Review: Britax SMILE pushchair

Britax Smile Pushchair

Earlier this year I was asked to remain as a Mumbassador for Britax and of course, I was delighted. We are huge fans of Britax as we have reviewed several of their products over the last couple of years and continue to use their products and choose their brand for our Little Mr’s needs.

We were asked if we would like to review their latest pushchair to the market, the Britax Smile. Little Mr is sadly of the age where he would rather walk everywhere now but as busy parents know it’s not always practical for little ones to walk around everywhere (unless you have all day and don’t actually want to get any jobs done!) so we have been reviewing the Smile over the last couple of months and we love it.

Britax Smile Pushchair

The Smile is a super sturdy pushchair which is compatible with the Britax Smile carrycot and Britax Baby-Safe infant carrier thanks to the integrated Click & Go receivers. No need to buy additional adapters, you can use the pushchair with the car seat or the carrycot depending on whether you’re in the car or popping to the shops for a walk.

I love how the Smile pushchair can be used from birth up until the child reaches 17kg which is roughly 3 years old. Little Mr is nowhere near that as yet so we are happy that the Smile will last us another year at least. Most Parents buy one pushchair to see them through the first few years of their little ones childhood and the Smile would be perfect for that reason alone.

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Features

The Smile has a range of fantastic features which are ideal for busy parents. The best feature for me is the extra large shopping basket which is huge. It’s also very accessible meaning you don’t need to disturb the little one who often can be found napping in the pushchair when you want to access the basket. There’s also 3M ScotchLite reflective safety stripes which are a brilliant safety feature making your pushchair stand out at dawn or dusk.

Britax Smile Pushchair

The seat is fully reversible so your child can be parent facing or world facing on their journeys. The seat unit has multi-position recline which is great if your little one falls asleep on the go and you want them to relax and sleep a little bit longer whilst you are out and about. This seat recline along with the multi-position footrest really makes the Smile comfortable for the little one inside.

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I really like the 5-point safety harness as you know the child is safely clicked into the pushchair and they’re not going to fall out. The padded height adjustable shoulder straps allow the pushchair to grow with the child giving you increased confidence that the pushchair is safe for you to use. The bumper bar on the seat also is an added safety feature and little ones can hold on along the way.

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I wheely like it

The large rear wheels on the Smile are filled with air for ultimate comfort. Your little one won’t feel bumps in the pavement and the full suspension allows you to take the Smile onto less forgiving terrain without it compromising the ride. The front wheels swivel and can be locked into place but personally I like to leave them in the swivel position as it makes the pushchair so much easier to turn and push.

I really like how the wheels can be removed from the frame perfect for taking the pushchair on weekends away, down to the beach or even to the shops. It helps make the frame more compact and will easily fit in to a large boot. It doesn’t fit very well into my boot (5-door Corsa) but I would probably pop it next to Little Mr on the back seat if I wanted to take it anywhere in my car.

Push me

I have found pushing the Smile really easy. Little Mr is now 13kg in weight and pushing him up a large hill is not easy. The Smile pushchair is a dream to push, thanks to the telescopic handle which can be adjusted to suit the preference of the person pushing the Smile.

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Stop!

The brake on the Smile is fantastic. You just press the lever down and the brake is applied. So easy to use and brilliant for peace of mind. The unique brake indicator shows red or green depending on whether the brake has been applied; red for on and green for off.

Britax Smile Pushchair

I see you

The Smile has a great canopy which can be extended for sunny days. There’s an integrated ventilation window which can be zipped open or closed allowing fresh air under the hood and there’s also a viewing window on the canopy allowing you to see your little one on the go.

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The Smile pushchair is available in three colour options; Red, Black and Navy with Silver being an exclusive colour option to the retailer Mothercare.

My only criticism

The only criticism I have of the Smile pushchair is that I have found it difficult to collapse the chassis. The instructions tell you to hold in the button on the handle and press in the button on the side. I have struggled with this on many occasions. I don’t know if it’s just me but I really struggle with putting the chassis down. I have on occasion, had to leave the chassis up and come back to putting it down until later as it frustrated me. I have been able to put it down but there’s a definite skill to doing it.

Britax Smile Pushchair

Overall, the Smile is a fantastic pushchair. Perfect for a growing family from newborn right through until the toddler stage and beyond. The raincover is also included with the pushchair which is a must and very useful given the unpredictable British weather.

Price

The Britax Smile pushchair is available to buy with and without the carrycot at various retailers. The chassis and seat unit is priced at £450. The chassis, seat unit and carrycot is priced at £589. I think for the price and the quality of the pushchair the Smile is a real contender for one of the best on the market, affordable and stylish with all the usual features that you would expect from Britax.

