the baby's room is to wake up baby, as sometimes with baby central sleep apnea a little nudge may retrigger the breathing. After 40 seconds a constant alarm goes off on both units.
This does give you peace of mind, especially when I moved my baby from my bedroom into her nursery. However, this is also a little annoying. As when you pick up your baby, you trigger the alarm. So you have to turn off the transmitter unit, which makes the alarm go off on the parents unit. So when baby wakes up a 3am for a feed, you first have to remember to turn of parent unit, so as not to wake up DH, then going into nursery and turn of the transmitter, then pick up hungry screaming baby! When you are half asleep it is not the easiest thing to remember! If only there was a button/switch on the transmitter unit to say you are picking your baby up.
With the movement monitor you can have a "tick" every time you baby moves. I'm not sure whether anyone uses this option, as it is probably the most annoying sound in the world, and I can't imagine anyone can sleep with a constant beep next to them! This can be turned off and the parent unit just shows a pendulum swinging to reflect every movement.
There is also an option to adjust the sensitivity of the pad if you are getting too many false alarms.
~ The units ~
The transmitter nursery unit can be plugged into the mains or used with 4 AAA batteries. I normally use it plugged in, however, the option for batteries is good for power cuts or travelling, however, I cannot comment on battery life as I have not used it.
The parent unit comes with 4 rechargeable AAA batteries, that charges in the cradle. This lasts around 3 days of daytime naps & evening until I went to bed, however, now my little girl is in her own room I put it on charge over night & it now never runs down on batteries.
There is a mute option on the parent unit, to mute the noise for 2 minutes. I don't use this option as I cannot leave my girl to cry, however, if you are using the "cry it out" method of settling your baby this is useful.
If I am going somewhere I take the monitor to use just as a sound unit on the travel cot. It is quite light so relatively portable.
~ Range ~
The range on this unit is surprisingly good. In the manual it states that the range is 250m (open field) or 80-100m (indoors), this is plenty for any normal house/garden. I find that I can do a bit of gardening while my daughter is taking her nap, without the unit losing signal. If you lose signal it gives you are warning beep and vibrates. This doesn't mean you can go out to the pub down the road!
~ Warnings ~
As this is an electrical unit with wires, you must take extra care when placing the units in the baby's room to ensure that the wires is out of the reach of the baby to ensure there is no risk of strangulation.
Also, it does say that this is NOT a SIDS prevention device, and does not replace the requirement of checking on your baby.
The pad will recognise movement of a mobile, therefore the alarm will not sound if the mobile is moving.
~ Conclusion ~
This is a great unit and does exactly what you need it for. However, I wish it had some way of pausing the alarm on the nursery transmitter unit when you are picking you baby up for a few minutes.
I started using eco disposable baby wipes on my little girl, however, the amount of money I was spending was horrendous. As I was using washable nappies anyway I though the idea of washable wipes was a natural progression.
As I already using washable nappies I bought the mini set of the Cheeky Wipes, which this review will be on.
~ Cost and Availability ~
I have not seen these in any stores however, they are available in many of the online cloth nappy sites. I have the mini set which costs around £25 online.
~ Kit contents ~
As I have the mini kit, it only contains the "clean" side of the kit, as it is for people who already have "dirty" nappy bucket/travel wet bag, that you can pop the wipes in with the dirty nappies.
- Fresh wipes container - this is like a Tupperware box with a easy release lid, just push the lid down and it opens up on a spring. This is therefore better than a Tupperware box with can be awkward to open, especially if you need the wipe quickly. To use you just put a few cm of water in and a couple of drops of the essential oil and place the wipes in. However, the lid does not fit down securely enough to hold water in place i.e. before you put the wipes in or after you have used all the wipes & there is extra water let over. So if you are using this for travelling it is best to make sure either there is not too much water in the box & the wipes have absorbed it all or that the box is kept of a flat surface at all times.
Another issue I had which I believe is a manufacturing fault, the catch which holds the lid down has a spring in, and the original one I had went rusty which meant the lid would not stay closed. I contacted the person I bought it off and they advised that this was a known issue with some of the sets & had Cheeky Wipes send out two new catches without charge. I had to remove the catch from the box with a small screwdriver, which was pretty difficult, but after popping the new one in I have had no more problems. It has been about 4 months since I put the new catch in and this one seems to be fine. However, I have one extra in case there is a problem in the future.
