Daddy and Munchkin Blog
Splosh Review

It’s time for ‘another way to reduce plastic product review from me with a Splosh Review.

I have already swapped out my general cleaner/ window cleaner/ toy cleaner/ floor cleaner for Koh (which you can find the review here), and my dishwasher tab and washing tab provider for Smol (this review still needs writing!).

These changes still left the problem of buying soap bottles, washing up liquid and toilet cleaner. Whilst these are all fully recyclable by combining general curbside recycling and Terracycle, I thought there could be a better alternative, and for that I turned to Splosh.

Splosh seem to have solved the plastic problem in a different way. Rather than producing and supplying endless plastic bottles they send you one (or as many as you need, like soap and toilet cleaner as you may want one per bathroom). That one bottle lasts and with that, you’ve saved 95% of plastic waste. They do hand soap, washing up liquid, laundry detergent, surface cleaner…. and more.

But you want to save 100% plastic?

Well you can. You can then get refills to resupply the original bottles. These refills are concentrated, so supply a number of refills before they are empty. You can then, save up the refill pouches and send them back for free. Simple, and then its 100% plastic free with an endless reuse and recycle system. The fact the refills are concentrated too also saves on the environmental costs related to shipping, so that’s another win, oh and they fit through the letterbox!


For this review we tried the grapefruit washing up liquid, rose and lotus blossom and blackberry soap and mint and eucalyptus toilet cleaner.

Both the soaps are foaming and moisturising leaving your hands feeling fresh, the toilet cleaner smells lovely and fresh and the washing up liquid is tough and smells summery and fresh. Overall, in terms of scent and effectiveness, the Splosh products work exactly as the standard alternatives (like Fairy washing up liquid, and Carex soap).

But Isn’t refilling a pain?

It’s simple. For the soap, just fill to the line on each bottle with hot water, top up to the neck with the refill solution and shake. in this example, one refill refills the soap bottle 6 times, although others are simply refill and use.

It must be expensive then?

Compared to leading hand soap providers, this does clock a little higher at 8p per 100 ml more. However, if you subscribe you save 10% and with big refills you can save even more. As the website says, ‘With each refill, you get that flicker of satisfaction you’re doing something good for the planet’ which makes up for the tiny price increase.

Overall, its a keeper for me and I thoroughly recommend it.

The ratings

If you’re interested in Splosh, I have a referral code you can use below.

Referral code: IPQMARYYX6

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin approved.

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Munchkin’s (/mostly Daddy’s) Favourite Six toddler products at 2 years old

It was at just 7 months old I wrote the last favourite eight products. 16 months later his tastes, or rather ours, have changed. Here are our top six toddler products.

6. A Tuff Tray

This is essential if you want to contain that messy play from the rest of the house and gives Munchkin a clear indication something fun is coming his way. Its useful for all messy play and sensory fun inside and outside the house. Useful, as once we didn’t use it for lentil play and It’s safe to say we found lentils for months after.

5. Trains and Cars!

Oh, Munchkin, you had to get that one in didn’t you. But after all, trains and cars do fill a lot of our free play time. If you’ve got a Hey Dougee fan we recommend their train set. It’s fully wooden, well designed and features all the great Hey Duggee characters. Woof woof.

4. Garden activites

Beyond running and being chased, chalk drawing on the slabs and splashing in the paddling pool, we have an Easel and sandpit from plum play, which I can’t recommend more. Future plans include a mud kitchen for the summer too.

3. His Q-play Trike

It’s nice to start giving them new experiences early when it comes to modes of transport and hence we got Munchkin a trike early on. It was probably a year ago, and he still cant reach the pedals! But it now can start to show him steering, so when those little legs are long enough, hes already got half the skill set. We have a full review of the trike we have here.

2. A good, in our case Cosatto, car seat

Now it doesn’t need to be Cosatto, although we love them for their bright and fun patterns in a world of dull grey and black car seats. But the seat we have, with all its latest safety and security features gives us peace of mind on all journeys (not that we have been making many lately!)

