The UK’s number one parenting site for product reviews has announced its top 12 must-have items – including a buggy for all-weather walking, children’s scooter rental service and a bottle steriliser that also cleans mobile phones.
MadeForMums put more than 1,000 products from 99 different categories through a rigorous judging process involving a panel of experts and at-home trialling by 600 family testers, before marking them n a range of criteria including ease of use, effectiveness and value for money.
This year’s awards reveal the impact of lockdown including an increasing trend towards products that enable families to enjoy nature and the great outdoors, to encourage children to come off screens, and the growing importance of sustainability and longer-lasting items to reduce landfill and waste.
Winning products included online antenatal classes run by midwives and obstetricians, supporting parents-to-be who can’t attend classes in person which cost between £40-£79.
Elsewhere, £8 washable and resusable wet wipes which help to reduce the amount of wipes going to landfill, and glass feeding bottles that are BPA free and offer a more environmentally friendly choice than plastic costing £8.99 also placed high.
Here, FEMAIL reveals MadeForMums top 12 winners:
Noordi Fjordi travel system, £880
The Noordi Fjordi pushchair features water-resistant fabrics, UV 50+ protection, temperature-regulating fabric in its plush carrycot and a 4-wheel shock absorption system (pictured)
What is it? The sturdy Noordi Fjordi pushchair has been built to cope with all weather conditions and all terrains – perfect to take your baby or toddler on active walks through the British countryside.
The Noordi features water-resistant fabrics, UV 50+ protection, temperature-regulating fabric in its plush carrycot and a 4-wheel shock absorption system.
MFM tester Verity, mum of a baby and toddler, says: ‘Well-made, gorgeous to push and stacked with clever features, the Noordi offers a comfortable place for both my baby and my toddler and it’s held up in good condition on our many (many) lockdown walks!’
Available from: Samuel Johnston, Pramworld and Baby Planet
Obaby Maya Mini Cot Bed, £269.99
The space-saving and clever design of the cotbed (pictured) is long-lasting – taking your baby from birth to around 4 years
What is it? A good-value cotbed that’s slightly smaller than standard cot beds. While it’s space-saving, its clever design is also long-lasting – taking your baby from birth to around 4 years.
Stylish and easy to build, it features a toddler rail and the option to leave three sides up for a smooth transition from cot to bed. Perhaps most importantly, testers also found their children slept well in it.
MFM tester Brogan, mum of three children, comments: ‘It is truly a beautiful bed and my son has slept fantastically since we put it up.’
Available from: Very, Kiddies Kingdom and Obaby
The Bike Club, bikes from £3 per month
The Bike Club (pictured) gives parents the opportunity to rent children’s bikes (or scooters), exchanging and upgrading when your child is ready to move up to the next size
What is it? This unique service hits two key 2021 trends – getting out on a bike and shopping sustainably.
The Bike Club gives parents the opportunity to rent children’s bikes (or scooters), exchanging and upgrading when your child is ready to move up to the next size.
The service goes from first bikes and balance bikes to teenager’s mountain bikes, with big name brands including Frog, Strider and Squish.
MFM tester Davina, mum of a two-year-old, enthuses: ‘I love this idea of a bike subscription. Bikes can be expensive so spreading out the cost and not having the inconvenience of buying a new one every time the child outgrows the bike (and getting rid of the old one!) is a no-brainer for me.’
Hire from: The Bike Club
Nuby UV Sterliser, £89.99
This versatile product (pictured) sterilises everything from baby bottles to toys, breast pump parts and even your mobile phone
What is it? The ability to quickly and easily sterilise key items has become increasingly important for families during the past year.
The Nuby UV steriliser is remarkably versatile – not only does it sterilise baby bottles in just three minutes, it also sterilises toys, breast pump parts and even your mobile phone (as long as they’re dry).
There’s no heat involved, instead this steriliser uses ultraviolet light to blast bacteria.
MFM tester Georgina, mum of a six-month-old baby, says: ‘The ease and speed of this machine makes it well worth the money, and there’s no need for descaling or cleaning after each cycle. It is a massive time-saver and will make your life easier.’
Available from: Amazon, Boots and Nuby
Mama Bamboo eco nappies, £8 for a pack of 26 (size 4)
These eco-disposable nappies are made from 100% bamboo fibre, while the inner liners and packaging are 100% compostable resulting in an 80% biodegradable disposable nappy
What is it? With excellent absorption and super softness, these eco-disposable nappies are made from 100% bamboo fibre. This makes them kind to your baby’s skin thanks to the naturally antibacterial and breathable properties of bamboo.
The inner liners and packaging are 100% compostable resulting in an 80% biodegradable disposable nappy.
MFM tester Katy, mum of a nine-month-old baby, says: ‘The natural materials seemed to have a positive impact on my daughter’s skin with no rashes or redness unlike with other disposables.’
MFM tester Steffi, mum of three, comments: ‘I love that they are so much better for the environment than regular disposables. From the packaging to the nappy itself, it just takes away so much guilt from using disposable nappies.’
Available from: Amazon, Ocado and Mama Bamboo
Banjo Robinson Letter Subscription, from £3.99 per letter
This service sees globe-trotting cat Banjo Robinson send a personalised letter to your child twice a month, prompting them to write a reply (pictured)
What is it? This brilliantly simple service sees globe-trotting cat Banjo Robinson send a personalised letter to your child twice a month, prompting them to write a reply – yes, write with a pen and get off those screens that have dominated lockdown home schooling.
The letters are utterly engaging and convincing – both our child testers, neither of whom are usually very keen or reading or writing, immediately penned their replies.
