When we booked to go to Disneyland Paris for Christmas last year we were a little worried about how the children would cope with all the walking. Especially as our hotel, the Cheyenne, was a 20 minute walk from the park entrance. A double buggy was too bulky and also wouldn’t have been used much once we got back. So after some research we decided to buy a Crotec Wagon.
This turned out to be one of the best decisions we made. Not only could the girls hop in and hop out of the wagon we were also able to store all our bags with snacks, drinks, etc in the wagon as well. It was extremely easy to pull along and didn’t take any more effort than pulling a buggy. It was also invaluable on the day that my youngest wasn’t feeling well. She was able to have a proper lie down and sleep in it which enabled the rest of us to still enjoy the park. We secured the wagon by putting a bicycle lock through the wheels.
It also folds really flat so didn’t take up much space in the car at all.
Girls enjoying the view from their Crotec Wagon
There are cheaper Wagons and carts available, but the majority don’t specify they can be used for children. I think that the quality of the Crotec is really good and it has survived the battering of a 5 and 3 year old really well. We bought ours from Amazon, but I believe it’s now also available at Argos.
Last summer my wife and I were having a discussion about the proper footwear for our daughter. My opinion was that it was fine for her to be barefoot in the park, but my wife believed she needed to wear shoes. My wife was worried about her getting splinters, cuts or dog dirt, which is understandable as there could be anything hidden in the grass.
Getting on my high horse thinking I was right I did a google search for barefoot or shoes for babies. I came upon an article in the Guardian that suggested being barefoot was best, but that you can now get barefoot shoes, which aim to give you the best of both worlds. Having done some more research we found that one particular brand, Bobux had some stockists fairly locally so we could try them out.
Just before we decided on a barefoot shoes we were looking at Clarks shoes and went to a Clarks store to get our daughters feet measured. The first store said she was a size 4F, but didn’t have the size we needed. Within a week we went to another Clarks store and they said she was a 3.5F. Seeking a third opinion we went to a Brantano store and they said she was a 4.5G. We were a bit cynical of the last place as we were looking at size 4 shoes that were in the sale and were advised they would be too small, even though they felt fine to us. However the fact remains that within a week we got told our daughter was three different shoe sizes. I would therefore recommend that you take care when accepting the sizing that you are given. Even in a leading shoe store like Clarks. The size they give you can be an indication, but I would always go with what your own feeling is when your child tries them on.
When we tried out the Bobux shoes we were really impressed with the look and feel. However we decided that we would decide for ourselves what the right size was based on how far from the end of the shoe her toe was. Unfortunately they didn’t have the style we wanted in the size that we needed. Luckily you can buy Bobux shoes from various places online. Bobux themselves have a website and they are also available on Amazon. We therefore bought our shoes online as the store where we tried them on didn’t get back to us about getting the right size in stock.
My Daughter was really excited when her shoes arrived and wanted to put them on straight away. She loves her Bobux shoes, she’s always really keen to put them on and she walks really well in them. I can’t tell if they are indeed better for her feet than say Clarks would be. However the research does suggest that they are. All I know is my daughter finds them comfortable to walk in, they are great quality and I feel I’m giving my daughter the best of both worlds. A barefoot feeling, but with no chance of cuts and splinters.
When my wife wanted to buy the the Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano Gym I thought she was just in a pre-baby spending mode. I saw there were a lot of cheaper gyms out there and suggested we got one of those. I’m so glad she put her foot down and we bought this.
This has been used since just after birth by both our daughters. They absolutely love kicking the piano and making the music come on. The attached toys are also just tantalizingly out of reach so they have to put a bit of effort in to get them.
Whenever I’m holding the baby and she won’t settle on me I put her down on the gym and she seems to settle straight away. It also seems to really help with wind as the kicking motion helps release it.
I would recommend this to anyone who is due to have a baby or has a newborn. I would have to say that my eldest probably lost interest at about 14 months, however now that her sister has arrived she likes going on it at the same time as her.
I would have to say that this gym is one of the best purchases we have made. It seems to distract the child for long enough for you to do something meaningful. From looking at the Amazon reviews it seems I’m not the only one who thinks this.
When our eldest moved up from her first car seat to her latest, the Britax Dualfix, we did a lot of research.
After all the online research we decided that an extended rear facing seat was the safest option and was the kind of car seat that we wanted to get. However it is very difficult to visualize these seats online. We therefore decided to go to the In Car Safety Centre in Milton Keynes, which specialize in car seats and have a really big range of rear facing seats. We needed to make an appointment to ensure that we got the care and attention that we needed. The service was excellent they talked us through the features and benefits of the car seats and then we selected a few to try in our cars.
The Britax Dualfix was the clear winner for us. It had a really good safety rating, as well as having extra functionality that we liked.
- Various reclining functions: The Britax Dualfix seat is suitable from birth, although you cannot carry it around with you or put it on any wheels.
- Removable cover: This is very handy and some of the car seats don’t come with this functionality and would be a nightmare to clean. The britax Dualfix is very easy to clean.
- Swivels round: The Britax Dualfix can be both forward and rear facing and this is probably the most important feature for us. Although for safety reasons we have not used it forward facing we alwayds swivel it to the side when getting my toddler in and out. This makes it really easy to get her in, even when she’s throwing a tantrum. I’m not sure how you would get my daughter in a rear facing seat when she’s resisting as you don’t have the angle to work with. However with the Britax Dualfix you do.
- The Britax Dualfix will only fit in a car with Isofix. Having said that it is the safest way to install a car seat. However if you need to change cars you have to have one with Isofix fittings.
- The Britax Dualfix is pretty heavy and is probably not suitable for frequent changes of car or for carrying inside with a sleeping baby.
- the Britax Dualfix is reasonably expensive and as a rear facing seat it is only suitable up to 18kg so you would need to buy a new car seat sooner than if you went for a forward facing seat.
All in all I have to say that the Britat Dualfix is a great car seat for us. Our toddler has the tendency to resist getting into her seat and with the swivel function it makes it that bit easier to get her in. Once in the seat she seem to find it very comfortable and we are safe in the knowledge that it is one of the safest car seats we can get.
We have had the Baby Bjorn Carrier since our first daughter was born and it is an invaluable piece of equipment especially as we live in the countryside. We try and do a lot of walking and with a baby carrier you can get to a lot of places that you cannot do with a buggy or pram. It is also really comfortable and easy to use. This carrier can be used from birth and we used it till our first was about 18 months. We could have used it longer but we have since bought a backpack style carrier which is better for your back when making long walks. However I now use it a lot with my youngest daughter. Probably even more so than I did with the first.
What is good about it is that it allows you to have almost complete freedom of movement, which is something you need when trying to look after a toddler at the same time. It is also calming for the baby. For example if I’m trying to cook and my youngest daughter starts crying I put her in the carrier and she usually calms down and falls asleep within a few minutes. This means I can get on with the things I need to do and she is nice and cosy.
I would really recommend this carrier as it gives you a lot of freedom, especially when looking after two.