MFM Awards 2022 Winners – Editor's Choice Awards
The MadeForMums editorial team choose the innovative, unusual and exciting entries that scored an Editor's Choice Award for 2022
With over 100 categories in this year's MadeForMums Awards, our home testers, experts, influencers and editorial judges have spent hundreds of hours testing and examining thousands of individual products to come up with our final winners list. During this time, our editors all discovered interesting, innovative and exciting products that found a special place in their heart.
Our Editor's Choice Awards for 2022 represent a wide range of different product types. Some were in competitive categories with judging criteria that didn't quite match the features they had to offer. Others had an offering so unique we didn't quite know where to put them. Some are products our editors just couldn't stop thinking about, be that due to incredible home tester feedback or a personal connection.
We pride ourselves on the fact our awards are led by feedback from real parents testing products in their own homes, which is why we've still included home tester feedback along with all our Editor's Choices. But it's worth remembering we are parents too. Between us we have kids ranging from age 1 to age 21+. We are twin mums, boy mums, single mums, pandemic mums, one-and-done mums... and just as our testers put products through their paces at home, so do we. Keep reading for the products that stood out for our editorial team this year.
Micralite FastFold Pushchair, £245
Why it's an Editor's Choice: This weird but wonderful pushchair does the near-impossible by being able to tackle difficult terrains while remaining lightweight (7.5kg) and easy to store. The unusual, utilitarian look might not be what you're used to, but it's all done with a purpose. The clever hammock seat doesn't touch any of the frame so it offers a smooth ride for babies over 6 months even on bumpy ground. The giant hood keeps off rain and sun and has a huge viewing window. And it folds in a flash to a tall, narrow shape not that much bigger than an umbrella-fold pushchair.
"My 2 year old loves to ride in it as much as I love to push it: it's so smooth on bumps and uneven surfaces thanks to the air-filled back tyres," explained Consumer & Commerce Editor and mum-of-1 Gemma. As an all-terrain buggy that works for city life too, it's great for families who live in the suburbs but love to go on adventures, and it's also very competitively priced.
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In the words of parent tester Rhiannon, who tested this with their 1 year old: "I really love this pram as does my daughter. Its comfortable, sturdy, well made and great quality. It's easy to push, lightweight and compact. I even love the quirky design which I was very hesitant about at first."
Lola & Lykke Breastfeeding Starter Kit, £217
Why it's an Editor's Choice: The Lola & Lykke Smart Electric Breast Pump has been a huge hit with our judges and home testers over the last couple of years, scoring 2 gold award wins in the electric breast pump category, so it's no surprises that this kit – which puts the pump front and centre – caught our attention this year. "A well-thought out set that contains the basics and more to get you going on your breastfeeding journey. It feels well-made, durable and is all very stylish," said Editorial Judge and MFM contributing writer Gabrielle.
Although not everyone will want to invest in this luxury "all-in" package, if you've established breastfeeding and know that you're going to want to pump frequently in future, the kit contains all the basics you'll need, ensuring you don't have to stock up separately on things like storage bags, breast shields and bottles and teats. It even comes with spare parts for the pump and a bag to keep it all in.
In the words of parent tester Demi, who tested this with their 1 month old: "They really have thought of everything a breastfeeding mum would need, including additions that you would normally purchase separately, such as the cooler bag for the breast pump. The quality is amazing, from the packaging it comes in to the individual products inside the box."
Buy from: Lola & Lykke
Bumbo Booster Seat, £48.50
Why it's an Editor's Choice: No fewer than 3 MadeForMums team members are using this booster with their children right now! A perennial favourite with parents of curious pre-schoolers who're fast outgrowing a standard highchair, "the Bumbo Booster Seat's appeal is in its simplicity," says Reviews & Consumer Editor and mum-of-3 Christy. Made from a supportive but soft foam, it moulds very gently to the user without squashing or losing its shape over time, and works with a whole host of different dining chairs thanks to its simple strap system.
It's an unusual product in its category in that it's made for use from 18 months onwards: a lot of boosters now have built-in back supports and 5-point harnesses so they can be used from 6 months and replace a high chair, this is very much a next stage purchase with just a waist strap for ease. Light enough to be chucked in the car boot or the bottom of a pushchair for travel, it's a great choice for older toddlers who want a bit more freedom and to feel all grown up.
