From nappies to cribs, there are some products which never leave the list of absolute must-haves when it comes to parenting babies and toddlers. But must-haves are changing – because now it’s not only practicality and value we’re looking for as parents, we’re also interested in sustainability, innovation, technology, and brands we can really admire and trust.


For these Special Awards, we’ve tried and tested a variety of products – some are contemporary versions of old favourites, others are cutting-edge new concepts. We’ve also singled out some outstanding parenting brands who’ve made a real difference in a difficult year.

See the winners in:

Special Awards_Sustainable_eco-friendly product for babies_Divider

Key features we tested/judged — Value for money, sustainability/eco value, effectiveness, ease of use, quality and design

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Joint Gold — Close Pop-in Reusable Babywipes, £14.50

Soft on bottoms, easy to clean and better for the environment
Parent tester Olivia, who tested this with their 15 month old

Why it’s a winner: These soft reusable baby wipes earned our judge's approval for a green alternative to disposables. Made from bamboo and plastic-free, the brand claims you will only need 20-30 baby wipes to see your little one from birth to potty, potentially saving 15,000 disposable wipes from landfill. They also picked up marks for the lovely range of bright colours on offer, and the handy little tote bag made from recycled water bottles to keep them in. Our testers described them as “strong and made to last” as they washed well and felt robust so may be a good long-term investment.

In the words of parent tester Sophie, who tested this with their 10 month old: “I use these to wipe my baby's hands and face after meals. They are excellent, grip onto food, are soft on my baby's skin and their slight rectangular shape really helps as they are a little bigger than some other well-known brands.”

Buy from: Amazon and Close

Joint Gold — NUK for Nature Soother, £6.49

Love the soothers and the range of colours and designs
Parent tester Abby, who tested this with her 4 month old

Why it’s a winner: This dummy stood out from the crowd – made from 98% renewable resources with a biodegradable teat, bio-based plastics and 100% recyclable packaging. Testers also rated the asymmetrical teat, designed to mimic the shape of a mother’s nipple. If your little one uses a soother, then you’ll know you can get through a lot of them so having a sustainable alternative to the standard plastic products is great news. Our parent testers liked the way the soothers looked and felt they worked well with comments like “good quality” and “lovely colours”.

In the words of parent tester Megan, who tested this with their 1 year old: “They are lovely soothers that come in good packaging that is eco-friendly. I would definitely buy them as they are affordable. The design of them is lovely and the colours are on trend. Definitely worth the money.”

Buy from: Amazon and Kids Room Global

Silver — Aldi Mamia Biodegradable Baby Wipes, £0.55

Mamia Biodegradable Baby Wipes Bronze

Why it’s a winner: These disposable baby wipes come at a super-low price and a reduced environmental impact. They are made from 100% renewable and sustainable plastic-free fibres and almost all the ingredients are naturally-derived. Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, judges were impressed that you can even recycle the packaging depending on your local authority collections. Our testers felt the wipes were good quality and offered value for money, with comments including: “worth every penny” and “strong when pulled”.

In the words of parent tester Emma, who tested this with their 3 month old: “These wipes do exactly what they are meant to do! Makes life a lot easier and better as they are damp enough to use without being too watery or dry. Even just one wipe does the job. For biodegradable wipes it’s great that they aren’t really expensive.”

Buy from: Aldi

Bronze — MAM Glass Baby Bottle Starter Set, £35

Why it’s a winner: Made from temperature-resistant glass, these baby bottles are a greener alternative to the standard plastic. Our panel liked the cute floral design and felt the ergonomic shape could easily be held by little hands. Parent tester Ashleigh liked that they cooled down much quicker than plastic bottles, adding “I love that the glass bottles contain no chemicals that can affect the milk”.

In the words of parent tester Jenna, who tested this with their 3 month old: “I thought I’d feel like I’d break them but they feel really solid but not overly heavy. They feel like they would last forever! I will be using them when I’ve stopped sterilising for sure, as you can put them in the dishwasher without worrying about damage or discolouration.”

