About Me

My photo
I'm a married mum who loves chocolate & music & having an opinion on just about everything! E-Mail summermama@hotmail.co.uk

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bambino Mio Nappy Challenge: Day 7

For our final day of the Bambino Mio challenge, I decided to bite the bullet and put the nappy on The Boy for an overnight sleep. I used the boy fold that I’ve always used as this is for extra absorbency and the nappy would have to survive about 12 hours and The Boy has a tendency to roll onto his front while he’s asleep. I used the additional Mioboost which is specifically designed for overnight and long journeys, and I got everything prepared before I needed it so I was confident that I had it right before I even attempted getting it on The Boy.

The Boy has a bedtime routine which works well for us all: We go upstairs around 7 and has some nappy free time to play in his room, then I sort the bath out and he’s in his PJ’s drinking his milk by 8 and usually asleep by half past. Last night The Hubby was home from work by 5.30 so I had his assistance with getting The Boy all sorted out for bed which made it easier to prepare the nappy before I needed it. The Boy has been throwing mega temper tantrums about nappy changes recently, screaming and wailing, kicking and hitting, turning red and purple and wailing so hard he can’t catch his breath, real tears and snot and everything – it’s been quite spectacular, quite scary and quite annoying all at the same time!

So while The Hubby was bathing The Boy, I got the Bambino Mio nappy all sorted out, with the Mioboost as well, and chose a sleepsuit as we’ve just started using the next size up and they’re quite baggy on him. Once again I was doubtful at the sheer size of the nappy once the Mioboost pad was in the Miosoft as well, but I decided as The Boy had been busy all day and was quite tired, and I figured it was as good a time as any. I’d been putting off this challenge because I was apprehensive about what might happen, but realised that it was now or never!

Once The Boy was finished in his bath, The Hubby brought him back into his bedroom to get dried and dressed and eyed the nappy. “You’re putting that on him? Overnight?” He asked. I nodded. “It’s the final part of the Bambino Mio challenge.” I told him. He went to pick it up and I stopped him. “I’ve got it folded perfectly; I don’t want you messing it up!” I said. I dried off The Boy and got him into his Bambino Mio nappy, vest and sleepsuit. When I lifted him up from the changing mat I couldn’t help but giggle at him, which made him giggle too. His top half looked so small in comparison to his huge, bulky bottom! The Mioboost seriously adds to the bulk of the Bambino Mio nappy! But what the hey, I figured, better a bulky bum than a leaky nappy, right?

What struck me as odd was that it didn’t seem like it should be comfortable – it feels heavy, solid, like there’s a lot of fabric and not much space, and it makes his legs stick out differently to a disposable nappy – but these issues I have mentioned before, and they’ve never seemed to bother The Boy before. I admit with the Mioboost the nappy seemed even heavier and more solid, but The Boy didn’t seem unduly worried; When I put him on The Hubby’s lap for his final feed of the day he didn’t wriggle about any more than usual getting comfortable and I kissed him goodnight and left them to it.

An hour or so later, The Hubby came downstairs with an empty bottle and told me that The Boy had gone to sleep without issue – as normal.

Every hour or so from then until I went to bed I kept checking the monitor and he hadn’t moved any more than normal, nor did he seem restless or wake up at all, so I presume he was comfortable enough. When I went up to bed I checked in on him and put the covers over him and he was dry and snoring softly.

As much as I anticipated a disturbed sleep, thinking that the Mionappy would leak, or that The Boy would end up getting too wet and uncomfortable and waking up, he slept through til 6.30. Now this is early for him – usually he’ll go from – so when he started up at 6.30 it was with very bleary eyes that I staggered into his room.

The Boy was also bleary eyed (he’s not good with early starts either), so I shushed him but didn’t speak too much (a tip I learned from Super Nanny if you don’t want them to wake up properly don’t interact too much!) I put him on the changing mat and undid his sleepsuit ready for the nappy change. I was greeted with a very soggy, very full Mionappy – but between it and the Mioboost it had absorbed 99% of the wee and the rest of it had simply made the inside of the Miosoft damp. The vest and sleepsuit were completely dry – no early morning wash, change of PJ’s or bed covers required! So I just changed him as usual, swapping the dirty Mionappy for a clean disposable, gave him some formula, and put him back to bed, where he slept for another two hours before waking up wanting breakfast. I dropped the Mionappy, Mioboost and Miosoft into the washing machine with some towels and some Miofresh and The Boy started his day with Weetabix.

I was very impressed by this performance of the Mionappy! I’d not had a fantastic week with the Bambino Mio nappies but it hadn’t been awful, I put a lot of it down to me being inexperienced and not knowing what to expect, and if I were to continue with using them I’m sure I’d get the hang of it quickly and become more confident with using them. For now, the Bambino Mio supplies will be used as and when I feel comfortable with them, like when we’re indoors or with family or friends where I can change The Boy easily. I’m not confident enough to deal with them in the supermarket, or while I’m out in town for the day!

I can see why the reusable nappies route works for some people, and I can see why it doesn’t work for others. For me, in all honesty, it hasn’t made me a complete convert, but it has opened my eyes to the alternatives, and made me realise there are many more options available than I initially thought. I will definitely be looking at all the reusable options more closely, and for Baby 2 maybe we’ll start off younger and use them more frequently, who knows!

I haven’t used any other brands of reusable nappies so I don’t think I could fairly say that I’d recommend Bambino Mio over any other brand as I don’t know what other brands are like, but I would recommend that a friend who was considering reusable nappies has a look at the Bambino Mio range as I think it appears to be one of the most straightforward types of reusable nappy to use, and with the added advantage of the Mioboost I’m happy for The Boy to use this nappy time and again because as difficult as it was initially to get to grips with, now I’ve dealt with a nappy a day for a week I feel I could cope with using this option more often. I’m considering purchasing another couple of Mionappies so that I can use them more often when I’m at home with The Boy to make it easier on the whole washing and wearing front, as with only two you’re kind of limited!

Although I had some initial difficulties, perfecting the fold and getting the right size Miosoft for The Boy (he had to be awkward!) overall the nappies have been absorbent and apparently comfortable, though I think perhaps the design of the Miosoft could be altered slightly to include a stitch or two underneath the Velcro band that the tabs attach to, just to stop it rolling over when the child is being active would be a great benefit. When washing a dirty nappy I always used Vanish powder in the wash and the staining didn’t always come out first time – but I tried my mum’s recommendation of some lemon juice in a water spray bottle, lightly sprayed the damp Mionappy while it was hanging on the line in the sunshine and a couple of hours later it was brilliant white just like a washing advert which was great! Though there are a great range of designs for the Miosoft covers I’d like to see something funky, brightly coloured and jazzy rather than the spots in soft pastels and citrus colours that seem to be in fashion at the moment for baby stuff (I had the Citrus originally, then the smaller size sent was in Berry, both lovely, but I think the funky Heart Print is lovely and bright, though perhaps not so suitable for The Boy!). Once the sizing was right and I got the hang of the folding it all worked well and I give the Bambino Mio nappies a solid four out of five!

