Kenny the Kangaroo Backpack Safety Harness & Reins Review

kangHere at baby-a we were sent a beautiful “Kenny the kangaroo” backpack safety harness and reins to test . Sydney was first in line to be chief tester. He excitedly opened the box and with an almighty awwww….he declared that he loved his new backpack a…..Squirrel!! We thought it was so funny that he thought it was a Squirrel but after lots of convincing, he now knows that it is indeed… a kangaroo!!!! Sydney already owns a backpack with reins which we have used none stop since the day he could walk and it has been amazing. With a new contender there was going to be a lot of comparisons and true opinions of the new “Kenny the Kangeroo” model. As we do not have a car, we walk everywhere or use public transport so Sydney’s current back pack has been invaluable in helping accomplish tasks of getting on and off buses and trains or simply walking whilst pushing the pram.

Kenny to the test Our first road test was getting the bus in to town. It takes a bit of juggling getting on a bus with a pram whilst trying to keep Sydney close and safe  so “Kenny” needed to be up to the job. Sydney was pleased as punch with his back pack as he could put his precious mr doggy in the front. Whilst standing at the bus stop his backpack was a talking point with onlookers admiring in. It felt a little different holding this backpack as the rein was very long and was attached at the bottom of the backpack. Sydney’s other back pack has a slightly shorter rein and it hooks on the top… as the bus pulled up everybody got on, leaving us to be the last to board… with a bus full, all eyes were on us… we successfully got on the bus but as I let go of Sydney’s rein to pay the bus driver I could hear a chorus of old ladies saying to Sydney… ”your standing on his tail.”. with that l looked up to find Sydney circling round to try and catch his “tail” and old ladies laughing at him. They thought it was great and Sydney loved the attention but it did strike me that this may be a potential hazard…nevertheless we carried on our journey to town. Kangaroo Safety Harness As Sydney is a little older now we tend to keep him on a tight rein near roads but in pedestrian areas and in certain shops we have tried to give him a little more freedom. As always we try and keep a journey to town short and sweet but in the bargain Sydney likes to visit his favourite toy shops. On this occasion, as usual Sydney marched Ronnie and I straight to his shop and as usual I let him free to look at toys at his leisure but again without thinking… I let go of him then realised his reins were trailing, consequently Sydney got caught up in it again. I had to remind myself to tuck in his rein before letting him loose…with that in mind we got on well with Kenny. Sydney thought he was great and kept looking at himself in shop windows. In conclusion Sydney absolutely loves wearing Kenny and we have all taken to him as he is a beautiful backpack, which is really well made and put together. The fabric and fastenings are of real good quality and they feel secure once fastened. The only thing that I personally would change with this design is the attachment of the rein,whilst it looks good on the bottom I feel that it would be safer on the top. That being said we will continue to use Kenny as we think he is great and we are very grateful for having the opportunity to test him out. Many thanks to Pipsy Koala for letting us test drive Kenny!!!

For more information on Kenny the Kangaroo backpack safety harness and reins and other great products ..check out;

www.pipsykoala.com

Pipsy Koala on Facebook

Pipsy Koala on Twitter

Pipsy Koala on Pinterest

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Premier Inn The Gyle Edinburgh Park Review

We recently had a trip to Edinburgh Zoo and stayed overnight in a Premier Inn at The Gyle Edinburgh Park. It was only an 8 minute train ride out of Edinburgh Waverley and it was extremely easy to get to as the hotel was across the road from the train station.

On entering the Premier Inn after a long day at the zoo (along with an early train from York to Edinburgh) we were certainly ready for a refresh and some food. We were welcomed by a friendly girl at reception and she talked us through the self check in as we had pre paid. She was very engaging with Sydney and he loved talking to her about the Zoo and the Pandas!!preminnpic

We headed to our room and found it to be light, clean and spacious set out with one double and one single and Sydney dived straight on to his bed, he was very excited that he was on his holidays ( even if it was just for one night).

