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  • Chicco Hoopla Bouncer Review

    Quick Overview

    The Chicco Hoopla Bouncer is available in a range of different colours and patterns, whether you prefer a sky blue or stone colour with swirl details, a pink ‘princess’ option, plain grey with multi-coloured insert, or a plain teal choice (as pictured here). When seated, your baby can bounce to their heart’s content in this fully adjustable and padded baby bouncer. The product also features three colourful hanging toys for your child’s entertainment and keeps your baby safely in position with a harness and padded crotch straps.

    Pros & Cons

    • Very comfortable padding
    • Easy to wash the new-born insert
    • Easily transported
    • Not easy enough to adjust the straps
    • Not very long-lasting
    • Lacking desired bounce

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    First Impressions

    Most parents reported that their child enjoyed this baby bouncer when at a young age, with some customers saying the product not only met their expectations but exceeded them. There are measures in place to make it long-lasting, which allows you to use the bouncer from birth and onwards. It features an insert for new-born babies, and a total of three height adjustments, so it grows with your child. It is closer to the ground compared to other bouncers, so it feels sturdier, and the four different reclining positions means your baby will always be comfortable.

    What people love about the Chicco Hoopla Bouncer

    Parents found this bouncer to be really good value for money, providing entertainment for their baby in a comfortable space, so parents can do some of those necessary jobs like putting the washing on while knowing the baby is safely watching from the bouncer. Parents enjoyed the fact that you could hang additional toys from the bar, so if your baby has a favourite toy, it will be easy to attach it to the bouncer. Toys can also be moved along the bar using the SlideLine system. It is delivered readily assembled with all its parts, so there’s no need to even dismantle or assemble the product. When not in use, it easily folds flat and can fit comfortably in storage spaces.

    What to watch out for

    Although there have been attempts to make this a long-lasting product, parents sometimes found that their child grew out of it, not because of the size, but because it wasn’t mentally stimulating enough over time. Perhaps if there were a wider variety of functions such as music and sounds, it could be more entertaining for children as they get a little bit older. Some customers also found that the product could break when used over a long period of time, which also raises questions about its ability to live up to its aims to be a long-lasting product. Parents commented that the fabrics could be brighter, and an adjustable backrest would have been good to have. The product is also quite large, so it requires quite a lot of space when in use.

    What’s in the Box?

    • 1 x Hoopla Frame
    • 1 x Seat Fabric
    • 1 x New-born Insert
    • 1 x Harness
    • 1 x Toy Arch
    • 3 x Hanging Toys
    • 1 x Set of Instructions

    Specifications

    Weight: 3.5 kg
    Dimensions: 80 x 43 x 15 cm
    Maximum Weight Recommendation: 9 kg
    Material: 50% fabric, 50% metal

    Hints and Tips

    Parents have found that this baby bouncer is ideal for use after feeding, allowing the baby to be lifted rather than flat on their back. It’s gentle rocking (manual rather than electronic) means babies are often lulled to sleep once they have finished playing with the toy element. There’s no need to keep it in one room, as it is designed to move into any room with your baby.

    Final Verdict

    The Chicco Hoopla Bouncer is a simple product with enough little features to make parents feel it is worth the money. Winner of the Mother&Baby Gold Award in 2014, it still stands the test of time, whether your baby wants to bounce away, or just placed down to lay comfortably in the fixed position. As it can be stored flat, it is also possible to transport it, meaning your baby can have bouncy fun with toys wherever they go.

    Messy Spaghetti rating: 4.7/5

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  • Our Ultimate Guide to Prams, Pushchairs and More

    When looking to get your little one from A to B, it can be difficult to decide which is the best option, or even what the difference is between the different types of products available.

    Prams are dated back to Victorian times, and although not often known by their full name ‘perambulators’, they can also be referred to as baby carriages. These are designed to carry newborns and young babies.

