Baby shopping.

That’s shopping for baby, of course, not for babies. Grammar is so important in these instances.

We haven’t yet bought these things, pending clearing out the holding pen that will become the Bunny’s nursery, but they are in the online cart and ready to go. There seems to be a lot of angst around shopping for baby things. People invest vast amounts of time and energy researching, visiting, testing, comparing and discussing everything from the big ticket items like prams right down to facecloths. I would understand this if it were all in aid of finding the very best thing, but when the choice ends up being not just the cheapest (price obviously being a sensitive factor) but also the item that has failed safety tests and been selected, it seems, purely for availability or colour-matching to the fully themed nursery, I wonder what the point is. Choosing was simple for us. Our criteria in order were:

  1. Safety
  2. Quality
  3. Useability
  4. Style (let’s not pretend that wasn’t a factor)
  5. Price

We’re obviously quite lucky that we could put price at 5. when for many it’s a 1. But nothing justifies putting style above safety.

Any thoughts or advice on the choices below?

Take Me For A Ride In Your Car, Car

With safety in mind, we wanted to invest the most into the two things that would keep our baby safest and that we would use the most – the car seat and the pram. With the car seat, I decided against a capsule because I wasn’t sure you should keep babies in them for too long anyway, and I didn’t want to pay $400 for something I’d use for a couple of months. However, if the Bunny is a shocker of a sleeper and I’m depserate to transfer from car to pram and back with a minimum of movement, I’ll look into renting one.

We chose the convertible car seat that was safest. That’s it. If anyone can tell me if there’s one safer than this, I’d appreciate it. The Safe’n’Sound Platinum AHR Air Cushion (AHR stands for the Active Head Restraint Tilt’n’Adjust head rest) has the side impact air cushion technology as well as the infant safety cushion sported by the Safe’nSound Meridian AHR Tilt’n’Adjust, and a few other small features not silliest of which is speakers in the headrest.

Safe’n’Sound Platiumum AHR convertible car seat.

Wheels and DollBaby

I’ve always maintained that a good pram is vital, because you’ll be hauling it around for many hours and possibly for many children. Sass has referred to the choice of pram as a pissing contest for mums, and I quite agree! Oh the drama and the comparisons and the feature bragging … Not that I endorse the $70 cheapie from K-Mart with its metal snap closing hinges that could snap off a baby’s fingies in a trice, but honestly, I’d prefer to use a baby carrier or sling full time that steer around the baby equivalent of a thirty year old supermarket trolley with wheels that refuse to roll in the same direction.

I didn’t have many criteria for the pram, except that it be lightweight, have one handle (so I can push with one hand … coffee in the other of course!), not revoltingly ugly, and most of all, allow for a forward and rear facing seat. I’d always been a fan of the Bugaboo Cameleon, and it was really the only one we considered after a cursory glance around the traps. It has a bassinet for newborns and a bigger seat for more upright babies and toddlers. I also bought a few accessories that I thought would be useful, including the Breezy Canopy (a lightweight canpoy with mesh inserts for summer, which will be right when the Bunny is little), a sunshade which goes all over the front of the pram to block out UV, a cup holder (for said coffees), and when winter comes I’ll consider getting the raincover and the foot muff, which I’ve heard is great because it prevents your baby from kicking off all the blankets you so carefully wrapped its little frozen feet in.

We were lucky enough to find a pristine second-hand one on Gumtree – the one and only time I’ve been on it – still with its factory wrapping and sold to us by a lovely man whose sister actually wanted the Donkey. It came nicely wrapped up and now I just have to learn to use the bloody thing!

Ours is all black just like this, and I got the cheery yellow Breezy canopy. I hate the blue/orange combo in the second photo, but the Breezy canopy is such a lovely rich sunny yellow, and this picture shows the sunshade to cover the baby’s delicate sunburnable skin.

Bugaboo Cameleon

I hate the blue/yellow combo here, but the yellow Breezy canopy is such a lovely rich sunny yellow, and this picture shows the sunshade to cover the baby's delicate sunburnable skin.

Bugaboo Breezy canopy with sunshade.

Hold Me In Your Arms

We also wanted the option of carrying our baby close to us. There is so much evidence of the benefits of babywearing, and frankly I just can’t imagine not wanting to have my new child close to my heart quite a lot. I knew I wasn’t a babywrapper (where you wrap long pieces of fabric around you or use ring slings – very simple and traditional) as I just don’t have the patience or inclination, and I also read so much about selecting a baby carrier that positioned the Bunny’s hips in the ‘correct’ position to avoid hip dysplasiathat I’d more or less narrowed it down to the Ergobaby range straight away (the Manducas are also meant to be excellent but less easy to adjust between different wearers, and I fully expect Buzz to do a bit of carting around too). We’ve chosen the Sport version for its lightweight fabric – apparently the Ergos can be quite hot with the infant insert, and we’d have an infant over summer – and I am definitely getting plain old black.

Rock-A-Bye Baby

The ideal aim (note the words ‘ideal’ and ‘aim’, not ‘it will happen come hell or high water’) is to have the Bunny in a bassinet next to our bed for at least four to six months. Evidence suggests that room-sharing is a mitigating factor for SIDS, good for bonding and also I am flummoxed by the idea that my baby will have spent its entire existence literally inside me and then I expect it to sleep by itself in another room. I also intend to demand feed, so having a bassinet next to the bed will be easier than hopping out of bed and trooping to the nursery every few hours. Naturally, all this might fall by the wayside, but I’m planning for the best and prepared for the worst.

I was shocked to learn that there are no Australian standards in relation to bassinets. Choice has done a basic review which focusses on ease of use, but that’s all there is. With that in mind, I just chose one of the two that passed Choice’s muster, the Boori Madison. We were kindly given a Boori cot so I know they are good quality furniture, and it has wheels so it can be wheeled in to the living spaces during the day. It also has a handy tray underneath for keeping things nearby for feeding,which its competitor didn’t.

Boori ‘Madison’ bassinet.

Table Manners

I have so many memories of sitting at the dinner table with my parents. I had a chair that clipped on to the table, and apparently I was such a messy eater that the floor around me was covered with drop sheets and I was dressed in a puddle suit, hood and all, so I could be stripped off directly in to the bath after I had finished mauling my food.

I am a big believer that children should be regularly included at the dinner table so that they understand the joy and social aspect of sharing food and conversation (not all the time though … sometimes there are adult things to discuss and wine to drink!). I liked the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair because it is adjustable and allows children from infants up to sit properly at the table, feet supported, and be a part of the company. Also, referring again to number 4) on the list of criteria above, I was loathe to have a vinyl patterned monstrosity sitting at my dining table, in our small living room, taking up space and looking like a machine spewed up a blancmange of plastic, wobbly metal legs, and comic animal cartoons. I’m also planning to get the baby attachment (the infant one seemed like a bit of expensive overkill), and a cute cushion which most reviews I’ve read say is unnecessary, but is so cute it’s coming home anyway.

The Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair.

Stokke Tripp Tapp baby attachment.

Stokke Tripp Trapp cushion.p

 The Bumbo
The first time I saw a Bumbo I thought it was about the cutest thing I’d ever seen. I can’t wait until the Bunny is able to sit up in theirs. Squeeeee!
 

The Bumbo. The cutest.

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