Great for naps too

1. The Mutable

Most importantly, our daily go to activity table, the Mutable. This little bit of perfect Italian design, incorporates many activities in one. From chalk and white board to puzzle base to lego and duplo board. It has a handy stowaway for the boards, and a incorporated storage bag. It wins for Munchkin, and for Mummy and Daddy. Read my full review here.

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Koh review
Koh review – The all in one cleaner

I never thought I cared that much about cleaning, then I spent months at home during lockdown and kept seeing the same adverts. One cleaning solution for all jobs, which powerfully cleans the oven but is equally safe for kids toys. There was only one way to know if it works. I had to give it a go. This is my Koh review.

koh review

Koh Purchase

I bought one of their packages. This included cleaning solution (delivered in a wine box style container), reusable washable cleaning cloths, a refillable spraying bottle and some tough diamond scrubbers. That’s a significant saving of single use plastic bottles and cloths. Its also eco-certified, vegan and cruelty free.

Koh Review – the tests

I tested the bathroom first. Blimey did it shine like never before, and all without burning my nostrils and throat with bleach (the usual occourence when scrubbing the grout.

Then came the true test, the oven. Following the instructions, you spray and leave the solution on for two minutes, then spray a diamond scrubber and get to work. Our oven needed some TLC, but after one go it improved substantially, and after two looked good as new. No over-priced, hazardous oven cleaning set in sight.

A few months later

A few months down the line, impressed, we tried the mop package. With reusable, washable mop pads this is another game changer. It also comes with a neat little silicone scrubber and hair catcher. The pads attach and detach easily, and machine wash for re-usability.

Overall…

The solution is scent free. However, that makes it personalisable. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the bottle, shake, and you’ve got your own personal fragranced cleaner. We’ve currently got some lavender scent and its lovely!

Then the most important one. It’s child safe (although keep the neat solution away from their little hands). What it means, is we can go from the oven to his toys, knowing when dry, they are perfectly safe to play with again. And we can use it with the mop, knowing he can crawl or walk over it straight after!

Price wise it also pays for itself. With what I now have, compared to the oven cleaner, non washable mop pads, mop solution, window cleaner, cloths, bathroom cleaner, bleach…. etc etc I now just have one solution.

Therefore its cheaper, safer, effective and better for the environment!

I’ll sum it up easily:

Those all important stars….

Price, safety, useability, environmental impact

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Update

Since writing, Koh have been in the lab and come up with something clever. Koh protect is a new solution which keeps surfaces decontaminated for 7 days fro the usual 99.9% of bacteria. That’s amazing.

Do you have any eco friendly cleaning switches? let me know in the comments below

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin approved.

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Mutable Review – The ultimate multi-activity table.

From the moment we started trying for a ‘Baby G’, now known as Munchkin, I had created a list of products I wanted for him or her when they were old enough. At the top of that list, a Mutable by Mukako (https://uk.mukako.com/en/). At first writing, we have had it over a month, and it hasn’t disappointed. Here is our Mutable review.

Mutable Review
The Mutable

What is a Mutable?

The Mutable is an Italian designed multi activity table for kids up to the age of 8 as it grows with them. The table is made of a beautiful wooden design, with a modern shape and a splash of colour. It has screw on legs, with additional pieces to enable it to grow in height as your child grows. This gives the chairs two heights and the table four heights to grow with your child.

There is an insert in the top which houses the ‘multi activity’ components. These are wooden or cardboard discs which change the table from a simple table, to a lego or duplo table, a chalk board or white board, a round puzzle board or a city or world landscape. There is also further options such as playhouses, multi level lego towers, wooden train sets or playdough moulds (explained later…).

For older children, there are app enabled toys and games, such as numbers and letters and ‘DISKcover’ history and geography. So what can be a snack table, is an art space, a pay space and also a learning space.

Daddy and Munchkin’s Mutable review.

As I said in my introduction, the Mutable does not disappoint. From the morning it was delivered and constructed, which was a simple process, Munchkin was eager to play with his cars on the town landscape, scribble with giant chalk on the white board and take his wooden train or cuddly toys for a ride up high.