    Pushchairs are usually suitable for both newborn babies and older babies, as most models offer the option to recline the seat and position it towards the parents, or forward-facing.

    A stroller is similar to a pushchair, but they are often more suitable for older babies, being more lightweight and easily collapsible.

    A buggy can be a confusing term, as it is often interchangeable with ‘pushchair’ in British English, but can mean ‘pram’ in American English, so you will often see the word used in a variety of contexts.

    A travel system refers to a type of pushchair that its compatible with a car seat and carrycot.

    We will outline some of the top-rated products within these categories to suit different budgets, and go over any considerations to think about to help you decide what to buy.

    Please also note that prices given are approximate, and may be lower or higher depending on the retailer.

    Prams

    In a way, prams are now considered a luxury item, so it is difficult to find a pram that functions purely as a pram in the traditional sense. This means that prams tend to be on the higher end of the price scale, as they are considered more fashion accessories than necessities. Modern prams have a range of functionalities that take them beyond being solely for newborns.

    The products we’ve chosen to review are not compatible with cars, so the focus of this section is on their appropriateness as prams for newborn babies.

    Lower budget: Cosatto Yo 2

    lower budget option pushchair cosatto yo 2 Multi colour cosetto yo 2 pushchair best price

    The Cosatto is technically a stroller, but it features one of the flattest lie-flat seats when in recline, making it one of the strollers best-fitting pram status. We think this provides excellent value as its suitable from birth until around the age of 3 years (approximately 15kg) and unlike some other brands there are lots accessories included in the price; such as the cosy toes, chest pads, head hugger, and a cup holder – your child will certainly be cosy and comfortable.

    The seat faces forwards and features adjustable calf support, padded removable bumper bars, UPF 50+ sun hood and rain cover. The four lockable swivel wheels and light weight of just 8.8kg, making it really easy to steer. The compact umbrella-fold and carry handle means it’s easy to take on public transport in urban environments. To top it off, the wide, deep basket at the base is ideal for storing anything you need.

    The Cosatto Yo 2 comes in a range of attractive designs, featuring unicorns, monsters, or zebra stripes.

    Pros: Lightweight and comfortable, with eye-catching designs.

    Cons: The hood is fastened with Velcro rather than a zip, and the handle is not adjustable.

    Average rating across the web: 4.3/5
    Retailer: from £189.00 – Amazon.co.uk

    Mid-range: Hauck Duett 2

    hauck duett 2 pushchair mid range budget option for parents hauck duett 2 pushchair review and best price

    The Hauck Duett is a multifunctional pram, with the ability to have your baby lie-flat, as well as in two raised positions and the option of facing both forwards and towards you. This makes it suitable for newborns, as well as toddlers (up to age three at 15kg maximum weight). It can also be converted into a double buggy, holding an older child in the rear seat.

    The Hauck Duett 2 has been updated to give approximately 3 centimetres additional room than the previous model. Many other improvements have been made, such as making it also easy to fold down, and having an adjustable handle.

    Weighing in at 15.6kg and featuring lockable 360-degree swivel front wheels, it is sturdy yet lightweight and easy to push. Two rain covers are included; however, the foot-muff, parasol and cup holder are sold separately.

    Pros: It can be used as a pram with its main seat, and easily converted to a double buggy.

    Cons: It is difficult to assemble initially, accessories cost more money.

    Average rating across the web: 4.5/5
    Retailer: from £280.00 – Amazon.co.uk

    High-end: Silver Cross Kensington

    silver cross Kensington cheapest price review and pram mum with silver cross Kensington pram

    Although Silver Cross do produce some more affordable items, the Silver Cross Kensington is an example of how prams can also be fashion accessories, with its classic Edwardian-style iconic pram, featuring a broderie anglaise trimming on the sun canopy. Silver Cross prams can cost up to £40,000, with the Balmoral being a favourite of the Royal Family since it was first made in 1877.

