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sambam000

sambam000
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Member since: 13.05.2009

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      14.11.2010 07:25
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      Well worth the money.

      I bought this for my son when he was about 13 months old & was starting to cruise around furniture. I didn't know if it would help his development or not, but figured it couldn't hurt & knew that it would double as an entertaining toy also.

      The V Tech baby Walker is made of sturdy plastic & is very easy to slot together once out of the box. There is a detachable panel on the front, with carry handle, which features a variety of activities to keep the little ones amused. The toy panel features piano keys, a removable phone, shapes & colours buttons, whizz-around cogs & a butterfly which when the wings are moved, acivates different ranges of activities on the panels buttons. (E.g. the piano keys can either play 'notes' or can go through the first 5 letters of the alphabet).

      There are 2 volume levels on the panel, & the range of sounds is quite extensive, so it's not as tiresome to listen to as some toys.

      The walker itself features 'rollers' at the front with various pictures on, & has 4 chunky wheels for ease of maneuvering.

      I certainly think this item helped my son learn to walk, & the toy panel has had no end of use. Even though the walker part is packed away in the box, the toy panel remains a staple in the toy box - frequently being pulled out by my little boy who loves playing 'the piano' etc on it! The detachable phone has also been a big hit, although is prone to getting lost, having no string to hold it in place.

      Prices vary, but this usually retails around £30. Do shop around though - I picked mine up at half price (£15).

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    • dwell.co.uk / Online Shop / 8 Readings / 6 Ratings
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      14.11.2010 07:13
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      AVOID AVOID AVOID!

      Dwell started mainly as an online retailer of modern furnishings several years ago, with just a small catalogue. They now have several stores nationwide & an ever-expanding catalogue. Prices were very reasonable at the start, but are shooting up now, becoming over-priced on many items. They offer a good range of household decor & furniture, but quality can be hit & miss.

      I've been a Dwell customer for years, but haven't ordered online for 3 yrs or so now.... until a few weeks ago...

      Having ordered several items, some of which were out of stock for 6 weeks, I assumed those items in stock would be delivered first anyway. But no. I was billed IMMEDIATELY for the full amount & after a week I called to find out where my 'in stock' items where only to be told everything would be delivered together in 6 weeks time. I then cancelled the out of stock items in order to receive the in stock items a bit quicker.

      Upon arrival, I was VERY disappointed with the quality of items ordered - they were cheap & tacky, & not at all worth the price paid. Having looked at the returns policy I learned that they do not refund original postage paid, no returns postage. This is not in consumer guidelines, which state that when ordereing online, the original postage cost must be refunded by the seller, on returns made in 7 days for whatever reason. So, following the law, I contacted Dwell in writing (via e-mail) to inform them of my wish to return items in the 7 day period....& guess what?...I received an auto-reply to say that due to heavy backlogs, they would be unable to respond within 7 days! It seems everything they do is twisting the law some way or another in an effort to avoid refunding consumers or having any kind of customer care whatsoever....

      So, I await my response. Needless to say I will NEVER shop with this company again. A word of warning to anyone that does - read their small print first & be prepared to do battle!

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    • ELC Whizz Around Garage / Baby Toy / 5 Readings / 4 Ratings
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      14.11.2010 06:21

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      Great for boys & girls.

      Having bought a cheaper garage for my son, & it turning out to be a bit 'boring' in my eyes, I then went on to buy the Early Learning Centre Whizz around garage. At £40 it seemed a bit expensive, but then again most toys do seem to be quite pricy for what they are these days.

      The garage is quite a large size, compared to similar toys, but all the parts are really chunky which is great for little hands & all the pieces are nice & smooth & rounded, which means that even with moving parts, the toy is really safe to use & sturdy. The colours are great too - lots of bright primary colours & a lovely shiny finish.

      The garage includes 3 small cars, which are magnetic, so can be stuck together & pulled around at the same time. Or they can be used individually, meaning the toy is also good for sharing. The cars ca be pushed around the multi-level garage, where they can whizz down the ramp, activating lights & sounds as they go. Or push them up & down in the lift (which is much easier for small hands to operate than other similar models).

