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

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!

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