Grimm’s Ball Run Assembly Track (video included)

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We’re huge fans of wooden marble runs and ball tracks here at Babipur, so we were really excited to film our very own unboxing video and to  build and play with the Grimm’s Ball Run.

A video of our Grimm’s ball run un-boxing

As you can see from the video, the Grimm’s Ball Run Assembly Track really is a wonderful toy.  Building the ball run involves attaching  colourful dowels and panels together and then slotting each piece onto a rod to create a colourful staircase for the balls  to role down. We enjoyed building the marble run as much as we enjoyed playing with it.  Assembling the marble run is a great way to encourage children to use their concentration and patience skills with their perseaverence being rewarded at the end.   We decided to match the colour of the dowels with the panels and to group the cololurs together for a rainbow effect, but it would look just as impressive all jumbled up.  The set contains four bells instead of marbles which make a lovely chiming sound as they spiral down before collecting in the wooden plate at the base.  Of course, there is no reason why you can’t use different coloured marbles instead of the bells and children will enjoy racing different beads and marbles and guessing which ones will get to the bottom the fastest!

We sell a huge range of Grimm’s  wooden toys at Babipur.  Each one is made in Europe from alder, lime, beech and maple wood that has been sourced from sustainably managed European forests. Grimm’s toys are made by skilled craftspeople in handpicked workshops across Europe before being painted and dyed with beautiful natural and rich colours by the Grimm’s team in Germany.  All of the paints and natural oils used to finish the toys are harmless and enhance the natural beauty of the wood, the toys aren’t finished with laquers so the beautiful grain and natural markings of the wood are visable.

This beautiful toy and many others can be purchased online at babipur.co.uk.

BBSlen Woven Wrap Review

Using a ‘woven wrap‘ to carry babies and toddlers  is becoming increasingly popular here in the UK.  They may take a little getting used to, learning to tie a woven wrap can seem daunting to begin with but parents soon get the hang of it!   Babies can be carried in a wrap from birth,  and the woven fabric offers great support and and the most ergonomic way of carrying for both baby and the wearer.

We’ve just started stocking the Babylonia BBSlen here at Babi Pur, we love the ethics behind the brand and we just couldn’t resist the lovely bright colours and designs!   We asked Charlize who’s been wearing her baby for nearly a year to try out the BBSlen and let us know what she thought if it.  Read Charlize’s review below…

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Babyhawk Mei Tai Carrier Review

Some of you will have read my review of the Hanababy stretchy wrap, which mostly amounted to an Ode to Babywearing.

I still love wearing my baby, but she’s grown heavier now, and when I put her in the stretchy, she’s down by my tummy in an hour! It’s time to say good bye to my Hana wrap (so sadly) and look for something sturdier.

It might seem like the natural successor to a stretchy wrap is a woven wrap, with all the possible ties, but a woven wrap is significantly more work than a stretchy. With my Hana, I could tie it up and pop her in and out all day. With a woven wrap, you have to tie the baby into it, so you have to redo it all if the baby wants out and then back in.

My feeling right now is that I have enough work already. I need something easy.

The Babyhawk (Mei Tai carrier)

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Mei Tais are very popular. The original Babyhawk style is a panel of fabric with arm straps and a waistband, which are tied in various positions depending on how you’re carrying your baby. You can also get “half-buckle” versions of Mei Tais, like the Babyhawk OhMei which has a buckle for the waistband. I prefer the flexibility (and look) of the tied straps, so I’m reviewing the more traditional version.

My first impression was that it came in a far smaller package than I had expected! And after a while of using it, it wraps up even smaller now that it’s broken in and the fabric is softer, so it’s really convenient to have with you, in a backpack or even in a changing bag.

It comes with an excellent instruction book. The instructions are thorough, clear and easy to follow.

I was a little nervous that the Mei Tai would prove too small for me.

Since having my daughter, I’ve put on considerable weight and would be a size 18 easily, but the straps were definitely long enough to tie comfortably around my waist with plenty of material to spare.

With the Babyhawk Mei Tai, you can carry your baby at the front, on your hip or on your back. Back and hip carries are fantastic for a nosey baby like mine who gets tired of looking at your chest. A back carry, especially, frees you up to do things made awkward by having a baby attached to your front!