On inspecting the bathroom we found it was spotlessly clean it had bath with shower over it , nice big mirror and enough room for us all to fit in!prembed

Once sorted we headed down to the restaurant and were once again greeted in a warm manner and shown to some seats. The menu had a nice mix of options to choose from; fresh pizzas, burgers, curry etc. The children’s menu was also fine, you could mix and match and opt for a meal deal which included drink and dessert!

premthymeSydney was over the moon to be given colouring pencils and paper to draw on and he especially loved the girl that served us. She was called Alina and was so lovely and patient with Sydney. He kept asking her to sit down and draw fish and despite the fact that she was busy she took time out to draw (as requested) mummy,daddy and baby fish!prembath

We didn’t have to wait to long for the food to arrive I opted for Chicken Makhani , Graham had pizza and Sydney as predicted had sausages! All of the meals were tasty and fresh and not too bad value for money.

Overall our experience in the Thyme restaurant was a good one. The staff were pleasant and we felt at ease.  Sydney had a great time, he is so sociable and he enjoyed talking to everyone telling them about pandas and the “James Bond Skyfall train” (Special train running on the east coast main line)

All happy and full we headed back to our room, Sydney was so excited, he fully inspected every drawer, bounced on the beds , looked at information and enjoyed a bubble bath. We settled him for the night, he loved his bed as it was much bigger and higher than his Thomas bed and after a busy day he soon dropped off to sleep and was flat out all night till about 7ish the next morning.

premsydWe also slept really well. The bed was comfortable and spacious and with my ever growing bump I didn’t feel restricted or uncomfortable.

We had pre booked breakfast online so after a morning cuppa and a nice hot shower we headed back to the restaurant for breakfast. To Sydney’s delight Alina greeted him, he was so happy to see her!

Everything at breakfast was self service which was great for us. There was a good range of cereals, pastries, fruit, yoghurt and hot breakfast items to choose from. There was also a tea and coffee machine which produced lovely lattes. There was nothing to fault at breakfast, the staff worked hard in replenishing breakfast items and once again we felt relaxed. Sydney enjoyed Yoghurt, cereal , toast and a sausage for breakfast along with some apple juice. Mummy and daddy opted for a cooked breakfast and both found it to be all fresh and tasty, no shriveled bacon and burnt sausage in sight!! Breakfast was £8.25 per person and Sydney ate for free.

Overall we had a great stay at The Gyle. The room, the staff and the food were of a good standard and to say we only paid £29 for the room we will definitely be returning. It was such a great find, perfect for families and worth being a little out of the city centre. Thank you Premier Inn for a great stay!sydpanda



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Travelling by train to Center Parcs Sherwood Forest from York with a baby

Our first adventure with Sydney was a winter break away with friends to Center Parcs. Sydney was only five months old so it was his very first holiday. Our friends were driving from further north so the plan was to meet them at the final destination and as neither one of us could drive we decided the best option was to travel by train/ taxi.

For the train journey we knew that we needed to travel as light as possible as we would also have the pram to deal with. At five months we had just started weaning Sydney so we had food/ formula to think about, sterilizing equipment, plenty of warm clothes, sleep suits, nappies, swim nappies, wipes etc. As well as these essentials we had to think about where we would sit Sydney in the day time when he would be not in his pram, at home he had his play mat, play gym and baby rocker but we knew that it would be hard to pack all of these items.

We set about researching baby travel items and found all sorts. We found sterilizer bags for the microwave, a Pop-Up Travel Cot 

and our best find off ebay was a travel bouncer chair which folded up to fit in a bag.

We managed to pack all of our clothes and essentials in to two bags ( Graham’s Cricket bag and a suit case) We needed to keep the underneath of the pram free in case we needed to fold it on the train. We used the car seat that clicked into chassis of the pram and we bought a fleecy foot-muff so Sydney would be nice and warm.

We travelled on quiet Monday mid afternoon in November. There weren’t too many people around and the platforms were fairly clear. We decided to aim for the wheelchair space on the train( Coach F on East Coast) as we knew if free that there would be extra room for the pram and we would be close to the luggage racks. Our plan was to get a direct service to Newark North gate then get a taxi from the station to Center Parcs.

