Safe-n-Sound Hi-Liner SG

Posted by Diana on Tuesday Dec 8, 2015 Under Baby Travel

A trip to the North Coast provided the perfect opportunity to ‘road test’ the new Britax Safe-n-Sound Hi-Liner SG.

What I found fantastic about the Hi-Liner SG is the adjustable headrest, which allows easy height adjustment for this Booster Seat as our daughter grows (and she seems to be growing taller everyday!) So in a way, the booster can grow taller – as our daughter grows taller too.

I asked our pre-schooler to sit in the booster seat at home before fitting the seat in our car. I put the headrest in the lowest position and found her shoulders were only slightly higher than the lower height marker when she sat straight in the seat. This is a great starting point and I can easily adjust the headrest up with one hand as she grows.

I found Safe-n-Sound Hi-Liner SG, easy to fit in our vehicle for our road trip. I secured the booster tether strap to the car’s anchor point for stability. I found the Slideguard Clip was great to guide and safely position her lap-belt in place. Our pre-schooler remarked how comfortable her new seat was to sit in and how she liked the arm rests. It was time to start our road trip.

Other features of the Hi-Liner SG I must mention are the deep side wings, these are EPS foam lined, providing additional protection. The Hi-Liner SG is compatible with the Britax Safe-n-Sound Protecta Plus harness to enhance the safety features of the car seat with additional upper torso support and safety. Both the Hi-Liner SG and Protecta Plus harness have innovative designs.

The selection of colours are cool too – with colours like: Ink Blue, Red, Pink, Grey and (our favourite) Purple Haze. The booster seat cover is removable and Machine Washable.

The dimensions of the Hi-Liner SG Booster are: 455mm (width), 370mm (depth), 695mm (minimum height) and 840mm (maximum height). The adjustable nature of this booster means we will no doubt use this booster with our daughter until she is 8 years old. It has performed well on its first journey and I’m confident it will go the distance on our future journeys. To find out more on the Hi-Liner SG Booster and the full range of Britax car seats visit the Britax website.

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Hawaii Top 5 with Kids

Posted by Diana on Friday May 1, 2015 Under Baby Travel

We’ve just returned from a relaxing family holiday on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii. The Hawaiian word for children is keiki and the Hawaiian word for love is aloha, there is loads to love about taking children to Hawaii, here are my top 5.

Statue of surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku

1. Waikiki Beach

Walking with the family along the golden sands of Waikiki Beach, with the crystal blue water glistening in the sun, and the Diamond Head Volcano in the distance, I really did feel like we were part of a scene from a Hawaiian postcard or living the lyrics of a Beach Boys song!

You can easily spend one day or one week enjoying Waikiki Beach, walking, swimming, snorkelling or surfing. In fact, Duke Kahanamoku who is credited with spreading the sport of surfing, is remembered with a bronze statue at Kuhio Beach Park on the foreshore of Waikiki Beach. A visit to the statue is worthwhile and locals adorn the statue with leis daily. At night there is a free nightly torch lighting ceremony and hula show. We stayed a few days at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort which was very family-friendly and the location was a fantastic base to explore Waikiki with the kids.

Waikiki Aquarium2. Waikiki Aquarium

The Aquarium is a brisk walk from the Duke statue through picturesque Kapi’olani Park. The Aquarium is run by the university, it is both fun and educational with the general admission a reasonable $12 and children $5.

Inside the aquarium there is everything from sharks to fish, corals to seahorses. My keiki were fascinated by the moon jellies illuminated with UV lights, which looked like something from a science fiction movie. I thought the male seahorses were fascinating – they get pregnant and give birth to hundreds of babies – really! Outside the aquarium there was more to see, including the Hawaiian Monk Seals and Clam Farm. It really was a wonderful way to spend the day.

Hanauma Bay3. Hanauma Bay

A beautiful bay nestled in a volcanic rim, this is the perfect location for a family day of snorkelling and enjoying the beach. The waters are so crystal clear, you can see the coral reef that extends the bay. The reef is home to a myriad of fish and sea turtles. An education centre informs visitors on the delicate ecology of the bay and the environmental precautions which should be taken before snorkelling. Hanauma Bay is a pleasant 30 minute drive from Waikiki. It is a highlight on the itinerary of many of the tours from Waikiki and can be accessed by public bus 22 which stops at the Duke statue.

