Tag: new things

Summer Grobags Blog

Summer Grobags and Japan Adventures

How to Not Ruin Sleep on an International Adventure

One of my first thoughts when we began to organise our Japan adventure was how is Hannah going to sleep? At home she is a great sleeper, and I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that she brought her sleeping A-game with her to The Land of The Rising Sun. Fortunately, two of my favourite companies were quick to throw their hand up and offer a solution – BabyBjorn with their excellent travel cot, and the wonderful Gro Company.

I have written about the value of sleep bags before. For us at least they have been a key factor in a good night’s sleep since shortly after Hannah’s birth. Obviously a Grobag was going to be high on my list of things to take with us. I’d probably forgo clean underpants over a couple of Grobags if it really came down to it (don’t worry, I’m taking clean undies. There’s plenty of room in the suitcase).


Grobag label


The Land of The (Bloody Hot) Rising Sun

During our time in Japan, we are expecting to face fairly consistent daytime temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius. A quick check of the night-time temperatures shows that we can also expect that it won’t drop below about 22 C.

On top of that, the standard of our accommodation is the great unknown. We have decided to take the plunge and go with Airbnb for the first time ever. While the places look nice in the photos and they claim to have air conditioning, we can’t be too sure about how hot they will be inside.

Of course, those kinds of temperatures are pretty standard for us Australians, so this trip to Japan offered the perfect opportunity to test out the new range of Summer Grobags, before things really heat up Down Under.

To make life comfortable for Hannah during those hot days and nights, The Gro Company sent me a 1.0 tog and a 0.5 tog Grobag. Between these two bags (and by adding or taking away clothes), we should have all of the temperature conditions that we expect to face covered. Emma and I may have to sweat our way through the night under whatever covers our hosts provide, but at least we can be sure Hannah will be comfortable!


The Two Grobags


Bright Summer Colours and Other Features

I was sent a 1.0 tog Party Animals, and a 0.5 tog Action Stacks Grobag. Both of these sleep bags are designed to be used while travelling, and can accommodate a 5-point harness. This is great for use in car seats, and even in the stroller. As our intention is for Hannah to have some of her daytime naps in her stroller on this trip, it is a feature that we may find very handy to have.


The access hole for 5-point Harness - Travel Grobags


I was immediately drawn to the bright colours of these new Grobags. They are vibrant and I instantly feel happy when I look at them. They are non-gender specific, which is exactly the way that I like such things to be. These two great Grobags are just a small sample of the wide variety of styles on offer at the Gro Store, so if these particular ones don’t suit your style, there plenty more to choose from.

I particularly like the Party Animals Grobag, because of the whimsical embroidered pictures. These always make me smile and I’m pretty sure Hannah likes them too. They add a great tactile element to the Grobag as well, and Hannah sometimes likes to feel those features of her Grobags as she is winding down before sleep, or first thing when she wakes up.


Party Animals Grobag

The Usual High Quality From Gro

Regular readers of Blog of Dad will know that I have featured Gro products several times now. To be honest, I always jump at the chance to work with The Gro Company, because I can be pretty sure that the products they send me will be made to a high standard.

They are a company that appears to be absolutely dedicated to helping babies and toddlers sleep well. As a person who absolutely loves his sleep, I greatly appreciate that! A good night’s sleep for bub means a good night’s sleep for all.

Never will that have been more important to us than on our holiday to Japan. I have read too many horror stories about overseas adventures being ruined by a toddler who refuses to sleep, to risk putting Hannah in anything that I don’t absolutely trust.


The Grobags


These two Summer Grobags live up to the high standard that I have come to expect from The Gro Company. They are cotton, they feel durable and crucially their zippers feel made to last. I am yet to find a Grobag that has worn out before it has been outgrown.

The Gro Company also provide a great amount of information on their website about how to use the Grobag properly, in order to ensure that your child is most appropriately dressed for the conditions. Again, to me this is an indicator of how seriously they value a good night’s sleep.


The Impossible Task

The first real test for these Grobags will be the flight to Japan. We have chosen to fly overnight, with the belief that because Hannah is an excellent sleeper at home, she will just sleep the whole way to Japan… while strapped to my lap… in a strange environment… While surrounded by strangers…

Now, I’m not saying that Grobags are magical, BUT, they may just provide that extra element of familiarity that helps Hannah to get some sleep on the plane (thereby allowing me to get some sleep on the plane). They are not the only trick up our sleeve, we have the sleep playlist on Spotify and the excellent wireless headphones that will also block out most of the background noise. Together these three elements may just combine to achieve the impossible task of a sleep-filled flight. Of course, if all that fails we have an arsenal of backup activities to at least keep Hannah settled.

