American-based baby product manufacturers 4moms is a relatively new company. But since its inception back in 2005, it has combined inexpensive electronics with tried-and-tested, but static baby care designs to produce some innovative nursery merchandise.
Sticking to its mission of “developing dramatically better juvenile products” 4Moms has garnered many awards for product design, entrepreneurship and being a great company to work for.
The first 4Moms creation released on the market back in 2006 was the Digital Spout Cover, a safety device that goes over bath taps and displays the temperature of the water coming out.
Since then 4 Moms has gone from a two-man company to a multimillion-pound corporation, releasing highly anticipated products year after year.
The latest addition to its catalogue is the 4Moms MammaRoo bouncer and you certainly couldn’t call the MammaRoo traditional – that much is obvious. Incredibly futuristic, it looks like something designed by NASA engineers, or a kind of ultra-modern entertainment system. It is of course neither; it’s a baby swing. But it’s a swing with a difference.
MammaRoo’s is different because it ‘moves like you do.’ Cue five unique modes designed to mirror some commonplace motions your little one is soothed by on a daily basis; the sways of a car ride and a side-to-side ‘tree swing’ movement not unlike the classic baby-rock. Plus a few that are slightly more offbeat, including a kangaroo hop and an up-and-over ‘ocean’ mode.
What’s in the box?
- MammaRoo seat
- MammaRoo base
- MammaRoo seat insert
Any additional extras?
- MammaRoo infant seat insert – £29.99
How is setting up the bouncer?
Set up was very quick – less than five minutes – and there are even clear instructions for breaking it down again, clearly a lot of thought has been put into the MammaRoo.
The design team apparently used motion sensors attached to parents soothing their babies to nail the correct movements. This is all interesting stuff, and it’s a shame I had to take to Google to find it, as there’s none of this background in the supplied instructions.
Understandably, given the price tag, I was curious to learn the research behind this rather pricy bit of kit – if only to tell friends who commented on it. And they will comment, as the MammaRoo certainly deserves it.
What’s it like to use?
The MammaRoo is a premium product through and through. The controls are simple, minimalistic and feel high quality. There is a digital screen that lights up indicating the current mode and the intensity of the movement, and two large buttons (big enough to change with your foot, which is handy) to control both.
I wasn’t convinced at first about the dangled-carrot-style toy bar but three-month-old Evelyn loved it, as the toys (a trio of reversible squishy balls with colourful designs) were perfect for a baby of her age just discovering patterns.
Tell us about the high-tech specs on the seat.
When in motion the MammaRoo is almost hypnotic. The mechanism is so striking – the seat looks like it’s mounted on liquid plastic just rising and falling from the base – it’s sure to impress, even if it does clash somewhat with a traditional-looking room.
Added to this, there are several ‘nature’ sounds built in, as well as a few white noise settings. There’s also a wire jack to plug an iPod or MP3 player in, which is a terrific addition. But the MP3 player was let down by low volume, which was barely enough to cover the operating sounds – a great shame.
How long can you expect to use the MammaRoo?
It will last from birth up to approximately six months or until your child has reached the upper weight limit of 25Ibs. This is a reasonable lifespan, and just as well because you will want an investment like this to last.
And like most products of its type (so to speak, as there is nothing quite the MammaRoo) it’s available in a range of colours.
Was it comfortable for your little one?
Yes! Evelyn loved the MammaRoo. We had tried the Chicco Polly Swing, which she didn’t get on with, but this is more versatile (albeit more expensive) than just an average swing.
When I first put her in the seat her face would light up, she’d smile and start cooing. She would even stay in long enough for me to go and do some household chores, put a wash on and do a bit of vacuuming, which was fantastic.
Her favourite movement seemed to be the ‘Tree Swing’ mode, which is a fairly conventional side-to-side sway and the ingenious seat adjustment meant I could tip Evelyn back for a snooze and she’d be quite happy for fairly long periods.
Are the mechanical swing modes better than the real thing?
No, it’s no substitute for the real thing, when Evelyn got a bit upset I altered the intensity of the motion, which seemed to settle her on occasions, but not every time.
The movements are fairly slow in comparison to natural parent movements (and there’s no ‘jig’ option). Though this is probably to be expected as nothing will ever match up to the real thing, no matter how clever.
Is it easy to clean?
Yes, the base is easy to wipe clean, the fabric is comfortable and supportive and easy to clean on a cold cycle as it simply zips off.
Is it easy to move around the house?
No, moving the swing about wasn’t so easy as it’s quite unwieldy, with a necessarily large footprint for stability. And while the plug-in power was overall a great asset (no ‘battery-flat’ crisis!) it did decrease portability.
Saying that, it looks like a transportation nightmare but actually goes down into a relatively sleek package due to its clever construction.
Made for Mums Verdict?
An ingenious product that is thoughtfully designed into an impressive, appealing package. A few niggles stop it from being perfect and these little foibles could be forgiven more readily if the chair was cheaper, but it’s an expensive purchase; at this price I would really expect everything to be spot on. But in terms of the essentials, it does its job just great.