- 25 terry wipe cloths - these measure 15cm* 15cm and fit exactly in the tub. These are similar to flannels but with a small pile and quite thin. I find that these wipes work much more effectively than disposable wipes. As these are terry material they catch the runny breastfed poop instead of smearing it around. I very rarely use more than one wipe per change. When I have used them I pop them straight into the nappy bucket and wash them when I do a nappy load. You don't need to dry these as they are wet straight away, however, I find that as I live in a very hard water area they sometimes are a bit rough when they come out of the machine, I find that if I put them in the dryer for a few minutes they come out really soft. These wipes seems to clean really well and haven't stained yet.
My only little gripe with this is that every single wipe has the little green branding tab, which is quite a rough material. I know this is to show that they are the real deal however, they are not nice to rub on a babies bum, I am sure that they could have come up with a better idea to have the branding i.e. the logo stitched onto the wipe.
- 10ml bottle of lavender & Chamomile essential oil blend - this is to pop in the water to make it smell nice and its meant to be good for the skin. You only need a couple of drops so the bottle with last ages. I does make the wipes smell lovely.
- Wet bag - to carry the clean wet wipes out and about. This is a simple small drawstring wet bag, it is just big enough to fit the wipes in and can fit a good handful 10 or so, enough for a day out. I have never had any problems with the leaking
~ My opinion~
This is not the cheapest of kits, and you can probably bash one together for a lot cheaper homemade. However, I do like quick release lid on the tub which makes for easier nappy changes, much better than messing around with the packet of disposable wipes. It saves a huge amount of money in the long run & as I am already using washable nappies it causes no extra hassle.
The tots bots accessory pack comes with pretty much everything you need to start using cloth nappies.
~ Cost and Availability ~
This is sold on a number of websites for around £29-35. I have not see these in any of my local shops, however, they may sell them in specialist baby shops.
~ Kit contents ~
The kit contains the following:
- 16 litre nappy bucket, with clip on lid - I have found that this bucket will hold around 3 days worth of dirty nappies. Its lid clips on securely with four solid clips, which will be difficult for curious toddlers to open and keeps the lid down to hold in any nasty smells. The bucket is made of quite a heavy duty plastic so looks like it will take a lot of bashing around without breaking. It also comes with a handy handle which makes carrying the full (heavy) bucket to the washing machine easy. The handle also is made out of heavy duty plastic & doesn't look like it will break off very easily.
- 2 mesh bags - these are designed to fit in the bucket, with an elasticated top to hold on securely & doesn't drop into the bucket when filling. When the bucket is full I just pull out the mesh bag and put straight into the washing machine, no requirement to touch the smelly nappies. The nappies work their way out of the top of the bag in the machine. Then wash out the bucket and pop the spare bag in the bucket ready to go. The mesh bags feel good quality silky material that are easily washed. Some people also pop a few drops of essential oils in the bottom to cover any smells.
- 1 wet bag - this is to use when out and about to store the dirty nappies. It is quite a large bag & easily stores 5-6 dirty nappies (probably more). The bag is plastic on the inside and a smooth cotton feel on the outside. I have never had any problems with leaking of this bag when out. The only down side is the bag is drawstring top, which is quite stiff & doesn't keep the smells in that well. I would probably preferred a more secure close with a zip. I stick the wet bag in the washing machine inside out, with the dirty nappies & it cleans well.
- flushable lines - if you have read any of my previous reviews you will be aware that I am not a fan of flushable liners, especially with the runny breastfed poop. These liners are probably the worst I have tried. They are quite thin and small & absolutely useless for newborn breastfed poop. They may be more useful for more solid poops when you can just pop them in the toilet. I have saved these for when my little girl is off the breast.
- 1 bag of "potion" detergent - this detergent is designed to be used for nappies & is antibacterial. It is enzyme free, phosphate free, fragrance free etc so is good for babies delicate skin. It seems to wash the nappies well & I have not had any problems with rashes with my little girl. It gives you peace of mind that there is no bacteria in the nappies, even at low temperatures. But don't expect the nappies to smell of anything when they come out of the washing machine. I don't really like fragranced wash powder however, some people expect their washing to smell strongly of the wash powder when it comes out of the machine.
~ My opinion ~
I really like this set, you may be able to get the items cheaper separately with different brands, however, they may not be as good quality & the last thing you want is to have a nappy bucket to break full off pooey nappies! I have recommended this to my friends how are starting out in the cloth nappy fun.
I have been using this for over 6 months now & have absolutely no complaints. I looks like this set will last for a long time (expect to keep this for my next little one...).
When I was pregnant I went around the local baby shops looking for the perfect pushchair and was overwhelmed with the choice there is out there.
I finally worked out a checklist of what I needed/wanted in a pushchair-
1 - it had to fold down compact enough to fit in my boot (new style Mini)
2 - It had to be compatible with a car seat, so I could use it as a travel system
3 - I wanted a car seat that was Isofix compatible
4 - it had to be cheap enough for me to afford it!