    As the most traditional pram listed here, it features the lie-flat seat position, which is best for newborn babies, and the baby carriage can be detached, making it possible to fold down the chassis. Hand-crafted in Yorkshire, the Kensington features four large spoke wheels, which are detachable for easy storage and C-spring suspension for a smooth ride.

    This pram oozes quality with its hand-painted body and hand stitched fabric, which is available in a range of colours; black, brown, navy, pink, or white/navy.

    Pros: It is an iconic pram with traditional craftsmanship and a long history.

    Cons: It lacks the contemporary features that make for more practical prams, and you will need a lot of storage space in to fit it in a car.

    Average rating across the web: not enough reviews yet
    Retailer: from £1,250.00 – John Lewis

    Pushchairs

    The pushchairs we’ve featured often have additional purchases that can convert them into travel systems, as this functionality requires adapters (sometimes included) and car seats (usually sold separately). They often are suitable for newborn babies, but can also require additional purchases.

    Lower-budget: Silver Cross Reflex

    silver cross reflex pushchair in silver with luxury footmuff silver cross reflex front view in silver

    The Silver Cross Reflex is not the cheapest pushchair for those on a budget, but it is excellent value for money, especially when considering the price difference between this model and the Kensington pram. Its lie-flat seat features an ergonomic backrest, allowing air to flow, and it is easy to raise and lower between the four positions using a slider mechanism. However, one drawback is that it only faces forward. Despite being very lightweight at just 8.5kg, it can carry your baby from a newborn all the way to a growing toddler (up to 25kg).

    It is easily folded away and includes accessories such as the rain cover, shopping basket, harness pads, and reversible seat liner. The four wheels are made with puncture resistant tyres, and the front swivel wheels are lockable. There’s also a three-mode LED safety light, adjustable handlebars, and 5-point harness. On its own, this pushchair isn’t a travel system, but it is compatible with an optional car seat at additional cost.

    Pros: It is compact and slim, but comfortable and roomy.

    Cons: Although secure, the harness can be clunky, and there’s no parent-facing seat option unless you purchase the newborn accessory pack.

    Average rating across the web: 4.2/5
    Retailer: from £184.98 – Toys R Us

    Mid-range: Mothercare Genie Pushchair

    Mothercare Genie Pushchair in grey mother pushing baby in Mothercare genie pushchair

    The Genie Pushchair from Mothercare is excellent value, as it is possible to use as a lie-flat pram for a baby, with both forward and rear facing options, and is possible to convert into a tandem pushchair when adding an extra seat (sold separately). It features ten different travel modes, and a 5-point harness to keep your baby safe and secure.

    There’s ample storage space included, as the basket unit can be pulled out and extended. It also comes with cosytoes, chest pads, a pram apron, liner and a weather-shield.

    The Genie has four weeks that are suitable for both on and off-road usage, providing your baby with a smooth and comfortable ride. It weighs 13.5kg and is considered quite bulky when it comes to transporting and fitting it in your car.

    Pros: It ticks all the right boxes and is very multifunctional.

    Cons: Adjustments are not as functional as they would seem, and seat recline is not that far back. To use as a transport system requires additional purchase.

    Average rating across the web: 4.1/5
    Retailer: from £300.00 – Mothercare

    High-end: iCandy Peach

    icandy peach buggy review and cheapest price icandy peach buggy and travel system in silver and sand colour

    The iCandy Peach is very similar to the Mothercare Genie, but with a heftier price tag. It is easily transformed into a double buggy, includes a sizeable hood, and large shopping basket.

    It has been noted for its smooth ride, even when pushing it across rough terrain, with four sturdy puncture-proof EVA wheels, including lockable front swivels.

    The pushchair can only be used from 6 months as it comes, but it is possible to purchase an extra carrycot to make it suitable for newborns. The seat has three positions, and it can be directed towards you, or forwards.

