Things for baby: Where to begin?

Now we are safely into the second trimester, we (I?) have decided that we should start considering what we need to accumulate for the baby. I don’t plan to start buying or acquiring anything yet, but I would like to put a plan in place of what we need and within those categories *what* we would like. Basically, come the Christmas sales and the months thereafter, I want to be keeping an eye out for specific things on our list, not just “oh goodness, we need a pram, quick” etc.

My aim is to acquire as many of these without outlaying a vast amount of cash. We are in the process of sorting out a budget and so on, but although we won’t starve after baby comes, we are going to feel my lack of salary, especially as what “income” I do have in the way of statutory maternity pay will be leaving as soon as it arrives paying my law school bank loans.

That said, I have no idea where to start. My midwife gave me a Bounty pack and I picked up the second one at the hospital when I went for my scan. These contain lists of things we should buy and lots of adverts of options. As well as lots of coupons, which is also nice, along with a few free samples of things.

I plan to start by seeing what Mum and Dad have held onto and whether we can use any of it. Apparently they have a cot and a highchair, but both of these will be at least 30 years old (given I will turn 30 in January) and I have no idea whether its safe or advised to use these sort of items. I know that some regulations have changed for new cots but does it matter?

One thing I think we will either end up buying new, or searching for a specific second hand one, is a pram/pushchair/stroller/buggy. Though where to start I have no. idea. The two people I know that have bought a pram in the last year both chose the same one, a Bugaboo Chameleon. These friends don’t know each other, so there must be something in their research (as they are both families who will have researched, not just read a celeb magazine) but I think that not only are their budgets perhaps a teensy bit larger than ours but they are both families with reasonably new cars ergo large boots, not a 20 year old golf.

So, in the interest of *starting somewhere* when I found myself with a lonely husband-less Sunday afternoon and I was at the retail park going to Sainsburys, when I noticed Mothercare was next door, I thought I’d pop in. And my goodness, it was dreadful. I’ve mentioned before how tired I am, but why the fuck Mothercare thought it would encourage people to spend money by having a piano mat in the middle of the shop next to roller pushing things therefore encouraging small people to push things up and down over the piano mat, activating the most god awful noise, I don’t know. Anyway, I stood in front of a display of prams and my brain shut down and I had to leave. Please tell me there is a sort of Which? Guide to prams and if so, please someone tell me where it is…

…because I’m sure as hell not going back to Mothercare in a hurry. Not even because they’ve sent me some money saving vouchers.




  1. downtomysoul October 17, 2011 / 1:16 pm

    I can highly recommend a Mountain Buggy (I think Peonies has one too?)

    We bought ours secondhand (although it was unused) on Ebay for half the price.

    A pram is essential, as is a cot, but everything else I wouldn’t bother about for now (bar clothes and nappies of course). Oh except for a good sling, Finn lived in my Peanut Shell for the first couple of months.

    So exciting!

    • thelittlepip October 18, 2011 / 9:03 pm

      Thank you for this. I am hoping to use ebay too.

  2. Cate S October 17, 2011 / 5:21 pm

    Mothercare is rip-off hell!

    I was overwhelmed by the pushchair choice, went for a Quinny Buzz which I loved. Unfortunately got rid of it when I thought a Phil & Teds would be the only buggy I’d need (they work for 1 or 2 babies/kids) but after 2 of those I gave up on them and got 2 little Maclarens, a single and a double. Plan at the moment is to make do with those when the baby comes, although I would prefer to have baby facing me, which you can’t do in the Maclaren… hmm, maybe I could get another second-hand Quinny… yeah, it’s a minefield!

    • thelittlepip October 18, 2011 / 9:05 pm


      I think I’ve made a choice for a Maxi Cosi one that means I won’t need a carrycot but can be used from new born and isn’t as expensive as other ones. But first I have to brave a shop which has it to test drive.

      And if I can help it, it sure as hell won’t be mothercare!

  3. Red Boots October 18, 2011 / 9:22 pm

    We haven’t bought too much stuff. We’re getting a lot (I mean A LOT) of hand-me-downs from friends and family (the benefits of having 5 nieces and nephews and lots of friends with babies), like a cot, moses basket, baby bouncer, etc.