4. Aulani, Disney Resort & Spa

A little further a field on the west side of O’ahu is Aulani, Disney Resort & Spa. The resort is a solid drive from Waikiki and this area known as Ko Olina, has beautiful coves perfect for child-friendly swimming.

We stayed at Aulani for 5 nights and it was a wonderful experience for the children (and adults) in our family. Each morning we would see Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse posing with guests and visitors.

Hanging out with Mickey MouseThere was an amazing water park central to the resort, with a lazy river which the whole family could float around on a single or double inner tube with minimal effort. There was even an iPad adventure where the kids could activate waterfalls and move rocks at the resort.

The kids club was awesome and there were activities around the clock. In between classes on animation, there were fish feeding programs and astronomy nights. Our favourite was watching Disney movies on the big screen after dark.

The character breakfast was a real treat too – book in early if you fancy a pancake with Mickey as the character breakfasts are booked out quickly.

5. Paradise Cove Luau

The Paradise Cove Luau was fantastic family fun and a celebration of Hawaiian culture. Only a short stroll from Aulani Resort, we experienced traditional arts & crafts, games, foods and saw the best hula show in O’ahu!

Paradise Cove Flower ShowerBefore the show, the children were happily taught how to weave palms into headbands and thread orchids to make leis. Whilst we learnt some traditional Hawaiian games, like spear throwing, rolling stone discs and wooden darts.

We experienced a ‘Shower of Flowers’ which involves a tree-climber ascending a tall palm tree and releasing flowers from a sarong onto the crowd below – pretty amazing.

Just before sunset, we went for a ride on a traditional canoe before watching a demonstration of traditional fishing. There was even a surprise visitor – a local Monk Seal, who came ashore to have a rest. Our children were totally captivated by the seal (although no one else seemed to notice). The performance was about to start and it was spectacular, showcasing dances from across the Pacific and most notably the hula. The food was scrumptious and it was the best family night out we had in Hawaii.

There are so many fabulous things to do on a family holiday in Hawaii. So spread the aloha and treat your keiki to all Hawaii has to offer!

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Top 5 Cruising with Kids

Posted by Diana on Monday Jan 26, 2015 Under Baby Travel

Cruising KidsI’ve returned from my first cruise with kids – 4 nights on the P&O Pacific Dawn travelling from Brisbane to the Whitsundays and I’ve been asked so many questions from friends, so I decided to put together my top 5 tips for cruising with kids.

1. Duration of the Cruise matters

The cruise itinerary is really important to determine how your family will enjoy the cruising experience. I would say a good cruise duration is up to 1 day per year age of your child. My eldest is 4 years old and I think a 4 day cruise was enough for our little family. For instance, I wouldn’t attempt a 14 day cruise with a child any younger than 14 years old. So save the longer cruises for when your children are older. It’s good to mix up the days at port with the sea days. Having a destination mid cruise and getting off the boat at the Whitsundays was excellent for our children to explore.

2. Children need to be at least 12 months old to cruise

Our little girl was nearly 2 when we cruised so she was fine. Like many ships, P&O are unable to accommodate infants less than 12 months old. Furthermore, infants under 3 years old must remain with their parents at all times. So whilst Big Sister was building sky scrappers from the plethora of lego at the “Turtle Cove” Kids Club, little sister could only watch and get involved if there was a parent supervising. Big Sister loved the Kids Club so much and the social interaction with her fellow mini-cruisers. The Turtle Cove Kids Club is for children aged 3-6 year olds and the neighbouring Shark Shack Kids Club is for 7-10 year olds. HQ is for 11-14 years olds and HQ+is for 15-17 year olds. There was a range of activities at the Kids Club, from Ice-Cream making during the day, to Pyjama Parties and Discos in the evening. I think we might wait until our youngest turns 3 before our next cruise, so she too can enjoy all the fun.