If there is no sleep on the plane, we have at least arranged with our very kind Airbnb host to have access to the apartment from the moment we arrive in Tokyo. The super easy Grobag, combined with the fast-to-set-up BabyBjorn Travel Cot, means that Hannah can be happily sleeping within minutes of checking in.


Ready to Party! Grobags


Ready for the Australian Summer

These Grobags won’t just be useful during our overseas adventures. Hannah will sleep in them all summer long. With the temperature in Sydney already reaching 32 degrees Celsius, now is a great time to start thinking about safe and comfortable sleeping arrangements for your child during the Summer heat. Head on over to The Gro Store and check out the fantastic range that they have on offer. While you are there, have a read of their guides to ideal sleeping temperatures to find out how to best use your new Grobags.


The Gro Company (Bloom & Grow) sent me two Grobags for on our Japan Adventures. While these products were provided for free, the comments within this post remain entirely my own reflections of my experience with these Gro products, as well as Gro products that I had purchased prior to any relationship with the Gro Company. This dad takes pride in providing honest and useful information to other parents.

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Dishwasher little helper Blog

The Little Helper

18 months is a wonderful age. In recent weeks Hannah’s cognitive ability and fine motor skills have exploded! We can almost see the change in each day. One of the most recent, unexpected developments is that of the little helper.

Hannah wants to be a part of everything. She would much rather be participating in what the adults are doing than sit by herself and play with her toys. She has perfected the loud wail at the kitchen gate, which she produces any time that she is locked out of a menial task such as unpacking the dishwasher. Hannah loves to help and we are really happy to involve her in every activity that we can.

Of course, the help of an 18 month old kid is not always helpful in the traditional sense of the word. Often, involving Hannah in the activity is a sure-fire way to significantly extend the time that the task takes to complete. Nevertheless, Emma and I both feel that it is really important to make Hannah feel like she is helping, and that her input is valued. We believe that encouraging her now will help Hannah to develop positive attitudes towards household tasks and chores in the future.

The Top 5 Ways in Which Hannah Likes to Be a Little Helper

1. Unpacking the dishwasher

Hannah comes running whenever the dishwasher door is open. She is incredibly eager to be a part of the daily ritual of unpacking. Hannah is getting better at it too, She knows where certain things go, and she is slowly coming to the understanding that some things (such as knives, glasses etc.) are not for her to touch. Hannah diligently removes all plastic containers from the top shelf of the dishwasher (yes, she can reach!) and then reaches up on her tippy-toes to place them on the drying rack.

There is still the occasional (regular) hairy moment, when Hannah picks up something highly breakable. Luckily, she tends to just try and ask us what she is supposed to do with it, rather than drop or throw it. So far we have not had any accidents.

2. Hang out/take in laundry

This is one of Hannah’s favourite pursuits. When she sees one of us heading out the back door with a washing basket, she quickly races to the laundry to find her Frozen crocs (Don’t judge me, they were given to her second-hand). Hannah loves to help with this activity, and she does so by pulling pegs out of the peg basket and handing them to the waiting parent.

Unfortunately, Hannah hasn’t yet learnt to distinguish between taking the washing out and bringing it back in again. That means that even when we are bringing in the washing, Hannah insists on handing us pegs. I have tried to introduce the task of “patting down” the clean laundry when taking it back in, with some success. It has definitely reduced the amount of extra pegs that I have to return to the peg basket.

3. Folding laundry

I don’t know where Hannah gets her love of the laundry from, because both Emma and I hate it. Hopefully it means that she will happily take over from us once she is capable of doing so (keep dreaming dad). Hannah loves to help fold the clean washing. Initially that meant emptying the entire contents of a washing basket all over the floor, one item at a time.

These days she understands the concept of taking washing out of the basket and placing it on the dining table, she just doesn’t understand the techniques of folding, or the concept of placing like items in the same pile. What we end up with is a Hannah pile of clothes at the end of the table (and maybe one or two on the floor). It doesn’t matter, she always seems pretty pleased with her efforts.

4. Shutting doors/gates

Hannah loves to shut doors and gates. She can now reach the door handles in the house and she is quite expert at manipulating them. She is also extremely diligent about ensuring that gates are properly closed. Hannah is so good at these jobs that she closes doors and gates that don’t need to be closed.

