Baby paraphernalia has a way of making the brain hurt – there is so much of it and working out what is and isn’t useful, especially when you’re a first time parent, can be proper hard work.
And the thing with asking advice is that all of your mummy friends will have differing opinions – am I right?
Consumer champion Which? recently surveyed a load of parents (with children under the age of five) to create a tip ten list of the most useful baby products out there – things that you can’t have small children and do without. So, in the name of ‘majority rules’, here’s the outcome:
- Stair gates (£15 to £100)
- Baby changing bag (£20 to £250)
- Audio baby monitor (£20 to over £60)
- Electric steam steriliser kit (£30 to £100)
- Microwave steam steriliser kit (£20 to £50)
- Video baby monitor (no suggested price – presumably quite expensive)
- Baby sleeping bag (£10 to £20)
- Digital ear thermometer (£10 to £40)
- Baby bouncer chair (£20 and £70)
- Travel cot (£20 to over £100)
It seems that UK parents prioritise safety – stair gates (70 per cent of parents surveyed own one), baby monitors, sterilising equipment etc.
As a mum of three, I definitely rate travel cots and thermometers. Audio baby monitors are useful but I wouldn’t say that a video monitor is essential by any means. Stair gates offer peace of mind if you have stairs in your home and a mobile baby and a baby bouncer chair is a brilliant contraption – ours, which was passed down from a friend, has been well used. But when it comes to baby changing bags – any old bag will suffice – and although baby sleeping bags are a great way to stop children from wiggling out of their blankets, I seem to have used them less and less the more children I have had; can’t explain it.
And sterilisers? Is it worth forking out cash for a fancy one? I’ve always used a pretty basic microwave steamer; my only gripe being that it is too small – but I have not been put out enough to spend more on a bigger one. The point: fancy isn’t essential but f a potential fear of germs and infection will be assuaged by a pricey steriliser, the money is most likely worth it!
What do you think? What baby items did you find the most useful?