Daddy loves it as its self contained. Every activity is stored within the table. There’s an attached pen/chalk pot which will be useful when Munchkin is older, and a storage bag for tidying up, which is filled by simply removing the centre and pushing the toys through the hole. We have already used this to teach about tidying up, and it works a charm.

Overall I cannot fault it, and can’t wait to buy extra toys and games and use it as a learning tool for numbers/letters and humanities in the future. The only drawback is the price, but when you consider the amount of time it can be used with its variety of uses, its was an easy equation for us.

What Else is Available?

We opted for the moderately supplied Essential Plus bundle, with two chairs, five inserts, storage bag and pen holder which currently retails at £359 (May 2021), but there are many more options to add.

In terms of accessories, there are phone holders (as some boards are supported with a phone app), extension sets to allow space for 6 children, silcone covers to protect the table, and a clever projector, which lets children copy to learn to draw.

In the toy department, there are 3-dimensional playhouses, wooden playhouses, and lego boards, play dough moulds, train sets and educational games. I already have my eye on a playhouse, playdough mould, and more games for Munchkin.

Mutable Review – Those all important stars

Quality

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Price

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Useability

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Instructions

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One year on…

It is still the best product we have invested in. It is a favourite place for a painting and drawing or scribbling on the chalk board. Munchkin has started to use the Mutable for imaginative play taking his dinosaurs to the town landscape and Daddy’s thinking about buying some more bits… watch this space.

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin approved.

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Q-play Trike Review

We chose a Q-play trike and here is why, fully reviewed.

When we thought about the future and cycling we decided a great first birthday present would be a trike (kindly bought by his Grandparents). This would allow us to push him then let him pedal when hes ready and steer after that.

Q-play Trike Rito

We visited Smyths, being the only children’s store left around here (what is that about?!) and there were clearly only a few players. Q Play had the largest range with an entry model (comfort), mid range (Rito) and top end (Prime). We went for the Rito, as we didn’t see the need for rear facing in the Prime but wanted the foldability and safety functions like brakes the Rito has over the comfort.

q play trike rito

Q-play Rito Trike Review

The Q play Rito is light to lift, and easy to control. Munchkin is still in parent-led mode where we control everything and is safely secured by a 5-point harness. The whole unit folds (in a slightly complicated procedure, but once you’ve mastered it once its easy) and fits easily in the car boot. The original build process did have equally complicated procedure, with somewhat poor instructions, but we got there in the end with a bit of intellect.

In the future, the Rito switches to give Munchkin use of the non-slip pedals. Then when he’s ready for full control we can give over the steering. Finally all the parent control can be removed to form a complete trike.

Overall, well I’ll let the stars do the talking:

One year on…

Its still just as brilliant as day one. We still can’t reach the pedals, but know what they are ready for when we can, and we love to pretend to steer. The star ratings have not changed.

Daddy reviewed. Munchkin approved.

For other product reviews check out our mutable review, and water baby mat.

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Product review: Coccobaby Water Play Mat

This is the Water play mat from Coccobaby.uk available on Amazon. Whilst gifted, the views are not influenced by so.

It a sensory playmat for tactile and visual sensory fun. It features an air cushion surrounding a section which can be filled with water and features foam creatures to interact with. Our little Munchkin took to it immediately, slapping down at the water section making it swish around, moving the foam characters within.

water play mat

You could see how it helps develop his hand eye coordination and arm muscles as he lifted himself up to see all the shapes, and balance to lift one arm to hit it at the water.

The play mat was easy to inflate manually, and quick to fill. It provided a splashy water fun experience in the living room without any mess.

Munchkin approved, Daddy reviewed

You get one here.

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reusable nappies
The super reusable Nappies you can use again and again

Whilst reducing plastic use and saving the planet

We were progressing well with reducing single use plastics. But then, with the birth of our little Munchkin, came the nappies. Not a small amount, but a huge pile of nappies every week filling the bin destined for landfill 😔.