Buy from: Boots, JoJo Maman Bebe and John Lewis

Shortlisted: eco rascals tableware | Kit & Kin eco nappies

Key features we tested/judged — Value for money, sustainability/eco value, effectiveness, ease of use, quality and design

Gold — thelittleloop, £18-£36

I absolutely loved the selection and the quality of the brands on offer
MFM judge Gemma Cartwright, who tested this with their 2 year old

Why it’s a winner: This clothing rental service, aimed at children between 18 months and 8 with outfits repaired, professionally laundered and sanitised between rentals, was a real hit with our judges. The idea behind thelittleloop is that you choose what you need from high quality, ethical and sustainable brands and then return items when your child grows out of them or you fancy a change – no more cupboards full of outgrown clothes. It works on a subscription basis and the more you rent, the less it costs per item. One mum said: “It is a little bit like receiving hand-me-downs but with the choice of exactly what you want”.

In the words of parent tester Victoria, who tested this with their 4 year old: “A brilliant way to keep your child's wardrobe fresh without wasting clothes. It takes away the hassles of storing the clothes your little ones have grown out of and once they are finished with items you can swap for new ones and your clothes will go off to another home.”

Visit: Thelittleloop

Silver — Stokke Tripp Trapp, £189

Why it’s a winner: This iconic highchair made from sustainably-sourced wood grows with your child and can literally be used from birth (using a baby seat support) until they’re an adult. One of our judges even uses hers as a laptop stand! Sturdy and stylish, it’s easy to clean and our panel feel this is a very flexible piece of furniture you will get years of use from. Mum-of-2 Anita liked how compact it was, saying: “It’s a much better use of space than the average high chair because of its ingenious design.” Its long lifespan is what gives it top marks for sustainability, although you will need to pay extra for things like a highchair cushion and tray.

In the words of parent tester Kate, who tested this with their 7 month old: “It looks good but is also practical. It is easy to clean, which is a massive benefit when weaning as there is so much mess. I feel really confident that my little boy is safe in it and is being well supported.”

Buy from: Stokke, Amazon and John Lewis

Bronze — nohla Milo the Monkey Bamboo Suction Plate, £16.99

Why it’s a winner: This bamboo suction plate is super cute with three sections – ideal for keeping foods separate – and the curved edges help when it comes to scooping. The bamboo is organic and once it has outlived its usefulness, it is recyclable and biodegradable. Another big plus is it doesn’t conduct heat so will never be too hot for little hands. Our parent testers praised the strength of the suction with mum Amy saying: “I love that the plate doesn’t move when my daughter tries to pull it off!” There’s a handy pull tab though which makes removal easy when mealtimes are finished.

In the words of parent tester Kate, who tested this with their 7 month old: “It's a very well-made plate with a friendly face that my son loves looking at and playing with. He's only in the beginning stages of weaning, but I can see this little plate go a long way. It's sturdy, washes well and the suction is really good.”

Buy from: Amazon and nohla

Shortlisted: NUK Bottle Cleanser 500ml

Key features we tested/judged — Effectiveness, ease of use, quality of product and worth the money

Joint Gold — Aldi Mamia Ultra Dry Nappies, £2.79-£4.49

These nappies have never let us down...not one leak, unlike other leading brands!
Parent tester Brittany, who tested this with their 14 month old

Why it’s a winner: These nappies may be budget-friendly but you won’t feel like you are cutting any corners. Our testers feel Mamia Ultra Dry nappies deliver exactly what you want from a disposable – they’re absorbent, soft on baby’s skin and perhaps most importantly, they stay put! They also won our judges' approval with a clever strip which changes colour when wet. Our testers liked the flexibility around the legs, the stretchy waistband and the subtle animal designs. Comments included: “No bulkiness at all” and “exceptionally good value for money”.

In the words of parent tester Christy, who tested this with their 19 month old: “We've used a range of sizes from the Mamia Ultra Dry range and have always been impressed with their performance, especially for the price. Soft and secure, with bonus features like the wetness indicator, I think these are excellent value for money."

