Talks with experts an interview with MadeForMums

Talks with experts an interview with MadeForMums

Can you please tell us in 2 or 3 sentences who is MadeForMums?

MadeForMums is the UK’s largest parenting reviews website. We have over 2000 professional reviews and several thousand parent reviews of products. In the parenting world where there are so many decisions to make, our mission is simple: We help parents make confident choices 

How did the idea of starting annual awards came to be?

We test hundreds of products each year and wanted an opportunity to celebrate the very best in different product categories, from big investment purchases such as a buggy or cot to small but essential items such as sleepwear or nappies. 

the MadeForMums awards and best toy awards

You are doing 2 kinds of awards the annual competition/testing and the toys edition, can you tell us why did you decide to separate this and how it helps parents?

We originally included toys in our annual MadeForMums Awards but each year we had a big growth in entries and we felt it was better to separate the two and create a general parenting awards and a toy awards. This way we could have more appropriate judges, spend more time on the testing and bring in new experts.

How do MadeForMums awards vary from other awards and tests on the market?

We believe our awards are the most rigorous in our market, with two months of testing and judging that involves a combination of market experts, our experienced editors and a pool of 3,000 home testers. We collect rich data on our home testers and spend four weeks meticulously matching them with the right products. We obviously match on age of child or stage of pregnancy, but we go much further – matching testers’ lifestyles (eg how eco-focused they are, active vs stay-at-home), previous/current product usage (eg do they use a sling or a carrier, disposable or reusable nappies), any particular needs (eg eczema, vegan, learning difficulties) and then we ensure diversity of background from size of family to area they live in to whether they have a pet. We then run 7 full judging days for our editorial team and industry/health experts, where we group test and trial every product that has been entered. For the final part of the process we collate and analyse all the parents’ feedback and use our judging experience, reviewing skills and wider market knowledge to confirm the winning products. This intensive system means that parents and brands can confidently trust that the products have been correctly and thoroughly tested and that we are awarding the very best products. 

Why is it important to test products from the consumer’s point of view?

Parenting products need to be tested in the way that they should be used – with a baby, child or while pregnant. They often have specific needs, which can only truly be tested in situ. A product may appear to be fantastic, but it’s not until you put it through its paces that you can trust it does live up to its promise.

MadeForMums awards past winners, other editions

Are the requirements of UK mums universal – are the results important across Europe? Or should parents in other countries look for their national awards?

Yes, the parenting experience is common throughout Europe and the world. Bring a group of diverse parents together and we’ll immediately have our experiences in common. At the same time, children are unique and each of our parenting experiences are personal to us. What our awards do is highlight the key shared needs and the solutions that products bring for parents in a variety of situations.

Have you ever thought about a collaboration on awards with an international institution or portal? 

We would love to develop our awards programme further and this is a very interesting idea. Definitely something for us to consider. 

What does the MadeForMums award mean for a product, what does it say about it?

It means that the product has wowed us all and is the best of the best. It has met the highest requirements of a very demanding audience of parents and experts and is a recommended purchase.

What do the testers most usually pay attention to?

A variety of different features, which is why we send to more than one home tester as well as having an expert testing panel. Safety is obviously always key in parenting, along with ease of use, how well it performs and whether it’s good value for money.

Were you ever surprised by what features some testers paid attention to or by some comments? (e.g. one tester wrote that the print on the fabric calms her baby)

Yes, frequently. We’re amazed at how some parents discover products that become game changers for them, whilst others are captivated by the smallest of things – an extra pocket, a silent zip or the soft feel of the fabric. We learn so much from our home testers and sometimes discover new highlights and uses.

MadeForMums 2022 winners by Kinderkraft

This year you have quite a few draws, does it mean that there is a big difference in scores between the gold, silver and bronze?

In some categories there are big score differences, in others they are very close. We’ll give joint awards when we feel both products are worthy and it’s unfair to differentiate between them.

How many entries in total did you have this year? Does the number increase each year?

We had over 500 entries last year and yes, the number increases each year as the reputation of our Awards continues to grow.

Does the MFM team have the opportunity to test these products as well?

Yes absolutely. We have a series of judging days when we test all of the products and some of us take the products home too, to test with our own families. 

Do you have any advice for parents shopping for their babies?

There’s an overwhelming number of parenting products in the market, and we’d recommend that parents research which products match their needs and then look for the award winners to be confident they’re choosing the very best products.

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