This is Summer Mama and The Boy signing off from our Bambino Mio Real Nappy Challenge! With much thanks to all the lovely team at Bambino Mio for sending us the Real Nappy Challenge pack and all your support & advice.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Product Review: The Step 2 3-In-1 Scoot Along

What? The Step 2 3-In-1 Scoot Along
How Much? RRP £34.99
Where From?  Step 2

The Boy celebrated his first birthday fairly recently, and he was very lucky to receive lots of very nice birthday presents from his family and friends. One of the items purchased for him was a 3-In-1 Scoot Along car from Step 2. I’d seen similar ideas to this product, but not this particular one.

What They Say:

On the website, Step 2 describes the 3-In-1 Scoot Along:

Grow-with-me ride on easily transforms into a toddler cart, walker and foot-to-floor vehicle.

3-In-1 Design is perfect for your growing toddler.

Toddler cart designed with support bar and long handle for easy adult steering.

Support bar pivots up and down for easy access and is easily removable when child is ready.

Handle retracts to lowered height for toddler to use as a push walker.

As your child grows, slide in retractable foot rests to have fun foot-to-floor riding toy.

Designed with great transitional features and bright, fun styling.

Removable electronics module in steering wheel features “busy driver” activities, electronic sounds and music with high/low volume control.

Requires x2 AA batteries, not included.

Durable poly construction wipes clean easily and lasts for years.

Suitable for ages 1 to 3 years.

Minimal adult assembly required.

What I say:

The minimal adult assembly part was perfectly true: You just had to put the batteries in, attach the handlebar in the back and put the wheels on. I got The Hubby to do this bit as it required use of a hammer and I’m not particularly talented with those! We kept the box to one side and The Hubby built the Scoot Along and we hid it once it was done!

On The Boy’s birthday we presented him with the huge box that it had come in, which is bigger than he is, and he loved the pictures on it and was getting quite enthusiastic so we brought out the Scoot Along with the music playing (it reminds me of 80’s pop tunes such as Erasure!) It’s quite funky though and catchy and The Boy was soon dancing to it and struggling to get out of his highchair and into the Scoot Along.

The Boy is at the youngest end of the age range this product is aimed at, so we have the handlebar extended so that we can push him, the yellow plastic guard rail around him so he doesn’t slide off sideways and the foot plates in place. As I’ve said before he is a tall child, and I wasn’t surprised to see he wasn’t particularly comfortable with his legs bent and feet on these foot plates. Instead he sticks his legs out to the front and slightly sideways and keeps them raised from the floor as you’re pushing him along until his legs get tired and then he scuffs his heels along or wedges his foot between the foot plate and the front wheel to stop it moving anywhere! This is disappointing as it seems a matter of the foot plates not being in quite the right position compared to the location of the seat part – a bit more consideration on a comfortable angle to have your legs and that problem would easily be overcome.

For the first couple of times we used it, everything was absolutely fine apart from the whole positioning of his feet, then The Boy worked out how to lift the yellow guard rail. At the moment he hasn’t figured out that it’s because he’s lifting over the top of the rail that he doesn’t manage to get out of it, but once he realises he can push it up from underneath in order to get out, there’ll be no stopping him from escaping! And here is the second niggle about the Scoot Along, the fact that there is no sort of catch or locking mechanism to click that yellow bar in place, which I feel would be an excellent addition to the product in order to keep the guard rail secured while you’re behind pushing them along.

Thanks to the fact that the handle is adjustable, my 6ft 3inch Hubby can comfortably push it along, so can I (5ft 6inch), my own mum (5ft 8inch) and my mother in law (5ft4inch). Also because the handle can be pushed right down and locks into the back of the car this makes it nice and easy to transport, even in the boot of my little car we’ve managed to fit it alongside The Boy’s overnight bag, lunch cool bag, the pushchair and a bag of toys when we’ve taken it to the in-laws and to my parents holiday home. No doubt the best part about this product is the fact that you’re not limited to where you can take it as it is robust, and is entirely made of plastic so the wheels can be used on almost any terrain, though you have to make sure it’s not too bumpy as the lack of any suspension makes for a rough ride! Also as it is so low to the floor I wouldn’t be happy using it in general to walk down the street as it puts baby level with exhaust fumes and dogs bottoms, but for walking around in your own home and garden and on a caravan site near the coast this is absolutely great to use. It gives The Boy more feeling of freedom than being strapped into a pushchair, it saves you from carrying him everywhere (and he’s at a stage now where he doesn’t want to be carried either!) and it also provides him with entertainment in the form of the noises it makes if the scenery gets a bit boring! While I was cleaning the kitchen the other day I had him sitting in it so he could chat to me and he was constantly pushing the button for music and dancing away!

It’s a lovely product all round and I like the principle of it, but the two niggling points that let it down are the positioning of the pedals and the fact that the guard rail doesn’t lock into position and these are two points I think really affect the overall opinion of it and I’d like to see them worked on and improved. Overall I give this brightly coloured, noisy little car three and a half out of five.

Bambino Mio Nappy Challenge - Day 6

Our Bambino Mio challenge hadn’t gone as easy as planned and I must admit that by Day 6 I was trying to work out which nappy to use the Bambino one for that would potentially be least hassle.

As it happened, everything that day was much more hassle than anticipated, and we had a stressful morning of me trying to juggle being mummy with being working employee with being good housewife. Moments before cleaning the fridge with the laptop and attempting to do some catching up online using the chicken that was destined for dinner I caught myself and thought Wow, I’m stressed today. Since I’d accumulated plenty of hours already over the course of the week for my work, I sent an e-mail around saying ‘unavailable’ and turned off the laptop. I dropped The Boy into his lovely Scoot Along car (a birthday present that I will be doing a review on soon!) and as he was entertained making engine noises and playing with a variety of buttons for more noise, I quickly finished the housework and made myself a cup of tea.

