Review of Tots Bots Easyfit Star Nappy.

Tots Bots are pretty big in the cloth nappy world. No matter which style of cloth nappy you prefer, they probably have a kit that suits you. Today we are talking about their ‘all in one’ pocket nappy. I say it is an ‘all in one’ because everything is sewn together and you do not need extra bits. The absorbent nappy is there, the waterproof wrap is there, and even a booster is there. I also call it a pocket nappy because you can stuff another booster in there if you want to.

The Easyfit Star looks similar to the Bambino Mio Miosolo all in one nappy. At first glance I thought the Easyfit seemed inferior. After taking it out of the packaging and comparing it to the Miosolo, the Easyfit did not seem as thick or as substantial. I was, therefore, worried about potential leaks. Thankfully I did not need to worry. It even holds messy poop in well!

Plain colourful nappies are priced £16.99 and the patterned fabrics are £17.99. I really adore their new prints and am tempted to get the ‘bee kind’ and ‘kaleidescope’ nappies. The Easyfit Star is an all-in-one that fits 8-35lbs. There is also a Teenyfit Star in the same prints for young babies that fit 5-12lbs. The Teenyfit are cheaper at £11.99. At these prices I do think the Easyfit is a little pricey but I know there are brands out there at the £20+ mark so I guess the Easyfit is more of a mid-range nappy.

Each Easyfit comes with a bamboo core, which is the best material for absorbing babies’ bodily fluids. It comes as a long ‘tongue’ that you can tuck into the nappy. If necessary, it is also possible to pop a booster in. There are four rows of poppers on the front of nappy so that the fit can be adjusted as baby grows. The nappy is closed using hook and loop (like Velcro) fastenings so fit can be adjusted for each baby.

Like I said earlier, I thought the Easyfit would leak compared to the Miosolo because the seams and gusset do not seem like they would have good containment. Fortunately I have been proved wrong (apart from one disastrous poop but I don’t think any nappy would have kept that one in). On the Miosolo I would often find marks on baby’s back as the nappy seam would appear too tight but the Easyfit generally avoids this. The bamboo is nice and soft. It does not seem as thick as the Miosolo but in my opinion feels much nicer to touch. The fact that the Easyfit is less bulky than the Miosolo is also a bonus if you struggle to fasten bodysuits over cloth nappies. They are by no means slim, but are definitely not the chunkiest nappy out there.

Washing is the same as for other cloth nappies and drying time is great because you can pull out the inner core for faster drying. The fold back laundry tabs are not that great. They are a bit flimsy but they do the job.

Overall I think the Easyfit is a good beginner nappy. They are simple to use and will be easy for carers or family members to adjust to. I personally prefer hook and loop fastenings because you can get the perfect fit. The Easyfit looks great and does not appear too bulky. Drying time is speedy so if you wash often enough you do not need to buy too many.

Have you ever tried the Easyfit Star or any other Tots Bots nappy? I have also bought the Peenut nappy to try and am excited to get that review out.

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Review – Little Angels sensitive wipes.

Brand: Asda
Pack size: 64
Price: 64p (1p per wipe / also available in multipack)

Asda says they are against animal testing but unlike some other supermarkets, their products are not Leaping Bunny certified. After researching their animal testing policy I am satisfied with their cruelty free status (otherwise I would not buy or review these wipes!).

The packaging has the plastic lid which keeps all the wipes nice and moist. Note that this is not recyclable, nor are the wipes biodegradable. The wrap, however, may be recycled but checking your local facilities.

These wipes provide great value for money. Whilst they are not the thickest or biggest wipes on the market, I had absolutely no trouble with the size and there was sufficient moisture for messy poops. Each wipe has a slight embossing of a teddybear on it but it does not cause any roughness or irritation. They really do feel ‘cotton soft’.

It is stated that these wipes are suitable from 0 months and are also hypoallergenic. I did not find Emery sensitive to these wipes and there was no redness after using the wipes.

All in all these are a great pack of wipes to pick up at a low price. When purchased in bulk, they offer even better value for money. The size is a touch on the smaller side but perfectly adequate and the wetness is appropriate. I only wish these had Leaping Bunny logo on them!

Have you tried any of the Little Angels wipes? Would you give up your current wipes to test these out?

Review of Childs Farm baby moisturiser.

