Review: Almondella Monthly Surprise Boxes

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Almondella is a little like Graze but for babies and new mums. So instead of getting a box of delicious, healthy snacks, you get a box, delivered every month, of 'surprises' for you and your baby.

Your Almondella box is delivered to your home at no extra cost, and every month you get a preview of the contents, and you can skip a box if you don't fancy its contents. The Almondella team tailor each box to match your child’s stage of development during their first 3 years, and there are also boxes for mums-to-be. Almondella also promise that in your box you will find organic, safe and 'hip' products from small boutique labels, mainly from Scandinavia.

They currently have an offer on a trial box for €15 (about £12) instead of €30 so if you like the sound of Almondella, it's worth starting with one of these. Otherwise the boxes cost €45 a month (about £35) for 12 months, or €59 euro (about £47) for a one-off gift box.

The contents of our box was adorable - we got a really lovely baby toy from Lilliputiens (the Tom Activity Cube) which is currently priced at £24.43 at Amazon, although the accompanying product description said its RRP is £16. It features a rattle, rustling paper noise, a mirror, and plenty of knots to fiddle with, as well as a cute little character who can be popped away to hide or pulled out to play with.

This is the sort of toy that I just wouldn't buy for my baby because it's significantly pricier than other similar products, but it's hands-down one of the loveliest baby items we've come across. If the quality of the contents of all Almondella boxes is this high, and consistently so, then I can definitely see their appeal.

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Also in our box was a 'Lukas' striped long-sleeve t-shirt by Iglo & Indi.  Made from 100% cotton, its RRP is £24 and once again, although the quality and design are really exquisite, it's just much more expensive than any other t-shirt I would buy for my baby. For a 6-12 month old who is just getting to grips with finger foods, I tend to stick with cheaper basics when it comes to clothes, just in case!

Our Almondella box also came with a handy print-out relevant to my baby's age, all about how to help her develop her pincer grasp, and an art postcard which would normally cost £3.

We also received a tube of water-resistant natural sunscreen which normally costs £15.

Overall, I don't think I'd buy an Almondella box for myself simply because it's more of an indulgence than my average monthly budget would allow. With three children in our household, I also couldn't really justify spending £35 a month one just one of the kids. That's more than I spend on clothes for my older two children in the average month!

But I do think that a subscription to Almondella or a one-off gift box would make a really lovely, memorable gift for a new baby or an expectant mum.

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Almondella has its roots in Finland, where it's traditional for mothers to get a “starter pack” in a box, to help them care for their newborns. Almondella wants to bring this tradition to mothers across Europe, introducing environmentally-conscious and creative new brands as an alternative to mass produced goods. They pride themselves on selecting gorgeous, long-lasting products, and I think it's a really commendable business idea and a lovely sentiment.

I love the idea of signing up for a little mother and baby gift each month, and the joy of opening your box together each month must be lovely. It's really just a shame that the idea isn't a little more affordable for families on a budget.

Pros: Absolutely gorgeous products, a really original idea, and a lovely treat for any mother and baby.

Cons: Not particularly affordable, and the items included in the box are luxuries rather than essentials. I'd love to see a less expensive version available, containing more 'basic' baby essentials such as a book instead of the postcards, and a range of baby skincare / bath products in place of one expensive item of clothing.

Overall verdict: Money well spent if you're looking for a very special gift for a new baby or expectant mother, and do snap up one of the trial gift boxes while they're still on special offer - they seem like very good value.

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