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January 4, 2012

Big day for a little guy

Today is a big day for our nephew Magnus. He’s had way too many such big days for someone as young as he is, but the kid keeps bobbing back up like a cork. That said, he’s still on our minds.

ETA: Looks good so far.

Posted by pjm at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

January 2, 2012

Baby Brezza with blades that won't turn

(This is one of those posts which will only be of interest to the few people who find it via a web search.)

We received a Baby Brezza baby food maker for Christmas. Basically it’s a small combination steamer and food processor, since the goal of most baby food is to be cooked until soft and then chopped small.

Unfortunately the blending part didn’t work on the first run. The motor was clearly spinning, but the blades were not. This review on Amazon—which is the “most helpful negative review” only four days after posting—observes that apparently many of the units are shipping with a misaligned belt which doesn’t carry power from the motor to the blade axle. I suspected we had such a dud.

If you have such a dud unit and found this page via web search, you have two options. You can start taking the unit apart until you can realign that belt, or you can take the unit back wherever it came from and get one which works.

If you should happen to follow the first course (as we did, having pears already diced and steamed and not wanting to throw them out), here’s what to do:

  • Take off the canister and drain any hot water before starting work. This should prevent any messy or scalding surprises.
  • Turn the unit over and look for the five phillips-head screws which are recessed in the bottom. These are not the ones holding on the suction-cup feet, although they are nearby; they are larger. You will need a screwdriver with a long shaft, because the screws are set quite deep inside the unit. Note that the fifth one, in the very back, is a long way down and may be difficult to see, let alone turn.
  • Get as many of those out as possible (preferably all).
  • Turn the unit right-side up again. Slowly lift the top away from the bottom. This will be relatively easy if you get all five screws out; I didn’t.
  • As you’re separating the top from the bottom, look for the belt running from the back of the unit (where the motor is) to a big wheel directly in the center. That’s the drive wheel for the blades. If the belt isn’t snugly around the teeth of that wheel, use a screwdriver or some other such tool to adjust it so it is.
  • Once the belt is in place, put the top and bottom pieces together again, and replace the five screws.
  • Verify that the fix worked by putting the canister and blades back on, perhaps with some water in the canister, and running then “blend” setting very briefly. It should be obvious if the blades are turning now.

I know these instructions aren’t perfect, but if you’re brave enough to open the unit in the first place, they should keep you from following any false trails.

Posted by pjm at 9:21 PM | Comments (0)