Buy from: Aldi

Joint Gold — Nimble Laundry Lover, £8

Only a small amount is needed and it’s a massive perk that it’s vegan
Parent tester Steffi-Louise, who tested this with their 19 month old

Why it’s a winner: Gentle on sensitive skin, this non-bio detergent is allergen-free and contains just 13 ingredients, mostly derived from plants. Its green credentials don’t mean it can't pack a punch in your washing machine though. One of our testers put it to the test with a white vest covered in pen, tomato sauce, chocolate and mud and found it came out of the wash looking like new. She said: “I am completely converted!” It’s more expensive than ordinary detergents but a little goes a long way and the gentle scent was a hit with our judges.

In the words of parent tester Brittany, who tested this with their 14 month old: “I’m a first time mum and my daughter has sensitive skin so I aim to find natural products to use on her skin. Knowing that Nimble Laundry Lover uses coconut-based cleaning ingredients without any harmful components is so reassuring. Plus, it's good for the environment too.”

Buy from: Amazon, Ocado and Tesco

Silver — Personalised Bottle Bands, £5.49

Why it’s a winner: These stretchy silicone bands fit round most bottles, whether it’s your baby’s bottle for nursery or a water bottle for school. Designed to make your child’s bottle easily identifiable and avoid mix-ups, you can customise them with up to 20 characters and there is a choice of three fonts. Parent tester Sophie liked the fact they were interchangeable and could be put on any bottle, describing the bands as “a great idea”.

In the words of parent tester Ruth, who tested this with their 5 year old: “Does exactly what it sets out to do. Easy, quick and clean - no more sticky labels peeling off after no time or marker pen labels washing off. Not a cheap option but the quality and look is great. Here's hoping they last well after the rigours of primary life.”

Buy from: Personalised Kids' Stuff

Joint Bronze — Brush-Baby SoftBrush, £6.50 for twin-pack

Why it’s a winner: A great starter toothbrush, the SoftBrush can be used as soon as your little one’s teeth start to appear. It is gentle on teething gums and contains 6,000 fine bristles which are coated with anti-bacterial nano-silver. The grippy handle is easy for little hands to get hold of, impressing our judges and home testers. Parent tester Sophie said: “When using the brush on my son, he barely noticed it in his mouth which made brushing a lot less of a battle than it used to be.”

In the words of parent tester Steffi-Louise, who tested this with their 19 month old: “My little boy LOVED this toothbrush. It brushed his teeth really well and he found it easy to hold himself, which is a bonus. I thought the super soft bristles on the brush were such a lovely idea for little one’s gums and something that I have never seen before.”

Buy from: Brush-Baby

Joint Bronze — Brush-Baby BabySonic Electric Toothbrush, £10.99

Why it’s a winner: The only electric toothbrush for the 0-3 market, our panel felt the BabySonic has lots of features to make teethbrushing easier, including a suction base and a little light so you can see into your child’s mouth. There is also a 2-minute timer and it pulses every 30 seconds to encourage you to switch to a different part of the mouth. Battery-operated, it comes with a replacement head and follow-on heads are available. Parent tester Kate felt it wasn’t vigorous enough for older toddlers but said: “The vibration is gentle enough not to worry about using it on a baby”.

In the words of parent tester Melissa, who tested this with their 20 month old: “It makes brushing a toddlers teeth 100 times easier. My little one got involved with brushing her teeth straight away. The light made it easier to see where I was brushing. Since we have trialled this brush, we have had zero tantrums around brushing teeth at bedtime, a god send!”

Buy from: Boots, Amazon and JoJo Maman Bebe

Shortlisted: nohla Tate the Turtle Bamboo Suction Plate | NUK Hygiene spray | NUK bottle Cleanser 500ml | Ashton & Parsons Teething Gel

Key features we tested/judged — Effectiveness, ease of use, quality of product and worth the money

Gold — Munchkin & Bear Luxe Padded Play Mat, £95-£130

A safe, practical and well-designed mat for a young family
Parent tester Anna, who tested this with their 9 month old

Why it’s a winner: This luxury playmat is great quality with a design on each side. Fully wipeable, the thick, soft foam is gentle on your knees as well as safe for your little one. Our parent testers felt that although the mat has a high price tag, it would last for years so should be viewed as a long-term investment. One said: “This is not a product that my child will grow out of, if anything it will grow with them.” The non-slip backing makes it ideal for wooden or laminate floors and it can be rolled up when you’re not using it.

