When it came to weaning her children, Sara Keel found that she could never find the cup she wanted. Most cups seemed far too big when compared to a baby or a toddlers hands, mouth or head and seemed the equivalent to an adult drinking from a bucket! Sara also worried that many of the toddler cups on the market required intense sucking and she found herself regularly removing valves and spouts from different sippy cups, so that her children were able to drink properly. By the time Sara had her third child she decided not to bother purchasing anymore sippy cups and instead, Sara decided to design her own cup which would suit the needs of her child effectively and which she branded the ‘Babycup’.
The Babycup is a small cup suitable for children aged six months and over. This cup is similar to a very small beaker, or a medicine cup and can be used as an infant/ toddler cup or is also suitable for cup-feeding milk to newborn children, including premature babies (please discuss this with your healthcare professional beforehand). Each Babycup holds up to 50ml of water and has volumetric markings in 10ml increments on the side of the cup. As this cup holds only a small amount of water, it can easily be cleaned up should it be spilt. The Babycup enables infants and toddlers to practice holding a cup, encouraging children to practice their fine motor skills and to learn to sip water as required. The Babycup comes in four differing colours (pink, blue, green and yellow) and is translucent so that children are able to view how much water is in the cup (helping to prevent any spillages from occuring).
Mums Baby Magazine were sent a pack of four Babycups to put to the test with some little hands. We found that our little tester greatly enjoyed pouring water into and out of the Babycup, practicing using the cup as a container for water play. He also used the cup to drink from as he found it far easier to drink from than his usual cup as it was lighter, easier to grasp and smaller for him to get his mouth to edge of. We found that by offering our young tester the Babycup he actually drank more water than usual as it was far more enjoyable for him, especially when we introduced stories and games such as Goldilocks & The Three Bears with three differing sized beakers (including the Babycup) and playing ‘Cafe’ when we he practiced pouring water into the cups from a small jug for his pretend customers.
The Babycup is made of non-toxic materials (it is BPA and phthalates free). It should be cleaned thoroughly before use, the Babycup should be washed in in warm soapy water and rinsed in clean water for the best results. The Babycup is easy to clean as it has no nooks or crannies, it is also dishwasher (on the top rack only) and steriliser safe. It is however, not suitable for hot drinks nor should it be used in a conventional microwave oven.
The Babycup isn’t only popular with parents and children but also loved by dentists. Many dentists suggest that spouted cups may contribute to poor dental and facial development and may also be a factor in early tooth decay. The Babycup is an open cup with a slim edge, therefore making it easier for young children with smaller mouths to drink from thus supporting oral health as the Babycup is not detrimental to your baby’s dental or facial development.
Whilst Mums Baby Magazine were quite impressed with the Babycup, we found it very similar to an everyday medicine/ baby feeding cup. However, we really liked how robust, lightweight and colourful each Babycup was and we found that our little testers greatly enjoyed drinking from these cups, rather than a conventional Sippy cup/ beaker, we therefore gave the Babycup 6/10 for it’s simple yet effective design.
Babycups are available directly from www.babycup.co.uk for only £6.66 for a pack of four (these are available in a range of colours). For further information upon the Babycup visit www.babycup.co.uk or email email@example.com
GNappies, The All New Hybrid Nappy Combining Reusable and Disposable Options To Enable More Flexible Parenting.
Here at Mums Baby Magazine, we are huge fans of products which are environmentally and economically friendly, therefore we tend to favour cloth / reusable nappies and have over the years conducted various reviews of reusable nappies. Conventional, disposable nappies are the World’s third largest contributors to landfill sites, yet staggeringly only five percent of the worlds population use nappies! A single disposable nappy can take up to five hundred years to biodegrade within a landfill site and each child is said to spend approximately 25,000 hours wearing nappies and will need about 6000 nappy changes. Britain uses around three billion disposable nappies a year, that’s a lot of rubbish!
Whilst expecting their first child, the socially responsible Australian couple, Jason and Kim Graham-Nye researched the different nappies available on the market which were environmentally friendly. Obviously, they did not wish to use disposable nappies and they found that cloth nappies would use too much water considering that they were living in a drought stricken area. They then discovered an earth friendly option based in Tasmania which produced flushable nappies. Jason and Kim brought this revolutionary new concept to the U.S and now to Europe and the UK.
gNappies (also known as gDiapers outside of the UK) are reusable nappy covers with 100% biodegradable, disposable inserts or alternatively reusable inserts can be used, therefore making these nappies a ‘hybrid nappy’, as they can be used much like a disposable or a reusable nappy depending upon the parents wishes.
