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.
As Christmas approaches, your mind is probably turning to which gifts to buy the children, and by now you're fully aware that there are some great toys out there, but also some terrible ones too! There's nothing worse than having a toy break before you even reach Boxing Day, or finding that a game that looked like it would be brilliant turns out to be useless and the kids just aren't interested!
Luckily we have help at hand. Over the last few years the Internet has been fundamental in shifting shopping patterns from the high street to the home. Even if you haven't braved that revolution, we have also seen a new and welcome trend in online shopping. Many online stores allow buyers to review products that they buy, and nowadays you can quickly find great gift ideas with positive reviews, products that others have lavished on their children and you can now buy in the reasonably safe knowledge that you're buying a good gift!
Some stores allow buyers to review products in their own site directly, others plug in to independent review sites that specialise in collecting reviews rather than selling, arguably making the reviews more trustworthy. Do retain a healthy scepticism for sites that seem only to have one or two really positive reviews for every product as they could have been left by the manufacturer or seller, make sure that there are a good number of reviews that concur.
Reviews will often cover the quality of items, as well as giving a good indication of how suitable the product is to children of different ages. If you are wondering how good a product is and whether to buy it for your children, seek out reviews online and use the experience of others help make up your own mind! If you are later either pleased or disappointed with your purchase, then take the time to leave your own review in order to help future shoppers.