In the words of parent tester Hannah, who tested this with their 9 month old: “The playmat is thick, and comfy to sit on and lay on. I suffer with fibromyalgia and really struggle to get up and down from the floor to play with my little one, however, since having the playmat I have been able to sit/lay/play comfortably as it is so well designed.”

Buy from: Munchkin & Bear

Silver — Koo-di Day Dreamer Breathable Nest, £80

Why it’s a winner: With a breathable mesh base and a 100% soft cotton cover, this nest gives young babies a safe spot to rest and play – judges felt it's a great option for encouraging tummy time. The removable cover is easy to wash and comes in a nice range of designs, and the nest is more affordable than similar products on the market. Parent tester Megan described it as a “perfect all-in-one for tummy time”.

In the words of parent tester Jo, who tested this with their 10 week old: “My daughter was more than happy to lie on both her back and front on the nest. The softly springy centre actually naturally cushioned her and meant she could lie on a hard floor without crying.”

Buy from: Boots, Baby Security and Olivers BabyCare

Bronze — Etta Loves Plant Print Sensory Muslin 2-pack, £28

Why it’s a winner: These gorgeous muslins come in two prints - fern and sycamore – both designed to aid baby’s visual development. The fern print is aimed at infants up to 4 months, while sycamore is intended for older babies. Soft and large, these muslins have so many uses, and our parent testers loved the way they were packaged with “a touching handwritten note and a poem”.

In the words of parent tester Lucy, who tested this with their 2 month old: “I love how multi-functional they are. I carry one in my change bag to be used as a toy, a blanket, a feeding cover and to keep her occupied The muslins are super soft, an amazing size, they wash extremely well and they are so beautiful.”

Buy from: Scandiborn and Etta Loves

Shortlisted: The Essential Baby Gift Box by Priya & Peanut | Nuby RapidCool

Key features we tested/judged — Game-changer value, effectiveness, ease of use, quality and design, worth the money

Gold — Elvie Pump, £269

This is a product which absolutely opens up “normal” life without limitations for breastfeeding mums
Parent tester Ausilia, who tested this with their 4 month old

Why it’s a winner: A breast pump you can use while just getting on with life, the Elvie fits discreetly inside your bra and is quiet too. Our testers felt Elvie gave them their freedom back – no more waiting until they were safely back home to express milk. One mum said: “I’d not hesitate to use the Elvie at work or out in public and my worries about returning to work soon have literally melted away.” It works quite intuitively and there’s an app to keep track of your pumping. When a bottle is full, it stops automatically which is a clever feature.

In the words of parent tester Jenny, who tested this with their 6 month old: “I love the fact it slips into my bra and silently pumps my milk ready for storing for baby while I can continue to use both hands to carry out other tasks. Due to this it never feels like a chore to pump. It was subtle and efficient.”

Buy from: Elvie, Boots and John Lewis

Joint Silver — Nuby RapidCool, £69.99

Nuby RapidCool TM

Why it’s a winner: An effective time-saver for formula-feeding parents, it cools boiling water down to the right temperature for a baby’s bottle in less than 5 minutes. A green light lets you know when the feed is ready and it is battery-operated so you can pop it your change bag and use it to make up feeds on the go too. Our judges felt it looked stylish and wouldn’t break easily even if dropped. Mum Amy said: “I feel it’s made life easier as I can just grab the RapidCool and go and feed super-fast.”

In the words of parent tester Gemma, who tested this with their 4 month old: “This made my life so much easier, especially for out and about. So easy to use and easy to carry. Brilliant for not having to pop to into cafes asking them to warm up the milk or pass you hot water.”