The train was on time and we stood in the right position on the platform, luckily the wheel chair space was free as the train was very quiet. We were able to get straight on with ease and get settled for the forty minute journey to Newark North gate. We had pre booked a taxi but we called once we were on the train to let them know that we were on schedule.

We arrived at Newark North gate which was a small station and we managed to find the exit via the lifts easily enough. Just outside our taxi awaited the firm we used were “Babs Cabs” and we found them family friendly and very efficient.

Sydney fell asleep about ten minutes into the train journey and slept through the twenty five minute taxi ride to Center Parcs.

We found our journey stress free and everything seemed to run smoothly.

Our tips for travelling by train would be;

If possible try and travel during quiet periods of the day; just after the morning rush (usually after nine o’clock) or before the teatime rush (between one o’clock and four in the afternoon).

Pre book your seats, if not aim for coach F/H ( On East coast trains) as there seems to be more space and H tends to be an unreserved carriage.

Organise your time, arrive early, check the platforms and find out where to stand on the platform. Make sure your children are safe, either strapped in the pram or holding your hand for when you get on the train. ( If needed ask a staff member for help)

We hope this helps if you are planning to travel by train in future, we found it to be a good option for us.

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Outlook Sleep Pod review

A great all year round pushchair accessory !!

We were asked to review another great product from Cheeky Rascals. After another wash out Yorkshire summer we finally got some lovely September sunshine and decided to give the Outlook Sleep Pod a test drive.

The shade its self is a light, soft stretchy fabric which folds up very small. It is perfect to keep in your pram bag for day to day use, or for taking on holidays as it wouldn’t take up much room in your suitcase. The shade is suitable from birth to four years so it is a good lasting product.

The fabric is breathable and blocks UV. There are four hooks on the sleep pod so it can be attached to your pram/pushchair. It is universal and it fitted easily on both of our very different pushchairs (Baby Jogger city micro and Chicco CT)

A feature that we particularly liked when we used it, was the central panel and it’s respective options. It could be fully open, partially open, zipped with the mesh or fully closed with the blackout blind over the top. Sydney could sit in it fairly comfortably and the shade didn’t restrict his movement in any way.

Having such an inquisitive toddler meant that it was truly put to the test. He pulled at it, stretched it and kicked it , proving its durability.

We found that we were better attaching the the pod once Sydney had fallen asleep and we were safe in the knowledge that he would be protected from the sun.

We were amazed to discover the versatility of this product. It is designed for use inside and outside and for all year round protection. We really feel that this product will be well used in the coming winter months for keeping out the cold. We walk everywhere and our pushchair is Sydney’s main form of transport. He, like many toddlers refuses to wear hats and gloves and I always worry about him being cold in his pushchair,especially when he is asleep. The sleep pod will hopefully solve this and he will have a cosy winter when we are out and about.

We truly love the Outlook sleep pod, our only regret is that we didn’t have one sooner!!

More information can be found at;

   http://www.cheekyrascals.co.uk/

   https://twitter.com/cheekyrascals

   http://www.facebook.com/cheekyrascals?ref=ts

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My Carry Potty Review- A day out at the national railway museum

We felt that our son Sydney was ready for potty training as he was very conscious of “wee wee’s” and “poo poo’s”. When having a house day we had been leaving him nappy free and when he needed the toilet he took himself off to get a nappy for mummy or daddy to put on him. With this in mind we thought that being able to review the My Carry Potty was perfect timing as using the potty would (we thought)be the next step.

We received the My Carry Potty from Cheeky Rascals and Sydney was very excited to open up the parcel.

He was very curious and inspected the potty with great intensity looking underneath it, playing with the handle and carrying it around. We opened it up for him where once again his curiosity emerged, his first reaction was to close the potty and try and work out the catch system so he could open it himself. We tried to get him to sit on it but he just kept closing it and saying “No”…great start we thought! The Potty also came with a lovely story book, chart and stickers as a reward for using the potty. Sydney loved the book and the stickers but we could not persuade him to sit on the potty!

