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

 

 

Addressing all Things Dressing Up

Anyone who has children at nursery or at school will understand that throughout the school year parents and carers find themselves and their calendars at the mercy of the school newsletter. This powerful piece of paper heralds news including your class cake bake sale and similar.

I am that mother who calls her mother (or sisters) when the cake sale note comes round because while I cook brilliantly (even if I do say so myself) I’m a rubbish baker. What I make tastes fine but always looks uneven, lopsided or down right just strange.

Who though do you call  though when it comes to dress ing up days? I now have two boys at school and with alarming regularity throughout the terms we seem to have non-uniform / dress up days where the children come as certain special characters. Today for example is Superhero day. After many tears and tantrums I managed to borrow a onesie for one child, find a t-shirt for another and to be fair they looked pretty good. This is rare. Poor Kieran (my eldest) went for the Magna Carta day in a plain tshirt with an A4 sticker featuring a shield stuck to the front (that I printed off). Some parents simply aren’t meant to make costumes and I am one of them.

Superhero, costumes, Children in Need costumes

After spending all week stressing and worrying about what they would wear I now wish I’d bought something to be honest as at least then they could be used for other events and for home play, particularly for the 4 year old. This is what I will be doing from now on (and I’m guessing other parents have been doing for a while as I’ve seen very little panic over costumes on the school yard). One day soon I will have a dress up boy that is the envy of all my school parent chums!

I was recently introduced to Tickled Pink Fancy Dress and was rather chuffed to say the least to see not only the range of outfits they offer but also the price! Taylor (the 4yr old) especially loves to dress up and with his nativity around the corner and Christmas creeping up their Xmas range of fancy dress costumes is bound to be a life saver. In the past my biggest bug bear about costumes has not been finding them, it has been paying for them. With costumes such as this Boy’s Santa Costume available in three sizes including jacket, hat, belt and trouser for just £5.99 I really can’t complain. I’m thinking actually this might be fun to wear for the Christmas lights switch on event in town……

TP Costumes, Santa costume

Costumes are a part of most parent’s lives, whether they planned it that way or not and my friends, family and school yard companions will have heard many times before now that I haven’t ever planned properly for fancy dress or school costumes. That said now that I can see that there is an easier (and cheaper) way (so no more embarrassing Pinterest costume fails) which would be also reusable they might find me much less ranty of a Wednesday when the newsletters come out.

Maybe….

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