      Girls & boys alike will love this toy & it will last for years, thanks to the excellent build quality (my boy frequently tests this out by sitting on it!) & fun activities.

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      31.10.2010 09:32
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      A thumbs up from us!

      Having seen some of the 'Little People' range owned by other parents & friends, I decided it would be a good purchase for my son. The range is made by Fisher-Price & the set's available are varied & extensive. Since hubby is always going on about barns & farms for our little boy, I opted for the 'Animal Sounds Farm'.

      As with most toys, it seemed somewhat expensive (retails around £30), but thankfully it has been a big hit & well worth the money. The set consists of a red & white barn, which folds out for play & latches back together for storage. There are several 'pens' for the animals, including a stable, cowshed, chicken coop, pigsty & sheep paddock. Each area makes a different sound in some way (such as open the stable door to hear a neighing sound, or put the pig in the mud to hear oinking). The larger section of the barn has a second level - the farmers house - which includes a bed on which the farmer can be laid & then by turning a simple dial on the side the bed tips up & the farmer goes flying out of the window! (Or the sheep or the pig etc, depending on what the little one has put in the bed!). There is also a front door to the barn, behind which is a mat which plays Old MacDonald when pressed.

      The set includes several animals & a farmer, & accessories like a weather vane & corn.

      Overall, i am impressed with this set, particularly with the range of sounds made.

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    • ELC Sizzlin' Kitchen / Baby Toy / 19 Readings / 19 Ratings
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      30.10.2010 16:48
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      Thoroughly recommended.

      Having mentioned a play kitchen for our son for Christmas, & the idea being dismissed immediately by my husband who deemed the toy 'too girly', I didn't give the idea much more thought...until seeing a second hand 'Sizzlin' Kitchen' in a shop.

      At £7.50, I just couldn't pass it up, so out of the shop & into my car it went. The Sizzlin Kitchen does come with a variety of accessories, but I can't comment fully on these, as the one I bought had various mis-matched items, some of which I'm positive didn't come with the set (& several missing which should have came with it).

      The kitchen itself features a sizzling hob plate (requires 2 AA batteries), which activates a sizzling sound when pressed (by such as setting a pan on it), a chip pan, a sink with moving tap, an oven (with pull out shelf & clicking dials), & a dishwasher (also with clicking dials & a pull out dish rack). Other features include: 2 towel hook & rail on one side, a fold down table on the other side, 2 movable shelves, a rail with several hooks for utensils & a plate rack with sliding cover at the top.

      This toy has been a huge hit with my son - he has learnt to 'wash' his hands in the sink & enjoys frying crackers on the hob! I have since bought more pans/utensils etc to complement the kitchen - the ELC do a great range.

      The kitchen is fairly compact versus other models, especially since the side table folds down out of the way, so it's quite a neat item. My only complaint is that the bowl in the sink is removable, but that the space underneath is open & toys can be dropped down where they become stuck in amongst the workings of the kitchen, having to be tipped upside down to dislodge them.

      Overall, an excellent toy for both girls AND boys (even my hubby had to admit this!). Retails for around £70 in the Early Learning Centre, or look out for second hand ones on eBay which sell for around £25-£30.

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        30.10.2010 15:41
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        Unsure of cost, but wouldn't want to pay a great deal for it.

        My son was bought one of these remote control cars a while ago, so I am not sure of price & availablity on this item. As soon as we recieved the car we put some batteries in, eager to get started. Bear in mind that this toy does take 8, yes 8!, AA batteries, which proved not to last long (& not with what you'd class as over-use either). This can become very costly & i would recommend using rechargeable batteries in such an item.

        Ease of use is good - the car & the remote are chunky & easy for little hands to hold. The buttons for forward / reverse / left & right are also chunky and easy for little ones to locate & press.

        The car is recommended for age 6+, which i feel is far too old for such a chunky babyish remote control toy. My son was 18 months when he received it & soon got the hang of it (& there are no small parts to worry about either, so age is not a problem).

        Sadly, the wheels of the car soon ran out of alignment, & it wasn't long before it pretty much gave up all together. Along with the gobbling of batteries it soon became just a push along car for my son. Perhaps we should have waited til he was a little older before giving it to him, or maybe the car would have ended up the same way regardless?