“What can we do today then?” I asked The Boy, and he smiled at me cheekily and made a grab for my mobile phone. As I swept it out from his reach I realised there was a message on it that I hadn’t noticed before, and it was a message from a friend of mine who lives locally asking if I was free for a catch up that afternoon. I quickly replied to her that we’d love to go round, and whisked myself and The Boy off upstairs to get ready. I realised as I was getting him dressed that it would be a good opportunity to give the Bambino Mio a test run out of the house, but in an environment where it would be easy to change The Boy’s nappy if the need arose. So I folded up the nappy with a liner, stuck it in the Miosoft and dressed The Boy before sorting myself up, packing up the nappy bag and getting all of the junk and us into the car. It wasn't until I was harnessing him in the carseat that I realised I'd folded and put on the Bambino Mio nappy without even thinking about it! So after only five days of using it once a day it was already a lot easier to do than I thought it would ever be!

We arrived ten minutes later, and The Boy was quite happy in his carseat talking to his bunny. I got him out, and carried him to the front door. My friend has two children, a daughter of junior school age and a son who is seven months old. She also has a very friendly dog and a sleek three legged cat! The Boy very much enjoys going round to their house, as he can roam around the front room freely (our front room is smaller, and contains more junk, so he’s limited!) he can also go out into the hallway and into their kitchen (where the dog biscuits are! Yummy!) As well as lots of crawling around the place, The Boy also did lots of bouncing while sitting on the rug in the front room as my friends daughter did lots of dancing and singing for us, and also once he was a little bit more relaxed The Boy did lots of dancing and singing with my friends daughter, plenty of crawling after the cat, lots of rough and tumble with the dog and some playing with his seven month old mate too. We stayed for almost three hours, and The Boy had been very active the whole time. When I checked his nappy just before we left, I realised he’d wet it but nothing else, so I quickly changed him before we set off so he wouldn’t then be squished in the carseat wearing a soggy nappy for a ten minute journey home!

Of course when my friend saw his nappy she immediately started asking me questions, because the first thing she noticed was the funky Miosoft cover, and so we started chatting about using Bambino Mio and reusable nappies in general, and she asked me if I thought they were any good. I had to be honest and tell her that while I can see the benefits of doing it if you can, personally I didn’t feel they were right for me on a full-term basis. The fact that I can wash it in the machine is fantastic, a huge bonus point for me, but I can’t wash it with anything else that I want to use fabric conditioner with, which limits me to washing them with towels or washing them alone. As I’ve only got two, I think that’s pointless, but if you had enough to use them on a constant basis you would frequently have enough for a wash load. This would mean though that you’re probably adding an extra washing machine load to every day – I already do at least one washload per day during the week, and as we’re on an electricity metre I can tell you it costs about £1.20 each time I use the machine. I’m having to use Vanish powder in the wash to ensure all the stains are gone as I’m not finding the Miofresh does anything for stains, though it’s my understanding that’s more of a sanitiser than a stain remover, but that to me just adds to the expense of using reusable nappies. It’s an expensive layout and it’s not a cheap upkeep either – certainly the money saved on buying them vs buying disposable nappies is there but only if you didn’t then need the other extras over course of time, such as Vanish powder, the additional washing machine load, and then there’s the travelling with them. I don’t see reusable nappies as being particularly quick or easy to deal with while I’m out and about. I’ll need a spare Mionappy, the Mioliners, plus a spare Miosoft just in case of accidents, along with the baby wipes, the nappy bags, the folding changing mat, the cream etc etc it all adds up, and for me space saving with a disposable or two folded in the bag is more beneficial.

I realise I’m being completely selfish about the environmental viewpoint, and so I will touch on that now. I think it is pretty disgusting that in the space of time between being born and becoming fully potty trained that a toddler will use a huge amount of disposable nappies, and I understand that they won’t degrade particularly quickly so in years to come we’ll all be sitting on hills made of used disposable nappies, and this reason alone makes using reusable nappies a worthwhile thing. As I finished chatting to my friend and putting The Boy into a normal disposable again and bagging up the Mionappy to take home, I found myself telling my friend that while The Hubby remains to be impressed by the idea, I’ve actually started to come round to it, to a certain extent. If a friend asked me, “Would you recommend disposables or reusables?” having now tried both I would tell her to buy a trial pack of each and give them both a go to see what works better for her and in which situation. While we’re at home I think the reusable nappies are a lovely idea, they’re better for his skin, they’re better for the environment, they’re lovely and soft and easy to use and there’s something essentially baby about seeing that patterned Mionappy cover as The Boy crawls round the bedroom floor wearing only his Bambino Mio nappy and a t-shirt as he plays. When you’re at family or friends house weigh up how easy it is going to be to find somewhere suitable to change baby, the friend I visited has a young son herself so a changing mat, creams and bags and wipes and all kinds of essentials were right there, but if you’re struggling to do it on your lap it isn’t as practical. When you’re out and about shopping or something I wouldn’t rate using reusables, as every dirty nappy has got to be bagged and dragged round with you for the rest of the day! I am definitely now happier putting him in a reusable nappy if the situation is good for both of us throughout the day: But for conveniance I still prefer a disposable when we're out and about.

Only one more day for the Mionappy Challenge – Tomorrow Night: The Overnight Nappy (with MioBoost!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Proud To Be A Mummy

In April 2008, shortly after my birthday, I was due to have another Depo-Provera injection. For those of you who don’t know, this is an “anti fertility” form of contraception, which works for a twelve-week period after each injection in three ways;
1 – They stop you from ovulating (producing eggs)
2 – They thicken the mucus in your cervix, making if difficult for sperm to get through.
3 – They make the lining of the womb thinner, so that if an egg became fertilised it would have difficulty attaching itself to the lining for a successful pregnancy.

I’d been on the injection by that point for 18 months, and my doctor had already advised that once I reached the 2 year point we’d have to discuss a break, or an alternative option. By that point in my life, I’d been on some form or another of contraceptive since I was sixteen. The most commonly used combination pills had been tried and tested and found to be unsuitable for me for a variety of reasons including migraines, vomiting and diarrhoea, black outs, night terrors, severe cramps, bleeding between periods and dizzy spells. I’d been swapped and changed on the Pill for a long time, and when I found one I got along with my monthly break crippled me, I suffered heavy blood loss resulting in iron deficiency and more dizzy spells along with migraine, vomiting and diarrhoea. My doctor eventually advised me to use the Pill as a ‘tricycle’ meaning that I’d take three months worth without a break in order to minimise the amount of periods I had each year, so while we weren’t resolving the issue of the problems I had when I did have a period, we were minimising the amount of periods I had and thus I didn’t endure more than was strictly necessary. My experience as a fertile female hadn’t exactly been plain sailing to say the least.