Buy from: Nuby, Boots and Amazon

Joint Silver — Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Day & Night, £135

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Day & Night Silver

Why it’s a winner: The Perfect Prep really is a game-changer for bottle-feeding, allowing tired parents to make up fresh feeds in just 2 minutes using water straight from the tap. Simple to use with on-screen instructions, our judges felt the machine looks stylish as well as being practical. The antibacterial filter is great if you live in a hard water area. We felt one of the best things about the machine is it allows bottle-feeding parents to feed their babies responsively rather than having to plan each bottle or make their little one wait.

In the words of parent tester Izzy, who tested this with their 4 month old: “The machine allows us to make a bottle of formula in just a couple of minutes, which is great at any time of day. The soft glow tank and low volume beeps are great features during night feeds as I can make a bottle without waking up the whole house.”

Buy from: Boots, Mamas & Papas and Amazon

Bronze — Babymore Air Motion Gliding Crib, £149

Why it’s a winner: This crib is easy to dismantle and lightweight so perfect if you want to be able to move it around your home. It also comes with a compact travel bag so you can take it with you for overnight stays. The crib’s gentle, gliding motion is great for rocking your baby to sleep, judges found. It’s an attractive piece of furniture and mum Laura said: “It looks super stylish and fits the aesthetics of a modern home.”

In the words of parent tester Miranda, who tested this with their 1 month old: “The gentle rocking motion is really enjoyed by the baby. She does drift off and enjoys us placing the crib in different places for her to look around, which is easy as it is lightweight. We plan to take it holiday as a travel crib.”

Buy from: Babymore

Shortlisted: Munchkin Bluetooth Enabled Lightweight Baby Swing | Ardo Alyssa Double Electric Breastpump

Key features we tested/judged — Game-changer value, effectiveness, ease of use, quality and design, worth the money

Gold — Tommee Tippee Dreammaker, £29.99

It’s effortless once set up and has helped my son settle to sleep
Parent tester Alice, who tested this with their 6 month old

Why it’s a winner: This baby sleep aid combines both pink noise (sounds which mimic the womb) and a soothing red light which is thought to help with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. The glow pulses in a rhythm designed to mimic your little one’s breathing and an integrated CrySensor turns the device on if your baby wakes in the night. Mum Alice found the Dreammaker had a positive impact on her son’s sleep, saying “I wouldn’t be able to part with it now which says a lot”.

In the words of parent tester Lauren, who tested this with their 5 month old: “Absolutely worth every penny, we had a different white noise machine that was OK, but this is so much better, the noises are really soothing, the lights are perfect for our little one. She goes to bed wide awake and settles herself to sleep every night.”

Buy from: Boots, Mamas & Papas and John Lewis

Joint Silver — Etta Loves Plant Print Sensory Strip, £26

Why it’s a winner: The charm of this sensory strip comes in its simplicity. It is a two-sided organic-cotton product with prints designed to appeal to babies as their vision develops. Judges loved how the fern side is designed for birth to 4 months while sycamore is intended for older babies up to their first birthday. The sensory strip stands up on its own or can be tied or clipped to another product. Parent tester Emma described it as a “beautiful bit of sensory equipment”, saying it was “functional, soft and portable”.

In the words of parent tester Julia, who tested this with their 3 month old: “I ended up loving it and my little one even more so! She was mesmerised from the first moment she saw it. I would bring it to the change table, tummy time, in the pram, on the play mat, wherever it went, her eyes would follow.”

Buy from: Scandiborn and Etta Loves

Joint Silver — MAM Easy Start Baby Bottles, £7.50-£65

Why it’s a winner: If you’re not a fan of using a steriliser, or travel often, these bottles could be for you. Described as self-sterilising, you can put these Easy Start bottles into the microwave with a bit of water and then they are safe to use – a feature judges felt was extra handy for trips away from home or visiting a café with a microwave on hand. The bottles come in lots of different colours and sizes and our judges praised their “lovely design”. They felt they are easy to take apart to clean and the base, which has ventilation holes designed to help prevent colic and air bubbles, can be removed.

In the words of parent tester Alice, who tested this with their 3 month old: “Such a clever design. You can self-sterilise them in the microwave for convenience, especially if you go away so you don’t have to worry about bringing a steriliser with you. Very effective, does what is says on the box!”

