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Granny Jax and the minefield of buying baby equipment

Thursday, 22 September 2016  | 

Baby Equipment Minefield

What a huge challenge it must be these days for first time parents-to-be to make decisions on what baby equipment to choose.

Since offering to buy “the pram” for my first grandchild, I have been stunned to discover what an immense array of makes, styles, colours etc are on the market. 31 years ago when my mother-in-law took me shopping for my pram the choice was pretty limited. In fact, all I remember is Silver Cross and Marmet. Now there are numerous makes with weird and wonderful names .. Bugaboo, Egg, Joolz, Cybex, Maxi Cosi, iCandy - the list is endless. I opted for a grey corduroy Marmet pram which I absolutely loved. At the time it felt very modern, being a carry cot on collapsible wheels rather than a big coach built model. It would look very old fashioned now …. or should I say Vintage or Retro – the current buzzwords for anything really old or second hand.

“The pram” that I offered to buy has turned out to be a “travel system” – a set of wheels, onto which, very cleverly, can be fixed a carry cot for the tiny baby, a seat to transform it into a pushchair (or stroller as they seem to be called these days – very American!), and a car seat. Amazing!! I have to say I am very impressed with the stylish designs and colour combinations, but it must be incredibly difficult to single out the one for you!

Then there are the smaller items of equipment. What do you really need? Baby monitors didn’t exist when I had my babies. We just listened out for any crying, and regularly popped in to check on them. However, now it appears to be essential. But do you need a simple one that lets you hear your baby cry, or a more sophisticated one with a video, or one with a sensor pad for under the baby’s mattress? How do you choose?

Do you need a bath thermometer? My husband collapsed in fits of laughter when I mentioned the existence of such a thing. What’s wrong with dipping your elbow in the water to check the temperature like we used to do, he said?

What about a room thermometer which glows in different colours to tell you if your baby’s room is too hot, too cold or at the perfect temperature?

Sterilising equipment has even got complicated. It comes in all shapes and sizes .. electric or microwaveable.

Being a fairly indecisive person, I am really quite pleased that there wasn’t such a wide range of options available when I was expecting my first baby!! Good luck to all you new parents out there on your navigation through the baby equipment minefield!!

Three and a half weeks to go now. Very exciting!

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