The first letter comes with a big map your child can use to follow Banjo’s journey around the world, collecting stickers and learning with each delivery.
MFM tester Jodie, mum of one, says: ‘I struggle to get my six year old to do his writing for school but on receiving Banjo’s letter, he couldn’t wait to reply.
‘I found him downstairs at 7am writing his letter before breakfast! He was terribly excited to post his response and is eagerly anticipating Banjo’s next letter.’
Available from: Banjo Robinson
The Maternity Collective’s Complete Online Antenatal Courses, £40-£79
The Maternity Collective are an impressive group of NHS obstetricians, midwifes and infant feeding and sleep experts giving expert pregnancy and birth advice (pictured)
What is it? With Covid taking away the opportunity for parents-to-be to attend antenatal classes in person, online courses have sprung up to fill the gap.
The Maternity Collective are an impressive group of NHS obstetricians, midwifes and infant feeding and sleep experts giving expert pregnancy and birth advice.
‘I feel so much more prepared and educated’ and ‘it was trustworthy and friendly’ were just a couple of the positive comments from our expecting mum testers.
MFM tester Andrea, seven-months pregnant, says: ‘The videos are all bite-sized so it’s easy to make the course work with your schedule – a stand-out for me was the breastfeeding modules. All in all, brilliant.’
Available from: The Maternity Collective
Frugi Snow & Ski Coat, £70
Frugi’s versatile coat’s eco-friendly coat features a detachable hood, highly waterproof material and easy-to-use poppers and zipper – and is made from recycled plastic bottles (pictured)
What is it? Our testers loved Frugi’s versatile coat’s eco-friendly credentials and the child-friendly design features, including a detachable hood, highly waterproof material and easy-to-use poppers and zipper. And best of all, the coat is made from recycled plastic bottles.
MFM tester Sarah-Jane, a mum of five children, comments: ‘This coat is amazingly made from recycling materials, although you wouldn’t have a clue – it’s the most fantastic quality! It feels like premium materials and is definitely made to last.’
MFM tester Leonna, mum of two, says: ‘Having previously bought big bulky coats in the hope of keeping my son warm, I have never found one that stays put on the lower half to keep the wind out. The inner layer on this coat is a game-changer.’
Available from: Next and Frugi
Red Kite Feed Me Combi Highchair, £87
This highchair (pictured) offers sleek looks with an easy-to-use functional design that will last your child from six months to 12 years, all at a very decent price point
What is it? This highchair offers sleek looks with an easy-to-use functional design that will last your child from six months to 12 years, all at a very decent price point.
The chic, flexible tray is dishwasher safe and anti-slip cups on the frame stop the chair sliding about.
Our testers loved how this was made of wood and didn’t scream ‘kids’ furniture’.
MFM tester Kate, mum to a 13 month old, says: ‘This chair is excellent value for money. The padded insert gives comfort but is still wipe-clean and it only took five minutes to attach the chair to a dining room chair.’ Tester Kate, mum to a 13 month old.
Available from: Asda, Kiddies Kingdom and Amazon
Micro Scooters Mini Micro Eco Scooter, £79.95
Designed for children age 2-5 years old, the scooter has an adjustable handle bar and an easy-to-learn steering system (pictured)
What is it? Made from recycled fishing nets and other discarded ocean plastic, the Mini Micro Eco Scooter proved a big hit with our testers and their kids.
Designed for children age 2-5 years old, the scooter has an adjustable handle bar and an easy-to-learn steering system.
MFM tester Jo, mum of two, says: ‘The lean-to-steer function is great and it has introduced my two and fouryear olds to using a brake.’
‘My children love the Mini Micro Eco Scooter, so much so that it’s regularly whizzing up and down my hallway with one of them on.’ – Tester Kayleigh, mum of two.
Available from: John Lewis, Amazon and Micro Scooters
MAM Feel Good Glass Bottles, from £8.99
MAM has launched its Feel Good Glass Bottles (pictured) – offering an environmentally-friendly choice for new parents
What is it? Combatting concerns about microplastics leaching out of plastic bottles and offering parents a more sustainable option, MAM has launched its Feel Good Glass Bottles.
No longer something your mum or grandma might have used, glass bottles are becoming an environmentally-friendly choice for new parents.
Boasting a stylish design, temperature-resistant glass and BPA-free, the MAM glass bottles scored highly on quality.
MFM tester Nimah, mum of one, comments: ‘They’re super trendy, beautifully designed and easy to clean. I especially love that they have a marking for 0.5 oz. This would be especially beneficial for when you’re feeding a newborn and wanting to make smaller feeds.’
Available from: Boots, Amazon and MAM
Tag Togs Washable wipes and matching wet bag, £25
Helping parents to reduce the amount of plastic wipes going into landfill and our oceans, Tag Togs Washable wipes have soft cotton jersey on one side and absorbent bamboo towelling on the other (pictured)
What is it? With more time spent at home over the past year, many parents have decided to use the hours to wash rather than throw away – and reusable wipes are a prime example.
Helping parents to reduce the amount of plastic wipes going into landfill and our oceans, Tag Togs Washable wipes have soft cotton jersey on one side and absorbent bamboo towelling on the other – both of which are kind to your baby’s’ skin.
MFM tester Emma, mum of two, comments: ‘The quality of the wipes felt amazing. They washed well and came out amazingly soft, just as they arrived.’
In the words of MFM tester Rhianna, mum of one: ‘We love that the wipes are double-sided – the ‘smooth’ side is good for wiping up wet mess like sauce and the ‘rough’ side is great for lumpier messes like porridge.’
Available from: Tag Togs