While trawling through my old posts (yes I am my own biggest fan), I re-read my pre-baby thoughts on shopping for baby here and thought I’d update on what actually happened once a real, live baby was introduced.
I said: we’d get a Safe’n’Sound Platinum AHR Air Cushion Tilt’n’Adjust.
What happened: we did buy this seat and were most gratified when the installation guy said it was the best on the market. However … I felt the seat was a little loose. I took it to another installer, Baby On Board who operate out of Baby Bunting stores, and that installer confirmed that there was 10cm of slack in the seatbelt! After correct re-installation and then re-re-installation when we got a new car (and another check over when I accidentally undid the seat, Buzz re-installed it and I wanted it properly checked by a professional), I am very happy to recommend Baby On Board who on each of the three occasions I’ve dealt with them have been friendly and professional, as well as very helpful and happy to share advice.
The seat itself has been easy to use, comfortable for Alice who routinely falls asleep in hers, and I like that at 8 months, about 10kg and well over 70cm, there is still a lot of room before I have to turn her from rear to forward facing.
Verdict: Winner winner (faux) chicken dinner.
I said: I wanted a Bugaboo Cameleon and was stoked to have scored a brand new but second hand one on Gumtree.
What happened: Well. Serve me right to trying to cut corners. After using the Gumtree pram for a couple of months I began to get suspicious about its authenticity. After some investigative work and contact with Bugaboo it was confirmed that we’d tripped over ourselves to buy a fake – and no cheap fake at that. I was furious not only to have been taken for a ride (excuse the pun) but also that I’d been pushing around my baby in an untested pram for months. It also galled me no end that I don’t really have any recourse short of fronting up to the house where we picked the pram up from and shouting obscenities.
On the bright side, when we went to replace El Fake-O we were able to get a third generation Cameleon and it is love. It’s really a fantastic pram and worth every cent. It’s smooth, light, versatile and turns on a dime, as well as allowing a lot of customisation and accessorising which are absolutely critical factors (yes?).
Verdict: six of one and half a dozen of the other. Embarrassed to be fooled but thrilled with the real deal.
I said: we’d get the ErgoBaby Sports carrier. Well we did. Eventually. We actually bought the Stokke baby carrier first because I liked its set up. What a fail! It was virtually impossible to get on by yourself due to a confusing number of carabiners and clips, and we never even wore it out of the house. What did we get when we realised it didn’t suit any of us? The ErgoBaby Sports Carrier. And the Ergo was a dream. In her early days Alice rejected any form of transportation that didn’t involve her being held, and the Ergo was an absolute lifesaver in getting out and about. I’d use the pram as a shopping trolley while I enjoyed a regular three solid hours of sleep to her snuggled against my chest. We’ll definitely be using it next time, or perhaps even moving to a Manduca as you don’t have to wear an infant insert with them, and I found the Ergo’s ‘Heart to Heart’ infant insert really quite hot and sweaty over the summer months. Either way, these soft-structured carriers are a godsend and one of our best purchases.
Verdict: We should have trusted our first instinct, which proved to be correct. Now stuck with almost unused and very expensive Stokke carrier, but are confident and enthusiastic baby wearers.
I said: we’d buy the Boori Madison as one of only two bassinets that passed Choice magazine’s testing, in lieu of any actual standards, and planned to have Alice in our room for at least six months.
What happened: the bassinet was a great buy, it was just that Alice resisted being put in it with all her little being. It also didn’t last as long as we expected as Alice started getting too big for it by about 4 months, and although I was going to try to keep her in it for as long as possible at night while introducing the cot for day naps, she ended up sleeping better in her cot in her own room away from our snoring, turning over, animals moving and other nocturnal annoyances. We bought a baby monitor to help ease the difficulty of not having her by our sides over night.
Verdict: Necessary but not useful for as long as we thought. Currently on loan to a friend.
I said: we’d buy the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair as it facilitated children sitting up at the table and would last for years.
What happened: The Tripp Trapp is lovely and will indeed be used for years. However even though we thought we wanted Alice pulled right up to the dining table, the Tripp Trapp positioned her too low and, without the option of a clip-on tray, meant she couldn’t see or manipulate the food on the table. We had to replace it with a Baby Bud for the time being (see below).
Verdict: 60% fail, 40% pass. The chair is lovely but currently not suitable. I also resented having to buy the baby attachment and cushion in the end as it just felt like spending more and more money on things that should have been standard.
I said: Bumbos were the cutest thing I’d ever seen.
What happened: Bumbos are great if your baby doesn’t have deliciously rotund thighs. Mine does, and by the time she could sit up in it her legs were too big for its piddling thigh holes and the Bumbo would lift up still attached to her bottom when I picked her up. We ended up getting a Mamas and Papas Baby Bud which has leg holes more suited to the sturdy-thighed lass, and which can be used both by older children and strapped to a dining chair as a high chair, which it is.
Verdict: Fail. Great product but unsuitable for our bubba. However we are very happy with the Baby Bud which is much more versatile item anyway, and I was able to sell the Bumbo.
So, all up a collection of passes with flying colours, dismal failures and shoulda-coulda-wouldas. In the end we have everything that works for us, and some of those things we wouldn’t have known until we’d met our baby. Some overly-enthusiastic early purchasing might be to blame for some misadventures, but overall we have things that work and will be re-used.