My decision to start the contraceptive injection wasn’t one that had been taken lightly. I was advised that while it meant I didn’t have to worry about taking a pill every morning I would only be able to have the injection for a maximum of two years – partly due to my history and partly due to the negative side effects that long term use of the contraceptive injection is believed to cause.

When The Hubby and I decided that I wouldn’t make another appointment to have my next due injection I felt a sense of elation, even though I understood that nothing would probably happen for a while yet. The average for a female to become normally fertile again after use of the contraceptive injection is a year, and at that point we had no evidence that I was ‘normally’ fertile anyway. I’d never had an unplanned pregnancy in my life, despite years on the pill forgetting to take it, times when I was on antibiotics and should have used alternative contraceptives and didn’t, it seemed unlikely that I’d been ‘lucky’ all those times, and it played at the back of my mind that maybe there was another underlying reason why it had never happened.

We told nobody, apart from my best friend, that we were no longer using contraceptives. When I first said to The Hubby “trying for a baby” he said to me, “No, we’re not ‘trying’, because if we don’t succeed then you’ll feel like you’ve ‘failed’ at something. We’re not preventing pregnancy.” From then on, that’s how I thought of it – NPP. And it was our little secret.

I didn’t want to tell everyone that we were NPP because I didn’t want the pressure – water cooler gossip on a Monday morning “Are you pregnant yet?” followed by “No” and “Oh dear, never mind, it’ll happen!” When I didn’t know for sure that it could. My parents had problems conceiving me and my brother – there’s a large age gap between us where my mum miscarried at least one pregnancy – and in addition to that her brother and her sister both had issues conceiving with their respective partners. While her brother and his wife ended up adopting their only child, her sister and her husband started having fertility treatment and then stopped halfway through when her husband decided it was too painful and the potential outcome “not worth it”. The Hubby and I kept our decision to ourselves, and continued life as normal.

Except life wasn’t normal. Suddenly I’d gone from being a normal woman who was married without kids to being someone desperate to get pregnant, all because of that single decision to stop having the injection. The sensible, sane side of my mind kept reminding me it could take months for my fertility to get back to normal, then even longer until I was pregnant – and once I got pregnant there was no guarantee it would go smoothly – but everywhere I looked I saw women with baby bumps, women with carseats and buggies, couples cooing over prams, children feeding ducks in the park and laughing as they played in the sunshine; as the months progressed those images seemed ever more apparent, and when close friends called or messaged to tell me they were pregnant, every time I said “Congratulations” it felt like I was being stabbed in the chest. I can’t explain to a woman whose never experienced it how awful it is to hate your closest friends in the world when they get pregnant for the simple fact that they’ve done it and you haven’t. As much as I loved these women, as good friends as they were (and still are) I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me, some cosmic reason why I wasn’t supposed to become a mum.

After more than a year of NPP, I felt like a failure. I gained weight from comfort eating all the wrong things, from drinking more and more to forget the pain of not getting pregnant (I know I was shooting myself in the foot there, but there is no logic involved in such a decision when you’re in that place) Every time The Hubby and I were intimate I’d wonder “is this it? Will I get pregnant this time?” I checked online and in books and every other way I could for the best positions, the best time of the month, the best thing to do before and during and after, to ensure pregnancy. Every month when another hideous, horrible period arrived (and with it the cramps, heavy blood loss, iron deficiency, migraine, vomiting and diarrhoea) I felt worse and worse and not just from the symptoms of my monthly guest.

Finally, in October, 17 months after we started NPP, I was walking around like a zombie. I’d been to the doctors and told there was nothing obviously preventing me from getting pregnant, but we had to have been NPP for 24 months before we could move forward and have fertility tests done. I arranged a big Halloween party, purely for a distraction. I invited friends to come and celebrate and stay with us from all around, and amongst those friends was my best friend, the one person outside of The Hubby and I who knew we were NPP. On a downer the night of the party I went upstairs with her and she knew what was on my mind.

“Look,” She said, “It won’t happen as long as you’re worrying about it, thinking about it or ‘it’ is in your head in any way, shape or form. Enjoy your husband. Enjoy having lots of wonderful sex with him and don’t worry about the outcome, just focus on having fun and enjoy lots of good times with him. Have fun, let yourself go, and if it’s meant to happen, it will.”

I sighed. I knew she was right, but it was easier said than done. “OK,” I said. We went downstairs and enjoyed the party, getting out of our trees and dancing the night away. The Hubby and I both had the following week off work as it was our wedding anniversary week. We spent a lot of time ‘having fun’ and I tried not to think about getting pregnant. One of my friends split up with his wife, and I went to the pub with him one evening and we got absolutely hammered – practically every other night of that week off I was drinking vodka or champagne with The Hubby (in celebration of our wedding anniversary).

At some point, during that very drunken, not-giving-a-shit week, I got pregnant. Of course, by then, I’d given up the thought that I ever would, so I didn’t even think to do a test, or give a thought to it when I missed my period at the end of November. A friend said to me, “Do a test” and I was like, “No, don’t be daft, I won’t be pregnant.”  Still, she persisted, and the next day when I came home from work early because I felt faint and nauseas I stopped at the supermarket and picked up a pack of pregnancy tests along with the orange juice and medication I brought, convinced I was getting the flu.

The pregnancy tests (all three of them that I did in the end) were positive, and fortunately for me I had a lovely straight-forward pregnancy that I thoroughly enjoyed and would go through again in a heartbeat if you asked me to. I adored being pregnant, swollen ankles, morning nausea, the works. After waiting 18 months for pregnancy, when it happened I revelled in every moment and even now, 12 months after giving birth, sometimes I can’t quite believe that The Boy is finally here.

If anyone out there is TTC at the moment and having trouble, please don’t feel like you’re alone … It happens to many, many couples, but a lot of us don’t talk about it while we’re going through it. TTC is a very private thing, not the sort of thing that is freely spoken about, and in so many cases couples who are TTC (or NPP) feel like there is something wrong with them if it doesn’t happen quickly, when there really isn’t.

I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason; and since I had The Boy I believe in that even more. If I hadn’t struggled for so long to get pregnant, I might not have appreciated the gift that is having a child as much as I do. If I had got pregnant more quickly, it wouldn’t have been The Boy, it would have been another child, and while I’m sure I would have loved that other child just as much, now he is here I wouldn’t swap The Boy for anything. He is my beautiful boy, my one in a million, my wonderful, superb little mini man and I would jump over a bus and run into a burning building and do all kinds of ridiculous things if it meant I could ensure he was safe.