We decided not to push it and leave it out for him to sit on at his own leisure. We had a day out planned with friends and their little ones of similar ages so we thought that this would be a great opportunity to show off the My Carry Potty and thought that if Sydney wasn’t ready to use the potty maybe one of his friends would.

The morning arrived of our big day out. We were packed to the brim with a picnic basket, nappies, spare clothes and wipes and we managed to squeeze  the Carry Potty under the pram. Friends were parking at our house and we were walking to the National Railway museum together. We heard their car pull up and looked out to find their little girl sitting on her potty on our drive. She was desperate after an hour drive…perfect … we knew what would be great to use …MY CARRY POTTY!

We joined our friends and presented the potty to them, they were happy to give it ago as their little girl was doing really well with her potty training.

The My Carry Potty was great and was used several times during the day, Sydney’s friend wouldn’t let go of it, after she had used it she insisted on carrying it around the railway museum. The potty looked great, it was discreet enough and held everything in. We tested it by giving it a good shake, we took turns in spinning it, tipping it and nothing leaked. It certainly amused us, with the children looking at us with a perplexed expression! The next task was emptying the potty. The clasp was rather stiff to undo and with some force ( but with fear of splash back) between two of us we were able to open it splash free!! We were unsure as to whether the stiffness of the clasp was due to the potty being brand new or whether it was part of the design to ensure that it did not  leak. Either way it wasn’t a major problem and after a few times opening and emptying the potty, it did get easier to open.

We thought that the My Carry Potty was such a great idea and all of our mummy and daddy friends were also in agreement.

We will continue our quest with Sydney and will certainly do a follow up review.

Thanks to Cheeky Rascals for letting us at Baby-A review an amazing product… MY CARRY POTTY.

Further information can be found at;

http://www.cheekyrascals.co.uk

 http://www.mycarrypotty.com/

 https://twitter.com/MyCarryPottyUK

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Our holiday survival guide with a toddler

We made it to Cuba and back with our almost two year old and had a lovely holiday, as a follow up to our long haul flight guide, we thought we would create a check list for all of the things we needed whilst we were on holiday with Sydney.

Take a deep breath…its a long one;

                                                                                            

Trunki

Pushchair

Back pack reins

Nappies (about 60)

2x packs of swim nappies

Wipes

Dioralyte

Piriton Syrup

Sachets of Calpol and Neurofen

Halo n Horns Toothpaste                                                                                                                                                              

Toothbrush

Halo n Horns bath time

 Aloe Vera gel

Crocodile herbal repellent (deet free)

Baby repel bands (we attached them to the pram and cot)

Bite relief cream

Suncream High factor 50+

Sufers zinc for face

Formula

UV Suits x4

Float Jacket

Bucket and Spade

UV Tent

Poncho towels (for pool/Beach)                                                                                                                 

Shade for pram (Sunshine kids)

Shorts, t-shirts, trousers

Pyjamas,

Sun hat

Baby surf shoes

Sandals/light shoes

Juice bottle

milk bottle (for night time milk)

Sunshine kids pram tidy

Rain cover

& MR DOGGY!!

Our top tips

 * Just go with the flow, you are on your holidays, don’t worry too much about sticking to home routines as we feel you will have a challenge on your hands and it is not worth the stress!! After a couple of days we fell into our own little holiday routine and everyone   was happy!!

*We didn’t really have late nights but on an evening (after the mini disco)we would take our Ipad out with us just to keep Sydney entertained and wind down for the night. We downloaded his favourite Tv programmes and films.

*We struggled to get Sydney to eat in the restaurants, especially in the evening he seemed agitated! We began to think of how he liked to do things at home and realised that he hated having his top on when he ate. We took off his top and he felt a lot more relaxed and less agitated and actually managed to eat … maybe think of something your little one likes to do at home.

*We bought a second hand pram off ebay as we knew it would get thrown about on the aeroplane, we managed to get a little Chicco stroller for £8!!!

