The Mother & Baby Award Winners 2010 announced.

The Mother & Baby Award Winners 2010

The winners were announced at a gala ceremony on Thursday 18th November at the Hilton Park Lane. Hosted by Jason Manford and Deputy Editor, Kathryn Blundell.

Again this year we asked over 1000 mums to put every entry in the reader-tested categories through their paces.

As Kathryn said,

“Over 3000 products were carefully parcelled and then sent nationwide to be sicked on, bashed, chucked and chewed. It really means that shortlisted products impressed the women that matter –mums. Mums, who gave the nation an extra 790,000 babies last year all of whom need to be cleaned, transported, fed, entertained, and put to bed…

Mother & Baby continues to set the standard for parenting press and is undoubtably the most influential and trusted brand, with a heritage that spans over 60 years. These fantastic awards are a vital part of Mother & Baby’s heritage – we’re so pleased to be able to reward excellence within the industry, supporting mums to support you through these accolades. Everyone shortlisted should feel so proud – these mums are a tough crowd. And don’t get me started on the toddlers…” Continue reading

Mother & Baby Testing: Breastfeeding Products and Reusable Nappy reviews (by Kirstie Newton)

Plug-In Baby

Daughter arrived two weeks early, and was a little on the small side, we spent five days on the Transitional Care Ward. Our goal was to establish successful breastfeeding; then and only then, would we be allowed home.

It was hard work. For two days, Daughter was sleepy, and had to be fed hand-expressed collostrum by syringe. This, in turn, led to two days of laziness and temper tantrums when dinner didn’t flow on tap. She would suck her hands and smack her lips, but seemed unable to link this to my burgeoning milk supply. The midwives described her as a “little madam,” while I nicknamed her “Mary, Mary, quite contrary”.

The electric breast pump became my best friend, its suction rhythms falling some way short of sparkling conversation, especially at 3am. As Daughter feasted on bottles of Mummy’s Gold Top, she must have congratulated herself on finding the simplest meal ticket going. Read the entire post here.

Musing on Reusing

Before having my own baby, the last time I changed a nappy was on a two-year-old. It was, to a degree, fun. Little Arthur wasn’t remotely fazed; it could even be entertaining, when I blew raspberries on his tummy.

Fast forward 20 years to new motherhood. No one ever told me that removing a newborn’s nappy was akin to murder. Daughter screams the house down, and kicks harder than the England football team. Them, to wreak her revenge, she waits until the nappy is off before peeing a perfect arc across the bathroom carpet, soaking anything in its trajectory (tip – wriggle at the same time to ensure maximum coverage).

Nappies have changed a lot since our parents were nippers. If anything, they have come full circle. My gran claims with fondness that “nothing looks nicer than a line of snowy white terries drying in the sunshine”. Contrast this view with that of my teenage cousin, raised on disposables: “Gross! Some things are not meant to be reused, and that includes nappies.” Read the entire post here

BG, Baby.

Anna Telling and her daughter, Abigail, offer a bit of reusable advice…

“My sisters and I were brought up in terry toweling nappies.

I knew when I had children that I had no problem in doing the same for my children, no disposables for me. However, researching what to do when pregnant opened up a minefield. It took a long time to grasp exactly how these clever reusables worked (we’d decided to opt for next generation on from terries).

I scrolled through many, many not necessarily, user-friendly reusable nappy websites. A lot assumed prior knowledge and talk of outer liners, inner liners, wraps, bamboo, cotton and so on were frustratingly inaccessible. I knew that I didn’t want to have a nappy that added more work to my soon to be new Mum life and looked for the most straightforward design. The bumgenius nappies> came up time and time again as the most simple, logical design.

Three things convinced me: Continue reading

Reusable Nappies: Do you love them?

To reuse? Or wrap ‘em up in the bin and chuck it. That is the question.

I have never used a reusable nappy in my life. So I’ve absolutely no expertise whatsoever  to share with you!

My mum used terry-towelling squares on all her babies. It wasn’t a choice. There wasn’t an alternative.

She said she spent the best part of ten years washing nappies and after I, being her last, grew out of them she put them away and kept them in some bottom drawer – for a grandchildren, I suppose, since she was of the wartime mend and make-do generation.

When I first became a mother, myself, the thought of nappy liners, fiddly pins and learning nappy folds seemed far too old-fashioned  and I dismissed her offer of tired looking 4th hand terry-squares with a certain wrinkle of the nose.  I wasn’t going to waste my time on such an antiquated system,  when there were fantastic, simple to use disposable nappies on every super-market shelf.

My mum, never wasteful, found a way to reuse the terry nappies I’d ditched with total disparagement. They were frugally re-made into bibs for my new baby! Continue reading

M&B Awards blog: What’s been your favourite?

What baby product have you loved?  And what was the one you really wanted that got away?

When I first coordinated the product testing for the Mother & Baby Awards I really wanted to be a tester too. My youngest child, at three, was surely just young enough to test some of the products?  However, he was well beyond nappies, pushchairs, feeding products and baby toys.  So how could I join in the fun and the experience? I was suffering a case of ‘baby product envy’ and let’s face it I was also hoping for a freebie.

It is always a touchy subject. Is it right that testers should expect to get something free for all the trouble they go to? Especially when it might mean transporting bulky highchairs, cots and travel systems from one mummy friend’s house to another while they share these products between them for testing? The other niggle is with courier companies. Waiting at home all day for things to arrive is inconvenient enough but when it comes to giving them back at the end…. especially when you’ve loved a particular product and you really don’t want to let it go!

Hopefully, the fun had from trying out lots of new baby products is enough to ease the inconvenience. I sometimes suspect that some of the mums who have tested for me over the past seven years keep on having babies just to be able to go on testing!

I love to know:

What were the products you’ve bought because they had won a Mother & Baby Award?

What were the products you got to keep and how have stood up to the rigours of daily use since testing was over?

Which items were so good that you went out to buy again or recommended to your friends?

What has been loved and possibly passed on to somebody else now that your own baby has outgrown it?

What product did you test or award winner that you bought that most surprised you?

And lastly, what was that fabulous one that got away?

M&B Awards blog: Testing times ahead this summer…

Who’s the ‘mummy’ when it comes to putting baby products through their paces?

Is ‘baby brain’ a real phenomenon? All I can say is that my memories of being a first-time expectant mother was a total mental overload.  One the one hand I was dealing with big, alien, life-changing decisions in the abstract – like picking a name from lists as long as my arm;  to puzzling over the minuscule: ‘does the Velcro fasten at the back or front of a nappy?’  As a baby-novice it is all too easy to get swept along into panic buying. You only have to hold up a tiny, newborn babygro and wonder how anyone can be that small and apparently need the entire contents of your local branch of Mothercare. The truth is that the world won’t implode if you forget to pack scratch mittens in your hospital bag or you bought a first stage car seat that doesn’t fit with your pushchair to make it into a Travel System.
Continue reading