There’s nothing quite like the powerful love that a mother has for her child, and if you’re lucky enough to be a mummy then you’ll know that. If you’re one of those ladies pregnant right now, or NPP, or even looking at potentially becoming a mummy in the distant future, brace yourself, because there is nothing on this earth like the feeling you will have for that perfect little person when you get your first cuddle, and that feeling just intensifies as time goes on and you get to know them better.

I am many things in this lifetime: Daughter, sister, wife and friend – but above all else I am a mother, and I am more proud of that than any other accomplishment I’ve ever made in my life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Product Review: The Happy Land Train Set, Train Station & Vet

What? The Happy Land range
How Much? Different sets available, costing from £6 up to £60
Where from? ELC online or in store

The Boy received many very generous birthday gifts for his 1st birthday and the Happy Land range from ELC was one that I really want to recommend to everyone! Technically speaking, the range is 18 months +, but I’m not sure why apart from the fact that at 12 months he doesn’t quite get the concept of imaginary play quite how these toys were designed. He prefers to chew them, but that’s OK because they’re chunky enough that he won’t choke and they’re durable plastic so he hasn’t marked any of them with his little teeth (razor sharp as they are right now!)

The selection from the Happy Land range that he got was the train set from his grandparents, and the train station from their dog (there’s a special offer on at ELC if you buy the train set you get the train station free) and he also got the vets surgery from his auntie & uncle.

The Train Set – This is brilliant – a series of brown plastic rails, easy to snap together to make an oval shape large enough to be interesting, small enough to not overcrowd even a small bedroom. It comes complete with a level crossing section that has a ramp either side for the car to drive over when the level crossing gates are up, a beautiful red train with tender carriage and passenger carriage that lock together with chunky links that are easy for little fingers to do up and undo, a train driver, a car to drive over the level crossing with a man to drive the car, and a lady passenger to wait on the basic platform that comes with the train set. You put it together, put batteries in the train and put the train on the tracks, then when you put the train driver into the train his weight pushes down the floor of the train engine and makes it go! Fantastic! Complete with train noises, the train tootles off round the track at a nice speed that makes it interesting enough for little people but at the same time slow enough that they can keep up. There’s also a ridge on part of the track that knocks a button on the bottom of the train engine, triggering it to come to a stop and it waits for a few seconds to let the passengers get on and off before it leaves the station again. The level crossing means that from a young age you can educate your children about safe behaviour around train tracks and level crossings, though I think this is a bit beyond The Boy just yet as he gets older it will be a good teaching tool!

The Train Station – A good size station complete with a ticket office, a ticket master figure, a businessman passenger and a bird in a nest to live on the chimney stack. Now the passengers can drive over the level crossing and park in the car park (the centre of the oval) walk to the ticket office for their ticket and sit on the platform to wait for the next train.

Village Vet – Another good size building, this one has a shop door that opens and when pressure is applied to the mat it makes a ringing noise like a shop bell; comes complete with a vet (who permanently carries a parrot on his shoulder) a vet nurse, the vets 4x4 green car, a cat, a dog and a (rather oversize) rabbit. The building is split down the centre by a counter for the animals to sit on while the vet sees to them – another pressure pad on this makes woof and meow noises when the pet is placed upon it.

Both the train station and the vet surgery are open backed, meaning little hands can easily access inside and play; every little detail is included, such as bottles of medicine on the walls in the vet surgery and flowers and a clock on the station platform.

Having looked on the ELC page at the rest of the Happy Land range I am dying to get him some more of the sets – the only question is, which ones!  But this makes it dead easy for Christmas gifts – if anyone asks what they can get him I can point them in the direction of the Happy Land range or ask for vouchers for ELC so that he can get some more. I’m very interested in the storage boxes that they do for the sets as these can be unzipped and become play mats for the range which I think is an excellent idea! (Also did you know if you register with the ELC site you can join their birthday club to receive money off vouchers which are sent out yearly just before your childs birthday until they are five? Well worth doing!)

I really like these toys, they’re brightly coloured, robust and good sizes, while some of the sets are a bit pricey I do honestly think they’re worth the money as they’ll last for a long time and if you have any problems you know you have the back up of the excellent ELC customer service team to help with your query! An imaginative set of toys that offer a wide variety of sets to keep your kids happy whether they’re into trains, aliens, princesses or horses, this range is a must-see for all parents of young children for good quality toys that I think will last for a long time! Five out of five!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bambino Mio Nappy Challenge Day 5

The smaller size Miosoft arrived in the post this morning. A slightly different design to the original one (blue and lilac dots this time, the design called Berry) I was once again very pleased with the level of customer service offered by Bambino Mio as this delivery was very prompt from the time I was told that they would send another size to the point of receiving it.

I changed The Boy and put the nappy on him around 3pm. The smaller size didn’t seem to make a huge amount of difference in how well it fitted him around the bottom and how far up the body it came, but certainly when I did it up (with the tabs angled, as advised, for optimum leg space) it seemed to fit much more snugly around his waist than the larger size had done. Even though The Boy is 23lbs now, so should be in the larger size Miosoft, because he is very slender it seems the smaller size is a better fit overall (the weight guideline for this size is maximum 21lbs).

After putting him in the Mionappy we came downstairs for a late lunch (The Boy slept through what should have been lunch time, napping from til almost after a very long & busy day yesterday). He had his lunch, then we watched a new film he got for his birthday and after that we went upstairs to play. Throughout the film he was moving around in his play pen and climbing on my lap and the sofa, and when we went upstairs to play he was crawling, sitting, standing and walking using the furniture for support.

Around , we were heading back downstairs so I picked him up to change his nappy and found his trousers were wet. The Boy isn’t one to moan and he hadn’t made any indication that he was soaked, but he was. I stripped his trousers off and put them into the wash, and found the Miosoft was wet and the Mionappy was soaked through. He’d obviously done a lot of wee in the three hours he’d been wearing it, as the Mionappy was very heavy when I lifted it out of the Miosoft, and unfortunately the Mionappy hadn’t been able to handle the amount. I’d done the boy fold as usual, and despite this it was completely saturated all the way round, front to back, and all the way through. The Miosoft was wet as well, so both have gone into the washing machine before the next use. He’d also made the nappy dirty, and this had been well contained within the liner, but I have started putting them in lengthways instead of widthways as demonstrated in the videos and find they function much better like that to contain mess but it does make it more difficult to tuck in at the edges as there isn’t as much left to tuck under the Mionappy within the Miosoft.

