Friday, 18 May 2012

Hi - I was recently asked to advise an NCT group about baby monitors and wondered whether it might be useful to other people as well.

 

Things to think about:-

 

1)      Analogue or digital – I would generally advise going digital as pretty well anyone with a radio can pick up your signal from an analogue monitor.

2)      Effective range – despite what the manufacturers say the range is usually about 300m outdoors and around 50 metres indoors. The range can be affected by all or any of the following :- microwaves, wireless broadband routers, thick concrete walls, walkie talkies etc etc.

3)      Video monitors – all very exciting but the technology is in it’s infancy and they often don’t work too well – picture is fuzzy and they can also make you very paranoid if your baby crawls out of shot of the camera….

4)      Toys: - a collection of extras is available with any given monitor including – nursery temperature sensor (useful especially when travelling), playing polyphonic lullabys and even Mp3s (hmm…) , torch on the parent unit, remote controlled light shows etc. , travel bags.

 

Some friends of mine have the all singing and dancing BT monitor pacifier which includes a whole light show that can be played out on the ceiling but the BT 200 is perfectly good monitor for less than £50. Still has plenty of excellent features. Your baby may be better off without having Black Sabbath blasted at her in any case.

 

http://www.pushchairsandcarseats.co.uk/item/1685/bt-200-digital-baby-monitor.aspx

 

BT are pretty good at digital communications so their stuff is generally better quality and more reliable than for example – tomy monitors.

 

To conclude: I would try not to be sucked in by all the bells and whistles and go for a good quality basic audio monitor and go digital – the sound quality is much better than analogue and worth paying for.

 

Hope this is useful – if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

Friday, 18 May 2012 17:29:11 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1] -

.... is a question we are asked all the time in our Wallingford Showroom. I thought I would try and explain why this is a very difficult question to answer. It's a bit like asking what is the best car.

The 2 biggest elements to child safety are firstly - is the car seat correctly fitted and secondly is the right size child in the right kind of seat. Cars are pretty safe these days thanks to NCAP testing and All Child restraint systems go through a massive amount of development and testing before they are allowed near the consumer. Unfortunately it is us humans who are the variable factor in this scenario. It's not our fault though. On a day when David Cameron is commenting on the introduction of Parenting Vouchers it made me wonder why parents don't get more help through the minefield of choosing and fitting a car seat. A car seat after all is a device that is designed to save a child's life if it is fitted correctly. Maxi Cosi state that almost 80% of car seats are incorrectly fitted...

This is a horrific figure but allows us to draw some conclusions and some tips when choosing your car seat. All parents and all children are different - unique. There are also a fairly bewildering choice of cars out there.

So to answer my own question.

1) Choose a car seat that you personally find easy to fit - we are happy to teach you but you must be comfortable with doing it yourself.
2) Choose a car seat that fits into your car securely. Cars have differently shaped seats, different seat belt anchor points, some have isofix points, some have not, some have no back seats at all. Not all car seats fit all cars - the best way to know whether it fits is to put it into your car.

The best car seat is the one that fits your car most securely and that you find easy to use. If it is a group 0+ car seat, you may have to fit it several times a day.

You don't need to spend lots of money, car seats don't get safer the more money you spend. Even the most expensive seat is not safe if it does not fit into your car securely.

Our belief is that we can always find a car seat that suits you and your lifestyle. We welcome your feedback.

many thanks for reading

Jon Buxton (Pushchairs and Car Seats - showroom staff)

 

Friday, 18 May 2012 13:41:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -

 Saturday, 28 April 2012

The long awaited GT is certainly the hot new buggy on the block! The single in Shadow/Black and in Bamboo and the double GT in Shadow/Black colour ways have been trickling in to stock and then flying out of the door over the past couple of weeks! Look out for the single GT in Crimson later this year.

I was fortunate enough to be able to snap one up as soon as they hit the UK market and couldn't wait to roll it around Oxfordshires streets and countryside.

It did not disappoint....

Having had two buggys which each filled a purpose for me, I really needed to condense down in to one brilliant all rounder. I was using a Mountain Buggy with air filled tyres for bumpy alleys and off road terrain and a BJCM for trips in the car, or on the bus to town.