*We also released that despite trying to plan for all events that sometimes something comes at you that you didn’t plan for! Unfortunately for us it rained all day long for the first four days of our holiday and we went through so many nappies, as we were thinking he would be in swim nappies for most of the day, we started to run out and we struggled to get nappies in Cuba…luckily the shop got a delivery and we were saved but it was a close call!!

* Remember that toddlers and babies cry, have tantrums and are loud. It is a holiday to you for babies/toddlers it is a whole new world. Try not to worry about what others think, just try and relax and enjoy your holiday as a family. 

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Travelling on a long haul flight with a toddler

Having recently returned from a family holiday to Cuba which involved hours careful planning and extensive research into travelling with a 22 month we wanted to share our tips and share our flight experience!!

We were faced with a ten hour flight with Sydney and we couldn’t comprehend how we were going to get through it as he never sits still. From the moment he wakes up, like most toddlers he is busy! Always finding new things to do, discovering new places to climb, new things to break and new places on the wall to draw! Ten hours on a flight with a toddler seemed like an impossible task!

Our first step was to buy a Trunki, although he was a little young for the recommended age,we let him play with it in the weeks leading up to the flight and he loved it, pulling,pushing and sitting on it so we new it would be a hit at the airport!

Our main concern however, was keeping him entertained on the flight in a confined space, we had recently purchased an Ipad and we had heard so many reports from friends saying great they were in keeping their little ones occupied. We downloaded Sydney’s favourite films ( Megamind Despicable me & Alvin and the chipmunks) We also downloaded lots of toddler apps such as Thomas and friends, magic fingers app, kids doodle etc. As well as the apps and films, we turned into train spotters as Sydney has a love of trains, we videoed them at stations so he had his own personal collection to watch!!

In our research we came across a great invention called a Buckle Toy it was a simple bear with three different types of buckles around its tummy for toddlers to clip together. We managed to track them down on Amazon ,we kept this as a surprise for the flight.

Other items that we packed in his Trunki were;

Stickle bricks, Sticker books, new books to read, cars, favoutite bears ( which doubled up at cushions) Stacking cups, little cars and figures, lots of snacks!
We went to Boots the chemist and bought Marmite rice cakes, Heinz biscottis, Organix carrot stix, tomato corn snacks and little bags of fruit snacks. Most importantly of all Mr Doggy (Sydney’s best friend)

In our bag we packed lots of nappies, wipes and two changes of comfy clothes, including a jumper (incase it got cold with the air con on the plane).

Fully prepared with bags packed to the brim we got to the airport to find that we had a six hour delay!!!! Noooooo we thought, we didn’t account for delays on top of the already long flight!! We had a total of 11 hours at the airport as we were very early for check in, but surprisingly time passed and Sydney was such a good boy! Luckily in terminal one in Manchester airport there was a soft play area, plenty of shops and eating places. We spent our hours walking around the shops and playing in the soft play and along with a two hour nap and lunch ,Sydney got through it.

As the flight was so delayed it sort of worked in our favour in that it became a night flight. We decided to buy Sydney a Trunki blanket whilst we were at the airport for extra comfort on the plane in the hope that he would sleep. It was lovely as it was fleecy and the handy pocket was great for keeping Sydney’s pride and joy Mr Doggy safe!

All went well on the flight Sydney loved the aeroplane an he loved people watching. It was a little uncomfortable as he didn’t have his own seat but we managed. The ipad was amazing!! Sydney watched his films, played with the apps and watched his train videos. The snacks we packed were also a winner, he had a great time munching away on them. We did a little bit of walking up and down the plane but with all of the walking in the airport he managed to sleep for a few hours. He had a little cry as he was confused and tired but all in all he was great on the flight. We were very proud of him! It gave us confidence for the return flight as we knew what to expect.

Our advice would be lots of snacks and some sort of visual aid if possible. Toys were great also but they tended to get lost under the seat !

It is surprising how adaptable toddlers are to different situations so if you are going a way this summer, with a little preparation and a positive mental attitude you will get through it!!!! Travelling with a Toddler is possible!

We hope this helps…

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