    It folds easily and is very compact, making it easy to store. Its simplicity extends to its one-touch 5-point harness; however, this has also been criticised as young children can easily escape by undoing the harness themselves.

    It has been reported that it is better for use as a single buggy, but it can hold up to 25kg. The handlebar adjustment is in the middle, which makes it difficult when holding with one hand if you need to hold another child’s hand. It also features a large rain cover, which fits perfectly.

    Pros: The rain cover has been highly praised, and it’s easy to fold away.

    Cons: You have to purchase additional extras, which hikes up the cost when a cheaper option may work just as well.

    Average rating across the web: 4.5/5
    Retailer: from £780.00 – Mothercare

    Strollers

    Strollers are a more lightweight and cheaper option. However, they are most suitable for older babies, so lack the functionalities of some of the previous pushchairs that we’ve featured.

    Lower budget: Joie Nitro Stroller

    Joie Nitro Stroller review in black and purple Joie Nitro Stroller review and cheapest price

    Although the Joie Nitro Stroller is said to be suitable from birth, most parents would err towards the side of caution, and use this for older babies and toddlers up to 15kg. The four wheels include two front lockable swivels and provide a smooth ride. The seat faces forwards only, and there are four backrest positions. As you would expect with a stroller, it has a compact umbrella-fold.

    Additional features include ergonomic handles, multi-position calf support and a removable and adjustable hood. There are no other accessories included, but you can buy a foot-muff at an additional cost. Despite the inclusion of a hood and rain cover, it falls short quite literally, with it not providing adequate protection, and lacking any ventilation.

    Pros: Everything is very smooth, from its foldability to its steering, and seat recline.

    Cons: The hood is not very big, and there have been issues reported with the rain cover.

    Average rating across the web: 4.6/5
    Retailer: from £49.99 – Toys R Us

    Mid-range: Cosatto Supa Stroller

    Cosatto Supa Stroller in a huge choice of colours and designs Cosatto Supa Stroller push chairs with cars design in blue

    Cosatto comes up trumps again with this Supa Stroller. From dinosaurs to rainbows, to flowers, to foxes, to monsters, to polka dots and bows – the fun designs are again what makes the Cosatto brand stand out from the crowd.

    It is said to be suitable from birth, but best for older babies up to 4 years (15kg). The seat is forward-facing only, but there is a viewing window for parents to look through and it includes four different backrest options, including a lie-flat mode.

    Its four wheels include front swivels that are lockable. There are many great features, including its integral extendable hood and sunshade protection, and many accessories that other brands don’t include such as the 4-way cosy-toes, kangaroo pouch, chest pads and head hugger, plastic drinks holder and more. There’s also a multimedia gadget pocket with a speaker, which is a quirky feature that enables your child to listen to music or watch TV when plugged into a suitable device.

    Pros: It is quite light and compact, with fun patterned designs to choose from.

    Cons: It is quite long and difficult to fold.

    Average rating across the web: 4.1/5
    Retailer: from £149.98 – Toys R Us

    High-end: Baby Jogger City Premier Stroller

    mother- with Baby Jogger City Premier Stroller Baby Jogger City Premier Stroller review cheapest price in blue

    The main feature of the Baby Jogger City Premier Stroller is not so much the idea of using it while exercising, but more the use of the patented Quick-Fold Technology, so that it can be collapsed single-handedly. There’s also a great emphasis on safety, which is necessary for a product with a USP for use on a variety of terrains.

    It is recommended for use from 6 months and can be used up to around three years old. That said, you can purchase an additional carrycot to use it with newborns, but this will set you back another £200. Similarly, it can be used with a cart seat, but this will cost over £100 extra.

    Unlike the cheaper strollers, it has the option to be forward and parent-facing, with a multitude of backrest positions. The four wheels, as you might expect by now, include two lockable front swivel wheels. There are many additional accessories, but they all cost extra, even the rain cover.