In the words of parent tester Bethany, who tested this with their 2 year old: "My little man was grinning all over in this seat, he could reach the table with ease and was sat at a great angle to see and feel comfy. The squashy feel to the seat assured me he wouldn’t be uncomfortable during meal times."
Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier, £79.90
Why it's an Editor's Choice: If you've got a velcro baby who will scream to be carried at the most inopportune moments, the ease and convenience of this portable carrier will be a total game-changer. It folds down to virtually nothing, and comes in a whole host of fun prints and colours.
Babywearing fans on our team, such as MFM Digital Journalist and mum-of 2 Janet, loved the fact it still has the key features of other Tula carriers – including a sturdy waist/hip belt for support and adjustable, padded straps for comfort – but they've been carefully streamlined to fold down into a tiny bumbag. The best bit? You can still use the zip pocket on the front of the bag even when the carrier is folded down, so when you're not using it becomes a useful accessory. So often travel versions of products sacrifice quality and comfort, but in this case you're still getting everything you'd expect from a brand that consistently performs well in our baby carrier categories.
In the words of parent tester Emma, who tested this with their 6 month old: "This product is extremely comfortable for both adult and baby. Your baby is very well supported once in the carrier but is not restricted when wriggling around. The carrier is extremely comfortable for adults to wear, it doesn't feel like you have extra weight or hurt your back due to how the straps sit nicely around the sides and at the back."
Why it's an Editor's Choice: Very rarely has a product entered the awards that's elicited so many laughs from our team. But while the Dingle Dangle may seem like a novelty gift at first glance, we were actually surprised to find out how many ways this cute little dangling toy can be used. It's main function is as a distraction device: it comes with a headband that allows you to dangle it above your baby during nappy changes to keep them occupied while you're on clean-up duty.
But it also converts to become a rattle, a pram toy, or a portable mobile, and it's safe to say it's made with love. Developed by two dads who wanted to find new ways to bond with their babies, it's smartly designed with lots of sensory touches, soft fabrics and fun colours. "Dads can find the first few months difficult in terms of bonding, so anything that helps them to connect to their baby is a great idea," says MFM Editorial Director and mum-of-3 Susie.
In the words of parent tester Aysha, who tested this with their 8 month old: "The dingle dangle is very clever idea. If I had known about it sooner I would have definitely invested in it. My son is very active and when I’m doing his nappy he moves around a lot so it helped to keep him distracted. He also drops his toys out of the pram often so having this attached to the pram helps as he can play with it but can’t drop it."
Buy from: Dingle Dangle
Why it's an Editor's Choice: Both sleep expert Chris McFadden, founder of The Daddy Sleep Consultant, and MFM Consumer and Commerce Editor Gemma were won over by this mattress, which has multiple layers of foam that can be reordered to help the mattress grow with your child over the first 7 years of their life. "It has both the firm foam for babies and the slightly softer foam for toddlers," explained Chris, who said "you would be making a good decision" if you bought this mattress for your child.
Gemma, who already uses the original version of this mattress with her own son, was impressed by the new additions to the Pro version, including improved zip protectors that keep them away from tiny hands. Price-wise, it's an investment, but if there's one thing worth splashing out on, surely it's a good night's sleep?
In the words of parent tester Ruth, who tested this with their 2 year old: "I didn’t think I would notice the difference in the firmness but you really do! We have noticed how our daughter moves less at night suggesting she is well supported and comfortable. If you plan to have your child in a bed that fits this size mattress until they are 7 then it really is very good value."
Koo-di Happy Home Foldaway Playpen, £120
Why it's an Editor's Choice: Have you ever turned up to a friend or family member's house with your baby or toddler, only to discover it's the most non-child-friendly place you've ever seen, with a hazard around every corner and seemingly no safe place to put your little adventurer? Consumer & Reviews Editor Christy is very familiar with this as a mum of 3, which is why she rates this portable playpen which folds down to the size of a travel cot. "It would be easy to put in the car boot when driving to see family, meaning there would always be a safe place for a toddler to play."
Interestingly, while our editors loved it for its portability, our home testers actually found it was just as useful at home, where it could be quickly moved from room to room – or even out into the garden – or folded up for storage. The zip-down side gives it extra functionality (especially for toddlers who scream when fully 'contained') and putting it up and down is a doddle. If you don't have room for a fixed playpen, this makes a great flexible option.
