PARENTS

Baby And Kids' Gear: The Latest Launches And Favourite New Finds

03/08/2011 06:24 | Updated 22 May 2015
Baby and kids' gear: the latest launches and favourite new finds for Summer 2011Getty

At Parentdish we're on a mission to keep you up-to-date with the latest in the world of baby gear. Here are some of the new products that have grabbed our attention in recent days and weeks:

PUSHCHAIRS

Mima Xari (£850) and Kobi (£950 plus £160 for a second seat to turn it into a double) pushchairs, from John Lewis.

The red hot new Mima pushchairs caused a stir at their recent UK press launch at John Lewis Oxford Street (both models are exclusive to the retailer until the end of the year).

The brainchild of ex-Alessi and Bloom product designer and father-of-two, Davy Kho, the Xari and Kobi are two seriously space-age sets of wheels, thanks to funky silver materials, aluminium frames and some rather clever features.

First up in the demonstration was the Xari, the single model. The innovative seat 'pod' can be transformed from carrycot mode for newborns, into a reversible, reclinable pushchair seat for older babies in a matter of seconds. Instead of having to find somewhere to keep the carrycot at home, it's then kept stowed zipped inside the seat pod.

Perhaps handier still is that the carrycot can be folded fully flat between uses, so it won't take up half your car boot or hallway when your baby's not in it. We were also impressed by the dual height pushchair seat, allowing your baby to sit at table height in a café or to have a better view on the move, and the storage bag which can be taken off and used separately for changing gear.

The other model, the Kobi, shares many of the same features but is a 'single-double inline convertible'. This means it starts off as a single pushchair but you can transform it into a double, if/when you have a second child. Once the older one no longer needs a pushchair, you can turn it back into a single.

It offers a flexibility similar to the Bugaboo Donkey and iCandy Apple/Pear, with assorted combinations of one or two carrycots, pushchair seats or car seats (like the Xari, it can take the Cybex Aton or Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix infant carriers to make up a travel system).

Both models seemed relatively easy when we gave them a test drive but they are hefty – our (admittedly vertically-challenged) reviewer struggled to lift even the single Xari in pushchair mode, perhaps unsurprising given it weighs in at 13.4kg.

The Mimas will undeniably turn heads – appealing for the sort of mum who likes to draw admiring glances for her super-chic pushchair as much as for her cute baby. The almost four-figure price tags make our eyes water but are in line with other upper-end brands such as Bugaboo and ICandy. Some will say, if you've got it (the cash to spare), flaunt it, so expect to start seeing these being paraded upon the pavements of smart high streets very soon.

For exclusive behind the scene pictures of the Mima launch party, check out our Facebook page.

CHANGING BAGS

Storksak Aubrey changing bag, £75 from Storksak.

Changing bag companies are waking up to the fact that actually fathers take their children out too, and when they do they probably don't want to sling their partner's fussy floral number over their manly shoulders.

Storksak's stylish new Aubrey in khaki definitely addresses this and for such an upscale brand is relatively reasonably-priced. It has all the crucial changing bag features – folding mat, bottle holders etc. - but is also cool enough for him to use as a laptop or general bag when not on 'dad duty'.

NURSERY FURNITURE

Tippitoes Vivi bedroom set, £599 for the cot-bed, changer/ dresser and wardrobe from Tippitoes.

Parents after attractive but sensibly-priced furniture for their baby's room should check out the new Vivi roomset from Tippitoes. Whilst a lot of inexpensive nursery furniture is made of veneer, this is solid rubberwood – much more durable when toddlers start bashing and crashing toys into everything. The cot has three base positions and converts into a junior bed for children up to around the age of five. After that, the neutral design means it should be easy to find a full-size single to match in with the wardrobe and drawers.

MINI-STERILISER

Pipila soother steriliser, £19.99 from Twins-store.co.uk.

Launched last month, this dinky mini-steriliser will ensure all those dropped-on-the-floor soothers can be kept hygienically clean wherever you and your baby might be. It uses UV light (powered by two AAA batteries) to get rid of 99.9% of bacteria within three minutes.

It's a clever idea but at nearly £20, the jury's still out on whether it's worthwhile versus just using a soother clip/ holder such as this to prevent dummies falling down and getting grubby in the first place.

BABY CARRIERS

Manduca carrier, £99 from Cheeky Rascals.

Freshly-arrived on UK shores is the Manduca child carrier, which we're reliably informed is the top-seller in Germany. It's pretty similar to our old favourite, the Ergo in that it can be comfortably used for babies (on your front), all the way through to hefty 20kg toddlers (piggyback style) but with this you needn't shell out or fiddle around with adding a separate 'newborn insert' for the first stage.

It's made from organic fabric and is small enough to pack into a bag, unlike those bulky framed toddler carriers many people regret buying after their baby outgrows a front carrier. So although the initial outlay is more than for most baby carriers, it's both more practical and better value for money in the longer term.

Any of this catch your eye? Let us know if you'll be snapping them up...

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