5. Packing away toys

This one is great, and I think it has a lot to do with our attitude towards Hannah’s involvement in household tasks. She is an expert at packing away her toys and books at the end of the day. All it takes now is the simple words “pack away” and Hannah gets stuck right in. We rarely leave her to do it herself, after all, housework is a lot more enjoyable with a bit of company. Packing away time is usually a family affair and we get it done quickly, together.


Who knows if allowing Hannah to help us with these tasks will really make a difference to her attitude as she gets older? I will not be at all surprised if she hits a certain age and doesn’t want to be our little helper anymore. Have you had any success with introducing your children to chores and responsibility? I would love to know what worked (or didn’t work) for you! Be sure to leave your ideas in the comments.

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RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller Blog

RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller – First Impressions

I’ll admit it. When I was a younger man, I was a bit of a want-to-be racer. My pride-and-joy was a 1988 Nissan Skyline. It was a beast with its straight-six and rear-wheel drive.

Like most young men with dreams of Bathurst glory, I wanted to do all the things to my car. I wanted to make it as close to a racer as possible. The top of my list was RECARO racing seats. In my mind, they were the ultimate addition – sleek, body hugging and pure-bred for the race track.

Of course, also like most young men I had zero dollars to my name. I never realised my dream of racing seats (or of winning the Bathurst 1000, for that matter). I grew older, my priorities changed, the Skyline made its way to the scrapheap and I, somehow, became a reasonably respectable father who drives a terribly sensible car.


Old Feelings Reignited – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

Imagine how it felt then, when through the haze of mother-centric stroller names appeared a familiar word. A word that reignited long-forgotten associations with freedom, speed, comfort and untouchable quality – RECARO.


RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller


The teenage me, that long supressed champion of thrills and enjoyment, jumped for joy somewhere deep inside. He shook me, he begged me to remember that once-upon-a-time I didn’t drive a Camry. He pleaded with me to get my hands on the contraption!

The adult me considered it. The adult me looked closely at the features. He read the specifications and diligently Googled reviews. Much to his surprise, the adult me was impressed. Perhaps this stroller could do the job. Perhaps this stroller could be the one to take to Japan – the one that met the long list of requirements that he had compiled in the most adult of ways:

Lay-flat position for daytime naps, tick!

Single-handed folding function, tick!

Large storage basket, tick!

Large canopy for whole-days in the sun, tick!

The list went on and the boxes continued to be ticked. There was nothing for it, I had to contact RECARO and find out if they really did have the stroller for me…

The Delivery – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

To say that I was excited on the day of delivery is a massive understatement. I was like a little kid at Christmas. Every few seconds I glanced at the door. I was terrified that if I didn’t answer it within a split-second, the delivery driver would turn around and take my package away. And with it, he would take my opportunity to live vicariously through my child. I may never have realised my dreams, but she sure could (realise my dreams. Not hers).

Finally it arrived. The box was smaller than I had anticipated, but the weight of it told me that it was full of stroller.

For the past 18 months we had used second-hand strollers and buggies, so I had never had the simple pleasure of unboxing a stroller for the first time. The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller comes mostly pre-built. The only parts that are not already attached are the rear wheels, the TWO cup holders (yes, two!) and the tray. Each of these pieces were easy to attach, the wheels and the tray made a satisfying click sound and they were put in place.


RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller parts
The parts of the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller


Step Back and Admire – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller is a good-looking ride. I walked around it as if examining a new car in a show room. I resisted the urge to kick the tires. Instead, I set about taking in the details. I admired the sturdy frame, I appreciated the feel of the padded handlebar. Some details stood out fairly quickly, the embroidered RECARO branding on the shoulder straps, for example.


RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller shoulder straps
Padded shoulder straps for extra comfort


The seat looked large and comfortable. If anything, It has plenty of room for Hannah to grow into. In fact I’m pretty sure she will outgrow the need for a stroller well before she outgrows this stroller.

I gave the stroller a push. It glided forward smoothly and silently. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so used to second-hand strollers, or because the RECARO is so well built, but if felt really easy to push and manoeuvre.


Size and Weight – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

The size of the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller is just about the maximum with which I would feel comfortable travelling. At just over 10kg, it’s certainly not a light-weight umbrella stroller. However, at that size, it also comes with benefits.

The stroller offers a full recline for out-and-about napping. It has a large canopy for protection against the elements and a huge basket for storage under the seat. The frame is robust and feels as if it will last for many years to come. Nothing about the RECARO stroller is flimsy. The large puncture-proof wheels and suspension system also add to the overall size, as does the very handy removable child’s tray. Did I mention it has two cup holders?


RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller full recline
RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller in lay flat position – perfect for days out and about


The footprint is a little larger than our current umbrella stroller, but it still doesn’t feel huge. The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller also feels extremely agile and manoeuvrable, so I’m pretty sure it’s size isn’t going to cause us too many issues in Japan. If size/weight is your number one priority, the RECARO Easylife Ultra-Lightweight Stroller looks like a pretty great alternative.

Where the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller really stands out in terms of size is in when it is folded. Unlike our second-hand Bugaboo Chameleon and many other premium buggies, the RECARO folds as a single piece. No more messing about with dismantling pushchairs in the carpark! The fold is really easy, after a little practise, and it can be done one-handed. Once folded, the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller sits neatly in an upright position, which helps it to take up minimal space. That will be very handy in our not-so-large (tiny) Japan accommodation.


First Drive – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller


Like any good boy-racer, I was eager to get the new set of wheels on the road. I must have been grinning wildly as I pulled into the parents with prams spot at the local shopping centre. The stroller was out of the boot and ready to go in mere seconds – a very welcome change from the cumbersome two-piece buggies, to which I had become accustomed.

I strapped Hannah in and off we went.

Also like any good boy-racer, within seconds I had misjudged the proximity of the rear wheel to the curb. The result, a tiny scuff mark. I shook my head in disbelief at my own incompetence, but the irony of the situation was not lost on me and I quickly saw the funny side. I guess it’s a good thing that I never did get the set of alloy wheels for my Skyline that I so desperately craved.


RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller whoops
Whoops! It’s just a bit of paint, it will clean off just fine.


After that first little hiccup, we were once again on our way. This time it was smooth sailing (or should I say rolling). The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller glided smoothly over the bitumen of the carpark. Once on the smooth, tiled floor of the shopping centre, the stroller moved with barely any effort.

Steering was excellent, the stroller turned easily and precisely. It felt well-balanced and easy to manage even in tight spaces.

I’m a fairly tall man, and a pet hate of mine with strollers is not having enough room between my feet and the back of the stroller. This was never a problem with the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller. There seemed to be plenty of room for me to take full strides as I pushed the stroller through the shopping centre. The adjustable handle also helped with providing a comfortable pushing position. I’m confident that I will have no trouble pushing this stroller around the streets of Japan for days on end.


RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller


Stay Tuned…

That’s it for now. I’ll be putting the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller through its paces shortly on the streets of Japan, then I’ll let you know all about it in a full review.


Disclosure – The Amazing Baby Company provided Blog Of Dad with this stroller free of charge, for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.


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Memories Made Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 Scooter Blog

Memories Made

There’s something truly thrilling about seeing your child doing something for the first time. Especially when it’s something that you have felt they wanted to do for quite a while. It’s on those days when memories are made.

On Sunday we made some memories that will sit fondly in my mind for many years to come – Hannah had her first scooter ride!

We were thrilled when Globber offered to send Hannah a MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter for review, following my post about her attempts to commandeer other children’s rides at the local park. That scooter arrived on Friday and we had been eagerly awaiting the chance to give it a proper test run since. Saturday’s wild winds ruled out a cruise, but we did get a chance to head up to the shops and buy a helmet. That meant that by Sunday morning, we were well and truly ready to hit the track.


Arriving At The Park

Hannah was full of energy when we arrived at the park. She was obviously ready to get stuck in, because she didn’t want to even know about her snack. As soon as her feet hit the ground, she was off!… Straight past her shiny new scooter and to the swings.

Not the best start, I’ll have to concede. After all the coveting of scooters over the past few weeks, Hannah all of a sudden didn’t even want to know about hers. Kids, hey! Who can predict them?


Oh Yeah, The Scooter!

After a solid ten minutes of swings, Hannah was ready to get off and explore the rest of the park. It was then that she finally noticed the scooter, as if it had magically appeared before her very eyes. Quickly enough she was on board, but we still had to overcome the first hurdle – the helmet.

We had tried to introduce Hannah to her helmet over the past day, but without much success. I had tried placing it on her head (no thanks dad), placing in on my head (hilarious!) and handing it to her to examine. The plan at the park was to get her on the scooter, jam the helmet on her head and then take off at full speed before she figured out what I had done.

That didn’t go quite to plan, and we ended up settling on a compromise of gently balancing the helmet on Hannah’s head without the chin straps done up, while we slowly pushed her along. Baby steps were well-and-truly required, but we were off.

Hannah looked quite pleased with her new ride, and soon enough we were into the swing of things. We stopped a couple of times to begin adjusting the sizing on the helmet and to introduce Hannah to the idea of chin straps. She hopped on and hopped off the scooter a few times.


