run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The best baby thing I never knew I needed

I live in a two-bedroom flat, in London, and my two-month-old baby already has more trousers, beds, coats, hats, and PJs than I do; it's only a matter of time before his book and shoe collection overtakes mine in space demands too. So I'm not a fan of superfluous baby cr*p: as I wrote here, I was in a state of shock'n'awe wandering around Babies R Us and discovering you can actually buy such rot as baby wipe warmers - it would surely be easier to cut out the middle-man and flush your money rather than the wipes directly down the drain.

So when I heard about the Babyni* - an oddly-named "multi-function play-pen" - I was sceptical. Looked to me like a baby could just as happily lie on a play mat, which I've already got and takes up a lot less room. But then I tried out this contraption - and it turns out the Babyni's annoying name is almost the only bad thing about it. It's brilliant. Here's why:

* I used it in the garden, where its hood provided 50 SPF shade protection from the sun, its mosquito net kept out any bugs, and its high sides deterred the nasty biting red ants that litter my lawn and are a big reason why I've been staying inside my flat with my newborn on warm summer days. But now we'll be outside all the time.

* I'm also definitely going to take it on holiday, because it's the perfect way to provide clean wriggle-space at the airport, or on the beach or by the pool. And...

* It has a soft mattress that means you can use it as a travel cot (though I'd put the whole thing on a duvet rather than directly on a hard floor) and...

* There's this video (below) where a woman swiftly and easily gets the Babyni back into its tiny portable carry-bag. I thought, yeah, right, this is going to be like those sleeping bags where it's impossible to return the mahoosive contents back into their sack. But that's not true - it's a pop-up tent and it really, really is easy.

There are some bad points: the instructions are primarily in French (the company was set up by a gaggle of French dads) or made up of confusing diagrams that'll remind you of Ikea building struggles. But the two-minute video (above) sort that out. And construction does take a minute or two - you have to pull up about a dozen little pegs - but it's very easy especially after the first time. Also, there's little info about ages - but the product itself says only use it until the baby crawls as he/she will be able to climb out otherwise.

I'm looking forward to taking this on holiday - not least because of one Amazon review I just read of the Babyni, where the buyer said he took the bag on the plane as his 10kg allowance for baby equipment. "There is plenty room in its wee bag to shove in nappies and a bit more, as the thing itself weighs nothing close to 10 kg which they give you," he wrote. "So I brought back three bottles of Rioja in mine, padded with left over nappies." Cunning stuff.

* Item sent to Run out of Womb for review. Rest assured, though, that I'm seriously gobby and would never rave about something that's rubbish.



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