        Overall a cute item, which stores away easily, with the remote clipping on top of the car then providing a carry handle. Nice bright primary colours.

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      • Boots Bibs / Nursing / 37 Readings / 35 Ratings
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        13.05.2010 10:46
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        My favourite bibs!

        My son has drooled constantly for the past 12 months, thus we have got through a wide variety of bibs in this time. I've tried all the different types - velcro fastening, press-stud fastening, tie fastening, with / without plastic backs etc.

        As he grew older & more 'capable' I soon found the velcro bibs to be a nightmare - they don't stay put for 10 seconds before he's pulled them off. Also, along with the press-stud variety, the velcro bibs seem too big around the neck, allowing dribble to trickle down the neck & soak his clothes. Also, since my son dribbles so much, the plastic backed variety became essential, otherwise I was changing bibs every half hour to avoid the bibs soaking through to his clothes.

        Initially I'd bought some gaudy bibs (as you do!), but I soon came to realise that these ruined the appearance of a nice outfit when out & about. So, on a mission to find plain white bibs with tie fastenings & a plastic backing went I....

        Having searched in numerous stores, I found my perfect bibs in Boots. A pack of 7 white bibs with the aforementioned features set me back a bargain £3.99. The packaging is very plain & simple, & the bibs are labelled as being part of the 'Boots Basics' range. Being basic bibs, the terry towelling front isn't as thick as some others, but is more than adequate, & as these bibs are a longer length than most, they are able to catch those long strands of drool as they escape!

        Drawbacks are that being white they can stain easily (but as I said I wanted plain white, so they suit me). Also, beware putting plastic back bibs in the dryer - they will shrivel up beyond all recognition!

        These are a brilliant bargain buy - I am on my second pack now & have no complaints.

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        01.02.2010 15:08
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        See review.

        The V Tech crawl & learn ball has been updated slightly from the current DooYoo picture, but still features the animals & other pictures, but with the addition of a spinning ladybird on top & satin 'taggies' to make it more tactile than before.

        The ball is able to move randomly by itself in a circular motion, thus capturing babies attention & encouraging interaction. The idea is that babies learn to crawl after the ball & improve their movements as such.

        There are many activities on the ball, such as a puppy which when pressed makes a barking sound. There are also numbers with for example 3 bees pictured next to them, so when pressed the ball will respond with '3 bees' 'bzzz bzzz'. There are many different tunes which play randomly when the ball is played with/rolling around. I seem to constantly hear something new which is great as so many of these are annoyingly repetitive. (Don't get me wrong, the tunes from this toy will also get on your nerves, but perhaps to a lesser extent!).

        My son loves spinning the ladybird on top & watching the buttons light up when they are pressed. I'm not sure it helped his crawling at all, but he was already crawling pretty well when we bought the toy, so I can't comment fairly on that point.

        The ball does have an off switch, & 2 levels of volume, which is great for added control & for preventing the batteries draining quickly. Battery life seems good - we haven't had to change them yet after several months use.

        Prices seem to be around the £15-£20 mark, & the toy is widely available online, in toy stores & supermarkets etc.

        I don't think the lifespan of this toy will be too long, as my son is already trying to pick it up & throw it...and believe me, it's a pretty heavy item for a baby toy & could no doubt do some damage to either mummy or the furniture...!

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        01.02.2010 12:39
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        An okay toy if bought at an okay price.

        Although only 11 months, my son is a big fan of the Cbeebies show 'In The Night Garden'. At Christmas this meant that an abundance of toys featuring characters from the show took over our home...

        One present was the 'Talking Iggle Piggle'. I'm not entirely sure of the cost at the time, as Iggle was a present from the grand-parents. He currently retails for £17.77 at Amazon.co.uk. This seems like an average price to me, as although Iggle doesn't do a great deal, we all know how expensive licensed toys can be.

        Iggle is a pale blue fleecy material, which means he doesn't wear too well & is already looking a bit grubby. Having a battery pack means he is only surface washable too. He carries a red blanket which is attached by velcro, so this portion could be removed & washed.