    Pros: Good for use in both the city and country, with many great features.

    Cons: It’s quite bulky and the rain cover, amongst everything else, costs extra.

    Average rating across the web: not enough reviews
    Retailer: from £388.95 – Amazon.co.uk

    Travel systems

    Most buggies can be adapted as travel systems these days. We featured the ones we believe are the best on the market.

    Lower-budget: The Joie Pact

    The Joie Pact travel system review and best price The Joie Pact travel system pram and seat in blue colour

    The Joie Pact is a stroller-style travel system weighing just 6kg and includes a rain cover, travel bag and car-seat adaptors as standard, which you would then need to fit with Joie car seats, or another compatible brand such as Maxi-Cosi. The best feature is that it folds up into possibly the most compact travel system buggy, and comes with a carry strap, so that you can throw it over your shoulder.

    There are lots of adjustable settings, including the handle height, a 2-position calf support, and various recline settings.

    There’s suspension on all four wheels, and it’s noted for its smooth ride. It is suitable from birth (up to 15kg) with a great 5-point harness but forward facing only.

    There are lots of accessories are included, such as the detachable hood, sun shade, rain cover, and chest pads.

    Pros: It is incredibly compact when you fold it up, and very lightweight.

    Cons: There aren’t many, but perhaps if there was a parent-facing option it could be improved.

    Average rating across the web: 4.7/5
    Retailer: from £149.99 – Argos

    Mid-range: The Uppababy Cruz

    The Uppababy Cruz travel system review in black The Uppababy Cruz review and best price

    The Uppababy Cruz is another model that is ready to go in the car, but an additional baby car seat will need to be purchased to do so. Its compatible with the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix and Pebble, as well as the Be Safe Izi Go.

    This travel system is suitable from 6 months to 3 years as it comes but can be adapted for newborns with the addition of the Uppababy Carrycot, which is sold separately.

    A number of other accessories are available at additional cost, but you do get a large rain cover, UV sun protection, and even an insect net for travelling to mosquito-ridden places included as standard. The seat is forward and rear-facing, and there are five different positions, including a lie-flat one. There is also a large basket for any items you need to store on your travels.

    Like with all other models featured, it has four wheels, including two front lockable swivel wheels. It weighs just under 10kg and provides a sturdy ride for your baby.

    Pros: The hood is extendable as your child grows, and it has a sturdy body.

    Cons: There are a lot of extras that need to be bought separately, and the rain cover doesn’t have a fastener.

    Average rating across the web: 4.5/5
    Retailer: from £479.99 – John Lewis

    High-end: Cybex Mios

    mum with baby pushing Cybex Mios travel system pushchair Cybex Mios travel system review and cheapest price sand colour

    The Cybex Mios provides optimum comfort for your baby, and is suitable from birth to 17kg (around four years old), with its use of memory foam mattress. It is mesh-lined, giving it added breathability. An additional padded seat liner can also be used when it’s colder.

    The seat is one of the best features, reclining to four different positions, and the leg rest changes to three different positions. It can be forward or parent-facing, with easy memory-buttons with an easy click on and off.

    It is around 8.8kg, so is lightweight yet sturdy, with four small puncture-proof wheels, all with suspension. It also features a compact, one-handed fold, for easy transportation, which can be wheeled along like a small suitcase and can stand upright when stored away. The sun canopy is large and extendable, with UPF 50+ protection and a viewing window. Again, it is designed as a travel system, but this requires extra purchases to optimise, but there are lots of accessories included such as a parasol, changing bag, snack tray, and cup holder.

    Pros: It is stylish, yet sturdy and very durable, and has a fantastic seating area.

    Cons: You have to purchase some extras, such as the carrycot and car seat.

    Average rating across the web: 4.6/5
    Retailer: from £765.00 – Mothercare

  • Stokke Tripp Trapp Review

    Tripp Trapp from baby to adult

    Quick overview

    The Tripp Trapp® is designed to bring your baby into family life, by allowing them to join the dinner table from as early as birth.