The Britax B-Mobile fit the bill.
~ Cost and Availability ~
As Britax is a large name in the pushchair world, so is available from most shops that sell pushchairs. They normally retail for around £140, however, I kept an eye on the prices online and managed to get it from Tesco Direct in the sale for £89. The reason it was so cheap was that I got the old model, there was an updated model in 2011, which as far as I can see it is only colours which differ.
~ The pushchair ~
The pushchair is a basic pushchair and doesn't come with any extras i.e. cosy toes, rain cover etc so these are all an extra cost which need to be accounted for.
The chair can be used from birth as the seat can lay completely flat, however, my daughter did look very small in the chair and I mainly used the car seat attached to the pushchair frame when she was new born as it looks so much cosier.
The chair says it can be used up to 15kg, which I would say around 3 years old.
The chair comes with a 5 point harness with removable shoulder pads. This means that the child is held in the chair securely. They are easily adjusted with the usual sliding fittings.
The recline is very simple to adjust, just release a clasp at the back and move the strap to the height you want. This is good, as my daughter now wants to sit up straight, but often falls asleep when we go for a long walk, so when she falls asleep I lay her back. The movement is very smooth so it doesn't wake her up.
It has a foot brake on the back wheels, with just a foot push button on the right side. I have found that this can be a little stiff and sometimes gets stuck and you have to wiggle the wheel slightly until the break bar is in the wheel straight to be able to release. I also found that it is not easy to release when wearing flip flops or open toed sandals as it is just a plastic tab which you flick up and down, I ended up using my hand to release. However, when the break is on, the wheels do not move at all, so it does do the job well.
The front wheels can be free moving (like trolley wheels) or locked in place. I am not sure for what reason you would want it locked in place, as I find the chair extremely difficult to move around when the wheels are locked at the front. I am sure some people like this but I cannot get on with it at all. However, it is easy to lock and release the wheel with a kick of a push tab on each wheel at the front.
It comes with a basket underneath the chair, it is not the biggest basket in the world, but big enough to put a bag of potatoes (I walk to my local green grocers!). The basket has mesh sides so if it is wet out I wouldn't recommend putting anything there that you mind getting splashed.
The chair is only forward facing, which I was a little sad that I couldn't stare at my little girl while walking around, however, now she is a bit older she loves looking around when we are out so this is fine. As I said above when she was small I mainly used the car seat in the pushchair which is rear facing so I could stare at her all I wanted!
The wheels are solid plastic so puncture resistant (which wasn't something I even thought of when looking for a pushchair).
The chair comes with a shower proof sun hood, this covers over the top of the chair, and has a little clear window which you can uncover to look down at your baby (mine is always open and I peek every now and then). At the back of the hood there is a little pocket, which is not huge (you still need a bag), but is handy for quick access to things like your mobile/purse/dummy.
All the seat fabrics clip off for a proper clean, they are clipped using a large press studs which are a bit stiff to push and can hurt your fingers, however, these keep the seat safely in place.
The chair comes in a range of colours, black, grey, red and aqua blue. I have black which looks very classy and doesn't get dirty easily.
The push handle is a bar handle which is quite chunky with a soft spongy grip all along the handle which is nice to hold onto. It is also the perfect size to put those buggy clips on which hold your carrier bags.
When folded the chair is extremely compact, I don't have the most family friendly car (new Mini), which as you expect has a very tiny boot. When folded down it measures only 27cm * 62cm * 88cm, so should fit in any car boot. The back wheels are detachable, and you do have to remove them when you put it in my boot, which can be a bit annoying especially when it is wet outside, but most cars you would not need to do this.
To fold down the chair is quite simple just press the stop lock down with your thumb and pull the locks up on both sides of the handle simultaneously and the pushchair folds down. When folded it has a clip which holds the pushchair in place.
Another slightly annoying thing about this chair is the back wheels stick out to the side of the pushchair frame, which I keep catching on stands in shops (not managed to know anything completely down yet).
~ Compatible accessories ~
As the pushchair comes with basically nothing, you have to shell out extra for accessories:
Rain cover - the Britax raincover costs around £10-15, this fits onto the hood on the pushchair and to the frame using Velcro tabs. This is a bit fiddly, but does make sure my little girl is nice and dry underneath.