        Pressing Iggles tummy allows him to 'speak'. He runs through a variety of 'noises' (Iggle doesn't actually talk on the show, but makes squeaky noises), & the ITNG theme tune (this is my sons favourite & he giggles when it plays). It is difficult to press & activate the sounds, so my son can't manage it on his own yet (although the toy is recommended for older toddlers, mainly due to the battery pack).

        Overall, the toy is OK, but my son prefers 'doing' toys at the moment. Perhaps as he gets a bit older he will enjoy cuddling Iggle a bit more. He does find it quite fascinating that he can hold Iggle Piggle AND watch him on TV at the same time...WOW! Bear in mind that due to the batteries, this toy is not recommended for taking to bed in case a child dislodges the batteries. This does somewhat limit the use of this toy, & I doubt I'd have purchased it myself, but as a gift it is OK.

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        • Tommee Tippee 1st Beaker / Nursing / 37 Readings / 36 Ratings
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          30.01.2010 22:23
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          Bargain!

          Having bought a Mamas & Papas 'non-spill' cup, which my son would not take to, I then bought a Tommee Tippee First Cup, as recommended by my health visitor. Since my son is a breast-fed baby, he found if very hard to take to a cup & would not entertain water. The great thing about these cups is that the water flows freely (but not a great torrent or anything!), so it's easy for baby to get a sip without having to work too hard for it.

          Since using this cup, my son has taken to water & we use this cup every mealtime now. Although free-flowing the cup does have a folding spout, which seals the flow for easy transportation, so it's handy to pop in your bag when you're out & about.

          The cup is a simple, yet solid, design, comprising a double-handled cup with a lid that pops on & off. Removing the lid can prove quite tricky at times - make sure you do it over a sink! There are several bright funky colours available, suiting both girls & boys (pink, turquoise, lime green etc). Price-wise, these are a real bargain & can be found at most supermarkets/bargain stores etc for around £1.50. Being so cheap menas you can afford to replace them quite frequently, as I do find that limescale can build up around the spout & is difficult to remove. I can imagine that if using with milk, they may need replacing even more frequently.

          Overall a great bargain, & a great way to introduce your baby to other liquids/self-feeding.

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        • Johnson's Bedtime Bath / Baby Care / 68 Readings / 67 Ratings
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          11.11.2009 18:20
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          Not for me I'm afraid.

          Having moved my son from his small baby bath into the big bath, I decided to buy some 'baby bath' products, rather than the body washes I had been using. Now that we were into more of a routine, with bathtime being before bedtime, I opted for Johnson's baby bedtime bath.

          Bedtime bath comes in a lilac plastic bottle & claims to contain 'NaturalCalm' (trademarked) aromas which are 'proven to help your baby sleep better'. I guess I assumed the scent would be lavender, going by the bottle colour, but by reading the ingredients list & sniffing the product I am no closer to knowing what the natural calm aromas actually are! Personally I don't like the scent. I can't put my finger on what it reminds me of, but it's a scent that makes me feel slightly nauseous, & I will be glad when I've used up the bottle so that I can move onto something with a more pleasing fragrance! Also, this product just doesn't smell like 'babies', & I miss snuggling my son after his bath & inhaling a baby-ish scent.

          To use the product, simply flip the lid open & pour under running water. The product is a clear liquid, very runny, & doesn't foam up well at all. By the time my son has splashed around for a few minutes, the bit of froth on the water has all but disappeared. Perhaps this is a plus point, as at least he isn't tempted to eat the bubbles?!

          I have to say I am very disappointed in this product, & won't be buying it again. I will stick to Johnson's products, as they are the most trusted brand name in baby care with their 'no more tears' formulations, but I would like to find something a bit thicker, richer & creamier for my baby's bath.

          As for helping baby to sleep better, well my 8.5 month old still gets me up twice a night, so I'm far from convinced on that one...! (Perhaps when i stop using it I'll be up more than twice a night..?!)

          Price-wise, I bought a large 500ml bottle on offer for £2 at Sainsbury's. I think regular price is around £2.70, but it is frequently on offer for £2, or 2 bottles for £4.

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          • See My Baby / Other Service / 158 Readings / 154 Ratings
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            20.10.2009 16:01
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            Wonderful staff & service...will go again if I ever have another baby...