Scooter memories, helmet


Definitely Not a Shrinking Violet

It was while we were stopped one of these times that a father approached us with his two young girls.

“What’s that?” he asked, his gaze drawn to the spectacular hot-pink and black, and the unique design.

I told him a bit about it and showed him how it converts. He was pretty impressed and complained about his little girl (slightly older than Hannah) having too many accidents with her stand-up ride. He seemed particularly impressed by the seat and the ability to convert into a proper stand-up scooter. His two little girls seemed enthusiastic too – the littlest one nodding eagerly when he asked her if she wanted one, and the older sister enthusiastically declaring that she too needed a Globber (despite being well past the seated stage).

I took that interaction as pretty good endorsement and made a mental note to joke with my Globber contact that I’d already made him a sale. Perhaps I could earn a commission by handing out business cards at the local parks…

After the dad and his two daughters had moved on, I took a moment to look at the scooter in all its glory. It certainly stands out in a crowd!


The Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 stands out in a crowd

Faster Daddy

Soon we had the hang of things and we were ready to really test the scooter. We headed off on the path out of the park and across the railway bridge. Hannah had definitely grown comfortable on the scooter. She was now confident enough to experiment with her feet by dragging them along the ground or placing them on the wheel. I think she quite liked the feel of the wheel rubbing against her ankle, because she kept her foot there for some time (we have the filthy sock to prove it).



The ground had been a rough asphalt and Hannah had handled that quite well, even though it was a fairly bumpy ride. At some point in the walk we hit a long stretch of smooth tarmac and that gave us the chance to gain some speed.

Hannah’s reaction was terrifying – she gave a hearty laugh of appreciation and leaned forward, as if egging me on to go faster. My mind skipped forward 16 years. I had visions of Hannah’s full speed ahead approach being applied to the piloting of an automobile, and I gave a little silent prayer to whatever deity may have been listening that self-driving cars would very much be a thing by then.

Hannah clearly had a need for speed and her new favourite toy was a means of achieving that. The smile that spread across her face from ear to ear was really all that I needed to egg me on. Every time I pushed that little bit faster, Hannah let her delight be known with a gleeful sound.


Making memories on the Globber scooter - faster daddy

Enough of the Helmet

After the glorious patch of smooth tarmac, we once again found ourselves bumping along some rougher terrain. Again, this didn’t bother Hannah and the scooter coped just fine. Much to my surprise, it even glided over the small sticks and other debris that had been blown over the path by the wild winds of the past few days. I put that down to the large front wheels, and probably the way that the scooter is pushed from behind in the sitting configuration.

Then, all of a sudden, we stopped.

Hannah took her hands off the handlebars and reached up to her head. She began to wrestle with the helmet and make some frustrated sounds. I stopped immediately. Hannah continued to wrestle with her helmet, so I took it off.

Then came the battle of the wills.

Hannah was determined to keep scooting, now that she was free of the helmet. I, on the other hand, insisted that she wear it if she wanted to ride.

1 1/2 year old children are not renowned for logical thought processes or the ability to mount counter arguments. Hannah is no exception to that, so she opted for expressing her extreme displeasure with the situation at the top of her voice.


Explaining the Situation

I carried Hannah for a while as we walked the return journey to the car. All the while she squirmed and wriggled, desperate to get back on her hot-pink steed. Even through her loud wails I did my best to explain the situation to her. I told her that she had to wear the helmet if she wanted to ride her scooter.

A couple of times we stopped walking and I gave Hannah the opportunity to scoot, but each time she resisted the attempt to reattach the helmet. It occurred to me that the helmet strap may have agitated the eczema under her chin, but there wasn’t a whole lot that I could do about it.

Eventually Hannah wriggled her way down from my arms and she walked along behind Emma, who pushed the scooter in front of her. Every now and then, Hannah pointed at the scooter and loudly protested our helmet rule.

We stopped again. The decent distance that Hannah had covered by walking had helped her to calm down a bit. I got down to her level, looked her straight in the eyes and asked again, “will you wear the helmet?”

A single, large nod was Hannah’s response. I placed the helmet on her head and she clambered aboard. Hannah had understood – if she wants to ride, she must wear a helmet.


Just Like Mum

We carried on our journey to the car and all seemed well… Until Hannah decided she wanted to get off… While the scooter was moving. Emma brought the scooter to a halt before Hannah had the chance to do herself any serious damage.

Hannah came round behind her scooter and reached up on to her tippy-toes. She could just reach the handle. It took us a moment to realise what she wanted – to use the handlebars to push the scooter herself.