Cruising on P&O Pacific Dawn3. Book Early

It is a little known fact that there are “limits” on the number of children that can be carried within different age groups on a cruise. For P&O Cruises, the age groups are 1-2 years, 3-6 years, 7-10 years and 11-17 years. These age groups correlate with kids clubs and resources available. We booked early so there was sufficient space for our nearly 2 year old and 4 year old. However, had the quota been filled for 1-2 year olds we may have needed to choose another cruise!

4. Bring Nappies and don’t bring Swimmer Nappies

If your little one is still in nappies, make sure you bring sufficient supplies of nappies and nappy wipes for the duration of the cruise, as these items are not available onboard. Children in nappies (including swim nappies) and children who are not toilet trained are not permitted in the swimming pools and spas. So whilst our 4 year old was splashing around, our nearly 2 year old was looking on from her deck chair. She still had an amazing time spotting dolphins from the deck! It is worth knowing that children younger than 3 can be provided with a portacot in the cabin and there are sufficient highchairs/boosters in all the restaurants.

Cruising Whitsundays5. Have a Fun Family Holiday

It really was an enjoyable family holiday. I think cruising appeals to young families because you only unpack once, stay onboard a comfortable ship and have a shared adventure as a family. We dined out at the various restaurants, saw Cirque du Soleil shows together, learnt how to juggle from the acrobats, went to family discos, saw dolphins and enjoyed our time at the Whitsundays. It was a wonderful break, as all the meals were made for you (and the washing up done by someone else). Our cabin was serviced daily and the towel animals left by our steward always amazed our kids!

I believe if you choose the right cruise for your children’s ages and interests, you’ll have a fabulous adventure together. Visit the P&O Cruises website to find out more about the cruises on offer and cruising with kids.

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Safe-n-Sound Tourer Booster

Posted by Diana on Monday Sep 22, 2014 Under Baby Travel

Safe-n-Sound TourerOutside the Pre-School gates, there is a general feeling of excitement amongst parents, with the arrival of the Safe-n-Sound Tourer Booster seat. The Tourer is feature-packed, claiming the title of the ‘tallest untethered booster in Australia’ – making it ideal for my friends driving 4WDs and their fast growing 4 year old off-spring.

The Tourer age range is from 4 years old to approx 6-8 years old (depending on your child’s height). The growth height markers on the seat provide a clear indication on whether your child is in the correct height range for using the Safe-n-Sound Tourer Booster.

The real point of difference for me is the lightweight of the Tourer, weighing less than 2kg. Making it easy to remove from the car when not in use and simple to install in another vehicle when needed. With the complex nature of Pre-School drop offs and pickups, it means it is ideal for use by Parents, Grandparents and Carers.

The Safe-n-Sound Tourer Booster is made and designed in Australia with many safety features. The seat base is designed to be impact absorbing and the Slideguard Clip is designed to prevent the lap sash seat belt from rising up in everyday use and to reduce the risk of abdominal injury in the event of a crash. The back of the seat has rear impact bars designed for added structural support and protection to the neck. The contoured seat has a deep headrest for added safety and comfort.

The Tourer is suitable for use in cars with forward facing seats with a lap-sash seatbelt, or with a seatbelt and child harness. I found the switchable built-in sash guide easy to use and correctly positioned the seat belt across my child’s chest and shoulders. It’s good to know the Tourer is compatible with the Safe-n-Sound Protecta Plus Harness and the Babylove EzyGo Harness too.

The dimensions of the Tourer Booster are Height 750mm, Depth 330mm and Width 455mm, making it space efficient. The Safe-n-Sound Tourer is available in two colours – Purple Haze and Buff Black. My Pre-Schooler adores travelling in her Purple Haze Tourer Booster, so in addition to it’s safety features, it’s fashionable and comfortable too. To find out more about the Tourer Booster and the full range of Safe-n-Sound car seats visit the Britax website.

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Simply Irresistible Iririki

Posted by Diana on Saturday May 24, 2014 Under Baby Travel

Island Fares IririkiAs the winter chill sets in, I cast my mind back to Vanuatu and instantly feel warmer. Only a 2.5 hour flight from Brisbane (or 3.5 hours from Sydney) it’s close enough for our Baby and Pre-Schooler to still be happy, when we arrive at the airport to strumming guitars greeting us to ‘the happiest place on earth’.