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I thought the back carry would take some serious practice but it really didn’t. I was so suspicious of how easily it worked that I refused to carry her that way until I’d been to a sling meet and had someone tell me I was actually doing it right. I was.

I couldn’t recommend the Babyhawk Mei Tai more. It’s wonderful to have your baby so close, and so secure, while you’re able to move freely and use your arms. It’s quick and easy to tie, so you’re not spending ages getting it right. It’s small and easy to carry around when it’s not in use, and super supportive, so even with my bad back, I could carry her for a good 90 minute walk without any discomfort or pain, and my daughter finds it easy enough to fall asleep in, too, and that’s always a plus.

Jacqui

Sckoon Menstrual Cup Review

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I was asked to test and review the Sckoon Cup, which is a fairly new addition to the choice of menstrual cups on the market. I’m not really going to discuss why you should switch to a menstrual cup – there are plenty of websites and blogs out there for that purpose – but I do it for a few reasons: less waste, saving money, and specifically for me, general health: I have had two children but had a third degree tear (plus reconstruction work) with the second one. This means I’m generally more sensitive down there than I was before, and tampons had become uncomfortable.

This is not my first menstrual cup – I have used others. Choosing a menstrual cup can be a bit of a minefield; I certainly thought so, because I casually went to buy a Mooncup (a brand name!) and found myself with a choice of more than 50 cups, and had no idea how to pick between them! There is, again, lots of advice on how to do that online, but my view is that on the whole, don’t over think it. I certainly did – I measured my cervix (that was a fun half hour!), checked out all the different sizes of cups, and eventually chose a medium MeLuna. (MeLuna is a brand with lots of different sizes – most brands only do two sizes.) I’m not convinced it was the right choice, and it may have been too small; I never really got on with the MeLuna. I have since switched from the Meluna to the Lunette, and I’m generally much happier with it. To be honest, the only real decision is whether you’re the smaller size – usually under 30 and no children – or the bigger, over 30 and/or having had children. I myself have one additional factor – I don’t like clear ones, because I think they’re too medical looking, so I like a coloured cup. How girly!

So, the Sckoon cup. This is made of silicone, so it is very flexible, and it has a stem, which is also very flexible – far more flexible than my Lunette cup, and the stem is great fun, really wobbly! It doesn’t have much of a rim compared to other cups, and is a slightly different shape – more of a bell, wider at the top. Because it is so flexible, putting it in was easy (in part – more on that in a second) as it folded nicely. And, this is the best bit, on putting it in on my first day, I didn’t know it was there. I could feel NOTHING. You don’t normally feel the cup in any sort of uncomfortable way, but with this I kept panicking and thinking I hadn’t put it in! Really quite amazing. Also, as with all cups, you can trim the stem – but it is so flexible that there wasn’t any need for me: I didn’t know it was there. I had to trim my Lunette stem because it was causing irritation. Another comparison with the Lunette – the Lunette has a definite rim on top, and I can often feel it when I put it in first, as I can slide it up too high basically, and then jiggle it into position. With the Sckoon, there is none of this – I just don’t feel it at all. This really is great.

On my first wear, I did have a bit of a leak – I hadn’t put it in properly. (I’m a light girl, and don’t fill a cup at any point.) Rather, I had put it in, but it hadn’t opened out fully, so I was missing the cup as it were! The instructions say to rotate it so it opens – for the first few wears, I found this quite tricky, and I would be fiddling around in the bathroom for a while, poking fingers about (lovely!). But it seemed to settle down – by day 3 it had settled itself and I could easily rotate it, although it didn’t need much. No leaks from then on, and I was really confident wearing it – went running, cycling and the usual stuff and it really was like I wasn’t having a period at all. Ooh, like those sanitary pad adverts with rock music!!

The other tricky bit to master with using a cup is taking it out. Mostly it’s straightforward, but the first time I tried it with the Sckoon, I had pushed it in too high (!!), and also it hadn’t opened. There was a panicky moment when I thought I wouldn’t be able to get it out at all and have to go to explain that one at A&E (ok, so maybe I’m being over dramatic…) because the stem really stretches quite a lot if you pull on it! The stem on the Lunette and other cups don’t stretch at all. So it did come out, after fiddling again (!), and when I reinserted it properly, without pushing it too high, it was easy to take in and out, although maybe a tiny bit more difficult than with other cups with more solid stems. It has, in fact, made me wonder whether I’m wearing my Lunette too high up – and that’s why I can feel it; but then again, the Sckoon is mega comfy.

