The word deluxe and baby mat don’t really have to go together as my baby will just as happily lie on an old towel as any fancy flooring. However, something a little prettier does make the house look nicer and if it has added elements it will help entertain your baby as they develop. The ‘Tiny Love Deluxe Gymini’ is a standard play mat, but with a few extra touches that shows the quality. Like many of these mats you have to construct the arches by clicking them into the corners and then attaching them together in the middle. One of the elements you are paying a little bit of a premium here for is the central housing; this acts as a way of keeping the two struts together and not pinging around the place. It is a very appreciated and simple fix.
Elsewhere the mat is quality; the toys themselves are plush and full of interactive elements. Best is the musical/noise making bird. Designed to slide into the central housing it is easy to secure and stays in place. I was very impressed at the sheer range of noises and songs on offer; I lost count. In the past I became used to the same three or four songs on repeat, but here they are numerous enough that it has not been an issue. A nice touch is that the music will play should the central bird noise maker be hit; another great interactive layer.
There is quality throughout the ‘Tiny Love Deluxe Gymini’. Some will question the aesthetics slightly as the large eyed animals are a little twee, but at least they are bold and clear for a baby to focus on. The white base was also an interesting option as it stains more obviously. I also think that the slick material chosen is waterproof yes, but a little cold at first and will need warming slightly for more sensitive children. Aside from a couple of mishaps, this is a high quality play mat that if you like the look of would be a good purchase for a 1-6 month old. The plentiful songs and quality alone make it a better purchase than many on the market. These elements can be removed from the mat at a later date and played with for years.
Speak of car seats and the name Maxi-COSI will spring up quickly; they are one of the premium brands you can get. So prevalent are they often catered for with generic pushchairs so that you can fit your Maxi into them. This is not going to happen with the ‘Tobifix’ as it is not only too large to be pushed around as a pram, it is also perma-fixed to the Isofix element on the bottom. This may prove an issue for some as you will need to buy an additional seat to cover 0 and 2 stages, the ‘Tobifix’ is Stage 1 only.
Bearing in mind that you should know about this already, it being Stage 1 only is not a huge issue as it is a stage that can last for a couple of years so buying a quality seat to house your child from 9 months to 4ish is not a bad idea. And you so get a quality seat – it is fantastic. Compared to the generic seat I used to have it is far more comfortable and easy to fit. The Isofix elements slot in with ease and you get a green/red element that tells you whether it is positioned correctly. Once you click it is the first time, it takes seconds to do again and feels very secure.
The seat itself is made of a robust and good looking material. The headrest can be easily pulled up when your child gets older and it takes the seatbelt with it – no more having to thread the belt every few months are your child grows. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into making the Maxi a quality piece of engineering so that you feel like you are getting your money’s worth. With no seat belt option it does work in older cars, but this has not proved an issue for us as we move it from modern Isofix to modern Isofix with ease. If you have the money and want your child to sit in a comfortable Stage 1 seat the ‘Tobifix’ is a fantastic option. As wellbeing comfy it is also easy to fit and clean – important things when you have a toddler sitting in it.
Chunky is hunky in the case of the ‘Stablio Woody’ 10 pack. This is not the first time I have tried this product and the first lot went so well that a second set is a no brainer. Woody crayons act as a cross between your traditional crayon, a chunky pencil and water paint. The oversize nature of the colouring pencils means that they are great for small hands. The crayon element is also excellent, it is easy to use and is a great confidence booster for a baby or toddler as they can easily see that their effort is bearing fruit.
As well as being a crayon, you can add a little water and they act as a paint. Being water based means that they move around the page well, but also come off easily should you get some on the floor or clothing. Once one of your pencils has become blunt, you can use the handily provided sharpener in the corner of the pack to carry on playing. Stablio have thought of almost everything.
This particular pack is a great starter and as a gift for Christmas. As well as having the primary colours you also get a gold and a silver pen for more seasonal decorations. Added in the pack is also a stencil set. You pop out the shapes and then you use them to create some Christmas designs. The stencils are a little bit flimsy and won’t last much harsh play, so I don’t think they are really needed. Thankfully, the rest of the crayon set is exceptional, they really are the best set of colouring pens that I have come across for a toddler. Easy to use, and easy to clean up too.
What do you get the baby that does not do much? This is most babies for the first few months as they lie on their backs and maybe smile at you. Once they start to roll around a little and try to grab things you can get them a toy that heightens their senses. There are loads of things that crinkle, ring, roll and stack, but not many of them are as impressive as the ‘Bright Starts Giggle Garden Ball’. This is a high quality toy for 3+ months that kids will love, but also looks awesome.
The main feature of the toy is the rabbit and bird. These creatures are slightly 3D and come out for the ball and have crinkly parts. The name ‘Giggle’ comes from the fact that the ball itself has a little noise maker in the middle that if rattle the ball makes a giggle type noise. This is great fun for a child that has got the strength to start picking things up. The last element are some wooden teething rings on either side.
In terms of function the ‘Giggle Garden Ball’ does not offer anything new, but what it does do, it does well and looks good. The nature theme is super cute and the use of wood as a teething tool is just one of many small choices that makes this a classier buy. There are few things that are an easy 5 stars, but this is one of them.
There are many things that you don’t think about when having a baby, like the fact that they want to sit up, but can’t. A baby gets to the stage where they are starting to be aware of what is going on and want to be involved. This usually means that you place them on a rug and they look on jealously from a side angle. However, once they get some strength in their back and neck you can place them in a holder that means they can sit up and see a lot more. The ‘Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat’ is one such option, but it also does more that will mean it can last for years.
Like other brands the ‘Ingenuity’ can be placed on the floor and used as a seat and it does a great job just doing this. There is a yielding, yet solid, sponge inset that means that you baby is well contained and safe. The mini table that comes included means that you can place toys directly in front of your child or place food there. The table is not massive, but it is plenty big enough to fit a few small bits and pieces. You child is encouraged to stay put by some straps that can be a little fiddly to get used to, but do feel secure.
This level of security is paramount when you use the ‘Ingenuity’ for another feature; its ability to be used as a movable highchair. There are also straps that can be used to secure the seat to most kitchen chairs. Once again you may have to struggle a little to get the fit, but it is worth it as the thing stays put once it is on. As a day to day highchair for a baby, I prefer a standalone one, but as something that you can take with you to a friends, or holiday, this works well.
The ‘Ingenuity’ can also be used later in a child’s life as a booster seat. The inset actually comes out so that an older child can sit in. This means that it acts as a little booster for when they are eating with the family at the dinner table. The entire thing is very well thought out from the ergonomic and easy to clean white plastic to the choice of insets. Too many baby products are blue or pink, this range offers several colours including the quite sophisticated looking slate.
This baby seat takes an idea that has been used elsewhere and just applies some good engineering. By doing this you have something that would have one short use and instead have something that can be used for years. The look, build quality and ease of cleaning means that you might actually be able to do just this.