You may be interested in my other Britax reviews as part of the Mumbassador scheme which include;

Britax Affinity Pushchair 
Britax Baby-Safe plus SHR II Car Seat
Britax Dualfix Car Seat
Britax Bob Revolution Pushchair

Disclaimer: We have been sent a Britax Smile for review as part of the Mumbassador Scheme. All words and photographs are my own and this is an honest and reliable review. 

Accepting it wasn’t the right time for Nursery

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Back in January, Little Mr began his settling in sessions at Nursery. We had planned for him to go to Nursery one day per week spending the other three days per week whilst I’m in work at both his Grandparents house. It was a chance for him to make some friends and grow more independent from my husband and I in a friendly, safe environment where he would have fun playing with children his own age and learn new things.

His settling in sessions didn’t go well at all. The sessions were only for an hour each week but he was clingy and cried for me to stay in the room with him on all occasions. I had managed to walk out but he was upset and it really upset me too. I put his reaction down to being tired and a little under the weather but when week on week he got more and more upset and it was getting increasingly hard to leave him there.

I had reassurance from the team at the Nursery that he would get used to it and begin to enjoy it so when the time came after February half term to leave him in Nursery for the whole day I was nervous. Little Mr knew instantly on the morning of his first full day that something odd was happening. We had got him dressed and he was sat at the dining room table to eat some breakfast. This is completely out of his usual routine (He goes to his Grandparents in his pyjamas and he eats breakfast at their house) He didn’t touch his milk or his porridge and he told my husband to take off his shoes and his coat. He knew something different was happening. We tried to remain positive, encouraged him that he was going to have a fantastic day and we set off for Nursery.

Hearing your little boy cry and scream ‘Mummy, no don’t leave me, Mummy, no!’ was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to hear. It was awful. I kissed his forehead and told him I’d see him later as I looked straight ahead at the Nursery door and tried to keep back the tears until I had walked through the door. He was comforted by the Nursery staff who tried to pre-occupy him with some toys but he wasn’t happy and wanted the world to know it.

I sobbed all the way into work and felt absolutely dreadful. I rang Nursery for an update and he was sitting on the Nursery Assistant’s lap playing with playdoh. I was pleased, he had calmed down and was joining in with the activities. I went into work trying to busy myself to take my mind off it and told Nursery I’d ring back at lunchtime to see how he was getting on. I rang back at lunchtime and the Nursery were concerned as he hadn’t eaten any snack or had anything to drink. He was protesting and refusing to eat/drink. The Nursery was concerned he wouldn’t last until 4:30pm and asked me if anyone could fetch him earlier as it was clear he was distressed. I was upset.

Luckily for us, my in-laws had kept the day free just in case this was going to happen so they went to fetch him and took him back to their house. He ate some lunch but was really unsettled. It was awful to see him so upset and distressed.

We attempted nursery for the second time the following week with the same results. He was distressed and the Nursery were concerned. We collected him early as we knew he wouldn’t last the full day. We knew it was a new experience for him and it would take time for him to settle in but our little man who is usually so confident was withdrawn, upset and refused to drink his water.

The following Friday, it was my day off so we made our usual jaunt to the sorting office to pick up a couple of parcels. As we drove towards the sorting office which is the same direction as nursery, Little Mr got upset in the back of the car shouting ‘No nursery Mummy, no nursery’. I didn’t realise he even knew the way to nursery but seeing him get so upset was just awful.

After lengthy discussions and a fair few sleepless nights, we decided that it wasn’t the right time for Little Mr to go to Nursery and have given Nursery notice that he won’t be going again this year. It’s been quite a traumatic experience and I feel awful that he got so upset. His behaviour over the last 3 months has deteriorated. He’s become quite clingy and his night time sleeping is very hit and miss. I have permanent bags I am that tired.

We are lucky that Little Mr doesn’t have to go to Nursery. Our Parents are still very keen to look after him throughout the working week and we are hugely grateful. I have doubts that we didn’t give the Nursery experience long enough and feel bad that we couldn’t afford for him to go anymore than one day per week. If we could have afforded it, we would have loved to send him to Nursery for a longer period in the week but we are not in a position to do so.

All in all a hugely upsetting and disappointing experience for us all but Little Mr’s well being comes first and we needed to make a decision with this in mind. The nursery where he went have supported our decision and I’m grateful for that. They are a wonderful team and I’m sad that he’ll be missing out on what they could offer but ultimately, I don’t want to scare him or make him fearful of going back to Nursery in the future.