So, how did the Sckoon do?

PROS

  • comfort. Comfort, comfort, comfort – it is the most comfortable cup I have ever used.
  • Easy to clean
  • It’s pretty! [My 2 year old son was around when I opened it. He grabbed it, and wanted to play with it – he said it was for ‘cooking’!!]
  • Good capacity
  • Good design
  • The bag is really lovely too – all the other cups I have come in a strange synthetic satin style bag; this one comes in a pretty cotton bag which just seems breezier and healthier somehow. Also the bag has a great design, but nothing too feminine – no moon, no flower, no writing. I like that.
  • But the biggest plus point is the comfort (so I’m saying it again!)

CONS

  • I didn’t read the leaflet that came with it, and so had some issues: the company does say that ‘it takes a little getting used to’ which is true even for someone who has used different brands. Because it’s so soft, it’s not just a matter of bunging it in and off you go; it needs to be coaxed a bit. For that reason, I guess it’s not the ultimate beginner’s cup – although the fact that it’s so comfortable *does* make it good for a beginner. So it’s a bit more fiddly – but it is worth it, I’d say.
  • Another negative is that it’s more expensive than other brands – but I think you pay for what you get, and this one really is a fantastic cup: all the others I’ve used have been much of a muchness, but this one stands out as being a bit different.

In general, I’d say this really is the sports car of menstrual cups, as it’s very modern, sleek, well-designed, and really does the job well. I don’t think I’ll be going back to the other brands now, simply because of the comfort factor – the Sckoon Cup is amazing. If you’ve not used a cup before, take a chance on this one – but pour a glass of wine and spend some quality time in the bathroom getting it right…!

Review: Imse Vimse Washable Sanitary Pads

Review of the pack of 3 Imse Vimse  Regular  ‘All in One’ model with wings

Around 5 years ago I decided to make the switch from disposable sanitary pads which irritated my skin  to reusable sanitary pads or CSP.  I have quite a few brands in my stash and I’ve also had a go at making my own!  The Imse Vimse (Regular) Reusable pads are definitely my favourites and the ones I use the most.

Absorbency

These are definitely one of the most absorbent pads in my stash.  The Imse Vimse ‘Regular’ sized pad consist of 4 layers of absorbent organic cotton flannel material on the top, a layer of waterproof and breathable PUL material followed by another layer of organic cotton.   If you’ve ever used organic cotton cloth nappies you’ll know that organic cotton is very thirsty but it takes a good 6-7 pre-washes before it becomes fully absorbent.  It’s not obvious which way up they should face and I did put them on upside down a few times at the beginning which meant I only had a single layer of cotton to absorb, just to clarify the side which has the stitching down the sides should go next to your skin.  I find these pads are absorbent enough to cope with my flow even on heavy days which are usually the first two days of my period, I also use them at night.

Comfort and Fit

This pad has wings which are secured in place under your knickers with 2 nickel free snap fasteners.  I find organic cotton sanitary pads much more comfortable than disposable or polyester fleece types, in fact it doesn’t feel any different to wearing a pair of cotton undies.  Organic cotton will let your skin breathe and according to Imse Vimse many women report that, when they switch to Imse Vimse’s sanitary pads, itching and fungal infections become problems of the past.  These pads are one of the few that suit my sensitive skin, they don’t cause any irritation whatsoever and they don’t make me feel hot and sweaty like polyester or disposables do.

Quality and value for money

I bought my first pack of Imse Vimse pads just over three years ago and they’ve washed and worn extremely well.  They still feel nice and soft, there are no loose stitches and the fabric doesn’t look worn.  Imse Vimse pads are also relatively inexpensive at only £11.99 for a pack of three  regular size.  To keep them looking nice and clean and to avoid staining I would advise rinsing them in cold water before washing as hot water ‘sets’ the stains where as cold water doesn’t.

Conclusion

These are my favourite sanitary pads and they are always the ones I reach for first when I need something reliable.  They’re comfortable, absorbent and do the job!  The only thing that would make them better is some nice bright colours and patterns… hint hint Imse Vimse!