It was a step backwards in our single use plastic reduction plans. We made a decision to trial reusable nappies, but then saw the price. It’s definitely one of those things you invest the money in and then reap the financial rewards later, but as a new parent who’s just bought all of the essentials, the price was off-putting.

Luckily when the Munchkin was 5 and a half months, a friend from work who knew I wanted to try reusable nappies and had some spare. And so the trial began…

reusable nappies


We bought the Bambino Mio miosolo birth to potty pack which included 15 nappies (you can find Bambino Miosolo here). You also get a bin and a couple of laundry bags, some biodegradable liners and biodegradable wipes (woo! 😊), an additive to your wash for stain removal and some boosters (for extended night use (or so they say).

reusable nappies

The nappies come adjustable with poppers to change the size. This takes them from newborn to potty training. You then just pop in a liner (this catches the chunkier mess) and then put them on your bubba just like a normal nappy.

Well so they say…

We found we called it a trial period for a reason. There certainly is a period of settling in. A highlight of this being a wee leak all over Nanny’s leg in week 3.

One Month Later…

One month in, we’ve mastered the technique. For us, after much trial and error, we found it was to strip wash the nappies first and do them a incy wincy bit tighter.

With 15 nappies in this set, that’s a lot of regular washing. Washing regularly is better for this environment though and this is the environment we are trying to improve for our little ones who will grow up with whatever we leave them!

The verdict

After the settling in month, Mummy and Daddy are used to the endless washing and the effect can be seen. We have reduced use of plastic nappies down to one for night time so it’s now saving some pounds (useful on shared parental leave), the black bin is back down to the bare minimum and the guilt has reduced.

In mid 2020 we combined reusables with biodegradable single use nappies from Kit and Kin. Finally we have accomplished single use plastic free nappy use around the clock.

If your thinking of trying reusables I recommend giving them a pop. If your Munchkin is like ours, it could be a tough trial period but once you’ve figured it out it you’re saving money and saving the planet.

One Year On…

Well, one and a bit years on. At two years two months we started to get rashy and only with the reuseable nappies. So after changing detergent, strip washing, higher temperature washing, trying different treatments to his skin we had to wave the white flag. This doesn’t mean we have gone back to plastic nappies though don’t worry. We are now biodegradable with Kin and Kin.

This product was one of Munchkins original favourite eight. You can read that here.

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Munchkin’s Favourite Eight – Top baby Products

The ‘favourite’ eight top baby products for a Munchkin like ours at 7 months of age.


Doomoo

The doomoo, I would say, stands for ‘do more’. It’s a comfortable bean bag seat with a safety harness for little ones, but changes to a seat without the harness for children up to 30kg. This was a gift for our Munchkin and it’s been a lifesaver. When you need to take your bubba to another room while you clean or do the washing just use the Doomoo with a few toys. They will be comfortable, safe and happy leaving you happy (but obviously devastated you’re doing the housework 😔). https://doomoo.com.

top baby products

Angelcare bath support.


Before they can sit, with a little wriggley bum, you need a good bath support. This support is perfect for lying back, playing with the bubbles and kicking water to splash Mummy and Daddy 🥰. There was no way we could bathe our Munchkin solo without one. https://angelcarebaby.com.

Mio miosolo Reusable nappies

When you get used to them, reusable nappies are great for offloading some of that plastic footprint created by having a baby. They have awesome funky designs, zero nappy rash and make a happy Munchkin and Daddy who know they are helping the plastic pollution problem 👍😊. See my review here. https://www.bambinomio.com

Baby Sleeping bags

Using sleeping bags simply took the fear away from bed time. No need to worry that the Munchkin will wrap himself in a sheet or be at the wrong temperature. Just pop him in, zip him up and relax. If he actually goes to sleep that is….🤞😴

In the photo below our Munchkin is sporting a Gro bag, however everywhere from Mothercare to supermarkets sell them!



Gro Egg 2.

