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.
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.
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.
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?