Posted on October 15, 2015
Dear Mama Likes – Coochycoo Merino, Baby Shusher, The Wooden Toybox
So here we are – my second review round-up of things that I’ve been sent that are actually worth telling you about (here’s the first one). Sometimes I feel a weird pressure to be super nice about the products I’ve been sent – after all, someone took the time and effort to send them to me. But then I think, if I’m not being honest – well my opinion doesn’t count for anything at all. And I’m not being paid – just so you know…But I do keep the stuff I’m sent, then donate it if I no longer need it. And if it’s really shit, I wouldn’t write about it and would probably just send it back. It’s new ground. I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m here anyway.
Now that that disclaimer of sorts is over – I’m pretty damn glad that so far the stuff I’ve been sent has been pretty good. Or in the case of Coochycoo Merino – Straight up awesome.
Seriously, I freakin’ love their merino! Living in New Zealand you’ve got to know all merino isn’t created equally. I did not know this and now I do. I have bought merino in the past only to have the domes on the onesie wear out within a month (sometimes sooner). And it gets threadbare, so damn easily. Or it gets scratchy – and even the slightest bit of scratchy means my toddler will refuse to wear it. And merino is EXPENSIVE.
Here’s what I want out of my merino:
- Machine-washable – Mate, don’t even talk to me about hand washing. I don’t even have time to wee on my own let alone hand wash something. It has to actually be machine washable, not ‘says it’s machine washable but it’s munted after two washes’. I’ve been thrashing the Coochycoo merino and it’s still in fab condition. A friend says she’s had hers for three years.
- Soft and thick – Coochycoo merino is the softest and thickest merino I’ve ever owned. Because of that the toddler actually wants to wear it. Thank God – because it’s impossible to get the toddler to wear anything he doesn’t want to wear. The other day he wore a baking dish in a baby carrier out in public. This woman was like “Is that a baking dish” and I was like “well yes”. And that’s all I could say because what do you say to that? Also, one of the tops has a dinosaur on it. I can barely dry that one before he wants to put it on again. A+ dinosaur placement.
- Good colours – I’m not really fussed about clothing colours but why the hell is merino always tan or cream or fucking pastel? I love the Coochycoo colours – Rich and lush and deep greens and reds and browns. Finally. I love the two-tone colouring of the long-sleeved tops as well. It means if we are out, and it suddenly becomes warm(er) as if often does in NZ – We can just take off the top layer and it looks like a top you could wear out. Other merino that is (white) fleshy tones just looks odd. I mean, my kid always looks odd on account of the whole onesie + tutu + bucket on head combo thing. But I try where I can. Easy wins for those of us who let their toddlers dress themselves.
- The sizing is *thumbs up emoiji* – Do you know how big the Ham’s head is? He fits hats that fit the toddler. He does not fit any beanies. FINALLY a beanie that fits! The Coochycoo beanie! Look at this fat red face and tell me that doesn’t make you think of a delicious Christmas Ham?
He is decked out in Coochycoo – Don’t you love the two-tone arms in the top? Anyway, I gush, I gush. I wanted to share some photos of the boys modelling their cute merino but this was the only photo I could get of them both looking at the camera. And then afterward I saw the stains down the front because of course I didn’t see them at the time.
Other things that are great about Coochycoo – Free delivery, NZ-Made, they do prem-adult sizes (the scarf I was sent is the prettiest colour ever – a kind of turquoise something or other that I have worn most days just to y’know pretty up my vomit covered breast feeding top and maternity leggings).
NEXT – The Baby Shusher! OK, so I actually emailed the Baby Shusher people after getting hysterical on Twitter about how I needed sleep and someone said the Baby Shusher worked for them and someone said it didn’t work for them. This is the case for all things sleep related so this is just what I think.
The Baby Shusher would be awesome with one change – make the thing last longer than 30 minutes. The shusher legit gets my kid to sleep. And he was seven months old when we started using it.
I’m jumping ahead. Here’s what the shusher does – It goes SHUSH *pause* SHUSH *pause* SHUSH. And it has a volume dial and options for 10 minutes, 15 minutes or 30 minutes. I only ever use it on it’s loudest setting and always for half an hour. And I use it with white noise because I have always used white noise.
