Top Tips for Parenting Purchasing

 

mine

My children are past the stroller stage and I no longer need to lug thirty thousand “might need” items around in a changing bag (we’ve managed to get it down to a flat hundred now). My youngest is only five however and so the purchasing angst that came with parenting purchases such as high chairs and sterilisers is still very fresh in my mind.

While I don’t have tiny tots anymore I do have nephews and nieces and friends announcing pregnancies left, right and centre (I’m switching to bottled water until the danger clears, because clearly there is something in the local water supply!). They are spoilt for choice when it comes to baby and young child equipment, certainly more so that I was with my eldest who is now nearly ten. Unfortunately, sometimes having so many products, brands and types to choose from can be as much as curse as it is a blessing, and so I’m going to give you, them and anyone else who is reading some top tips for child related purchases.

Make a List and Set a Budget

When it comes to parenting purchases, be it a new baby or things you need for the next stage (i.e. when that adorable baby you could put down who was happy to stay put turns into a high speed escapist toddler) it pays to be practical and organised. Make a list of everything you will need, for example baby gates, plug socket protectors, cupboard door locks etc and then decide on a budget for each item and the total. This will give you an excellent starting point when considering purchases.

Think Long Term

When buying for your family look at each item and consider how long you want it to last. Strollers, prams, pushchairs and travel systems are good examples. Do you want something small and cute for the new baby, choosing a new stroller for each stage or do you want something that will take them all the way through to front facing and sitting up, admiring the view.

Recommendations

When lined up in a store or online it is difficult to truly test a piece out. Personal recommendations from friends and family however are invaluable. They will tell you which travel cot they had real trouble opening and closing and which worked a dream which will help you make your decisions.

Buying Guides

With forty thousand strollers, thirty sterilisers, ninety cots and more to choose from it can be difficult to narrow down what you are looking at and harder still to make a buying decision. Buying guides such as this top five best baby slings buying guide is ideal for pointing out and comparing features.

Selling On?

Will you want to sell equipment, toys and more on? This is something to consider as it may affect what you buy, whether you have it personalised and whether you keep the packaging! Selling used items on, to fund the next stage of child-related buying is a great idea.

With hindsight I could have researched my baby and toddler buys especially a lot better, although having said that I didn’t have as many fab blogs, websites and tools to do all of the running around for me as people do now.

What’s your top tip when it comes to buying baby, toddler or child-related items?

 

 

Collaborative Post

 

 

I Miss My Stroller

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Photo credit

My boys are five and nine now and I’ve not pushed a stroller for quite some time. Believe it or not I kind of miss it! Not enough to expand our family any further (not tempted at all) but certainly enough to feel quite nostalgic about my strollers and prams.

Of course there was the practical aspect that was great, getting little ones from A to B in superfast time, being able to cover them up properly in the wind and the rain and of course the amicable nods and chats you would have with other stroller owners, whether you knew them or not.

Carrying my own shopping was the first thing I struggled to relearn after Taylor became too big for his pushchair (you soon learn to buy less!), as was walking upright and not ever so slightly stooped and with a stride and would mean no kicking the underneath of the buggy!

There are other things I miss too, like the long walks, sometime the power walks with the boys in their stroller enjoying the fresh air and the view, or napping and enjoying sweet dreams. Funny how I always had time to take them for a long walk every day even though I was working (from home) but now with them both at school I never seem to take the time to enjoy a good stroll out just for myself.

There are some things that I don’t miss however. I don’t miss the clunky room-filling models I had back then. I don’t miss needing a PHD in engineering to fold the things up to go in the car without pinching skin off my hands (every time) and I certainly don’t miss the never-ending and fruitless quest to find a cosy-toes or pushchair apron (everyone has a different name!) in order to keep my lanky-legged little boys warm as they sat!

Thinking about it, the stroller users of today seem to have it fairly easy. One touch folding and opening, accessories easy to find or included, strollers for travel which weren’t the £10 ones you picked up at the supermarket to go on holiday with and were so flimsy you wished you hadn’t bothered…..

As much as I do miss my strollers (or perhaps more so being a stroller user) I think if I could choose my favourite to have again it would opt for one of the newer ones instead. The ones that work for Roy at 6ft 5” and me at 5ft 2” (and a half) and that are better designed for walks or even one of these jogging stroller travel systems which would have been ideal for getting out on all terrains here in rural North Yorkshire with its forests, walks, fields and cobbled market places! I’ll choose one that would grow better with the children than mine did as all of mine promised to go from birth to finish, and none of them did and I’d look for one that closed with one hand. I’m a non-driver and regularly use public transport. Trying to fold and stow away your stroller while the bus driver and passengers are growling at you impatiently is about as much fun as it sounds.

I do miss having a stroller in a way and not just because I now have to carry my shopping (the struggle is real!); I really did enjoy the baby / toddler years so much and am astounded now looking back how quickly they flew by! If I were starting again however (I’m not) I’d be a lot more savvy about what I really want and need from my stroller!

 

A collaboration piece

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