Sure enough, once I lowered the handlebars to their shortest position, Hannah happily pushed the scooter all the way back to the car.


Globber scooter in the park pushed by toddler


The Verdict?

An excellent first time on the scooter, memories made! Even with the helmet issues, it was obvious that Hannah was made for scooting, and that the Globber scooter was made for Hannah. I’m very confident that it was the first of many, many rides and I love the way that the Globber scooter will grow and adapt to Hannah’s needs as her ability-level changes.


Disclosure – Globber provided Blog Of Dad with this scooter free of charge, for the purpose of review. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views. They are based on my experiences with the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.


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Hannah on Globber Scooter in the park Blog

My Sunday Photo – Scooter in the Park

My Sunday Photo for this week is of Hannah’s first ride of her scooter in the park

On Friday, Hannah’s new Globber scooter arrived (you can read my first impressions post here). naturally, that meant that we were destined to spend a large portion of our weekend on the local bike tracks.

It was a slow start to Hannah’s scooting career, mainly due to a reluctance to don a helmet, but once we got going, there was no stopping her (at least until she’d had enough of the helmet again)!


Hannah with Globber scooter ride in park helmet


Hannah covered a solid distance for her first ever go! I would estimate it at about a kilometre in total of riding. She also then walked a further half a kilometre when she decided that she wanted to be like mum and push the scooter by the handlebars. No wonder she was tired by the time we left the park.


Globber scooter in the park pushed by toddler


Hannah was happy to push herself along for a little while, but the squeals of joy really came out when I started pushing with a bit of speed! She loved experimenting with her feet by dragging them along the ground, or placing her foot on the wheel to feel the movement (see the picture below). I don’t think that pair of socks will ever be the same. As for the shoes, they may not be long for this world…


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Globber Evo 5-in-1 Blog

Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 Scooter – First Impressions

A few weeks ago I wrote about Hannah’s frustrations at the playground with other children’s scooters. Every time she saw an unattended one, she was drawn to it like a magnet. It was obvious to Emma and I that it was time for Hannah to learn to ride. Thankfully, we weren’t the only ones who felt that way. The awesome crew at Globber read that post and they felt that they had the perfect scooter for Hannah – the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter.

Today, that scooter arrived. Conveniently, the delivery came while Hannah was having her usual nap. That gave me a few moments to put the new ride together and to have a close look.


Quality – Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter

Regular readers of Blog of Dad know that quality is very important to me. Years of wasted money spent on cheap products that just don’t last have taught me that quality is half of the value equation (along with price). My first impression of the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter is that it is a well-constructed, quality piece of gear.

The first thing that I noticed when it was delivered was that the box had some weight to it. Not so much that it would be unwieldly for a small child to use, but enough to fill me with confidence that it wasn’t some kind of cheaply made plastic-fantastic.

Upon opening the box, I could see where that weight came from. The scooter came in five separate parts, each one made out of metal or sturdy-feeling moulded plastic.


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter in box


I quickly built the scooter. The instructions in the provided booklet were fairly basic, but they weren’t really even needed. The Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 was intuitive and easy to put together.

I stood back and admired my handy work. The Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter is a pretty spectacular piece of equipment, especially in the hot pink. Hannah will certainly be seen coming as she flies down the bike track at the park!


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter side view


I gave the scooter a little push around the living room. All three of the wheels glided smoothly over the tiled floor. It took a little while to get used to the steering. The two front wheels are attached to ball bearing-mounted directional pivots, but they don’t “turn” as such. In the configuration where the scooter is controlled by a parent pushing, I often found myself having to lift the handle up, which brought the rear wheel off the ground. Once I had figured that out, I was able to get the scooter to pivot on the spot. I imagine that this will be less noticeable out on the wide-open bike tracks of the local park.


Versatility – Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter

The Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter has three main configurations – parent-propelled sitting, self-propelled sitting, and standing. The name 5-in-1 appears to come from further variations to these configurations (handlebar hight adjustment). As this is all very new to Hannah, I set her new ride up in the parent-propelled, sitting position.


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter handlebars


I really like the versatility of this design. It means that we should be able to get many years of use out of it. According to the advertised specifications, the scooter can hold 50kg in the standing position. Again, it comes back to the idea that this scooter is built to last. It will grow with Hannah and help transition her from passive rider to actively in control. Not that she plans to be passive for long…


Toddler Magnet – Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter

As I said at the start, Hannah was fast asleep when the package arrived. Imagine her surprise when she came downstairs after her nap and saw this glorious pink, grey and black contraption sitting right there on her play mat! The same type of contraption that she had been so highly coveting EVERY SINGLE TIME we went to the playground in the past few months.