Buy from: Boots, Amazon and Argos

Bronze — Beach Powder, £9.99

Why it’s a winner: This talc-free powder gets rid of sand quickly, without feeling rough on young skin. Simple to use, it also has a pleasant smell and leaves skin feeling soft. Our testers felt this was a great product for a holiday, or regular trips to the beach if you live on the coast. Mum-of-2 Kirsty said: “The sand comes off so smoothly and that will be excellent when you’re trying to leave the beach and get the kids dry when they would usually still be covered in sand.”

In the words of parent tester Jo, who tested this with their 3 year old and 5 year old: “It does what it says on the tin [or cardboard tube] and gets the sand off. My 3 and 5 year old did it themselves which shows how simple it is. 'Ooo lovely' and 'it's so smooth on my skin' were some of the comments they made!”

Buy from: The Dressing Room and Beach Powder

Shortlisted: Ashton & Parsons Teething Gel | Brush-Baby Teething Toothpaste

Special Awards_Technology product for babies and families_Divider

Key features we tested/judged — Effectiveness, ease of use, quality and design and worth the money

Gold — Freya app, £2.99

It does one thing and does it really well
MFM judge Gemma Cartwright

Why it’s a winner: Developed by the Positive Birth Company, this app is a hypnobirthing-friendly contraction timer which aims to act as a virtual birth partner. It includes a timer to record and log your contractions and you can even share the data with your partner, midwife or doula. Judges rated the fact there are also guided relaxations, positive affirmations, a coaching audio and visuals designed to get labouring mums to focus on their breathing. Comments from women who have used the app are overwhelmingly positive with one saying: “The Freya app was a godsend as my labour was 7 days long.”

In the words of MFM judge Gemma Cartwright, who tested this during her labour: “For £3, it tracks your contractions and helps you breathe through them, which is so useful in the early stages of labour. I think investing in this when you're about to give birth is a no-brainer. Can be bought on its own or used alongside the hypnobirthing pack.”

Buy from: For iPhone and Android

Silver — Planet Buddies Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, £39.99

Why it’s a winner: For 4 to 11-year-olds, these wireless headphones take 2 hours to charge and work for up to 38 hours. The volume is limited to 85 decibels so they are safe for little ears and you can fold them up and pop them into a useful carry pouch. Testers liked the cute designs and the buttons which allow your child to skip songs and adjust the volume. Mum Natalie described them as very comfortable and said: “These are really robust and good quality. The kids would have to really try hard to damage them.” Tester Christy added: “These were so handy on the airplane, as my daughter loved the cute design and they fold up neatly in her backpack.”

In the words of parent tester Laura, who tested this with their 6 year old: “Our daughter absolutely LOVES these headphones. They make life so much easier than the wired ones she had, as she can now move around and dance as much as she likes! Being Bluetooth, we can choose the music she listens to and she doesn’t have to be holding a device.”

Buy from: Amazon and Currys

Bronze — Munchkin Bluetooth Enabled Lightweight Baby Swing, £199.99

Why it’s a winner: Forget listening to the same annoying nursery rhyme again and again, this Bluetooth-enabled baby swing can play music from your phone, although there are some pre-loaded ambient sounds and classical melodies to choose from too. With 5 speed settings, the swing is designed to mimic the side to side rocking motion a baby experiences when held by a parent. The compact minimal design in muted grey colours went down well with our testers, prompting comments like “very stylish” and “smart to look at”. Judges felt it is easy to put together and light enough at just under 9lb to move around the house.

In the words of parent tester Caralyn, who tested this with their 2 month old: “Absolutely cannot fault the quality or luxury of the seat, the covers are beautifully soft and the whole thing is excellent quality. Nice movement, smooth and quiet but would like more options on swinging speed and music volume.”