Mums Baby Magazine were sent a sample pair of gpants (the reusable outer cover) and a pack of biodegradable, disposable inserts to put to the test. Very similar to a two part cloth nappy, the gnappy consists of two parts: the outer cover/ gpants which look and feel very much like a cloth nappy wrap as they are fairly thin and have a waterproof gusset area which accommodates the disposable, biodegradable insert.
We put the gnappy to the test using a small pair of gpants and a small insert with a six week old child weighing 9lb. Firstly, we began by placing the insert inside the stretchy, waterproof gusset and then we put the gpants onto the child. One thing we found particularly different about the design of gpants, is that the tabs fasten in the opposite direction to conventional nappies. The logo is designed to be worn at the back of the nappy and the tabs that would usually wrap forwards towards the baby’s tummy, instead wrap towards the baby’s back which does feel slightly odd at first, but does provide a great fit. Two hours later we changed the child and found that the disposable inserts were surprisingly absorbent! We then disposed of the insert and replaced it with a fresh insert without having to change the gpants as they remained clean and dry.
The gnappy is very slim fitting, unlike reusable cloth nappies which tend to be fairly bulky and often require children to wear larger clothing, which can make it difficult for parents that wish to dress their child in jeans. Gpants feel much like a reusable nappy wrap and are actually less bulky to carry than a disposable nappy, thus gnappies are ideal for using when out and about as they are lightweight and fit easily into a changing bag. When using disposable inserts, there is no need to bring home wet/ soiled nappies to wash (unless the gpants become wet/ soiled which is unlikely), this may be a welcome break for many parents who wish to use cloth/ reusable nappies but don’t wish to deal with the issue of carrying dirty nappies whilst out and about.
G pants are available in a range of different colours and designs and come in three different sizes:
- Small (8-14 lb)
- Medium (13-28 lb)
- Large (22-36 lb)
G pants range in price from £14.95 to £19.95 per pair which does seem quite expensive. However, parents need to consider that these pants will be used many times over and in the long run will save a huge amount of money. Although, in comparison to the average price of a single cloth nappy gpants still seem slightly expensive, espeically considering that this price is solely for the gpants without any inserts. In order to save money upon gpants, they can be purchased in bulk packs of six for £69.95 saving approximately £3.30 per pair.
Disposable, biodegradable inserts come in two sizes (newborn/ small and medium/large/XL) and cost £8.95 for a pack of 40 inserts, thus costing 22p per insert/ nappy used. Whereas disposable nappies cost approximately 20p per nappy on average, therefore making them the cheaper option in comparison to gnappies. Much like disposable nappies, the biodegradable, disposable inserts also need replacing and purchasing on a regular basis and will therefore continue to cost over time. Unlike disposable nappies, gnappies are not available in the shops and can only be purchased online, therefore making it far more difficult for parents to promptly acquire replacement inserts.
Reusable inserts are also available for gnappies and these too come in two sizes (newborn/ small and medium/large/XL). The reusable inserts cost £22.95 for a pack of six (working out at £3.82 each). Over time this would save money and be far more economically friendly.
We believe that parents wishing to use the gnappies system would initially require at least six sets of gpants, twelve reusable inserts and a pack of disposable inserts which would total in £124.80 for the initial setup, which is a huge saving in the long run when dividing this price by the total amount of times that they will be used.
Gnappies are really easy to wash, simply remove the gpants pouch, close the Velcro tabs and machine wash at 30 or 40 degrees Celsius like a normal colour wash, you can also machine/ tumble dry the gpants. The pouch can also be washed in the same fashion but must be air dried. For those parents wishing to use cloth inserts, they too can be washed on a normal 30 to 40 degree Celsius wash and can be machine or line dried. We were greatly impressed with how quickly the gpants dried in comparison to a cloth nappy, we found this to save a great amount of time and realised that this would also cut energy prices for those parents who tumble dry nappies. which is a great benefit and saving for parents using cloth/ reusable nappies.
To summarise, gnappies share similarities to cloth nappies and disposable nappies in that they can either be reusable or disposable depending upon how the parent wishes to use them. Gnappies may be environmentally friendly but they aren’t necessarily economically friendly for parents who wish to use the disposable, biodegrable inserts as they still need to replenish supplies, which will continue to cost and they will also need to wash the gpants much like reusable nappies, therefore costing in power. Perhaps if the disposable, biodegradable inserts cost less than regular disposable nappies, it may seem more ‘worth it’.
