The wonderful world of little people is a crowded place. Crowded in the sense that there is an overwhelmingly large array of brands, products, lotions, potions, gadgets, safety gear and more to baffle and bemuse new parents.
My husband and I did, almost literally, go crazy with the baby gear first time around. We spent a small fortune on all the things we THOUGHT we needed (newborn size baby shoes, anyone?), only to rediscover a treasure-trove of pretty useless items hidden in the wardrobe 18 months later.
Second time around – a little older, a little wiser, and with a lot less disposable coin in the pocket due to aforementioned first child – we narrowed the baby products down to the essentials…
A pram. A car seat. A baby bath. A cot. A set of easy on and off onesies.
It was that simple.
Having previously sent the first three items to the UK for our travels, we were delighted to unbox a brilliant delivery from one of my absolute favourite brands tailored to the little people – Stokke!
The Pram – Stokke Xplory
Upon setting up this pram, my first thoughts were – “wow, its tall!” And it is. As a premium Norwegian brand, one of Stokke’s key goals is to strengthen the bonds between parent and child through smart, ergonomic designs. To be precise, this includes a “higher is better” and “parent-facing” approach in many of the products, including the Stokke Xplory.
Things I Love – Not only does it feel very safe and strong, but it looks beautiful too. It’s easy to maneuver, and also has a great little add-on in the form of a Sibling Board. We used the newborn Carry Cot initially which I thought was nice and snug for Millie. She, however, did not agree with laying down long (I’m noticing a trend with these FOMO babies that I create?!), so soon switched to the Stroller Seat which she adores cruising round and snoozing in!
The Tricky Bits – As mentioned, it is big. It took a little while to figure out how to get it into the back of my reasonably sized car. It can also be a little fiddly to get down with three separate areas to fold. It took a few attempts to master, but is easy once you get the hang of it. Oh, and the Sibling Board HURTS if said sibling flings it down with force onto poor exposed toes…a design flaw which probably lays more with my rough toddler than the pram, I have to say.
The Car Seat – Stokke iZi Go Modular by BeSafe
A bit of a long, difficult name, I know, but a car seat which is in fact incredibly easy to use nonetheless. Developed by the trusted Norwegian car seat manufacturer, BeSafe, the seat is plush, incredibly secure with its 5-point safety harness, and the ergonomic pod-like design which hugs baby’s frame.
Things I Love – It’s cool! Living in the Middle East, I mean that in a literal sense when I say the fabric is not incredibly hot each time we’ve been parked out and about somewhere. Unbelievably convenient when your baby is born on the cusp of summer! It’s also secure like no other car seat I’ve tried – the 5-point safety harness goes over Millie’s shoulders and thighs, and meets to buckle her up in the middle. Also, a small but, quite frankly ingenious feature – strap magnets!! (“Say what?”) Strap magnets, which hold the straps to the top of the seat out of the way as you get a wriggling, squirming baby into their place! So simple, but so beneficial!
The Tricky Bits – We went through a phase of about a week or so of Millie falling asleep with her head tilted forward. It terrified me! The cause was a mixture of the seat in my car being on the steeper side, and the newborn booster seat of the Stokke seat needing to be removed (as directed at the age of 4 months).
The Baby Bath – Stokke Flexi Bath
The product I never knew I needed! Such a simple box-like design, but so effective for storing, then popping open when it’s the little one’s bath time! The Newborn Support also offers stability for baby, allowing you to have both hands free to sponge down and engage with them during this super fun time of the day (Millie adores her bath time!)
Things I Love – It’s lightweight. It’s compact. Its plug allows the water to drain, rather than needing to upturn it. Millie can sit and chill without my support. It can fold up and be stored as easily as it can be opened up and filled!
The Tricky Bits – The plug is detachable – not great when you have a toddler that enjoys hiding your essential possessions (still haven’t found my iPod!!!)
This bath, hands down, has been one of the most useful baby products we've had! I became a bit disillusioned with all the marketing around baby products after Zachy's first year (i.e. we spent a fortune on everything we THOUGHT we needed, but in the end found that boobs were the answer to most things) Because of this we hardly got anything new for Millie, since we a) already had it, or b) were smart enough to know we probably DIDN'T need it. This bath by @stokkebaby, however, is something new, and with the newborn seat has been absolutely awesome for bath times since it allows her to safely sit, splash and look around, while also allowing me to have my hands largely free for cleaning her and helping Zachy to wash her too (ok, I mainly fend him off her and make sure he doesn't wash her eyes like he seems to think is important!?) It folds up too so doesn't sit around all clunky and in the way. Love bath times with this baba ❤️
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