            Well, as anyone who's read my profile will know, hubby & I had an 'extended wait' for our precious little one, with pregnancy finally resulting from a successful cycle of IVF (please see my IVF review). To finally find myself pregnant was amazing...& I wanted to make sure I made the most of every moment of it (aside from all the aches & pains of course!).

            Following on from my previous medical history, we were given extra ultrasound scans throughout the pregnancy (in addition to the usual 12 & 20 week scans). These extra scans were wonderful & provided great reassurance & it was so exciting to see baby's development. With this in mind, & the prospect of this being our only pregnancy, we decided to splash out & opt for a private 4D scan also (4D scans are 3D images, with the added dimension of movement).

            There are many private clinics offering such scans around the country as they are becoming more & more popular. These clinics are usually based in larger towns & can easily be located on the internet. Luckily, I live near the 'See My Baby' centre, based in Hull. (To anyone who may be interested in 3D/4D scans, it is in my opinion worth a journey if you don't happen to have a clinic located close by). This review will focus on 'See My Baby', although most of the information will pertain to other imaging clinics also.


            SERVICES AVAILABLE/BOOKING:

            Prior to booking, we followed up on an information leaflet we were given by the IVF unit by browsing the clinics website - www.see-my-baby.co.uk. There are several 'packages' available, suiting a range of budgets (some prices vary dependant on whether the appointment is weekday or weekend):

            Sneaky Peak Scan:

            15 minute scan in 3D/4D to see baby.
            Two glossy photos in 6x4 presentation folders to take home.

            £85.00 Mon-Fri only



            Fetal gender scan:

            A 15 minute 2D baby ultrasound scan appointment to determine your baby's gender.
            3 black and white images on thermal imaging paper.
            These scans are performed after your 18 - 20 week hospital scan to ensure a high degree of accuracy.
            We cannot give 100% accuracy on these scans though.

            £65.00 Mon-Fri only



            See My Baby in 2D:

            2D conventional black/white scan.
            DVD recording of scan.
            Black/white thermal 2D images.
            1 black/white image on photo paper.
            Reassurance of baby's well being.
            Sexing of baby if requested.

            Monday to Friday - £100.00
            Saturday or Sunday - £120.00



            See My Baby in 3D:

            CD Rom with 10 3D images.
            Black/white thermal 3D images.
            1 colour 3D image on photo paper.
            Reassurance of baby's well being check.
            Sexing of baby if requested.

            Monday to Friday - £150.00
            Saturday or Sunday - £170.00



            See My Baby in 4D:

            Revolutionary technology provided by GE Healthcare allows you to see your baby moving in the 3D scan image format.
            DVD recording.
            CD Rom of images. Number of images depends on the position of baby.
            Black/white thermal images in 3D format.
            2 colour 3D images on photo paper.
            Reassurance of baby's well being check.
            Sexing of baby if requested.

            Monday to Friday - £195.00
            Saturday or Sunday - £220.00

            (Prices/details above are taken from the See My Baby website & are correct as of October 2009).

            Having decided to 'go-all-out' & opt for the 4D package, we called to arrange an appointment at 29 weeks into the pregnancy. A scan at this stage would mean that baby would be big enough to see plenty of detail, but whilst also having room to manoeuvre! (3D & 4D scans are recommended for between 26 & 32 weeks, for optimal clarity, whilst 2D scans are best carried out between 20 & 26 weeks).

            It's worth remembering that such scans are entirely non-clinical, & should an abnormality be found on the scan, then the sonographer will halt the scan (giving a reason) & suggest that you see your consultant ASAP (no medical advice will be given). The consultation is painless & harmless - ultrasound technology has been subject to hundreds of clinical studies for over 30 years and has not been found to cause harm to either mother or baby.

            The staff are all fully qualified sonographers - See My Baby Imaging is owned and managed by 3 partners with many years collective experience in Ultrasonography and Radiography and all 3 have spent the majority of their working lives working with pregnancy from gestation to birth. Each of the partners is state registered with both the College of Radiographers and the Health Professions Council and all are members of The British Medical Ultrasound Society.