We are staying at gorgeous Iririki Island Resort nestled in Port Vila Harbour. It’s a 2 minute boat ride from Port Vila and feels a world away. The range of accommodation at Iririki Resort is brilliant, from deluxe rooms to family fares. Our mornings start with a buffet breakfast at Michener’s Restaurant then morning swims and sandcastle building at Catseye Beach. Lunch is usually very casual at the Sunset Cafe, where the children make a splash at the lagoon pool and then after an afternoon rest we get ready for dinner.

Vanuatu Traditional DancersEvery evening at Iririki Resort, there is a theme night at the restaurant, which is good fun for the whole family. My favourite evening was definitely the Melanesian Feast night, with traditional dancers who were so convincing in spearing Mummy, that Baby let out a squeal that signalled she might never see me again! Luckily, it was all a show and Mummy returned to the bungalow.

The next day we did some exploring with Evergreen Tours and visited the Mele Cascades. We walked through a lush rainforest to discover magnificent cascading waterfalls over towering limestone. We were encouraged to swim in the rock pools and shower under the waterfalls. It was so exotic – that at any moment, I expected those dancers with spears to appear from behind the rainforest foliage (but they didn’t show).

Tanna Coffee FactorySo we gathered our things and headed off for the second part of our tour, to the Tanna Coffee Factory down the road. There was the funkiest little cafe in the coffee factory which roasted coffee beans grown on Tanna Island. With maps of Vanuatu showing the location of Tanna Island where the beans are grown, in relation to Port Vila where the beans are roasted, it was an interesting lesson in agriculture and geography for our worldly Preschooler and Baby, who sipped the froth from their Babycinos as they avidly listened to our Guide explain the process.

After a couple of days relaxing at simply irresistible Iririki we decided to go on another adventure. This time we visited the Blue Lagoon and Turtle Sanctuary. The Blue Lagoon was spectacular and Dad did his best Tarzan impression, swinging from a rope into the blue lagoon below, to shrills of laughter from the girls. At the Turtle Sanctuary we saw baby turtles and discovered that adult turtles have an appetite for paw paw!

Even after our adventure had come to an end and we were holding our boarding passes at the airport, the sound of a distant guitar strumming, made me smile and feel blessed, that we had enjoyed a week together as a family at the happiest place on earth.

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Compaq AHR – Neat Seat!

Posted by Diana on Wednesday Feb 5, 2014 Under Baby Travel

CompaqMy Baby is now big enough to be facing forward in her car seat. To accommodate this new “forward facing” era, I was looking for a car seat with superior safety features, slim design, unbeatable comfort and easy installation. I found these features and more in the Safe-n-Sound Compaq AHR.

After unpacking the Compaq from it’s box, I put the car seat in the forward facing position in my car. I could easily thread the seatbelt through the back of the seat with lots of room for my hands to manouvre and then I secured it to the anchor point. The Compaq AHR was really straightforward for me to install.

I was impressed that I could adjust the harness height from the ‘front’ and ‘back’ of the seat. Being able to adjust from the ‘front’ saves lots of mucking around, threading and unthreading the harness. The harness remains installed the whole time – saving time and improving safety. If you prefer to have your car seat fitted by an authorised restraint fitter, these can be easily found in each state, in NSW check the RMS website.

The AHR stands for ‘Active Head Restraint’ and the Compaq has been designed with deep side wings to shield and contain your child’s head in a side impact. These side wings are EPS foam lined, providing additional protection in a side impact crash.

The slim design is perfect for bigger families and the 15mm less depth, makes this compact child restraint ideal for larger Australian families to accommodate 3 seats across the back seat (plus not have a squashed adult in the front)! The Compaq AHR would be ideal for smaller vehicles too.

Compaq_AsleepThis reversible car seat may be used from birth to 4 years old. The rearward facing position is made even more comfortable with a gorgeous baby insert and shoulder pads to provide support for a younger baby. My Big Baby was so comfortable in the Compaq AHR that she fell asleep mid-journey! Oh, it is exhausting being one!