In the words of parent tester Karen, who tested this with their 8 month old: "The Happy Home Playpen is a good-sized, safe play space for little ones. It's light and compact so can be carried with relative ease (easier than a travel cot) and having a waterproof base is a gain as it can be used outside. It is quick and easy to put up - although much quicker and easier with 2 of us – and is easy to put down too."
Why it's an Editor's Choice: "This book is so special, helping others to understand the challenges of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) while validating the experiences of neurodiverse children going to school," explained Editorial Judge and MFM contributing writer Magda, who's a mum of 2. The story behind this book really spoke to our team: the author herself is autistic and has two autistic daughters, and it was written to raise awareness of autism in girls specifically.
The story focusses on the difficult feelings and challenges that come with the first day of school, particularly for children on the autism spectrum, and while it would be a lovely book to read to a child with ASD, we also made sure it was tested by families with neurotypical children too, to open up the conversation and encourage a broader view of the world. All testers and judges agreed it was an interesting, insightful and important read.
In the words of parent tester Laura, who tested this with their 7 year old: "The book was lovely quality and it really helps raise awareness for autism. The colours and illustrations are also great for capturing their imaginations. It was a great starting point to explain the meaning of the book, autism and different issues especially with my eldest child."
Dearbump Subscription, £30
Why it's an Editor's Choice: We were blown away by the positive feedback from testers about this pregnancy subscription box. Taking the guesswork out of knowing what pampering treats are suitable at each stage of pregnancy, Dearbump delivers monthly curated boxes throughout pregnancy and beyond (with the addition of the DearMama boxes for the early stages of motherhood). Items include snacks, skincare treats and inspirational books, and boxes can be bought individually as well as through the subscription.
"Pregnancy can be exhausting, mentally and physically, so I love the idea of a monthly reminder to sit back and indulge in a bit of self-care," said MFM Consumer & Commerce Editor Gemma. "Reading the feedback from our home testers was really heartwarming and reminded me how much just a little treat or pick-me-up can help when battling nausea, insomnia, heartburn and so on!"
In the words of parent tester Jessica, who is pregnant: "This box is perfect for anyone who is pregnant. The box is really special and it is just wonderful to receive, it makes you really think about looking after yourself and taking that time. Each product is perfect and it’s lovely to know that you can use everything and that it is safe, something I so worry about with all of the products on the market. The box has such lovely inspiring messages, which is just what you need some days."
Buy from: Dearbump
Babymoov Nutribaby One 4-in-1 Prep Machine, £119.99
Why it's an Editor's Choice: We love a product that does double duty, and although this food prep machine was entered as a weaning product, we thought it deserved an extra special nod for having useful applications right from birth. The steamer basket can double up as a steriliser and bottle warmer, a great little addition to an already useful product. "As a parent looking to save money and counter space, this is an interesting product as it reduces the need for other large electrical items such as a separate steriliser," noted MFM Editorial Director Susie.
Once a child is ready to wean, the 4-in-1 steamer and blender really comes into its own: it can even defrost and reheat previously-made purees, and there's also a juice catcher built into the bottom so no nutrients go to waste. "As we all look for ways to reduce waste, expense, and energy usage, this is a real find," added Susie.
In the words of parent tester Eloise, who tested this with their 8 month old: "The Nutribaby One has been a lifesaver for me and I cannot recommend it enough. As a busy mum, it does everything I need it to whilst also looking stylish and not an eyesore like other baby products. It's given me the confidence to be more adventurous with my purées."
See all our MFM Award winners:
- Prams, pushchairs, lightweights and double buggies – 2022 winners
- Baby carriers, slings and wraps – 2022 winners
- Sleeping and nursery products – 2022 winners
- Family health, bathtime and skincare products – 2022 winners
- Breastfeeding and bottlefeeding products – 2022 winners
- Nappies, changing and potty training products – 2022 winners
- Baby & toddler weaning and feeding products – 2022 winners
- Products for your pregnancy – 2022 winners
- Lifestyle, travel, fashion, books, toys and gifts – 2022 winners
- MadeForMums Special Awards – 2022 winners
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