    However the one big purchase we had to make was a pram. We’ve gone for the Bugaboo Bee. Not because it’s fashionable, but purely because we live in a tiny house, so needed something that will fold up super small to fit in our hallway. We also live up a large flight of stairs. As a lot of the time it will just be Baby and I here, and the fact that I have no upper body strength we needed something super light. After much research it turns out the Bugaboo Bee is the lightest pram around. Which is also handy for the fact that we don’t have a car, so I’m going to have to lug it on the bus. So it was a no brainer for us. It was more than we wanted to spend, but by far the most practical option. As it was more expensive, we bought it when I was four months pregnant and we have been paying it off so that it’s paid before baby gets here. I also got a good deal on a website called Kiddisave (over £60 less than in John Lewis) and picked up the additional bits for it (like newborn insert and parasol) second hand on eBay, saving another £60.

    But yes, it does take a bit of research to find exactly what will suit your lifestyle and needs best!


    ps: mothercare is my idea of hell.

    • thelittlepip October 24, 2011 / 10:47 pm

      thank you for this. so helpful. will check out Kiddisave. x

  4. Gaynor October 24, 2011 / 4:57 pm

    I am not a mothercare fan either; we were in at the weekend at my sister-in-law wants to buy us a bouncer and we were looking for ideas! Lets just say I could of told you more useful information than the shop assistant who didnt have a clue and I had to resist not to point another shopper in the right direction for what she wanted!

    Anyway back to the point of my comment; we are getting the Bugaboo Chameleon too. We are very lucky that my parents are buying it for us. My sister has one too and she swears by it and ive loved seeing how it works compared to some others I have seen. It is also fairly light in comparison to some others and doesnt take up as much boot space as you think, we only have a seat leon and it should fit no problem in it.

    Otherwise we have a moses basket from my sister and are going to get a new cot and car seat from my husbands parents so we are also very lucky in that respect. We plan to buy just a standard chest of drawers and put a changing mat on top and maybe a chair for me to sit on for the nursery. We are ordering the pram / cot / car seat this weekend which will make me feel better.

    Other than that we havent got anything else yet apart from a few wee outfits; my sister bought us a baby gym as a gift and we got a changing bag from my aunt too. We did buy a life size penguin toy at the weekend but thats hardly essential, I just couldnt resist it!

    I am planning to breastfeed if possible but we got a microwave steriliser, bottle set & manual breast pump when morrisons had their baby week, they are worth looking out for.

    Sorry for the mammoth comment hopefully Ill get round to writing about what we have chosen on my blog eventually!

    • thelittlepip October 24, 2011 / 10:42 pm

      thanks for this Gaynor; it’s really helpful seeing what other people have chosen and what they are getting.

      My sister-in-law loves her Bugaboo Chameleon so you’re in good company. I just don’t think it will work for us. One reason being our car is too old for an isofix based carseat and I think the only ones that work with the Bugaboo are isofix ones. If anyone knows different though, I’d love to know.

      • Gaynor October 26, 2011 / 3:05 pm

        No problem; I like to know what others have gone for too since there is just so much choice!

        We are getting the maxi cosi cabriofix car seat which works as you say with the bugaboo on the additional adaptors and also with an isofix base; however my sister & best friend both had that car seat too {my friend had a quinny} and they just used it with the seatbelt in the car so I think its still possible if you were considering the bugaboo.

        • thelittlepip October 26, 2011 / 3:31 pm

          It’s funny, I just managed to find out yesterday that the isofix car attachments aren’t absolutely necessary and the car baskets can be used with just the seatbelt. Glad to hear it’s possible with others than the pebble as the thing I was reading only listed seatbelt option for the pebble.

          I think the bugaboo is still beyond our budget but perhaps will investigate option without carrycot and car basket as our nephew may have outgrown his by that point and they might be unused. Or, I can but hope!

  5. Gaynor October 24, 2011 / 5:01 pm

    Oh and I also find mothercare to be really expensive; everything we looked at in there (car seat & isofix base) is cheaper in John Lewis; I would much rather buy from JL anyway as the after sales care is so much better!

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