If you're a new, first time mum then you're probably bamboozled by the sheer choice of baby products available on the market. You need a car seat, but, oh my! There are thousands to choose from. You need a pram, but again, which of the hundreds of products on the market is right for you?! Which nappies should you use - hundreds of different packages stare out at you from the shop shelves, each one promising something slightly different! Baby listeners, car seats, educational toys...so much choice!
The broad choice available is quite simply bamboozling and life is too short to evaluate every product against dozens of criteria in order to ensure you make the right choice.
Well, here's some news...it needn't be that difficult. Here are two simple tips to help you wade through the aisles:-
(1) Remember that all baby products have to pass rigorous safety standards. This means that all products available on the shelves in our shops are fit for purpose. The £800 super-duper-buggy-stroller-expandable-supermarket-trolley is no more worthy than the £100 version that just doesn't have padded handlebars and dayglow wheels. They are both suitable for babies, they both do the job. The decision is just whether you want all the features promised by the high end version.
Decide on the feature set for whatever product you want to buy and then narrow your field of choice by those products that support the features you require. Be guided by price, cheaper products will still be up to the task.
(2) You're not the only new mum in the world...there are literally thousands of you. ...and you're all going through the same buying cycle, getting hold of all the new equipment required for your baby. A lot of these mum's are writing about their experience in blogs, but it's almost impossible to find all of these for any products that you want.
Instead, head to Amazon - they are shifting more products that anyone else in the country and act as a great barometer for which products to buy and which to avoid. They also receive and post reviews on their website, reviews written by real people and based on real experience. Go to Amazon, search for the product type that you are looking for.
Filter your search for products with average reviews of 4* and higher - these are the products that others are rating. Look at these products, sort by price if you wish. Be wary of any products with just one or two reviews, there isn't enough feedbcak to be meaningful. Instead, select from the products that are highly rated and that preferably have tens of reviews, if not hundreds. These products are the ones that everyone seems to rate well, make your selection from these.
Look at the individual reviews for the product that takes your fancy and check out the worst reviews - there are bound to be a few 1* and 2* ratings. Look at why they are bad - if the negative points they raise don't put you off, then you can probably bet that this product will serve you well. Of course, you don't have to buy it here from Amazon, you can now buy it from wherever you wish, either online or in the high street, but you may well find that Amazon offers the best price, and you can probably have it delivered in just a few days for free.
There's a bamboozling array of pushchairs for babies and you don't want to spend the next two years wishing you had a different one! Here are some of the key features to look for when choosing your pushchair:-
- Style: pushchairs, prams, strollers, travel systems; different classes of buggy exist for different purposes. You can buy a different style for each occasion, but our advice is just to buy the one most practical to what you believe you main usage to be. Your baby will grow through two or maybe three pushchairs, so choose one that fits the stage you're at.
- Weight: the heavier the pushchair, the harder it is to push! Heavyweight pushchairs offer robustness, but if you're going to have to lift it frequently (up stairs to a flat? Into a car boot? Onto buses or trains?) then err on the cautious side and select a lighter model.
- Compactness: again if you have restricted space in the home or need to fit your pushchair in the car, make sure it folds down to a suitable size.
- Wheels: three wheel all-terrain pushchairs are popular, but not always practical - if you suffer a puncture then you'll struggle to get the contraption back home!
- Accessories: some pushchairs come with accessories, some don't. Consider cosy-toes blankets, sun and rain parasols, a rain hood and drinks holder (for baby and/or mother). When comparing on price, factor in any additional accessories that are included with different models.
- Storage: you're going to be pushing your pushchair around shops for the foreseeable future. Most models warn against carrying backs on the back, but you're going to store your shopping on the back sooner or later! Establish how easy to stack your shopping on the back, and do you have storage underneath? A basket beneath your baby can come in very handy!
- Colour: probably the least important factor! Baby's going to love it whatever, go for the colour or design you like the most!
Prices vary enormously - our advice is to decide on the model you want to buy, and then use Google Product Search to find the cheapest supplier. Don't forget to add on delivery costs when comparing. You'll save a small fortune buying baby equipment if you use comparison shopping sites online!
There's generally nothing wrong with picking up a pushchair second hand, or buying from eBay or any other 'Used' market. However, you should avoid buying second hand travel systems because you don't know the history of the car seat element - if it has ever been involved in an accident then it may have been weakened making it potentially dangerous.