Thankfully Emery does not suffer from eczema or another skin condition, but recently he has had a bit of dry skin on his arms and thighs. I thought his natural skin oils would sort it out but after a few days I took the Childs Farm baby moisturiser out of the bathroom cupboard to test out as his skin was still feeling a little rough.

The white moisturiser comes in a pump bottle containing 250ml product. It is normally priced at £3.99 but you may be able to find it on offer at a lower price. The soothing formula is suitable for sensitive skin and can be used from newborn age. The moisturiser is formulated with 98% natural ingredients and made without parabens, SLSs, mineral oil, and artifical colours so it is very gentle on a baby’s skin. Although it is aimed for those with sensitive skin, one of the ingredients is “parfum” so there is a slight scent but it is not overpowering and did not irritate Emery but is something to keep in mind if your child is sensitive to scents.

A small push on the pump should give you an adequate amount for both arms and another quick pump is enough for both legs. The leftover cream went on my own arms! The 250ml should last quite a while. I used this moisturiser after Emery’s night time bath and it was like a quick calming massage before bed. It sinks into the skin and dries pretty fast so there is no waiting around before you can put clothes on baby.

I thought it would take a few days for Emery’s skin to become baby soft again but after two nights of using the Childs Farm moisturiser Emery’s skin was smooth and silky again. If your child has dermatitis then it may be worth applying the moisturiser everyday (twice a day if you use it according to their instructions) but I decided to only use the moisturiser when Emery has a flare up as I want his natural skin defence to build up.

Childs Farm do not test their products on animals. They do not have a cruelty free certificate but state they are “100% compliant with the European Commission’s ‘Cosmetics Directive’ that prohibits animal testing on individual toiletries ingredients as well as finished products“. The brand also states that you can recycle their lids and bottles which is great for the environment. Furthermore, Childs Farm “are currently applying for the leaping bunny certification.”

Overall I am happy with the results of the moisturiser as Emery’s skin went from dry to baby soft very quickly and it did not appear to irritate him. I have also used the unfragranced baby wash and the sweet orange hair & body wash which are also kind on the skin and smell lovely. I have also previously tested out the biodegrable baby wipes (click to read review).

If you are unsure whether the Childs Farm products will be suitable for your child then you can purchase small sample size bottles to try out. They also do a special range just for babies including baby oil and nappy cream.

Have you ever tried Childs Farm? Do you wonder why there is no apostrophe in their name? Do you like to use baby products that do not contain parabens, SLSs, or mineral oils?

Review of Close Pop-in reusable nappy.

You may have heard of Close as they make baby carriers as well as cloth nappies. In fact we used the Close Caboo carrier with Emery for eight months until he got a bit too heavy for my poor shoulders. Emery enjoyed being close and snug in that sling but that’s a review for another day!

The Pop-in nappy is on its second version “gen V2” and comes with super absorbent bamboo or quick drying minkee fabric, so you trade longer wear for slower drying times. The prints on the Close nappies may not appeal to all. I don’t want to say “abstract” or “macabre” as those words are too extreme but I quite like the darker prints they do.

The Pop-in is an “all in two” style of nappy so the nappy insert and booster are clipped in. The poppers are cleverly colour coordinated so you won’t put them on back to front.

The nappy is secured at the waist using Velcro tabs so the fit can be adjusted perfectly to suit all babies. Initially I didn’t think there were any fold back tabs for the Velcro to prevent the nappy sticking to things in the washing machine but on the second wear I noticed the tabs are supposed to be tucked into the nappy which is a nice touch.

Pop-in is a birth to potty nappy and the front of the nappy has rows of poppers to alter the length of the nappy as baby grows. Close also do a newborn size nappy for smaller babies.

When I first received the Pop-in nappy I didn’t think it would fit Emery as it looks quite small compared to all the other nappies I have tried but it was surprisingly roomy when I came to put it on him. This also means it is a slimmer looking nappy therefore you probably will not struggle to get clothes to fit over the nappy. In fact, after using the Pop-in I felt like other brands were too baggy. I also liked being able to tuck the liner into the flap but that is not a reason to buy the Pop-in.

Drying time on these bad boys is reasonable. You can detach the insert and booster to create a bigger drying area. The boosters are not too thick so they dry fairly quickly but they soak up adequate amounts of urine.

The Pop-in retails for £18.95 but you may be able to find deals online. You can also buy them in a starter pack which will save you some money. I do find that “all in twos” seem to cost more but I think the Pop-in may be my favourite cloth nappy so far!