Cosy toes - I bought the Britax branded cosy toes for around £35-40, which simply sits in the seat with holes for the harness to poke through. Naively I presumed you had to buy the cosy toes to go with the pushchair, however, looking around the non branded names, they look like they would fit fine and would have saved me a lot of money. However, I think a cosy toes is a must for this pushchair, as without, it wouldn't be very practical in the colder months. The cosy toes has a lovely soft fleece inside, and is quite thick so is very cosy inside, as it can be cold sitting still in a pushchair. The top of the cosy toes can be folded down, held down with little toggle, if the child wants to sit up straight and look around, or be zipped up to the top so when your child is laying back or sleeping it acts as a windbreaker to their face.
~ Travel system ~
The pushchair came with adapters which mean the Britax Baby Safe SHR car seat can easily clip into the chair. It uses a one hand button press release system, which makes attaching and removing the car seat from the pushchair is really easy.
You can also get carry cot (£120) & soft carry cot (£80) which can attach to the pushchair and your baby can lay completely flat. I didn't see the need for this as I didn't take my daughter for very long walks when she was young. It may be useful if you are intending on walking around for hours, your baby would be more comfortable. However, as the pushchair does lay completely flat I didn't think I would need this. Also a carry cot would not fit in my car boot in addition to the pushchair.
~ Conclusion ~
On the whole this is a great pushchair and meets my needs, there are just a couple of niggly issues. However I would recommend this if you need a compact pushchair.
As my daughter is now nearly 6 months we are starting to wean her onto solid foods, therefore needed a high chair. I did a lot of research online and found that the Ikea Antilop high chair was one of the most recommended.
~ Cost and Availability ~
This is an Ikea own brand so is only available new at Ikea. It costs £11 for the chair, £4 for the tray and £5.50 for the supporting cushion. So in total I only sent £20.50. This is so much cheaper than the high chairs I have seen in Mothercare etc, a lot of them nearing the £100 mark. As money is tight at the moment this was a great relief when I found this chair.
There are a few second hand on places like Ebay, but for the price you pay for a new one, the delivery costs may not be worth ordering a second hand one.
~ The Chair ~
The chair itself is very compact, only measuring about 60cm * 60cm (at the base where the legs stick out a bit. This is good for people with smaller dining areas, as some of the ones I have found can take up loads of room.
The chair is pretty simple design, with just a moulded plastic seat shape, the legs pop into the bottom corners and are plain straight metal poles (look a bit like tent poles with the push button connectors), with plastic balls on the bottom to try to stop the chair sliding on the floor.
This is a great chair to transport as the legs are easily removed (press the button in and slide the leg out), takes seconds. The legs poles are around 65cm long, and the seat without legs is 40cm * 32cm * 28cm, so is great for transporting to meals at families houses or even restaurants.
Looking at the chair, it doesn't look like the sturdiest of chairs (it does look a bit like an antelope with its spindly legs). However, it is extremely sturdy. I have wobbled it lots to see if my girl will be able to rock the chair over. As the legs are stick outward, it gives the seat a very stable base, however, be careful as the legs do seem to stick out further than you expect and are quite easy to kick when walking around it, and the chair does slide quite easily on the laminate floor in the kitchen, but on the carpet in the dining room it stays fine. It could do with some stickier rubber stoppers on the bottom of the legs for smoother floor surfaces.
The seat is a whole moulded plastic shape so there are no cracks or crevasses for bits of food to get stuck down. This makes this very easy to keep clean. If you have had a particularly messy session, I just take the legs out and put the chair into the shower and rinse down, this is not something you could do with most highchairs.
A good aspect of the seat is the plastic bar between the legs, which supports my little girl really well. She has quite good body strength, however, cannot sit up on her own. She has been able to sit very well in this seat from around 4 months, so would be great for people who are weaning early.
My little girl at the moment is going through a phase where she doesn't want to lay on her back or in her reclined bouncer chair and wants to be sitting completely upright so she can see what is going on. So I have been sitting her in her chair, putting her toys on the tray and she loves it.
My friend fed her little girl in my seat last week and was really surprised at how well her little girl can sit in it. She spent around £80 on her highchair, it is quite bulky, her little girl seems to slouch in the seat and the tray is way too high to use at the moment. She was shocked that I only spent £20 on mine.
The only bad point is that the chair only has a lap seatbelt and not a 3/5 point harness. This is ok for my girl at the moment as she is not strong enough to climb out of the seat, but may be a problem for older children.
I also like the fact that there is no foot rest. I find that if my little has something to press her feet again, she will push and try to stand up, which could be quite dangerous in a high chair. With this seat her feet just dangle.
The seats come in three colours, white, blue and red. I have the red one as I thought it would work for both a boy and girl. The design of this chair is quite modern and doesn't really go with my old house and old hardwood furniture. However, it is practical and cheap so I will just have to put up with the looks.
~ The tray ~
As you can buy everything separately you can use the chair without a tray, but as I am going the finger food route a tray is a must.