The GT, I have found, is the perfect blend and can easily accomodate my big 2 year old boy with plenty of growing room. I like how it subtly sets itself apart from the City Mini with it's black chassis with slightly bigger and wider more padded seat unit, the hand brake and adjustable handle bar are great and I'm absolutely loving the 8.5 inch "forever air" wheels. The overall weight, while being a couple of kilos heavier to lift than the City Mini, actually feels lighter to push about in my opinion due to the wheels. These are what really cinched it for me as our daily school run route requires the bounciness of air filled wheels without the hassle of getting punctures. The buggy is silent to push and gives very nearly all the bounce of proper pneumatic tyres. Great!

Other excellent features which Baby Jogger are famous for are the enormous hood which doubles up as a sunshade, the easy to use raincover and the easy one hand fold.

The only minor criticism I might add is that the "Auto Lock" isn't exactly automatic and requires some tension to push the lock in to place....it's a minor quibble and one which I doubt would put anyone off buying this brilliant pushchair.

Saturday, 28 April 2012 14:58:02 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -

 Saturday, 21 April 2012

We have new stock of the Be Safe Izi Go! The clever people at Be Safe have ingeniously made this super little car seat to fit on to Maxi Cosi adaptors, thus allowing it to be used on many pushchairs.

We are really loving this car seat here for many reasons....

The main reason, from a user point of view, is how easily it drops on and lifts off of all the pushchairs we have tried it on.

From a safety point of view, it comes with an integral 5 point harness, giving that all important extra safety element.

All in all the isofix base is easy to use, and if using in a non isofix car, it has a very good, very secure, belt routing option.

We love the cosy feel fabric and the brilliant sunshade and would definitely throw it in to the bag as a good contender for a Group0+ car seat for any newborn.

Saturday, 21 April 2012 12:19:06 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -

 Tuesday, 06 March 2012

The brand new Kiddy Guardian Fix Pro Car seat is we think the first Isofix Group 1,2,3 car seat on the UK market.

All the kiddy seats utilize their impact cushion technology which replaces the need for a 5 point harness. The nature of the impact cushion technology means that these seats perform almost as well as rear facing car seats. They have won lots of awards particularly from ADAC - the highly respected German Automobile Association who actually have the facility to do their own crash testing. If you have never seen how kiddy car seats work - check out the new kiddy video below. It takes a bit of getting used to ie. having an impact cushion rather than a 5 point harness but this system really works and it is also phenomenally easy to install and use which means the danger of incorrect fitting is greatly reduced.

We really like these seats - simple but effective. There will be a lot more seats with impact cushions in the future - maybe in 20 years time all car seats will incorporate an impact cushion - who knows. Until then Kiddy have this market pretty much to themsleves.

 Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The waiting is almost over and the classy baby jogger city mini GT should be here shortly. It's basically a big wheel version of the city mini single but it also has a couple of other tricks up its sleeve including a hand brake mechanism, adjustable handle, auto lock mechanism and a taller seat back. Here's a sneak preview although this crimson one won't be out until the Summer. The black one should be available in Early April.

 Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Well - for all those of you who have been waiting for this pushchair since before christmas - it is here at last. So how is it different from the 2011 Model?

1) An Auto Locking mechanism 2) A lower back bar for easier access to the under seat storage basket 3) New improved fabric designs 4) Fully lined hoods in contrast colour 5) Contrast piping has been added around the footwell. We've had a bit of a play with the new machine and fortunately baby jogger have seen sense and not wrecked what was a truly brilliant machine. Nice little modernizing tweaks is all this pushchair required and thankfully that is what it got.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 18:51:20 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [2] -
New Releases

Baby Jogger City Mini Double pushchairs have been flying out of the shop in both black and stone. Red and purple now out of stock until April 2012. The fabrics will be changing a little from the 2011 style and they will also now incorporate the new auto lock mechanism which could be useful.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:53:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -

 Thursday, 09 February 2012

Rearfacing Group 1 Car Seats are the default car seat in Scandinavia and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK because they are THE safest way for your toddler to travel in a car. 

We are now stocking the Recaro Polaric rear facing car seat and due to popular demand have already got more on order!

We also have award winning rear facing car seats from those wizards at BeSafe - admittedly a company you have probably never heard of unless you have been scouring the web for rear facing car seats.

BeSafe are a Norwegian company with head offices in Sweden and their car seats are now available at selected outlets in The UK (including us).

We're still looking into stocking the Maxi Cosi Mobi as another option - we have not had any indication of exactly when this will be yet, so check back on the blog for more info!

Thursday, 09 February 2012 13:37:52 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
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