We use white noise because The Ham is in our room and even though a fucking helicopter can fly above us and he doesn’t wake, if you turn your neck slightly or maybe rearrange a pillow – he is up. The white noise covers those noises. I was hoping the baby shusher would replace the white noise but the sound is different. It’s not constant. But the thing is – the sound seems to work with the Ham. When he’s screaming his head off, when I start the shusher he stops at least about 70% to 80% of the time and nods off.
So it could be the perfect thing.
But – when it stops, he sometimes wakes up. Not all the time mind you…And, he has always been one of those ‘wake every 45 minutes until mum is a walking corpse’ type of kid – but the shusher seems to mean he wakes after 30 minutes. BUT if I turn it back on immediately, he just goes back to sleep.
So – I’m not going to stop using it. You feel me? But if they changed it to say – 11 hours rather than 30 minutes, I would basically worship at the feet of the creator of the Baby Shusher. But I think I’m having this problem because I’m not using it right – the correct way to use it is to turn down the sound to a lower level once they stop crying or they’re sleeping or whatever. But I am just too lazy to do that. Basically my nightime routine is – breastfeed until Ham is asleep, run from the room as fast as I can, grab laptop – try to write something for five minutes, baby starts crying again, turn on shusher, baby falls asleep, run as fast as I can upstairs to try to write something again or finish dishes or do ballet admin or acknowledge presence of husband etc.Toddler wakes. Put toddler back to bed. Try to write something. Baby wakes. Turn on thing. Slowly turn into a slushy half-human thing, groan softly, pass out from effort it takes to groan and Repeat.
It’s not always like that of course, so when it isn’t the shusher works fine. So I don’t bother to use it the right way.
In short – I would buy a shusher for my friends with new babies. I think they would use the instructions because they’re cleverer than me and it does seem to work for (my kid anyway) to get them to stop crying and calm down. Also, you can put it in the car or buggy which is perfect really.
I mean before I got a Baby Shusher I was just manically SHUSHING my damn head off the whole time anyway. Now I’ve got a machine that does it for me so I don’t have to *be there*. So, it’s like one less thing you have to do to get your kid to sleep. Using it with patting and rocking and next level voodoo magic satanic sacrifices = definitely probably going to work 100% of the time. And, if you have to sacrifice a goat, well you have to sacrifice a goat don’t you?
The baby shusher is cheaper than a goat.
So there you go. Oh and please do not give me sleep advice. That’s the good thing about the baby shusher, it only shushes. It does not tell you that back in the Baby Shusher’s day you just left babies in their cots to cry. The Baby Shusher won’t tell you that their baby Baby Shusher never got into bed with them. The Baby Shusher just shushes. No judgement. Just shushing.
And you can take it with you and when a parent with a 40 year-old says ‘my baby slept through the night from six weeks’ you can just point the shusher at them and turn it on.
That alone is worth the price.
The Wooden Toy Box is pretty great. I’ve always loved their stuff to be honest, so when they suggested Eddie become a toy tester we were kind of excited about the idea straight off the bat. I like that The Wooden Toybox toys are made from renewable timber. And I like that they offset their carbon emissions and have a good returns and safety policy. We spent quite a while doing pros and cons lists – privacy BUT DIGGERS etc – but we also really liked The Wooden Toybox as a company. We asked Eddie. Unsurprisingly he chose toys. The process of reviewing the digger was actually a really fun bonding thing – Eddie took it very seriously and really enjoyed being filmed. And I had to learn how to edit a video which I did not enjoy. But I did enjoy his joy over his Great Big Digger from Hape (smooth product placement right?)
I figured – it’s a digger, you can’t go wrong with a digger. But as my husband said, and he believes himself to be somewhat of a digger connoisseur, this is a top quality digger. For a start, as Eddie repeated at least 83926 times – It can dig. Like, it actually can dig. Really a three-word review would be fine. Because all diggers are not created equally. In a digger mad house, a digger that can dig is at the top of the hierarchy of diggers.
Places he has used the digger – inside with stupid mother frugging Countdown dominoes (easy to dig), sand pit (very good at digging), garden (made a huge mess but very happy with digging abilities). Most diggers break in the sandpit and never make it to the hard soil in the garden. Almost three weeks of daily playing, and the Great Big Digger has not broken. It is the longest running digger we have had in our home. It can dig.
Here’s Eddie showing how much TV he watches by giving a solid Bob the Builder run-down part way through. This will bite me in the ass since I’ve totally nodded along to inane “no screen time” conversations.
If you want Eddie to review a toy – or you want to send me stuff – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.