Babyologist Review: Philips Avent Essential Natural Starter Kit Reviewed By Sian

New mum Sian documents her experience with the popular Philips Avent starter kit, in her first Babyologist review.  This review is part of the Babyologist programme, where a team of hand-selected reviewers test baby products and toys with their little ones for useful insight by parents, for parents.


My first impression of this kit was quality! Every piece of equipment looked to be very well made and designed. And so it proved when I tried out each component.

The box contains a Comfort manual breast pump, a 3 in 1 electrical steam steriliser, 2x 9 oz natural bottles, 2 x 4 oz natural bottles all with newborn teats, 1 orthodontic soother and bottle and teat cleaning brush.

The Essential Natural Starter Kit is ideal for a new mum and although a little more expensive than the average I feel it is definitely worth paying for the little extra.

For me the steriliser proved to be the star of the show. Previously I used a Tommee Tippee microwave steriliser, which I found to sometimes be a nuisance, taking up space in the microwave when my partner was waiting for his evening meal-(not very pleased!!) Philips Avent steriliser has a small footprint and doesn’t take up too much room in the kitchen. The steriliser has two convenient layers, one being for smaller bottles and dummies and the other for larger bottles and plates, etc. The steriliser has a simple one touch button which is pressed after filling the water reservoir.

After using the steriliser for over a week now, I have found a couple of niggles. One disadvantage is if it is placed near a painted wall instead of one which is tiled as mine is, it tends to leave a water stain caused by the steam-I now have rectified this by bringing it forward, away from the wall. Every few days the steriliser needs to be descaled using a solution of white vinegar and water. I have to confess that I do find the smell very off-putting. My partner however, coming in from work whilst it was descaling, automatically thought I’d treated us to a fish and chip takeaway!
The four bottles provided in this kit come in two sizes, 4oz and 9oz. The two sizes make them ideal for a newborn or for an older baby who has a bigger appetite. It may not seem such a big deal, but the bottle lids having a flat base compared to Tommee Tippee’s curved lids, would have proved to have been a boon when Iestyn was younger. Bleary eyed at 2 o’ clock in the morning, my party piece whilst preparing a milk feed, was to knock the pesky things over and them roll onto the floor!
Iestyn finds it easy to hold the bottle, which in turn helps to promote self-feeding and I have found that he adapted well from one brand to these. Was it just bad luck one day, when Iestyn was drinking his milk (he likes to feed himself), he dropped a toy and as I turned to pick it up, I heard a plop and found Iestyn had pulled the top off? He was doing a Cleopatra and was sat in milk – although his skin was extra smooth the next day!

The bottle brush is in one solid piece and compared to others I have tried is robust and not at all flimsy. I would think it could also prove to be rust-proof, which I have not found to be the case with the others. Its ribbed handle is excellent at cleaning the bottle teats.

Although the dummy provided is for a younger baby, (Iestyn being 10 months old), the Avent dummies are really well made and are of an orthodontic shape which promotes natural suckling. They are the only dummy I have come across with a snap-on protective hygiene cap; Iestyn currently uses the 6 – 18 month dummies in this range.

Last but certainly not least is the Natural Manual Breast Pump. Although I did not use it with having an older baby, a couple of friends have certainly given it the thumbs up and said how easy it is to use. Also the comfortable sitting position, which is the main selling point of this pump, ensures easy expression of milk and a happier and more relaxed mum.
I would certainly recommend this kit to every mother; it would make a wonderful gift to buy as a maternity gift or for a baby shower. It contains everything a mum-to-be could hope for, a best friend in a box!!

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