However, we were greatly impressed by the fact that parents can choose whether to use either disposable or reusable inserts dependent upon their needs, therefore making gnappies a far more adaptable option. After putting gnappies to the test for three days in total, we gave gnappies 7/10 for fashion, fit and flexibility both for children and parents. For further information upon this product visit www.gnappies.com
One of the most common problems associated with bottle feeding babies is gas and colic, which can make children extremely uncomfortable, this is unpleasant for all involved. However, by choosing the correct bottle for your child, it is is possible to reduce the intake of air and therefore illuminate colic and gas symptoms.
Mums Baby Magazine were sent the Born Free 150ml Glass Bottle (with a level 1 slow-flow teat) to put to the test. Born Free Glass Bottles (from Summer Infant products) feature a patented ActiveFlow vent which reduces air pressure and vacuum build-up, which results in less air intake thus reduces colic symptoms during bottle-feeding (of either breast/ formula milk). The leak- free vent enables your baby to control the flow of milk, providing a similar experience to breast feeding and preventing teat confusion.
As the Born Free Bottle provides a similar sensation to breast feeding for babies, they are the less likely to find it difficult to switch between breast and bottle-feeding, enabling parents to either combine feed or express milk and feed from a bottle if needed.
Do not allow your child to use this product for prolonged periods of time separate from regular feeds, or to go to sleep while drinking liquids other than water from the bottle as this can cause or contribute to early childhood tooth decay.
Made from thick, high quality glass, all Born Free Bottles are BPA- free and PVC- free. Born Free Glass Bottles are able to withstand high levels of heat without warping, they can therefore be washed safely in the top rack of a dish washer or alternatively by hand in hot, soapy water. In order to sterilise bottles, it is safe to boil the bottle feeding system for five to ten minutes. However, solvents or abrasive cleaning agents should not be used with this product, we therefore suggest steam sterilisation is the most effective method of cleaning the Born Free glass bottles.
Born Free produce a range of differing sized bottles which are available in either glass or plastic. They also produce a range of different teats made from soft medical-grade silicone, which are available in five different flow rates (to suit the different stages of your baby’s development) all of which are interchangeable. It is recommended that you only use Born Free teats with this particular feeding system and that you regularly inspect the teats for damage and wear (if a teat should become worn/ damaged it should be thrown away).
The Born Free Glass Bottle has several parts, each bottle comes with:
1 x Born Free Glass Bottle
1 x Venting System
1 x Sealing Disc
1 x Bottle Collar
1 x Bottle Lid
1 x Slow Flow Teat
1 x Instructions
Born Free Glass Bottles should never be left unattended with a child, feeding/ nursing should always be carried out by an adult. Whilst the Born Free Glass Bottles are made from thick glass, they could potentially smash if they were to be dropped and therefore should be treated with care. We recommended that Born Free Glass Bottles are suitable for use within the home, however may not be so practical when out and about as they are heavier and are more fragile than plastic bottles.
Glass Bottles tend to be far more traditional and longer lasting if cared for properly. Milk can also be heated (should it be required) far quicker when stored in a glass bottle than when in a plastic bottle due to the heat transfer, this therefore reduces waiting time for children wishing to be fed. We advice never to use a microwave to heat milk as this can create hot spots in the milk, which can be potentially dangerous for children.
Mums Baby Magazine were impressed with the simplistic, high quality design of the Born Free Bottles. We especially liked that the Born Free Bottles mimic the flow of breast feeding, thus enabling parents to have increased freedom in how they chose to feed their child. However, we felt that due to their weight and fragility the glass bottles were not ideal for use out and about, we therefore give this product 6/10.
Five News presenter, ‘Natalie Verney’ is a bright, genuine and passionate young lady. Having started out working in theatre and film, Natalie soon realised that her investigative mind and desire to share her discoveries meant that presenting was the ideal path to showcase her real talents. Having retrained as a Broadcast Journalist, Natalie made a big impact in a short space of time. Natalie was soon offered the full time position of a drive time newsreader at Heart Radio, where she not only read the news bulletins live each afternoon but was also asked to present live reports from events such as the Queens Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Torch Relay for the Breakfast Show.
As well as her passion for broadcasting, Natalie is an animal lover and from a young age she chose to give up her free time in order to raise money for ‘Save the Elephants’ who fight against the ivory trade. Only a year ago Natalie spent a week volunteering at a sanctuary in Thailand.
Natalie has a magnetic, cheeky personality with an infectious laugh and is well known for her style, enthusiasm and personal drive. Natalie is able to turn her hand to almost any topic, which will hopefully prepare her well for her latest news which she kindly shared with Mums Baby Magazine, Natalie is expecting… twins!
Here at Mums Baby Magazine, we were thrilled when Natalie agreed to share her pregnancy journey with us. We began by asking Natalie some initial questions (see below for the interview). Following this, we plan to keep in touch with Natalie and share her rather special, pregnancy journey with you, our readers.