    It is highly flexible, offering adjustable depth and height through its seat base and footplates. Your child can sit comfortably in an ergonomic seating position up until approximately 36 months.

    Bear in mind that it is necessary to use the Tripp Trapp® with the baby set and cushion accessories to provide the desired comfort for your baby (which are extra purchases). It is available in a wide variety of bright coloured woods, and offers a slick Scandinavian design, by Peter Opsvik.

    Pros and Cons

    • Adjustable height and depth
    • Long-lasting and stylish wooden material
    • Tends to hold its value for a second-hand sale
    • Easy to assemble
    • Easy to clean
    • Second-hand resale value is higher than many other highchairs
    • It is an expensive product in its most basic form
    • To be made fully functional, it is necessary to purchase extras

    Where to buy the Stokke Tripp Trapp

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    Tripp Trapp First Impressions

    This is an investment product- customers could see that this would be worth the extra cost due to the adjustment settings, and the hardwearing wooden material.

    Parents often felt happy that they would be able to reuse their chair for future children, and that their baby would get a lot of use from it as they grow. The European beech wood provides a solid base, which can hold a hefty weight of up to 140 kg (that includes some rather heavy adults!)

    Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair with cushion seat The Stokke Tripp Trapp in various colours around a dining table

    What people like about about the Stokke Tripp Trapp

    Parents love how this product enables their child to be a part of the family at dinner time. Children often don’t like highchairs, but this simple and stylish design means that they feel like they are in their own “grown-up” chair.

    As your baby grows, they will be able to safely climb up onto the chair independently, helping with your child’s development both physically and mentally. Children can continue using it, with parents reminiscing that their children often completed other activities such as reading and drawing when using the chair- up until around the age of seven!

    You can also rest assured when it comes to safety, as the coloured options use water-based, non-toxic paint. Additionally, it’s free from bisphenol, phthalates, and any other harmful products.

    What to watch out for

    Although most customers found it hard to fault the product, it is obviously on the higher-end scale of baby products. Many people found that it was overpriced, especially considering that you need to buy additional accessories for it to function as advertised.

    A few customers found that the fittings on their product didn’t match up quite well enough, resulting in a wobble, and sometimes the chair can chip quite easily.

    Close up of the Stokke Tripp Trapp in brown Newborn baby in the Strokke Tripp Trapp

    What Comes in the Box?

    1x Tripp Trapp® Chair

    Hints and Tips

    It is necessary to purchase additional accessories for the product to be fully workable. It is recommended to buy the Tripp Trapp® Baby Set, which includes the backrest, rail, and Tripp Trapp® Extended Glider.

    Browse around for other accessories, such as cushions, harness, and tray. This way you can get the most out of the product, but just be aware that the cost will climb up! Make sure to check you are happy with the product on arrival and return it for an exchange if needed – there’s no point spending so much money to be dissatisfied when any of these issues could be remedied by replacing a faulty product.

    Review of the Stoke Tripp Trapp high chair Full range of Strokke Tripp Trapp colours and cheapest price

    Final verdict

    Despite this being a very expensive product, the Tripp Trapp® is a chair for life, with many parents giving it a perfect full five stars. If you are dissatisfied with plastic highchairs, there is a lot to gain with this wooden option. It not only allows your baby to be part of the family table immediately but as the child grows, it encourages the independent use of the chair.

    If you think you and your child would enjoy these benefits, close your eyes and don’t think about the cost – for years to come, it will be a much-loved part of your household. Moreover, it is available with a huge 7-year warranty for the wooden components, proving it to truly be for life, as it promises.

    Messy Spaghetti rating: 

     

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     Specifications

    Weight: 7 kg
    Dimensions: 49 x 79 x 46 cm
    Recommended Age: birth to 36 months
    Materials: Beechwood

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