            Prior to appointment day, we received a letter confirming the booking (no payment was necessary until after the scan), & a car parking pass.


            APPOINTMENT DAY:

            See My Baby is located at The Deep Business Centre, Hull. 'The Deep' is an aquarium attraction, & the business centre is located alongside. Since parking is at a premium so close to a major tourist attraction, visitors are required to sign in at the front desk of the business centre, where they can obtain a car parking pass to display & avoid fines/charges. (We required an extra pass as my parents also went along to the appointment).

            Then we headed on down to the See My Baby suite. The suite is small & includes a comfortable seating area, which is partitioned off from the ultrasound area. The suite has a lovely cosy feel, with dimmed lighting & is modern in design. There is provision for up to 5 guests at the scan.

            After a short discussion regarding the scan (with questions such as did we want to know the sex of the baby?), & also our preference for labelling on the DVD/CD-ROM (such as 'Our Baby', 'Our Son', 'Baby Samuel' etc), we were taken through to the scanning area.

            The scan itself lasted approx. 30 minutes, & included 4D, 3D & 2D imagery, all of which was being recorded onto DVD in real-time. I was asked to move around slightly to optimise the imagery, but since a full bladder is not required for this type of scan I was comfortable throughout. Hubby & parents were sat alongside, & we all had a great view of the monitor throughout the scan. (Tissues are also provided as it can be very emotional!).

            The imagery was fantastic. The sonographer (who incidentally had also carried out some of my scans during the IVF treatment!) took her time to explain different things & although these type of scans are not 'medical' was able to give us updated measurements etc. She even told us our son had a dimple in his right cheek (which at the time we weren't sure whether to believe or not...but sure enough he does!), which just goes to show the amount of detail from such scans. As well as being a wonderful, emotional experience, it was also very reassuring.

            Following the scan we waited back in the seating area whilst our DVD & CD-ROM were prepared. As well as still images, the CD-ROM also contains several short clips from the scan, whilst the DVD has the full scan, set to complementary music. We also received 2 colour 3D images in 'Baby's 1st Photo' holders, & a number of black & white 3D images. All items were housed in See My Baby wallets/cases & presented in a See My Baby bag, along with a discount voucher for future scans.

            There are many 'extras' which can also be bought/ordered - such as frames, images printed onto canvas etc. Extra copies of the DVD can also be bought for an extra £10 each. We didn't buy any additional items, although we were very tempted by the modern images on Perspex blocks.

            Customers are also reminded to check the DVD/CD-ROM as soon as possible, as images are only stored for a short period of time.

            Finally, we paid our £195 (gulp!) bill via credit card (all methods of payment are accepted, as well as See My Baby gift vouchers). Yes, it was a lot of money, but it was worth every penny in our opinion.


            MY OPINION:

            The scan was well worth the cost. The peace of mind & happiness it brought was well worth it. It was lovely for my parents to be able to see their grandson for the first time too. The sonographer made us feel very at ease & our appointment didn't feel rushed in any way (we were there about an hour in total).

            We've watched the DVD twice so far - once after the appointment, & once again after our son was born. We can vaguely see some similarities at some points of the scan (especially the dimple!), & it is such a lovely keepsake, & something that I hope our son will treasure too as he grows up. (If only these scans had been available in my parents day.....!).

            Since the 3D images were recorded onto CD-ROM, it was easy to upload the images to my PC & to internet photo-sharing sites, which has enabled my friends & relatives around the world to view them (& yes, my profile pic is one of those images!).


            A line from the See My Baby website sums up the service perfectly:

            A truly unforgettable moving experience that's yours to treasure for life.

            What more can I say....?!

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            • Mutsy Spider / Pushchair & Pram / 141 Readings / 138 Ratings
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              15.10.2009 10:43
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              Great for travelling/public transport.

              As a fan of anything colourful and funky (& usually totally impractical I might add), the Mutsy Spider pushchair really jumped out at me whilst flicking through a nursery catalogue. The picture I first saw was of the shocking pink variant....and I loved it! But, 20 weeks into the pregnancy, baby turned out to be a he, & thoughts of the pink pushchair dwindled...