The tray is quite large and wraps around the chair, it goes right to the back of the chair, so catches and food thrown sideways.
The tray has a large lip around the edge, I currently use it as a big plate and put her food sticks straight onto the tray. She can slide and play around with them and they won't get easily pushed off the edge.
The tray clips off the chair easily to be washed.
~ Supporting cushion ~
As the chair is made of a hard plastic it doesn't look very comfortable, however, I didn't want to get a cushion that is made of fabric that wouldn't easily clean. Then I saw the blow up cushion which goes with the chair.
It is made of a rubber material so is easily washed, it can just be popped in the washing up bowl if required. It is blown up similar to children's arm bands, with three panels, a back support which is slightly higher and side supports which fit perfectly up the sides of the seats. Each panel are easily inflated to the required support separately i.e. if you need more padding at the back than sides you can completely inflate the back and only slightly inflate the sides. This means it could be compatible with many highchairs which you child needs that little bit more support.
This cushion supports my little girl brilliantly and she doesn't fall to the side at all, like she does in other high chairs.
When deflated, the cushion is completely flat and can be folders and put in your handbag to use when out, as I find a lot of the highchairs in café's are not supportive enough for my little girl yet.
~ Conclusion ~
For the price you pay, this is a very useful high chair. It is not the prettiest of chairs, but does what is required of it and is easy to look after and clean. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a well supporting, easy cleaned compact highchair.
At the baby club one week I discovered a toy that had a large "crinkly" bit , which was making my little girl giggle like mad. All of the toys I had up to then only had very small rustley crinkly bits so I went around trying to find something similar to the toy at baby club. I finally came across this toy and fell in love with it.
~ Cost and Availability ~
This is by the Lamaze brand and sells in most toy shops. I got mine from John Lewis for around £8. They also sell it online at Amazon. The cheapest I have seen is £4 from KidsKind but I have never ordered anything from this site before. They even sell it at Halfords (though more expensive than anywhere else).
~ Features ~
The doll is an engaging bright rather noisy toy, which should stimulate many of your baby's senses.
The doll comes with a ring on the top to attach to pushchairs, carriers, playmates etc. This ensures that your little one does not throw the doll on the floor while walking around the shops (which my little girl has just discovered she can do!). However, this does mean it is has a quite heavy hard plastic ring on the top if you don't want to attach it to anything. This will be ok when my little girl is a bit older, but at the moment I worry that it will hit her on the head when she is chucking the doll around. It's not really a doll you can use as a cuddly sleeping toy.
I can't recall what age this toy stated it was recommended from, however, I would say around 3 months if you are going to attach it to something, and probably 6-8 months to hold themselves.
The doll itself is quite large, I would guess about 10 inches long, and quite chunky. My 5 month old cannot get her arm around her yet, and is to heavy for her currently to pick up herself.
Emily has a very cheery cartoonish smiley face, with a bright coloured hat and dress, with stripy knitted legs.
This doll comes from the "play and grow" range, so is meant to help developmentally of babies senses.
The doll comes with a large rattle necklace (which is attached and not removable) which had a rather loud rattle of little coloured plastic balls inside a plastic casing in the shape of a flower which is see through so you can seed the coloured balls moving when you rattle it. My little girl loves to flick it with her hand. She is currently discovered the "cause and effect" and I think the doll is helping her understand that the noise is coming from the rattle. Also, to get my little girls attention if she is crying, I can shake the doll and the rattle is loud enough to get my girls attention.
In addition, inside the dolls head, there is a jingling ball rattle, which gives off a quite pretty noise. I'm not sure whether this gets my girls attention yet as it is a bit overpowered by the plastic necklace rattle, however, it does give a softer prettier sound, sort of mellows out the noise produced when shaking the doll.
In the dolls chest there is a squeaker. I am not sure when my daughter will be able to make this noise herself, as it is quite deep in the chest and difficult for little hands to get to. However, this is good for me to squeak to get her attention.
The doll also comes with two teething rings, attached to one of the dolls hand. My little girl has not really worked out that she can chew on these, and seems to prefer to chew on the dolls knitted legs. They may be a little too big for her at the moment.
The main reason I purchased this doll, was the crinkly dress. It has a very large surface area of the dress which all makes the crinkly noise which my little girl loves so much. It is good as it sticks out from the body (you can put your hand up her skirt), which means my daughter can get a good grip on the dress and play about with it to make the noise herself.