Have you ever tried the Close Pop-in nappy? Do you prefer the bamboo or the minkee? What are your thoughts on their prints?

How to save money when you have a baby.

We all know babies are expensive to raise. As much as we love them and want to buy that fancy £1000 pushchair, it might not be sensible if it pushes you into the red. Also, would your baby know the difference between a £250 pram and a £1000 pram? More importantly, you need to make sure you can pay those bills and put food on the table. If you can afford it, then buy whatever you want and as much as you want for your baby but not everyone is lucky enough to. Here’s a few things I did and some I thought about that may help you out. Not saying you need to do them all if something doesn’t suit you but might give you a few ideas.

Breastfeed – I know this isn’t possible for everyone but over time breastfeeding saves so much money compared to buying formula. If you pump, then you will also need to buy bottles, steriliser etc. but you do save a lot of time breastfeeding as you do not have to prepare any bottles, you can just whip out your boob and that is GREAT during those sleepless nights. Furthermore, when you go out, your bag will also be much lighter without all the bottles.

Don’t buy too many baby clothes – as cute as some baby clothes are, your baby does not need a huge wardrobe. With tactical washes you can make a small capsule wardrobe last all week. Secondly babies grow into the next size really quickly so there is no point buying a really expensive outfit unless they will get lots of wear out of it.

Buy baby clothes during sales – the best time to buy baby clothes that only last 3/6 months is during a sale! If I see something I like online, I will keep checking on it to see if the price drops before purchasing. If you have enough room, then you can also buy clothes to wear in the future. For example, in the boxing day sale you can buy a Christmas jumper in a bigger size for the following year. You can also try buying second hand clothes at baby sales, car boots, or charity shops. Some childrens’ centres also do clothes swaps. This tip also applies to toys, high chairs, books etc.

Exchange gifts you do not like – this sounds ungrateful but if you receive an outfit you don’t like then you are less likely to put your baby in it and it will be a waste of the purchaser’s money. They would want you to have something you like. Most stores are pretty good with exchanging baby gifts.

Buy items in neutral colours – you may be expecting a girl and want to buy everything in pink but what if you have a second baby and it’s a boy? It wouldn’t bother me if a boy sat in a pink car seat but others might not like that, therefore buy a shade like black or grey or brown and you can reuse it. Gender specific clothes are not so bad but big ticket items like a car seat or a pushchair can cost a lot so being able to reuse a gender neutral one for a second or third child definitely helps.

Use reusable nappies and/or wipes – the initial cost can be hefty but in the long run you can save a lot of money. You are also helping reduce waste! Washing can be a pain but once you get into the swing of it, you will know how many fresh nappies you need for the following day. Ask friends and family to put money towards the cloth nappies as some may be stuck for a gift.

Make your own baby food – when it comes to weaning then preparing your own food in batches and freezing it will definitely be cheaper than buying packaged baby food. It can be time consuming but it is worth it. Also have a look in the ‘whoops’ discounted section in supermarkets for food that will be expiring that day. As long as you can cook it that day (or freeze it immediately) then the food is fine for consumption.

Sell unwanted things online – if you are on maternity leave then it is a great time to sell items on eBay, Gumtree, Shpock etc as hopefully you have a bit more time to take photos and post listings. Once you get into the groove you won’t be able to stop. After years of saying I wanted a new dining table I eventually posted an ad online at the end of my maternity leave and used the money towards a new one. I also went to my mum’s house and sold things I had stored there for over eight years.

Do not buy things you don’t NEED – if you have one changing bag already, do you really need a second one (as beautiful as it may be)? For some people priorities also change after having a baby. For example previously you may not have thought twice about buying a new handbag but then you realise you would rather buy something for your baby instead.

Shop at discount stores and stick to your shopping list – you can get great things at pound stores these days but do not let yourself get sucked into the deals. Make a list of things you need to buy and try hard not to go crazy and fill your bags. You walk in planning to get a roll of bin bags and come out with two bags full of shopping.

Check if you are entitled to any benefits – check out Gov.uk to ensure you know your maternity/paternity rights, whether you can apply for tax credits, information on healthy start vouchers, locations of Sure Start centres, help with childcare, and more.

Be savvy with ‘little luxuries’ – it is still nice to be able to go for a meal with your partner or get your haircut but just keep an eye out for deals such as an early evening meal offer or 20% off cuts. Check places like Groupon or Wowcher for experiences and dining out. Also when you go out for the day, take your own home made lunch to eat or order water at a restaurant. Small things like that can make a big difference at the end of the day.