Buy from: Boots, Argos and Amazon

Shortlisted: Shnuggle Moonlight Nightlight | Tommee Tippee Dreammaker | Bluebell Smart Baby Monitor with Camera (8-in-1 and 9-in-1)

Special Awards_Innovation of the year_Divider

Key features we tested/judged — Ease of use, quality and design, value for money, innovation value and effectiveness

Gold — Splash About Happy Nappy DUO, £17

Comfortable, durable, total poo catcher and easy to put on
Parent tester Natalia, who tested this with their 13 month old

Why it’s a winner: The Happy Nappy DUO is a swim nappy with a difference as it has an antibacterial silver lining which destroys harmful bacteria before it enters the pool. Taking your little one swimming before they are potty trained can be a little nerve-wracking, so judges really rated the innovation here. If your child does do a poo, the silver ions in the nappy will attack the faecal bacteria so if any does leak out, it won’t pose a health risk. As a pull-on, it is easy to use and testers praised its appearance with comments like “beautiful” and “really cute designs”.

In the words of parent tester Heather, who tested this with their 1 year old: “My daughter has recently been placed on laxatives so taking her swimming has been quite stressful, not knowing if the reusable nappy could cope. I no longer need to worry though and I feel so much better knowing that if accidents happen then the bacteria will not enter the water.”

Buy from: Amazon and Splash About

Joint Silver — Chicco Next2Me Forever, £329

Why it’s a winner: Spacious and versatile, the Next2Me Forever can be used from birth right up until 4 years old. A bedside sleeper your child won’t grow out of in just a few months, it allows parents to sleep next to their children for longer. The 11 different height settings make it simple to attach it to your bed and it can also be used as a standalone cot or floor bed. The side can be opened and closed easily with one hand. Comments from our judges included “a great-value way to get a lots of baby-sleep bang for your bucks” and “a total game-changer”.

In the words of parent tester Hannah, who tested this with their 2 year old: “We have been so delighted with this cot and I would highly recommend to anyone considering co-sleeping. It is a fantastic idea and will make a world of difference to many parents’ lives. It is well made and it felt very robust - more so than I was expecting.”

Buy from: Mamas & Papas, John Lewis and Argos

Joint Silver — Vital Baby NURTURE Advanced Pro UV Steriliser & Dryer, £129.99-£139.99

Vital Baby Nurture advanced pro UV Steriliser & Dryer Silver

Why it’s a winner: A steriliser which uses only UV light - no need for water, chemicals or heat. The product looks stylish and testers liked the fact the sterilised bottles were dry so could be stored inside the machine. The Vital Baby NURTURE is “exceptionally easy to use” according to mum Colleen and it has a countdown feature so you know exactly when the bottles will be ready.

In the words of parent tester Chloe, who tested this with their 4 month old: “Overall this steriliser is amazing! It’s so easy to use and gives you the security that everything is sterile. I love that once the cycles have finished, they are dry and ready to use. It looks amazing in my kitchen - very stylish and really good quality.”

Buy from: JoJo Maman Bebe, Amazon and John Lewis

Bronze: Whizzer (Kiddiwhizz), £19.99

Why it’s a winner: The Whizzer is an eco-friendly portable toilet made from silicone. One of its major selling points is that it is leakproof so you can take it with you if there is nowhere convenient to empty it straight away. Designed to be unisex, its capacity is large enough to be used by older children up to the age of 8. Our testers did think it was quite pricey though with mum Charlotte commenting: “Handy and attractive bit of kit that’s useful to have to hand but slightly over-priced for a canister to hold wee.”

In the words of parent tester Lauren, who tested this with their 6 year old: “Harley absolutely loves being able to use his whizzer, especially when out and about as he doesn’t have to wait to find toilets. He loves the colour and how it doesn’t look like a toilet. Super easy to set up, with just a couple of wiggles.”

Buy from: Amazon and Robert Dyas

Shortlisted: Tommee Tippee Dreammaker | Mamia Night Pants 4-7 years

Special Awards_Parenting brand of the year_Divider

Key features we tested/judged — Brand quality, brand ethos and achievements, effectiveness of products and customer feedback

Joint Gold — Natural Baby Shower

A retailer dedicated to supporting a brighter future for families that's seen great growth this year
Susie, MadeForMums Editorial Director

Why it’s a winner: Natural Baby Shower was the brainchild of one mum who started the business at her kitchen table in 2007 because she wanted to make it simpler for parents to buy affordable eco-friendly products. It is now a leading independent retailer, stocking more than 130 parenting brands. Our panel loved how, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the company fundraised for different charities and used social media to offer support to families with product demos on IGTV and ‘Little Tasks for Little People’ – free printable arts and crafts activities parents could do at home with their children.