There are even 3 recline positions in forward facing mode to make life even more comfortable for your little one. The fabric is fabulously soft and the Compaq AHR is available in four colours – black, grey, cool berry and blue. I think the side pocket for extra storage is great and I’m pleased the cover is fully machine washable.

The Compaq AHR is well designed with safety, ease of use, comfort and versatility all achieved in a neat compact car seat. To find out more about the Compaq AHR and the full range of Safe-n-Sound car seats visit the Britax website.


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Comfi Caprice – safety meets comfy

Posted by Diana on Monday Jan 20, 2014 Under Baby Travel

ComfiCapriceSafety is always at the forefront of your mind when selecting a car seat for your little one. An independent source of information which I have found useful when researching car seat safety is CREP (Child Restraint Evaluation Program). This organisation tests car seats in a crash lab with crash test dummies – really!

On the CREP website, simply choose from the following age groups: ‘Babies up to approx 6 or 12 months’, ‘Children approximately 6 months to 4 years’ and ‘Older children 4 to 10 years’. Some of the most well know car seats are listed in front of you and you can tick boxes to compare the car seat ratings!

The InfaSecure Comfi-Cruiser is one of the safest car seats for children aged between 6 months and 8 years old. Building on this commitment to safety, InfaSecure have recently released the Comfi Caprice for children aged between 6 months and 4 years old in the in-built harness, and through to 8 years old as a booster seat. Innovations have been made on safety, comfort and ergonomics when creating the Comfi Caprice – the newest addition to the Infasecure family!

The safety features of the Comfi Caprice include the same deep energy absorbing side wings and blow moulded backrest which offer protection for side impact. The unique shape of the seat base and the sloped surface results in a safer response of the seat in frontal impact situations.

When the Comfi Caprice is in booster mode, the arm rests work in tandem with the new base to keep the lap belt down across the lap of your little one. A Safe Grip Belt Clamp ensures the belt does not ride up into the soft abdomen region. In addition, the belt path is under-the-seat rather than through-the-back-rest for enhanced safety in a frontal impact situation. All round there has been great attention to safety in the design of the Comfi Caprice.

Did I mention it is comfy? The new ergonomic shape of the Comfi Caprice, has a high backrest and even has a recline position, making it super comfy for my little one. The redesigned inserts and cover are made from a soft fabric which is available in six stylish colours. Accessories for the Comfi Caprice include a full length seat protector and a removable cup holder. To find out more about the Comfi Caprice and the full suite of car seats visit the InfaSecure website

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Summer with the BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light

Posted by Peter on Thursday Nov 7, 2013 Under Baby Travel, Uncategorized

Babies tend to be fussy creatures, especially when it comes to sleep. So when you’re travelling away from home it’s vital your child has somewhere secure to rest.

But with all the gear new parents have to carry, you can’t very well pack a full-sized cot into your luggage. Instead, you’ll need a crib that’s as compact as it is cosy.

The BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light is our top pick in travel cots. At an ultra-lightweight 6 kilograms, it doesn’t sacrifice portability for comfort.

Baby_Bjorn_CotOur family had no trouble setting up the cot in seconds. In one movement, we unfolded it from the smart carry bag and lay it on the floor. Such ease of use makes it perfect for frequent short trips away or even afternoon naps at grandma’s.

The sturdy foam mattress don’t sag in the middle and has none of the hassles of inflating mattresses. It lies virtually flat on the ground, providing great support for our little girl’s back and head. And unlike some other brands, you can even tuck sheets and blankets underneath the mattress so your child feels safe and secure. The mesh is now to the floor – an improvement on the original BabyBjorn travel cot.

Baby fell asleep first go in the cot at home, which means we can plan our summer holidays safe in the knowledge our night-timeswill be restful and relaxing.

The updated black mesh walls will be especially useful in our Australian summer, allowing ample air-flow on hot days near the beach. And because the minimalist design looks so stylish and the footprint is compact, we don’t even bother packing the cot away at home. Instead, we find it makes a handy and discreet day bed in the lounge room or bedroom – wherever we like, actually, as it’s so easy to move!