The main part of the dress in made of a smooth polyester material which is bright orange circle design, at the bottom there are panels of different types of material to give my little girl different colours and textures to feel, i.e. smooth fleecy, silky, ribbed, raised squares. She has started to look like she moves her hand across the bottom of the dress, however, she is still a little young to probably understand. But you can see my baby concentrating (the cogs ticking over) when she is playing with this doll.
As I said above, when I dangle this off her play mat jungle she likes to cuddle the knitted legs and check on them. At the bottom of the feet/shoes, there is another crinkley part, the shoes are quite chunky, but my girl has started to be able to grab hold of the feet and squeeze them. Feeling the soft foam as well as the crinkly material.
I know they say that babies are more inclined to be attracted to black and white, however, my daughter seems to be most attracted to bright orange toys (her two favourite toys are bright orange).
~ Care ~
The instructions say to hand wash this only, as I would hate to damage the crinkly dress my daughter loves so much, I've never even attempted to put it in the washing machine. As the doll is quite bit it does absorb quite a lot of water if you submerge completely, so I normally surface wipe and wash the legs (which my girl chews on) regularly and wash properly less often as it does take a long while for the head and body to dry.
~ Conclusion ~
I really think this doll has helped my little girl discover sound and touch, she loves to play with this. It is one of her favourite toys and will reach for it when you shake it in front of her. I can see that she will not grow out of this too soon, as once she has outgrown the "discovery" features it will be a lovely dolly to play with.
It started off as a practical idea but has now become an addiction!
I have been using cloth nappies on my little girl from about 6 weeks old, however, this was during the warm summer months so did not discover any problem until it got a bit colder.
As cloth nappies are a bit bulkier than disposable nappies, most baby clothing in normal retail shops are designed around the slimmer disposable nappies, therefore can be quite difficult to find bottoms to go over cloth. There are some retailers on the internet which do sell clothes fit to go over cloth nappies but I refuse to pay their prices, as my little girl is growing out of clothes soo fast.
I also find that when I put tight trousers/leggings/tights which are elasticated around her little belly, she does seem to spit up more.
Over the summer months this was fine as I would put her in dresses with her legs bare, but when it got colder I went out looking for a solution.
This is when I came across Huggalugs, which I thought were a brilliant idea.
~ What are Huggalugs? ~
Huggalugs are basically leg warmers for babies from an Australian company.
They are designed to replace the need for tights/leggings under dresses. I am not 100% how you would dress baby boys in these, but they look absolutely gorgeous on my little girl.
They are made from 80% cotton, 15% nylon and 5% spandex, which means they are soft as cotton but stretchy (they do some made of organic cotton too).
They are designed for babies from birth to 6 years old.
To start with babies, they are used on the whole leg to keep it all warm. On my 5 month old the warmers are still a big slouched, but this looks very cute.
As the child gets older, they can be used was a leg warmer on the calf up to the knee (they are very stretchy) or as arm warmers (they actually fit on my forearms!).
They have two cuffs on each end, the top cuff is slightly larger for a better fit around the thigh. The cuffs are elasticated, but still soft and do not stick into my little girls chunky thighs.
These are also very good for nappy changing, as you don't need to struggle with removing tights or trousers to gain access to the nappy. You can leave them on her legs to keep them warm in the colder months.
You can also use these for nappy free time, to keep baby's legs warm while they are kicking around.
Another good use for these are potty training. As your do not need to struggle with removing trousers or tights when you have the sudden potty needs.
Also, when you little one has started crawling, these are good to stop your baby hurting their delicate knees on carpets etc.
We have also used them underneath her padded baby grow when we went out in the cold in the baby carrier to make sure her legs keep warm while dangling down.
These come in a huge range of colours and patterns. This is where I have got a bit addicted, as I want a set to match all of my little girls outfits, and they look absolutely gorgeous. We have had loads of comments from people as to how cute her Huggalugs looks.
~ Cost and Availability ~
I have never seen these in the shops local to me, however, they are available all over the internet at baby retailers. Mainly you find them under the accessories on cloth nappy retail sites i.e. Fill Your Pants, The Natural Store, Easy Nappies. There are also a few shop selling on Ebay. The prices range around £4.50 to £8.00, a lot of places I have seen do free delivery. The organic cotton ones are more expensive than the normal cotton.
Even though these are more expensive than the usual pack of tights, as these should last for years opposed to a few months with tights, they will work out cheaper in the long run.
~ Washing and care ~
These can be washed at 40C and tumble dried low if required. I have washed them lots of times as my girl wears these every day and they still look like new. They are made with very high quality materials so feel like they will last a long time.
~ Conclusion ~
These are one of the most useful purchases I have bought for my little girl. They keep her little legs nice and cozy and will last her years, and look very cute! I would recommend these to anyone and everyone!