While I was very happy that the Miosoft fits better than the other size did, I was quite disappointed that after three hours the Mionappy had leaked so badly. I understand it’s a different principle than a disposable nappy and maybe I was na├»ve to think it would be able to keep The Boy dry for more than a couple of hours but it does make me think that it would mean the Mionappy is unsuitable for using overnight with The Boy. I’ve been advised to do a standard fold overnight instead of the boy fold as well as using the additional Mioboost, however as The Boy tends to sleep on his front I’m not convinced that the standard fold will contain the wetness as a standard disposable after 12 hours tends to be very heavy at the front and dry at the back. This latest experience makes me wonder whether the Mionappy will be able to cope with a 12 hour stretch, even with the additional Mioboost. The other thing that concerns me with attempting to use the Mionappy overnight is that the Mioboost makes the whole thing so massive and bulky The Boy really doesn’t appear to be comfortable in it, so I wonder whether it will promote bad sleep or even if he’ll settle at all wearing it. Since he does tend to sleep on his front, with his legs stretched out and more often than not his feet hooked onto the cot bars, I’m not sure whether he’ll be able to get into this position wearing the Mionappy with the Mioboost liner so I’m not sure whether it will disturb his usual good sleeping habits.

I guess only time will tell, and I will try the Mionappy overnight with the Mioboost once the better size Miosoft is out of the wash and dry again … In the meantime, I’m sorry to say, I’m disappointed with the leakage of today and while I’m pleased the Miosoft fits better, the whole system really needs to wow me over the next couple of days. I’m a long way from being a convert and still much prefer my bog standard supermarket own brand disposable nappies to the Bambino Mio system right now. I really want to fall in love with this system as I love the whole idea behind it, the fact that it is less waste than using disposables and it probably would, in the long run, turn out to be much cheaper – My experience with it so far have not changed my mind from using disposables to reusables on a permanent basis.

Product Review: Nuby Sport Sipper

Since we’re trying to encourage The Boy to drink his formula milk from a beaker instead of a bottle (without much success so far!) I thought we’d give the Nuby Sport Sipper a try to see whether it would help to bridge the gap from bottle to beaker.

RRP £2.69
What They Say:

Step 2: Silicone Training Straw
9 Months +
10 oz / 300 ml
1 Pack
For initial straw drinking
Touch Flo TM Technology which activates as soon as your child puts the spout into their mouth
Soft silicone training straw eases the transition from spout to straw drinking
Encourages natural drinking action and oral development
Sport sipper straw
BPA Free

What I say: I love the shape of this product – specially designed for little hands to hold easily, with two rubbery grips on either side so it doesn’t slip as easily as a plain bottle/beaker might. It doesn’t look like it will hold much, but it takes a massive 10 ounces, which is plenty big enough for his formula feeds. Unfortunately it doesn’t have markings on the side like a bottle does, so I made up the formula in a regular bottle and transferred it into the Sport Sipper. As well as putting one formula feed into the Sport Sipper, I put one in his blue Tommee Tippee beaker (no handles, standard shape, hard beaker spout, he’s always refused formula milk from it but he’ll drink water from it) and one feed in a regular bottle, as he’s used to. I lined them up in the kitchen together. I went to the front room and asked The Boy if he was sleepy as he was lying on his tummy in the play pen with his head on his hands, and we soon established that he was sleepy and wanted some milk & a nap. I took him into the kitchen and stood in front of the three containers of formula. I asked him which one he wanted. Now bearing in mind he’s always had his formula feed from a standard bottle before, and the only time I’ve tried it from a beaker he threw a hissy fit, he straight away smiled and grabbed the lime green Sport Sipper bottle.

I took him upstairs and we went through our usual routine of changing his nappy, pulling the curtains so his room wasn’t too bright, and the two of us settled into the chair for the feed. To begin with, he took it well, and we got about a third of the way through the feed before we had problems. The Boy is a creature of habit already, and it seems while he was hungry enough not to worry about the first bit coming from something different, after that initial success he stopped feeding and wanted to play with the spout instead of drinking from it. His little fingers went down the spout, releasing the valve, causing quite a lot of milk to be spilled around his face and onto the bib, which he thought was hilarious, but I wasn’t quite as entertained by it! I cleaned him up and tried again – this time he grabbed it and held it himself to take a few mouthfuls. Unfortunately again after a moment he stopped drinking and started playing with the top, flicking it and laughing at the noises it made, chewing on it and waving it around. Eventually I grew bored of his game and we were wasting time as well as formula, so I switched to a standard bottle to finish the feed & put him into the cot to nap.

I don’t want to be too disappointed, because I know that The Boy does like the comfort of his bottle, and perhaps I had high expectations that he would immediately swap over to using the Sport Sipper without any fuss, and to be fair despite the messing around he did, he had drunk about half his feed from it which is good for a first time. Added to this the fact that he was happily holding it himself I think this should be viewed as a successful first try of the Sport Sipper.

I’ve washed it up, and I’m going to put water in it so that he can drink from it throughout the course of this afternoon to see whether that helps get him more used to the idea, then if he does seem happier with it by this evening I can put his formula feed in it for him to have before bedtime.

I give the Sport Sipper four out of five, because I think the addition of the measuring markers down the side would be a brilliant idea as I had to make up the feed in a standard bottle and transfer it, which meant more washing up than necessary!

Gremlins In The Blog?

I’m a bit vexed that the blog entry I did for Nuby – My longest post yet! – doesn’t look exactly how I expected it to. I’m not sure what’s going on, and I’m sorry to any readers who find it difficult to plough on with reading when it doesn’t look how it should! I’ve gone over it time & again trying to get it right, but for some reason that white box area just won’t go away so I’m admitting defeat after trying everything I can think of and I’ll leave it like that. If anyone has any ideas on how to improve it & make it look right again, please let me know!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mealtimes Made Easy With Nuby!

When Nuby asked me if I’d like to test some products to review for them, I was absolutely thrilled: Not only does The Boy have the Teether Tugz Rabbit and the Flip Flop book, but he loves both of them, and we never go out without them! The lovely people at Nuby sent me a list of items they wanted reviewed, and I made a selection of the most useful for The Boy based on his age.

Our parcel arrived yesterday, typically enough the one day in the week we left the house at and the postman came at 9.30! So this morning we popped into town together to the sorting office to collect it.

The parcel contained lots of lovely items, and Nuby had even been thoughtful enough to ensure that they were ‘boy’ styles instead of ‘girl’ styles where appropriate.

I put The Boy upstairs in his cot for his nap, and investigated the parcel further. I was really impressed to discover that the packages contained more than I expected them to – for instance the Wash Or Toss beakers came as a pack of three rather than the single one I was anticipating and the feeding spoons is a generous pack of six. I was thrilled to see the bright colours and funky designs of the products, and knew The Boy would really like them too, so I made sure I opened all the packaging after checking everything over, and gave everything a wash before the first use.