When the time comes to clean the cot, we can easily remove and machine wash the fabric. To find out more about the BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light and other gorgeous products visit the BabyBjorn website.

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babybjorn_soft_bouncerNew parents can find themselves juggling any number of odd jobs while caring for a small child. But without a spare set of hands, baby wrangling and housework can prove a tricky combination. In those moments you can’t devote to endless kisses and cuddles, a bouncer provides the perfect perch for Baby to watch the day-to-day goings-on at home.

Over the past few weeks our family has been putting a popular classic to the test. A half-century after the release of its first bouncer, BabyBjorn has added softer features and improved curves to its new Bouncer Balance Soft.

We’ve found the ergonomic design perfectly snug and comfy for our little girl. She loves rocking away in the supportive seat and, if your baby is anything like ours, she’ll enjoy having her own secure space to play and giggle while never being more than a few steps from dad or mum.

We found the padded safety harness easy to adjust, which means we can slip bub in and out of the bouncer without fiddling with awkward buckles that can restrict movement.Bouncer_Balance_Soft_black_mesh

We especially love the three height settings, which let our little catnapper play, rest and snooze in the one spot without endless trips to and from the cot.

The super-sleek design, available in black/dark grey cotton or black/grey mesh, looks great in our modern home while the lightweight fold-flat design makes it super portable and easy to store. The mesh fabric is removable and machine-washable, too – a godsend for the hygiene freaks among us.

Best of all, even at seven months our baby still has many months of use left in the bouncer. Once she learns to walk, we can reverse the fabric and turn the bouncer into a toddler chair (for children up to 13 kilograms). Visit the BabyBjorn website for more information on the BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance Soft.

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BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One – The One and Only

Posted by Alison on Tuesday Aug 27, 2013 Under Baby presents, Baby Travel, Newborn

Baby_Bjorn_One_CarrierAt 2 months old, it was time for Baby to go to watch his Dad play soccer. Dad proudly carried Baby to the oval in the BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One to introduce Baby to his soccer mates. The Baby Carrier One is the new multifunctional front and back baby carrier from BabyBjorn.

When Dad went on the field to play, I took Baby in the Baby Carrier One. Despite our large size difference, it was quick and easy for Dad and me to swap the carrier between us with a few small adjustments. To put on the Baby Carrier One, slip the straps over your head like you are putting on a jumper, then adjust the back yoke and fasten the waist belt. After loosening the shoulder straps and unbuckling the head support and safety buckle on one side, Baby can be placed in the carrier. Then simply fasten all buckles and adjust the straps.

After a few short moments of watching Dad play, Baby fell asleep. In the special newborn position, with Baby facing me, I find that he magically falls asleep. This is, of course, one of my favourite features! The Baby Carrier One has been developed with paediatricians to provide the right support for baby’s head, back and hips, so I can be reassured knowing that Baby is physically supported and comfortable. The Baby Carrier One is also the most comfortable carrier I have used with its generously padded shoulder straps and waist belt which helps to relieve pressure off my shoulders and back, so that I can carry Baby for longer periods in comfort.

While we are getting so much use out of the Baby Carrier One now, it is the one and only carrier we will need. It can be used from birth (3.5 kilograms) to 3 years (15 kilograms), which is a surprise considering how much babies grow and change in size in that time. In addition to the newborn position, the Baby Carrier One can be used to carry your 4 month + old baby inward facing (in either the normal leg or wide leg position) and outward facing, as well as carrying your 12 month + old baby on your back. The Baby Carrier One is the first BabyBjorn Carrier that allows you to carry your baby on your back. I was surprised to see that you can place your baby safely on your back on your own, by first placing your baby in the carrier on your front and then moving the baby to your back with a simple action. I can only imagine how cute Baby will look being carried on Dad’s back to his very own first game of soccer…

A very useful accessory for the Baby Carrier One is the bib, which will protect the carrier from your baby’s drips and drools, when they face outwards. It is reassuring that the carrier, which is made from certified cotton, is also machine washable in case of any spills! To find out more about the BabyBjorn Carrier One and accessories visit the BabyBjorn website.

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