              Then after seeing the pushchair in person & realising that the 'Ocean' turquoise was pretty damn funky too, I just had to have it!

              The Mutsy Spider isn't intended for use as a primary pushchair, but as a lightweight, compact variant. As most mums soon realise, it's always handy to have such a piece of kit for times when boot space is limited, or as a spare buggy for grandma's house etc. My intentions were initially for use travelling, as we had an upcoming trip across the pond to visit relatives in America.

              The Spider is recommended for babies 6 months plus, as although it does feature a recline function, it doesn't totally lay flat & could put undue stress on under-developed spines. I first used the pushchair when my son was approx 6.5 months. At this stage, he still seemed very 'lost' in it, & slid around easily. With the addition of the footmuff (with the cover zipped off in the warm weather), the problem was soon remedied as his body had something to 'grip' against.

              So after getting him used to it, it was time to take the Spider on our travels & give it a proper test run over 2 weeks...


              TRAVELLING WITH THE SPIDER:

              A separate travel bag is available for purchase (retails around £20). The bag is of a dense nylon material with rubber reinforced areas & a shoulder strap for ease of carrying. The Spider looks very compact when folded & stowed away in the bag...so much so that on 4 of our 6 flights we were allowed to carry the pushchair on board & stow it in the overhead lockers (yes, it really did fit!), which was great news for damage limitation. On the occasions were the Spider was stowed in the aircraft hold (& manhandled through security scanners), it came away unscathed thanks to it's sturdy build quality.

              Folding & unfolding was quick & simple, which is great considering the amount of times you have to do this when travelling on planes/going through numerous security checks etc.


              FROM BABY'S POINT OF VIEW:

              OK, so I couldn't really ask a 7 month old what he thought of his new ride...but this is my view in comparison to other similar compact pushchairs...

              The seat itself isn't very padded, but the addition of the footmuff provides a soft, snuggly seat pad (which can then be removed & washed if necessary). The headrest is very padded, & although my 7 month old's head doesn't quite reach yet, it will be very comfortable for him to lean back on when he gets a bit bigger.

              There is a 5 point harness to keep baby safe & in position, although at 7 months my son still seemed a bit small for it as we couldn't really tighten the straps far enough...definitely not for use for small/young babies.

              The Spider is one of the few compact pushchairs to feature a recline. (It's biggest rival - the Quinny Zapp, doesn't....). OK, so it's not a great deal of recline, but it's enough to make baby a little more comfortable when snoozing.

              The Spider is a forward facing pushchair. I wondered if my son would take to this, since he's only ever been in a pram/pushchair that was parent-facing, but luckily it was not a problem...in fact I think he enjoyed seeing the world!

              There's plenty of stretching room for little one's legs & feet...& at the flick of a catch, baby's footrest flips down to allow for toddler's legs to dangle down to the 'proper' footrest. However, the footrest is very small, & I can envisage even tiny tootsies slipping off...


              FROM MUM/DAD'S POINT OF VIEW:

              The basket is small. Very small. The problem is, it's too shallow...I wouldn't want to risk leaving anything in it for fear it fell out! I do use it to store/transport the raincover though. I have attached a loop onto the raincover bag through which I can pass & fasten the strap/clip which is used to hold the buggy together when folded.

              The handle is fully adjustable, but if you're tall then it's perhaps not going to be high enough. Bear in mind that this is a secondary pushchair & that compromises have to be made for ease of use/compactness.

              The hood doesn't really extend far enough to provide a decent amount of shade. Perhaps not an issue in our climate, but if you're travelling to sunnier climes, then you need to be sure baby is adequately protected. (Personally, I bought a separate shade which fits over the hood & velcro's to the side).

              The Spider is a 3 wheeled pushchair, although the front wheel actually comprises 2 wheels together, which does give greater stability. The front wheel/s swivel & make for great maneuverability (& can be locked stationary if you'd prefer). The back wheels however are spaced quite far apart, leading to some problems getting through tight gaps/doorways.


              OK, BUT WHY IS IT CALLED THE 'SPIDER'?:

              Unfold one of these pushchairs & you'll see why! The compactness of the pushchair is due in part to the fact it almost 'doubles in half'....as you pull it out & upright, the contours/frame of the buggy look like a giant spider (albeit a 6-legged one...but who's counting?!).