After his nap, The Boy woke ready for his lunch, which gave me the perfect opportunity to try several of the items. We used the convert-a-bowl, he drank water from one of the Wash Or Toss beakers, I heated the food using the One Touch Electric Bottle & Food Warmer and fed him using the feeding spoons! (Oh, and he wore one of the lovely Snug N Dry bibs, too!)

So let’s break this down and I’ll tell you what I made of it all …

RRP £15
What they say -
Safely and evenly warms breast milk, formula and baby food
Electric warmer retains vital nutrients, unlike microwave warming
 Hassle free One-Touch™ operation
Perfect for busy parents and modern day living
Compact design is ideal for travel
 Easy as 1-2-3! Add water.....load warmer.....touch to start
The One-Touch™ warmer fits all sizes, shapes and brands of bottles
 Simple and stylish for the modern kitchen

What I say – This stylish, modern looking unit sits on your kitchen counter looking like any other kitchen accessory: Instead of standing out in bright colours (Our old warmer was an Avent one, white and bright blue, and looked quite out of place in our kitchen, where all our accessories are chrome and black!) This one sits next to the kettle fitting in nicely. I read the instructions and just thought, Hmm, because surely it wouldn’t be as straight-forward as the company makes out, right? How WRONG was I?!? For The Boy’s lunch, I looked at the handy table that comes in the box telling you how much water is needed for the quantity and the starting temperature (and even the type of container it’s in!) and used the little measuring pot to add the water. I popped the top off the jar, put it in the basket with the adaptor ring in place and flicked the switch. It quietly burbled away for a few minutes (it’s quieter than our kettle boiling) and then when the light switched off, the food was ready! I took it out and checked the temperature and it was ever so slightly too hot to feed to him immediately, but once I’d transferred it into the bowl and stirred it ready for feeding, it was perfect temperature. I’ve tried fitting the Tommee Tippee bottles we already have into it, and while it was a struggle to wedge them into our old Avent heater, they go very nicely in the Nuby one, and all different shapes and size beakers, bottles & food containers fit into it nicely. There’s a couple of really clever bits about this that I really like – the first one being the little water measuring pot. With my old warmer, we had to have a little pot to hand that we used to pour the water in, but with this one there is a cleverly designed water pot that slides onto the warmer itself, so it’s hidden and unobtrusive when you don’t need it, but it slides out easily and has the measurements marked on the side (and a flip top) for when you do need it. Such a small idea, but to me it shows that someone really thought about this design – presumably someone who has kids, and has had the experience of the random pot-of-water-on-the-work-top like we have! The second really clever bit I like is the basket design that you put the bottle or food container into for heating – like in a deep fat fryer, where you have the basket for the food and the handle to lift it in and out, this little plastic basket has a little notch for the handle to fit onto when it’s in place in the warmer, and the handle itself is just a small size, but big enough for you to grip it and lift the bottle or food, in the basket, out of the warmer – so no more grabbing at it desperately with steam all over the place, or trying to get it out with a tea-towel wrapped around your hand! It seems like such a basic little item, a bottle and food warmer, but I’ve used two in the past and both had downfalls – This one is absolutely spot on. It turns itself off automatically once the bottle or food is heated, and at this point there is no water left in it (My old warmer would just keep going regardless, and if you wandered off and forgot about it – which I have done in the past – the milk would just get hotter and hotter and the warmer would eventually boil dry, obviously quite dangerous!) I already love this warmer, despite only having used it twice (The Boy had pudding warmed in it after his lunch!) I would give it five out of five, it’s a lovely little item, at at RRP £15 I think very well priced and well worth the money – I would have expected something like that to cost double the money.

RRP £4.99
What They Say:

Designed to make feeding easy and comfortable
The unique removable cradle allows you to comfortably hold the bowl while feeding
The removable divider allows you to feed two foods at once.
Also comes with an air-tight lid; making it perfect for on the go feeding
BPA free

What I say: The bowl comes apart in two ways; The divider in the centre comes out and so does the bowl from the handle/base section to make it easier for cleaning. I didn’t really expect it to be a million miles away from any other weaning bowl, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found that once again their claims were true! It was much nicer to hold when feeding than a standard bowl (I have arthritis starting in my hands, and find that gripping bowls sometimes causes cramping in my hand which can be painful and uncomfortable and sitting there for as long as it sometimes takes to feed The Boy trying to hold a bowl steady is quite problematic at times). The handle/base section of the bowl really helps this issue, by providing a lovely soft handle to grip while you’re feeding – once again, such a small difference to the standard available, but a difference that really makes a big change for me. The shape of the bowl in the handle/base reminds me of the Genie lamp from Aladdin, and at first I was a bit sceptical about that because I thought it would just mean you couldn’t get as much food into the bowl, but I soon found it was very useful as you could move the food to the shallower end to cool down quicker if needed. I didn’t use it with the divider today as The Boy ate a ready-prepared jar of food so I didn’t need two sections, but I will be using it like that when he has ‘big boy’ dinners with us (I try to do that a few times a week, when The Hubby, The Boy and myself sit down together and eat the same thing for dinner). In addition, the bowl is also suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher, making it ideal for busy parents! It also comes with a lid that fits on airtight, so it’s also suitable to put food in when you go out and you’re safe in the knowledge that it won’t spill out everywhere during your travels – a definite plus point for us, as we’re often out & about and mealtimes away from home can be a nightmare! We’ll put the lid to the test tomorrow, as we’re off to my mum & dad’s holiday home for the day, so we’ll take The Boy’s lunch with us in his new bowl (the Genie bowl I think it should be re-named!) A bit of a side-note and probably not particularly important to a lot of people, but I also really liked the colour of this bowl! At the moment I’ll award it four out of five, but once we’ve tested the divider and the lid this score might change!