Using sleeping bags means you need to know the temperature. The Gro Egg 2 makes this simple with colour coding lighting to let you know what temperature range you are in and a digital display to know the exact temperature. It’s an easy glance at bedtime to know he’s going in the right tog sleeping bag for complete peace of mind ☺️. https://gro.co.uk/product/groegg-2.

Chicco Next2me crib.

This is wifey-endorsed recommendation. Night feeds are tough and every little helps. For ease of Munchkin access the Next2me has been essential. It also packs up with ease for use as a travel cot in the early months. So that’s two products for the price of one 🙃. https://www.chicco.co.uk.


Cot with a changing station.


With babies come nappies and with nappies comes changing. Sorry, lots of changing. A cot with a changing station made this much easier and kinder on your knees and back. It also gives choice. When you didn’t want to crouch to change on the floor you can take the stairs. One evil always wins over the other.



Cosatto travel system

The Cosatto wow was our number one travel system choice due to its style and that everything was included in a package. It’s stylish, suits our nursery theme and the Munchkin loves it! (You can tell as you can often catch him talking to the foxes!) See My full review. https://www.cosatto.com/

So that’s our top baby products line up (at least for months 0-7). What are yours?

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Travel System: Cosatto Review

Before we even starting trying for a baby I’d already picked my travel system. It was all about the brand. It’s quality, it’s distinctive style and the companies passion and personality. It had to be a Cosatto.

Here is our Cosatto Review

Cosatto Review
Munchkin agrees too!

Design – Cosatto Review

Firstly the design. There are just so many dull travel systems on the market and Cosatto challenge that with their beautiful patterns. You’ll often find Munchkin staring up and sometimes chatting to the foxes 😊. It also perfectly compliments our woodland nursery design and is perfectly gender neutral for baby 2.0.

A versatile off-roader

Our Bundle

We went for the Wow, whole nine yards bundle of travel system from 0-4 years which included car seat, carrycot, i-size isofix base, changing bag and footmuff. This came with the dock car seat for the early days up to 15 kg then a toddler seat lasting all the way up to the mightly toddler size of 25 kg. Its everything you need to get around for one child up to the age of 4, though you will need a new car seat when they outgrow the dock.

The carrycot is suitable for occasional overnight sleeping, and easily fits to the same chassis which will later serve your energetic toddler. The dock and toddler seat be fitted in both directions; facing you first, then turned to ready face the world.

Out and about

In the early days, when you get to the car, the Dock simply lifts off the pushchair frame, and gently locks into place is its isofix base. This ease makes it easy to transfer from car to pushchair even when the little one is fast asleep.

Comfy I-size security

I-size car base means it’s super safe too, and the safest on the market at the time. Which made us super happy parents knowing Munchkin was always protected.

The travel system comes with complex instructions (like most products), but when these are worked out, simple systems to adjust tilt or collapse. The toddler seat comes with a detachable insert – making it easy to clean and allowing a quick change from winter mode, for the cold chills, to summer mode when the sun comes out to play.

The system comfortably fits in my average sized Ford Focus car boot, and can be collapsed with or without the seat part attached.

Price

It was at the higher end of travel systems yet still a few hundred pounds short of some of the other big brands and came with more included in the package. It’s easy to use and versatile, handling poor pavement and off-road adventures with ease. It’s easy to navigate and simple to adjust. Its everything I expected for the price.

Cosatto review – two years on…

Two years on, the system is exactly like day one (minus the car seat which was quickly grown out of due to Munchkins very long body). Now in toddler mode, it still handles a good national trust property visit, easily navigating from track to grass. The bodywork has suffered a few scratches, but it is not meant to be damage proof, so that is expected. The easy to clean covers look just like day one however.

If I bought another travel system, I’d still buy the Wow bundle again!


Overall, I love the brand and this travel system is fantastic. But when it comes to buying your travel system go with your heart, as we found Cosatto purely based on design.

Oh and also wait for the sales! Over nine months of pregnancy you are likely to go through three sale periods at least 😁. There’s no point in paying more than you have to, just make sure you can return it, just in case.

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Daddy Reviewed, Munchkin Approved,

Daddy and Munchkin.

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