For some of my cloth nappies I need to use liners. I started off using the paper liners, however, I find that the paper ones stick to my little girls bum and smears her poop all over. After a bit of investigation, I found that fleece liners are designed to wick liquid away from the baby's bum and absorbs the poop better, to keep the baby's bum drier than with paper.
~ Cost and Availability ~
I got these from "Fill Your Pants" website for £6.95 for a pack of 10. I've not seen them in any high street shop. However they are available from a number of online nappy retailers for around £5-£7 for a pack of 10.
~ The Product ~
The liners are made from a cotton fleece which is quite a long pile making them quite furry. They are really soft and cosy against baby's bum.
They come in two sizes:
- Size 1 = 0 - 9 months (7lb-20lb) which measure 11.5cm * 30cm
- Size 2 = 9 months to potty (20lb - 38lb) which measure 14cm * 35cm
I have size 1 and they perfectly fit in loads of my nappies. They are rectangular straight sided and not shaped like some liners are. They are quite thin, so will not add any bulk to your nappy.
They are designed to quickly wick any liquid away from baby's skin to reduce nappy rash. They are also extremely soft and cozy, I feel I have to stroke my face with them every time I pick one up! (clean!).
As my little girl is still exclusively breast fed her poop is still rather runny, and I find that some of my nappy's don't absorb the poop, however, these do a great job of this. They also keep any mess away from the expensive washable nappies, reducing the chance of staining on the nappies, extending their life.
These will also be useful when we move onto solids and her poop gets denser, as you can tip any solids into the toilet and put the liner into the wash.
These liners come in a bright white colour.
With the paper liners which cost around £4 you will get through a pack of 100 in 1-2 weeks, so these will save you money in the long run. As they are very well made they will last a very long time (probably multiple babies). I have two sets now (20 liners) for full time use. Also they do a much better job than the paper liners.
Just one little problem I found, the packs of 10 come bundled together and tied with a little green satin ribbon with the Little Lamb label, however, I noticed that my pack only contained 9. I contacted the retailer and they sent the extra out immediately, just have a quick count when you receive them!
~ Washing ~
I put them in my nappy bucket with the rest of the cloth nappies and wash in a big load. I do not pre-soak as they don't need it. I wash on 60C on an intensive cycle.
These liners have been used regularly with bright runny breastfed poop which normally stains everything and they are still bright white (it has surprised me).
They do not need to be tumble dried as after a fast spin they come out completely dry.
After washing these liners still feel as soft as when I bought them, with no piling or degrading of the materials at all.
~ Conclusion ~
These are the most scrummy soft liners I have ever felt, and are so cosy against my little girls bum. I would recommend these to anyone who needs to use liners in their cloth nappies.
## Update ##
After using these continuously for about 8-9 months, these are still as good as new! They do feel a lot softer when tumble dried, but are still soft when line/radiator dried. There is still no piling, pulling apart of the materials and they have gone through loads of washes, some at 90C. They are well worth the money!
When I was pregnant I decided to go "eco" and use washable nappies. So I went and purchased a number of different types to see which one I got on best with.
These are by far my favourite day nappy in my collection.
~ Cost and Availability ~
These are available from a few online retailers. I got them from "Fill your pants" website, you can also get them from "Natural Nursery" & "Keep It Real Nappies". They all retail for around the same price:
1 Nappy for £13.50
3 pack for £38.00 (£12.67 each)
12 pack for £145.00 (£12.08 each)
24 pack for £275.00 (£11.46 each)
They are not the cheapest nappy available, but not the most expensive either.
~ The Product ~
The nappy is quite new nappy for the UK, it comes from the US and has proven quite popular over there. This is probably why it is not available in many stockists yet, but I think they will soon prove to be a good competitor to the more established Totbots, Bumgenius etc brands available.
The nappy's are a all-in-one, birth to potty, pocket nappy.
The all-in-one means that the other shell of the nappy is waterproof so doesn't require a wrap.
Birth to potty means that the nappy's should fit babies from 7lbs to 35lbs which should last until your child is potty trained. To do this, the nappy has poppers down the front, which folds down the nappy to reduce the length of the nappy and makes the fitting around the legs smaller.
The pocket part of this nappy is a new innovation exclusively in these "Smartipants". It's called the "smart sleeve". With normal pocket nappies the nappy has a space inbetween the inner fleece (that touches your baby's skin) and the waterproof outer shell. In the pocket you stuff and absorbent pad to keep any liquid away from your baby's bum. The pocket is only open at one end, and once you put the pad in, you fold a lip over the end (like a pillow case end). When washing, you have to pull out the pad to ensure it is cleaned properly.