RRP £2.99
What They Say:
 6 spoons
Fun bright colours
Long handle is designed to reach the bottom of taller baby pots
Easy for mum to hold
Perfect for baby's first foods

What I say: Once more, they’re not exaggerating – the pack we received contains 2 green, 2 purple, 1 yellow and 1 blue spoon, each with designs on the handles (swirls and stars) - The designs are actually a slightly different plastic to the rest of the handle, more of a rubbery silicone feel for better grip, which was a brilliant additional touch (once more, thoughtful design for the person feeding the child) I used them to get the food out of the jar, which being a Stage 3 jar is one of the taller ones, and normally I end up with food on my hands, all up the handle of the spoon I use, and also I don’t know about you but it’s difficult to get into all the nooks and crannies of the jar to empty it fully when you’re using a spoon that’s the same height as the jar? Well these spoons did the job perfectly – I didn’t get any on me, while it went up the handle there was still plenty of handle left to hold easily, and thanks to the small spoon itself combined with the long handle I got out every last morsel! When it came to feeding I imagined that the very long handle would make it difficult to control and more hard to feed instead of easier, but it does really help and it is much more comfortable (again, with the beginnings of arthritis it can be problematic for me, but these spoons are fab) The handle is chunky enough for mum (or dad!) to comfortably hold, while the spoon itself is perfect size for little mouths but also deeper than many baby spoons you find, so it actually holds the food rather than it being a balancing act on an almost-flat surface! The bright colours, funky handle pattern and overall success of this design leads me again down the path of being impressed with Nuby, and once again I’ll award this product five out of five. I think Nuby would benefit from doing them in different packs – say a set of neutral colours, a set of girlie colours and a set of boy colours, as The Hubby picked up immediately on the purple/lilac spoons and said, “They’re a bit girlie aren’t they?” but it doesn’t bother me, and The Boy certainly doesn’t care at this age! (Maybe in a year it will be a different story, but right now all he cares about is the food on the spoon, not the colour of the spoon itself!)

RRP £2.99 (pack of three)
What They Say:
9 months+
Free flow cup
3 pack
10oz / 300ml
Mighty action crew decoration
Encourages natural drinking action & oral development

What I say: The Boy doesn’t seem to like drinking from beakers much. I’ve brought several since he was old enough to start trying something other than a bottle – a Safety 1st version (absolute rubbish, with the valve & spout in entirely too close a position to the centre of the lid, meaning you have to have it practically upside down before the child can get any liquid out of it) and several different Tommee Tippee versions. The Boy will drink from the plainest of all the Tommee Tippee beakers I’ve got him, but even then he doesn’t often hold it himself and prefers you to hold it for him: He doesn’t tend to drink a lot during the day, something which worries me, and he still refuses to drink his formula milk from anything other than a bottle. As soon as I saw the beakers I was impressed; They have funky, bright character designs (Mighty Action Crew) and brightly coloured lids. The pack contains three different designs with three different coloured lids, and straight away I liked how they looked. They’re fairly slender, so a good size for his hands to grip, and the lid fits on snugly with a spout that doesn’t leak half as much as other beakers we’ve tried. I filled one of the beakers and placed it on the tray of his high chair and sat there looking at him. First he investigated the design, smiling and laughing, as I admired it too, telling him it was a cool big-boy cup specially for him. Then, without me prompting, he grabbed it with both hands and lifted it to take a drink. I burst into applause, cheering him on for being such a big boy and drinking himself, and from that moment on, all day he has been asking for his drink (he makes a tipping motion with his hand in front of his mouth) and when I put it in front of him, he is quite happy to grab it and take a drink himself, with no assistance from me. In fact, when The Hubby returned home and tried to lift the beaker for The Boy, he became quite annoyed, turning his head away and blowing raspberries, until The Hubby put the beaker down and The Boy quite happily lifted it and drank himself. Without wanting to speak too soon I believe we may be making progress! The designs and bright colours of these beakers are attractive, the beakers themselves are functional and practical and I really like them. The name “Wash or Toss” is based on the fact that they’re only £2.99 for a pack of three, so if you choose to you can wash and re-use time and time again, or if not you can throw them away and replace. I think £2.99 is a bargain price for three of these brilliant beakers, and I will definitely be purchasing some more! They’re not as thick plastic as a lot of beakers, obviously going along with the whole throwing-away aspect of them, and the lids do pop off if they’re dropped from the high chair with force (a simple drop and the lid stays on, but that kind of throw-drop move causes them to pop open, though they haven't exploded open as I'd have expected), but I think for what they are and the price you pay for them it’s a very good product. I’ll be taking the Tommee Tippee beaker with me tomorrow for the journey as it has a folding spout for travelling, which the Wash Or Toss beakers don’t offer, but I’ll definitely be taking one of these with us for use throughout the day. Another brilliant product, these I’d give another five out of five!

RRP £11.49 (Award Winning Teethers Bundle, containing two other items)
What They Say:
Twisty Bugz
6 months +
Multiple textured surfaces
Twists, clicks & rattles
Contains purICE gel, stays cooler longer compared to water
Teething nubs massage tender gums

What I say: After his lunch, The Boy went to play in the front room for a while and since he was dribbling a lot and shoving all manner of toys into his mouth, I thought it was a good opportunity to try out one of the other Nuby products – The Twisty Bugz Teether. So called because it’s a ball that twists (causing a cracking/popping sound) with four bugs attached. Two of the bugs have wings filled with PurICE Gel, which stays colder for longer than the average teething ring filler (you only put them in the fridge, not the freezer) All of the bugs bobble about from the central ball design, with baby friendly bits for them to touch and chew. This particular product won the Mother & Baby Gold award in 2009 for Best Baby Toy 6-12 months, and it’s easy to see why. While The Boy is now 12 months old, he was kept entertained by the Twisty Bugz thanks to the bright colours and the noise that it makes, and this experience was enhanced for him by the fact that he could chew on it and get satisfaction from doing so (he’s been chewing on just about everything he can find recently and then throwing it and screaming in frustration if it doesn’t help!) The textures, shapes and noise of the Twisty Bugz meant he didn’t immediately throw it out of his play pen, instead he sat there for a while chewing, twisting and babbling to it and I think he was quite impressed. Considering that for your £11.49 you get three teethers I feel this is pretty good – I know you can buy cheap ones at the pound shop, but let’s be fair they’re generally pretty crap and basic (you get what you pay for) and if you break it down the cost for this set works out to be £3.83 per teether which isn’t so bad really, considering I think you’ll get a lot more use out of them than the cheaper versions and they will entertain the child for longer (it isn’t ‘just’ a teether, its got other things going on too!) We haven’t tried the IcyBite Keys yet (also part of this set when purchased) and we didn’t get the Bug-A-Loop, so my rating for the Twisty Bugz as a product without the others is four out of five!

All in all, we’ve had a lovely day testing out our Nuby products so far. We’ve still got other items remaining to try, so we’ll do those another day and I’ll be back with more reviews! I think Nuby are a brand who should be proud of themselves, they deserve to be much bigger in the UK than they currently are and especially with their range of products, their funky designs and their very reasonable prices it surprised me that not more stores stock their products and not more parents are buying direct if that’s the only way. In this day and age we’re all looking for funky, hard-wearing and economically priced products and the Nuby range fits the bill every time – and they’re BPA free. What more could you want? We love Nuby!