Do you have any tips on how to be savvy with money when you have a baby? Is there anything you wish you did or didn’t do?

Review of Good Bubble cloudberry bubble bath.

I am very excited today to share with you a Leaping Bunny certified baby brand! Please can I introduce Good Bubble! Found these guys when I attended the baby and toddler show last year and I just love the ethos of the brand. And so did Deborah Meadon from Dragons Den!

Not only are they committed to formulating gentle products for babies without ingredients such as sulfates or parabens, they also manufacture within the UK and are committed to reducing their carbon footprint by using recyclable packaging and responsibly sourcing ingredients. Their products have the seal of approval, not only from Cruelty Free International, but also the Vegan Society. I also love how it is a family business.

Good Bubble do a nice range of bubble baths, shampoos, conditioners, body washes, coconut oil, and wash mits. The two “favours” they have are dragonfruit and cloudberry. How exotic! I can tell you they both smell DIVINE. The coconut oil also smells very fruity and delicious and would be great for people suffering with dry skin.

Prices start at £3.69 which is great for a product which is practically classed as totally organic.

The item I bought to try out is the cloudberry bubble bath and it definitely puts lots of bubbles in the bath tub. The scent might be too sweet for some people but I really like it and Emery didn’t mind it either. Packaging is cute and attractive to little people. The bottle is kind of chubby and bulky but that lends to its appeal.

There isn’t really much I can say about a bubble bath! It was gentle and didn’t cause any redness or any sort if irritation. A little goes a long way so a 400ml bottle should last you a while.

I wish I had also picked up something with the dragonfruit in it. I love that I can add another cruelty free brand to my baby list. The only downfall is that the brand is not stocked (yet) in major stores but you can easily get Good Bubble online.

Have you ever tried Good Bubble? Do bath products with scents draw you in or put you off?

Review of Harry & Rose baby soft lotion

I attended a baby and toddler show last year and as always I was on the lookout for brands I hadn’t heard which may be cruelty free. One of these brands was Harry and Rose.

Harry and Rose is a British based company and was created by parents. Their products only contain good stuff so you won’t find things like parabens, SLS, dyes, or mineral oils hidden inside. Furthermore the products are gentle and can be used on sensitive new born skin.

The chap I spoke to at the show was lovely and was peddling the “organic and natural” idea, but as you may (or may not know) just because a brand claims to use organic/natural ingredients it doesn’t mean that they are cruelty free (looking at you Origins, innisfree). I asked about their animal testing policy but he didn’t seem confident with his answer (he did say they were cruelty free) so I didn’t purchase on the day but took a sample home with me.

Once at home I did some research and also emailed the company and I am pretty satisfied with their response and would say they are a cruelty free brand. They replied extremely quickly and the person I corresponded with was pleasant and also offered to send out a sample. Part of the email is below:

1. Are any of your products tested on animals by yourselves or another company?
No – we do not test our products on animals.

2. Are any of the ingredients tested on animals by yourselves or another company?
No. But we are aware that we need to publish our Fixed Cut Off Date on the site – For more information on FCOD please see link http://naturewatch.org/compassionate-shopping/faqs

3. Do you sell any of your products in countries which require animal testing by law?
We do have international distributors. But as far as we are aware, our products have not undergone any animal testing (all products have been sold under an e-commerce platform)

4. Would you or are you considering having the Cruelty Free International ‘leaping bunny’ logo on your products packaging?
Yes – we have looked into this and have considered introducing the ‘leaping bunny’ certificate into the range.”

Feeling confident that they are cruelty free I opened the sample sachet of baby lotion. There was plenty in there and I probably could have made use of it twice.

There was a bit of a scent, not unpleasant but I couldn’t work out what the smell was. My mind was telling me “rose” but that’s merely because of the brand name. Regardless the scent is not overwhelming and dissipates once the lotion is applied to the skin. The lotion was a good consistency and felt moisturising without feel thick or heavy.

Emery had dry skin in the first few months but it is much better now so thankfully we don’t have to rely on lotions to keep his skin soft. Nevertheless it is nice using a lotion to give him a quick message after bath time and before bed. Emery didn’t have any reactions to the lotion and his skin felt lovely in the morning.

After trying this sample I am more than happy to try out other products from Harry & Rose, especially as they are a British brand and we love supporting home grown talent!