In the words of MadeForMums Editorial Director, Susie, mum of 3: “This is a nursery retailer with a clear purpose – helping parents make more sustainable choices by handpicking brands on the basis of production methods or materials used. With successful expansion over the past year, it's also giving back. We welcome its support for 3 brilliant and inclusive charities – Women’s Aid (working to end domestic abuse against women), Shooting Star’s Children’s Hospice and their local baby bank Stripey Stork.”

Visit: Natural Baby Shower

Joint Gold — The Positive Birth Company

A brand determined to have a positive impact that stretches far beyond its own products
Susie, MadeForMums Editorial Director

Why it’s a winner: The Positive Birth Company’s mission is to make antenatal and postnatal education more accessible to everyone. Offering both in-person and online courses as well as workshops and coaching, PBC also created an award-winning app, the Freya app, which is a hypnobirthing-friendly surge (contraction) timer and virtual birth partner. Judges noted how, over the last year, the brand has launched 3 community-based campaigns – Birthing The Future – a celebration of the diversity of parenthood, Proud Parent – sharing stories on the journey to parenthood from the LGBTQIA+ community, and Playtime – a series of free videos full of activities to keep children busy during lockdown.

In the words of MadeForMums Editorial Director, Susie, mum of 3: “It's been a powerful year for Positive Birth Company, which has brilliantly brought to life an inclusive approach through its campaigns and courses, while also focusing on mental health support within its new Pregnancy Pack."

Visit: The Positive Birth Company

Silver — Mamas & Papas

Why it’s a winner: Mamas & Papas celebrated its 40th birthday in 2021, but even though it is a long-established parenting brand, it is always looking for new and innovative ways to reach and support their customer base. Over the last year, M&P launched Grow – a scheme which allows parents to access advice, support and product recommendations. The brand has also partnered with Baby Banks to make sure families who are struggling can still get hold of the essential items they need.

In the words of MadeForMums Editorial Director, Susie, mum of 3: “Mamas & Papas sees its role as supporting parents, not just by fulfilling product needs with style and care but also arming their customers with honest advice and information. This year its activities have included hosting monthly advice webinars for parents-to-be, introducing test tracks in some stores and launching a virtual chat service with live demos online.”

Visit: Mamas & Papas

Bronze — Aldi Mamia

Why it’s a winner: Aldi’s Mamia brand has successfully established itself in the parenting sector with high quality baby and toddler products at very low prices, impressing our judges with performance and value. Mamia started as a range of nappies and has since expanded into other parenting products, including baby wipes, toiletries and food. Year after year, Aldi Mamia has been a consistent MadeForMums Awards winner with our home testers praising the quality of the products not just the price.

In the words of MadeForMums Editorial Director, Susie, mum of 3: “With the sharp rise in cost of living, there is an absolute need for affordable essentials that also offer quality and effectiveness. Aldi fits that role perfectly. It doesn't skimp on details or standards, while delivering organic baby food and high-performance nappies, wipes and toiletries at budget-friendly prices.”

Buy from: Aldi

Shortlisted: Essentiel Vie

See all our MFM Award winners:

The MadeForMums Awards editorial team is led by Consumer & Reviews Editor Christy McGhee, Consumer & Commerce Editor Gemma Cartwright, and Editorial Director Susie Boone and comprises Janet Mtima, Emily Longman Wall, Chloe Brightwell, Catherine Ball, Janet Martin, Sarah Dawson, Gabrielle Nathan, Claire Belle Freed, Lucy Waterlow and Cheryl Freedman who have created, written and edited these pages after rigorous testing and judging by our panel of home testers, experts and editorial judges. Images by Emma Winchester. With thanks to Danielle Graph, Emma Onuma, Tayla Emmons, Helen Brown, Helen Salter and Amber Newlands.