              ACCESSORIES:

              A full range of accessories are available, such as co-ordinating foot-muffs, bags etc. Since I already have a Mutsy bag (see review) for my main pushchair I haven't bothered buying another. And, pleasingly, the foot muff I already had for my main Mutsy pushchair also fits the Spider & is almost an exact colour match, saving a few pennies!

              As I mentioned, I bought the Spider in the 'Ocean' colour, but there is a vast range available, including royal blue, black, pink, red, & purple.


              SUMMARY:

              I'm really pleased with this pushchair. I know it's perhaps not the easiest to fold/unfold, nor the easiest to squeeze through tight gaps, but in my opinion these slight niggles are worth the extra effort for something that is so practical in other areas (& so funky looking!).

              The Spider retails around £190, & includes a raincover packaged in a nylon bag. Availability is hit and miss. Very few nursery stores seem to stock the Mutsy range, & even online retailers may not stock the full range of colours/accessories. Be prepared to shop around...

              Comments

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              • More +
                14.10.2009 14:32
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                Excellent value for money.

                When I moved into my house 3 years ago, I decided I wanted the whole place painted white - to complement my minimalist style. It was going to take a LOT of paint, being a 3 storey, 4 bedroom house, & we figured if we were to use the big name brands such as Dulux or Crown, it was going to cost a LOT of money....

                So, we decided to risk using Wilko paint. After all, it had been very well received in a test carried out in a well-known home & garden magazine, & we were only using white paint, so didn't need to worry about the range of colours available or how even the colour would be.

                Having used 'one-coat' products previously, I had been less than impressed - I usually find that 2 coats are needed anyway, so I figured I may aswell buy a cheaper option which would most definitely need the 2 coats & save my money.

                I bought & used Wilko's 'Matt White Emulsion'. At the time of purchase I believe the 5 litre tins were on special offer at 2 for £10, which was a bargain. The paint went on well - it was not too runny, nor was it too thick to be spread evenly & effectively. One coat would nearly have been enough (in fact I could have probably got away with it, since I was painting over magnolia), but I gave the entire house 2 coats for good measure. In all, I bought 6 5 litre cans, & still had some left over.

                I do find that the paint can be rubbed off when wiping marks off the walls, but I did use matt emulsion, so some ease of wear is to be expected. I even used the matt paint in the bathrooms & have had no problems with it.

                I would definitely recommend the Wilko paint range for basic paints...obviously I can't comment on the coloured paints, but if it's white you're after, then save your money!

                Current prices (@ Oct 09) are: 2.5 litre white emulsion - £4.98, & 7.5 litre white emulsion - £9.98.

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                • Boots Basic Cotton Wool / Make Up / 90 Readings / 84 Ratings
                  More +
                  10.10.2009 11:29
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                  A decent product, depending on your usage.

                  Having tried baby wipes on my son, I find that continued use leads to redness & irritation, so I made the switch to using cotton wool & water for the purpose of cleaning his bottom (& face etc).

                  I seem to get through a fair amount of cotton wool balls, so whilst shopping in Boots one day, I decided to try the 'Basics' range. After all, cotton wool balls are cotton wool balls...right?

                  OK, so I wasn't expecting to find the biggest cotton balls in the world (& I have to say having used both large & regular cotton wool balls, I didn't really see the point of the larger ones - the regular size worked just fine). However, the balls turned out to be TINY. I can easily get through 8 or 10 of these cotton wool balls for one nappy change. They just don't cover enough surface area to get the job done with any less! Bit of a false economy, when I only need 2 or 3 of the larger sized balls.

                  On the plus side, the balls didn't unfurl themselves or disintegrate in water. And the softness seems as good as their more expensive counter-parts. I certainly haven't encountered any problems with irritation while using this product.

                  The packaging is (as you can imagine from the product title...!) basic. You'll need to tear into the bag to release the balls, & there is no provision for re-fastening the bag to prevent the little blighters escaping...!

                  Overall, a decent product if ball-size isn't an issue to you, but not in my opinion a good product for cleaning botties with....

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