With these "Smartipants" the pocket is open at both ends and the pad magically slides out of the nappy in the wash (and it really does! After about 20 washes I have never had one stay in). So you are not required to touch anything when putting this in the wash.
The only slight problem I find with this is that when the nappy is folded down to the smaller sizes, the pad can sometimes stick out a bit. You have to be careful to make sure the pad stays within the waterproof outer shell to ensure you keep your little ones clothes dry. When I first used these I had a few instance of when I picked my little girl up and found that her back was slightly damp, then discovering the little green edge of the pad poking out.
Another innovation this nappy states is the "Leak guard technology", this is where the pocket does not actually go right up to the elasticated leg holes, but are stitched about ½ cm in. This is so the moisture in the pad does not go near the sides of the nappy, where leakage is more likely. This does seem to work as I have had no instances of leaking with this nappy.
The lining (which touches the baby's skin) is a suede cloth, which is very soft to touch as so far has not piled or degraded in any way. You can use liners to dispose of solids, however, as my little girl is still exclusively breastfed, her poops are still rather runny so find that the liners just stick to her bum and smear the poop all over her. I find these nappy's work brilliantly without liners, the poop sticks to the lining rather than her bum and keeps her relatively dry. Since using them the lining is still bright white and no staining at all, which has really surprised me.
The other shell is a soft cotton feel, it doesn't feel plasticy at all. It comes in a wide range of gorgeous colours, ranging from pastel pink and lavender to bold blues and reds. At the moment there is a lovely limited edition "blueberry pie". They only come is plain colours so there are no animal prints or patterns, which I find are easier to match with my little girls clothing.
The pad that fits into the pocket is microfibre and has it trademark green overlocked edge, so are easily identifiable from the rest in my stack. They are a similar size to all other pocket nappy inserts I have, however, the microfibre does seem to be a better quality than my others, and are not piling yet. Microfibre is a good absorbent material, but is extremely quick to dry.
These nappies are fitted using snap fastening (poppers) which can be a bit fiddly to start with, but you get used to it quickly. There are a lot of poppers along the front to allow you to choose the best fit. This has an advantage when you baby works out how to open Velcro and decides to go streaking! Poppers are much more difficult for little hands to undo. On each side there are two poppers, therefore more protection and stronger fit on wriggly babies. Also, they are super strong and have a 2 year manufacturer's guarantee!
When open, these nappies lay completely flat, which is great when trying to stack them up as a lot of my other nappies go all over the place and don't look very tidy.
With pocket nappies, they are very family/childcare friendly, as if you prepare them with the pad in the pocket and the poppers to the correct size, they are pretty much the same as putting a disposable nappy on, just remember to take a wet bag for them.
These nappy's feel extremely good quality and well made. They are all made in the US in their own dedicate factory, so I expect these nappies to last until my little girl is out of nappies and for my next one (or two) babies.
~ Washing ~
These nappies do not need to be presoaked and I normally just chuck them in the washing machine on a 60C intensive wash (the company says you can wash these safely at 40C, but I a bit apprehensive to do this).
The nappy itself comes out after a fast spin pretty much dry, but I put the pads to tumble dry on cool for about an hour. This is not necessary, but I am a bit impatient and don't have much room to have them laying around. However in the summer they will take a very short time to dry on the line. So are great nappy if you don't have a tumble dryer.
~ My experience ~
When the nappies are on, they are pretty slim fitting and look soo cute. They are much slimmer than my "Naughty Baby" nappies which I reviewed the other day. These are my preferred nappy for when we go out or have important visitors.
With my little girls explosive breastfed poop they contain everything really well, and I haven't had any leaks (other than when I left the pad sticking out at the back).
I liked these soo much I am going to order another lot.
These are not the cheapest of nappies, however, as they are so well made, they will definitely last until one baby is out of nappies, and will probably last two or three.
~ Conclusion ~
I would recommend these nappy's to everyone! They are great looking and work really well.
Both myself and my other half love the fact that you don't need to pull the absorbent pad out of the pocket when its all wet.
For a cute cloth bum these are ideal.
~ Update ~
Just wanted to do an update for this review after now about 8 months of use. These are still by far my favourite nappy! I have a whole set and use these exculsively for day time use. The nappy's look pretty much still like new, apart from one which has a slight piling to the inner suede lining (and when I say slight I mean such a small amount). None of my nappy's have any staining and come out of the washing bright white, no greying at all. My daughter now nearly 1 can go for about 4 hours without any leakage with these. I still don't use these at night, as my daughter is a heavy wetter at night & the pocket is quite tight (she requires 2 fleece inserts and 2 bamboo boosters to get her through!). But daytime these are the best!