Product reviews

There are so many baby and child products on the market these days that it can be helpful to know which ones other people find to be useful. I test and review products occasionally and will post the reviews here as well as some information about the equipment that I’ve found useful.

Amby Nature’s Nest

I’ve used this for both my children and I cannot sing its praises highly enough. You can use it from newborn up until about six or seven months depending on when they get big enough to run out of shoulder-room. It means you don’t need a Moses basket (which in my experience most babies don’t like anyway) because they just move straight into a cot after the Nest – and when they do you can buy the jump-jump accessory so it can be used as a standalone bouncer. It’s invaluable for night wakings because babies settle back to sleep so quickly after a feed (and if they’re just unsettled you can simply reach out an arm and give them a gentle bounce. There are no hours spent pacing up and down the room rocking a baby in your arms. The sleeping position helps prevent colic, reflux and flat head. All in all an excellent piece of kit.

Joovy Tandem Caboose

When my own children got too big for a sling with a single buggy and my daughter wasn’t big enough yet to walk everywhere a double buggy was clearly needed. I did a lot of research and read a lot of reviews. The things that put me off were either a huge footprint (length or widthways) or a ‘double-decker’ arrangement where one child is basically underneath the other. These latter types also seemed to be grown out of pretty fast, not to mention being very expensive.

Then I stumbled across the Joovy Caboose. You can only buy the Ultralight version in this country, from Mothercare, but I emailed Joovy in America to ask if they shipped direct, which they do.

The footprint is that of a single buggy because the children sit back to back – which also means the children can use it for a much longer period than some of the other double buggies out there. It’s suitable from birth because you can attach a carseat to it (it comes with the adaptor). It folds down easily and fits into the boot of even small cars. It’s very manoeuvrable because the bigger child goes at the back which makes for easier steering. I also regularly get three children on it (two sitting, one standing on the step).

The minor downside is that it’s not really suitable for napping in. The child at the back has nothing to lean against and the front seat is quite hard, though it does recline. If it’s reclined, though, the ‘rear’ child has much less space.

It’s incredibly cost-effective – even including the shipping and customs charges it was less than £200 which is cheaper than any other decent double on the market.

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