She sat in her high chair and drank her milk (nothing gets in the way of her after-nap milk), but she was pretty quick to discard the accompanying biscuit. Hannah demanded to be released from her high chair, and it was no surprise where she went immediately following her release. The shiny new scooter had all of her attention and, unlike at the park, she was free to touch it.


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter rear wheel


Hannah hesitated for a second. She had been told all too often over the past month that she was not allowed to touch these things. But the reality of the situation quickly dawned on her. This was one of her very own. She was allowed to touch it! Even better, she was allowed to sit on it!

Hannah began to clamber aboard. The set-up was pretty easy for an 18 month old to understand (although she did initially try to mount it backwards). She needed a little help to begin with – I had to hold the handlebars to stop the scooter from moving as she climbed on.

Within seconds she was on, and all-too-late I realised my mistake. Once Hannah was aboard, there was no getting her off. Not only that, but to compound my mistake I began pushing her around the living room. I figured that was the end of any independent play for the afternoon – so long pile of washing that I was supposed to fold, good luck dishwasher that needed emptying. None of that was getting done now. For the rest of the afternoon, my life had a single purpose, to push an ecstatic toddler around the living room on her new favourite object.


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 seat


Every time that I stopped pushing, a loud protest was issued. How dare I ruin the fun?

That was until Hannah realised she had the power of self-propulsion. Never one to stay too passive, Hannah soon figured out that she could run her feet along the ground and in doing so, gain control of the beast. Just like that I was released from my pushing duties. I was free to return to folding washing while at the same time keeping an eagle eye on Hannah as she explored her new device. She wasn’t too hard to observe – she hadn’t yet figured out how to turn the thing, so she had a pretty limited range.


Safety First

If the wild Sydney winds don’t stop us, it’s pretty certain that we will spend a decent chuck of this weekend at parks with great bike tracks. My first task for tomorrow morning will be to head down to the shops and buy a helmet. It is important to remember that even on a well-designed unit like the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter, there is an inherent degree of risk. After all, that’s actually part of the fun.

Even with the stability of three wheels, the scooter has the potential to tip, or Hannah may simply just fall off. A helmet is an absolute must, as will be very close supervision. I think the ability for a parent to control the movement of the scooter via the attached handlebars goes a long way to mitigating some of that danger in the learning phase.


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter


Stay tuned…

As soon as we manage to get the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 into the wild (the bike track), I’ll report back. I’m itching to get outside and give it a propper go, and judging by the amount of attention Hannah is giving the scooter, so is she! Hopefully the Sydney August winds ease up just a little bit so that we can get out and about.


Disclosure – Globber provided Blog Of Dad with this scooter free of charge, for the purpose of review. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views. They are based on my experiences with the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.

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Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones Blog

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Headphones – First Impressions

The more I talk to people about travelling with a toddler, the more one thing becomes apparent. The flight from Sydney to Tokyo has the potential to make or break the whole adventure.

That is pretty high stakes! It’s no small sum of money that we have invested in airfare and accommodation, not to mention the annual leave that we have both taken. When I think that the first ten hours have the potential to set the tone for the next 23 days, I start to look at it pretty seriously.

So how do we go about ensuring a smooth flight? I posed that question on Twitter and the results were conclusive – snacks and entertainment (for the toddler, not me). And a key part of that entertainment? Headphones.

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones… The Box

Why is it that so much of the quality of a technology-based product is reflected in the cardboard packaging in which it arrives? The box for these Puro Labs BT2200 headphones headphones oozed class – it felt sturdier and longer lasting than some of the actual headphones that I’ve owned in the past! The glossy, white cardboard opened invitingly after a small amount of pressure released the magnetic clasps.


Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones
The box


I felt like a kid at Christmas as I opened it up to reveal a solid black carry-case. The carry case feels as if it is built to last. It is the perfect accessory to include with a set of headphones like these, as it offers great protection for the valuable equipment inside and an easy way of keeping the three important components together.


Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones protective case
The protective case


The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Headphones – First Look

I unzipped the carry case and opened it to find a brilliant white pair of headphones. A brief wave of jealousy washed over me as I realised that my 18-month old child was now the proud owner of a far better pair of headphones than I had ever had the luxury of owning. However, that jealousy soon turned to joy. If these are a key piece in the puzzle of a successful ten hour flight, then let her have it… (okay, I may have gone straight back to the Puro Sound Labs website and eyed off an adult version for myself).


Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones in case


My immediate impression when I pulled the headphones out of their carry case was that they are built to last. For a journey like this, I wasn’t prepared to gamble on a cheap plastic pair that ran the risk of falling apart half way through. I can just imagine how enraged the little one could become, should she be denied The Grand Old Duke of York for the 31st time at 30,000 feet. The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones are light-weight, but still feel very sturdy – perfect for long periods of time on a toddler’s head.

The padding around the ear is soft and comfortable, and the headband is also padded. Again, these elements should make for longer periods of comfortable wear.

The left earpiece houses all of the controls – on/off, Bluetooth and volume control. It also has a micro USB port for charging, and an auxiliary input for wired connections.


Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones connections



The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones charge via a standard USB to Micro USB cable. It is the same type of cable that is used by my phone, so that is quite useful. It took about 1 1/2 hours to fully charge the first time, when plugged into a USB port on my PC. An indicator light turns from red to blue, to let the user know that the headphones are charged and ready to go.


Connecting to a Device

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones are wireless. They use Bluetooth to pair with compatible devices and my experience was that it worked well. I paired the headphones with a Nokia 1020 Windows phone, a Moto G3 Android phone, an iPhone 7, a Windows 10 PC and a Windows 10 tablet. Each time the headphones were discovered by the device and paired on the first attempt. The connection was never lost during the time that I tested the headphones, even when I walked to the next room.



While Bluetooth connectivity is handy to have, it may not always be practical. Many home stereo systems, for example, don’t use a Bluetooth connection. Also, when flying there can be certain limitations to the types and times when a broadcasting device can be used. Some parents may also worry about using a transmitting device close to their child’s head for extended periods.


Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones bluetooth
Buttons for Bluetooth connection and on/off


Puro Sound Labs have thought of all this and they have included the ability to use the headphones with a wired connection. Simply plug in the auxiliary cable, turn the switch to “off” and you have a premium pair of corded headphones! It’s simple things like that, that make the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones such an attractive option for parents of toddlers.

A final advantage of the auxiliary cable is that even if I forget to charge the headphones, they are always usable. We will never be without music (unless I forget to charge the devices…).


Sound Quality

Forget all the other features, there’s not much point in spending money on a set of headphones if they don’t sound any good. I tried these out before I put them anywhere near my daughter’s ears (yes, they do just fit my head) and I liked what I heard.

Even on the standard Spotify stream, the songs came across clearly. I’m no audiophile, so don’t expect me to wax lyrical about the finer points of music listening, but I was suitably impressed. Keep in mind that these are volume-limited headphones, so don’t expect to be blown away by big sound. This, of course, is an excellent feature for tiny, sensitive ears.


Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones


I listened through a few of my favourite songs with these headphones. Alicia Keys‘ voice in Fallin‘ was as stunning as ever, and each instrument was clear. Bob Dylan’s Duquesne Whistle was a pleasure to listen to. Every intricate quirk of Bob’s (love it or hate it) voice came through in a way that reminded me of the last time I saw him in concert. My amateur ears were pretty impressed with what they heard, and it left my finger hovering ever closer to the ‘buy’ button on an adult pair of Puro Sound Labs headphones!



Protecting children’s hearing is obviously something the people over at Puro Sound Labs take very seriously. As I mentioned above, these headphones are volume limited. This is an extremely important feature for tiny, sensitive ears and frankly, I wouldn’t buy a set of headphones for my little one that didn’t offer such protection. Hearing is a precious gift and it can be too easy to lose.

The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones manual states that “85 dBA of sound can be listened to for up to 20 hours at a time without the risk of hearing loss”. This certainly helps to provide me with some peace-of-mind if Hannah decides that she wants to listen to a lot of music on our flight.

When I first started looking for a pair of headphones for this trip, I read some parents complaining about 85dBA limited headphones as being too soft to hear. At the time I found it strange that parents would opt for potential hearing damage over a safety feature, but I guess the point is valid. What is the purpose of headphones if the user can’t hear the sound? Once again, the technicians at Puro Sound Labs have thought of this, and they designed the headphones to block out 82% of background noise (according to their website). What is even more impressive is that they have achieved that passively, without the need for battery-draining, active noise cancelling.

That means that 85dBA is just fine for listening to music, even in a potentially noisy environment like a plane or transit lounge.


Stay Tuned…

That’s it for now. The Puro Sound Labs BT2200’s will be given a proper work-out on our travels to Japan. I’ll let you know how they perform out in the real world…


Disclosure – Puro Sound Labs provided Blog Of Dad with these headphones free of charge, for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.

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