When and how did you find out that you were pregnant?
I found out I was pregnant at the end of February just a few days after we flew back from a holiday in Australia. I’d been feeling strange for the last week of holiday and had a strong feeling I was pregnant. I kept telling my husband Tim ‘I can’t sleep – I think I’m pregnant!’ but he didn’t believe me and just laughed it off so I took a test and told him when he walked through the door from work one day. We were surprised but really excited.
Did you have any symptoms which made you suspect you could be pregnant?
Yes, I’d been suffering with bloating for the last two weeks of our holiday – not what you want when you’re wearing a bikini! I also had awful heart palpitations which I’ve since learnt is a common symptom especially with twins but I didn’t know that at the time so it was quite concerning.
Were you planning the pregnancy or was it a surprise?
That’s a tricky question! We decided to stop taking precautions as we thought it would take a year or so to conceive – but in actual fact it must’ve taken about two weeks! So yes it was planned, but it was still definitely a surprise!
How far on in your pregnancy are you?
27 weeks, 3 days
What was your and your partners reaction/ feelings when you realised that you were expecting?
I was excited and nervous at the same time as it had happened so quickly. I burst into tears when I told Tim not because I was sad but it was just so emotional. Tim just hugged me and giggled. He’s had the biggest grin on his face ever since.
Did you suspect you were having twins?
I’m going to be honest as I think it’s important for any other twin mums who might be reading this – I totally freaked out! It’s safe to say it was the biggest shock of my life. I started panicking and swearing so much in the hospital room that the sonographer had to leave the room. I then couldn’t speak for about an hour and this was followed by three hours of sobbing! My mum and sister were called in to try and calm me down. I was absolutely terrified. I was worried about how my body would cope with growing two healthy babies; how we would cope when they are born; how we could afford two babies at the same time; and how I’d manage to juggle two babies with my career. Tim on the other hand thought it was the best news in the world from the very beginning. It took me about a month for the news to sink in and for me to really start to be excited about it. Now, I can’t think of anything better and I truly feel blessed to be having twins – they’re special!
Do you know the gender of your babies?
Yes – two girls
Have you started planning names?
It’s taken a long time but we’ve finally agreed on the names – saying that, they could still change, I’m always listening out for new ideas. (We’re keeping them secret though.)
Have you had any cravings?
Nothing weird and wonderful unfortunately. The only thing I’ve really been craving is fruit. I’ve been slowly working my way round the fruit bowl – this week it’s bananas.
I have been lucky so far. I didn’t suffer with any morning sickness which is apparently pretty rare with twins as you have double the hormones. Just a couple of weeks of slight nausea which disappeared if I ate an apple! The most annoying symptom is an ectopic heartbeat which started in Australia. I’ve been told it’s because the heart is under more strain trying to pump all the extra blood round my body. I’ve had loads of tests and they’ve reassured me it’s nothing to be worried about. In the last few weeks I’ve also started to get backache at the end of the day – I can’t wait to see my chiropractor!
How are you managing with working and being pregnant?
As I’ve been feeling healthy it hasn’t affected my work at all so far. My job isn’t particularly physical so that has helped. The only annoying part is when I commute across London for my shifts with Five News. It’s astounding the number of people who don’t offer their seat!
What are your plans for maternity leave and returning to work following having your twins?
As I’m self employed I can take as much or as little time as I need/want. I plan on taking three months off and then starting slowly back with just a few shifts a month, gradually increasing when I’m ready. I’m so lucky to have a wonderful mum who has offered to help out with childcare and a lot of my work is at weekends when Tim is around to look after them so I don’t need to worry about that side of things.
What advice could you give to our readers who are also expecting twins?
I have no idea – I feel like a complete novice myself! I suppose I’d say don’t worry if it takes you a while to get used to the idea of having twins. Having spoken to a number of twin mums, I’ve discovered my reaction was very common and completely normal. That was reassuring to find out.
Have you started baby shopping yet? If so what have you purchased so far?
We ordered our pushchair the other day – that was exciting! We’ve gone for the Bugaboo Donkey. I can’t wait to receive it and start practising! We’ve also ordered all the nursery furniture but that’s about it. Our mums are going crazy with clothes shopping – I don’t think we’ll need to buy anything at this rate!
In terms of ‘staying glamorous’ have you selected any maternity clothing items so far?
Yes, I’ve had to! I love Seraphine for some classic pieces and New Look for some more everyday items that don’t cost a bomb.
Mums Baby Magazine would like to thank Natalie for her time. We will be catching up with Natalie shortly and keeping you updated with all the latest news upon her pregnancy journey with twins!