Friday, July 9, 2010

Tried and tested


There are endless new products on the market for mothers and babies, but which ones actually make life easier?
There’s no shame in admitting that one of the perks of my job involves road-testing new products, and since my newborn arrived a month ago, I’ve had great fun trying out a number of things just for mum and baby.
First up is a lovely range of skincare products for baby from Nature Within.
Developed by Australian aromatherapist and mother Nadine Hall, Nature Within products are made with natural, organic ingredients.
As baby skin is five times thinner than an adult, this means they are far more sensitive and can irritate easily.
Nature Within products contain skin nurturing oils such as avocado, evening primrose, calendula and shea butter, and there are no synthetic oils or fragrances making it completely aroma-free.
I tested the baby moisturiser and bottom balm.
My newborn Paige had very dry, peeling skin in her first two weeks, so the moisturiser was applied every day.
It made her skin very soft and helped address the peeling problems. Now we keep it next to the bath and moisturise any dry patches when she’s clean and relaxed. Mini massages have been fun for both of us.
The bottom balm is a very nice creamy texture and only a small amount needs to be applied to get the benefits of a rash-free bottom.
Just as my first born reacted to disposable nappies, so has my second child, so we have already made the transition to cloth and are seeing a lot less nappy rash than we did in the early days.
It’s a handy little tub suitable to pop into the nappy bag or keep by the change table.
The next product I tested is surprisingly simple idea which works really well.
Qubies is an upside-down ice cube container which makes 30ml cubes.
Instead of filling individual cubes with baby puree, breast milk, stock, lemon juice, coconut milk, pestos, water, wine or whatever liquid you need frozen, the design allows you to fill an entire tray, then snap on the lid which features non-stick silicon dividers.
You get eight cubes per tray and the secure lid eliminates any freezer burn or freezer smells.
Once the liquid is frozen, you can then store the individual cubes in a freezer bag, and reuse the Qubies for something else. Qubies is also dishwasher and steriliser safe.
Designed in Australia, Qubies comes in lime or aqua colour.
I tried the Qubies with passionfruit pulp, and later breastmilk. 
Both times it was handy to have a maximum fill line to make sure I didn’t put too much into the tray, and when frozen, the lid comes off very easily leaving eight perfectly frozen cubes.
There’s no doubt that picking up fruit and veges at Rusty’s Markets has become routine for hundreds of families in Cairns, but why not look the part as well?
The Market Basket Company has recreated gorgeous and very functional and practical baskets which will replace all of your plastic or green bags.
The baskets are hand made using traditional methods, so no two are exactly alike. They are made from strips of woven palm leaves which are sewn together and built up in “rounds” into the traditional triangle shape.
Genuine Moroccon leather is used to make the handles which are fixed to the basket and come in either elbow length of longer shoulder length.
Not only are they environmentally friendly, but these baskets are really versatile.
While they are traditionally used by the French to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, wine and flowers, they can also be used to carry a picnic, beach gear, gym gear or baby gear.
When I first gave it a go, I was amazed at how much I could actually fit into my basket and was impressed at the number of people who took a second glance when I went out shopping.
The French market basket certainly has stylish appeal, but is also a really handy bag for all sorts of occasions.

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