These parenting decisions are tough, no-one tells you how hard it is to see your toddler puffy eyed with tears rolling down their cheeks sobbing trying to catch their breath. Let me tell you, it’s not easy! I’ve felt hugely guilty for putting him through all of that, I wish it could have worked out but it just wasn’t the right time and sometimes you just have to accept that.

Remembering it’s a journey not just a diet

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The end of last week was awful for me. I was so tired, stressed out and hormonal. My body was playing silly games with me and I just felt fed up. I don’t get like this very often but it was one of those weeks where despite trying everything to stay positive, I just wanted to cry. It all came to a head for me on Thursday evening as hubby went out to play squash and Little Mr didn’t want me to sit outside his door at bedtime. He wanted his Daddy. It reduced me to tears and I went into our bedroom and saw hubby’s chocolate digestive biscuits on the bedside table. Six biscuits later, I had reached the bottom of the packet and they were all gone.

I knew I was going to feel guilty for eating them but I still did it. It didn’t stop there. I tried to pull it back during the following days eating well and on plan but I have no idea what happened during the evening. I ate rubbish and lots of it. I let my hormones get the better of me and I guess it just proves I’m only human.

Safe to say that weigh in showed a gain but I think I got away with it quite lightly. I only gained 0.5lb. I’ve noticed lots of changes in my body shape of late and I’m determined for that to continue. I’m now wearing clothes that are two sizes smaller than what I wore back in August and I’m delighted with that.

I’m back on plan today and have had a successful first day with good food and have eaten within my syns so I’m hoping with a few more days eating well, I can start to lose the gain and a bit more.

I’ve also made a few decisions of late on how I’m tackling the stress that I’m experiencing. My house is full of clutter and I’m fed up of moving it around the house to tidy it up. It’s got to go. I don’t need it now and there’s no point keeping it just in case. Thanks to eBay and selling a few things on Facebook I’m making space and a little bit of useful cash too!

I’m saying no! I love love love my blog and it’s been such a successful way of sharing my journey into motherhood and again my weightloss journey. But it takes up SO much of my time and time I want to claw back for family. I work 30+ hours in my day job (HR Professional) and at least 2 hours per night and more at weekends on my blog and I just can’t keep it up. I have been so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given but I need to say no more often and be more selective.

I need to stop being so nice. I worry all the time about what people think of me and I really shouldn’t. Why worry about something I can’t control. It’s making me feel inadequate and unhappy.

So, enough is enough and I’m on a mission to make my life a little less stressful. I want to smile more and be an amazing Mummy and Wife. I don’t feel like I’m doing any of those right now.

Review: My First Thomas & Friends | Pop & Go Thomas

Thomas & Friends Pop & Go Thomas

One of Little Mr’s most favourite cartoons is Thomas & Friends. He is obsessed with them. Thomas & Friends has been a family favourite for many years and in 2015, they’re celebrating their 70th birthday.

Thomas the Tank Engine has been loved in our family for years and it’s lovely to see Little Mr enjoy the many stories of adventure that Thomas & his friends get up to on the island of Sodor. Little Mr is a big fan and has a compendium of books that he reads with his Daddy before bed. His favourite character is Spencer or Boco as well as Thomas of course.

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Little Mr modelling his favourite Thomas & Friends pyjamas, slippers and Pop & Go Thomas

Into their 70th year, Thomas & Friends are off on more adventure with the launch of series 19 which features the No.1 Blue engine and his familiar friends James, Percy, Emily, Edward, Henry, Gordon, and the Fat Controller. This exciting milestone year also sees the release of the mini-series Dinos & Discoveries as well as the new movie Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure. 

Review: Pop & Go Thomas from Fisher Price

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The Pop n Go Thomas toy is a great introductory toy for little Thomas fans. The Thomas the Tank Engine shaped toy encourages physical play with a brightly coloured handle for push along fun. Perfect for little ones who have just mastered walking, it’s fun to push along Thomas and watch the coloured balls literally pop and go as the train is pushed along the floor.

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Alternatively, the handle can be removed for toddlers who want to play with the train on it’s own. Little Mr has played with the Pop n Go Thomas in both modes but prefers to play with him without the handle on his playmat along with his other toys.

Suitable for children aged 12 months plus, the Pop n Go Thomas is a great toy to add to the collection of trains for all children to play with and would make a lovely gift for a Thomas fan.

Price

My First Thomas & Friends Pop & Go Thomas from Fisher Price is priced at just £19.99 and is available from Argos amongst other retailers.

Do you have a Thomas fan in the house? I think I can safely say that Thomas & Friends will be a part of our lives for a little while longer yet.

Disclaimer: We were sent this product for the purpose of this review. All words and images are my own. This forms an honest and reliable review.

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