The following is a guest post about baby essentials. If interested in submitting a guest post, please read my guest post policy and then contact me.
The decision to have a baby is one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever make, one that will stay with you for the next 20, or if you’re unlucky even 30 years of your life. According to a large online newspaper the average cost of raising a child to adulthood in the UK is around £218,000, quite a staggering amount. So with all the costs involved with raising a child, it’s no wonder that people look for areas where they can possibly save money. There are many ways that we can make cutbacks to try and reduce the costs but we will take a look at those another day. Instead I’m going to mention a few kids items that for various reasons I would never cut back on to just to save a bit of money.
When I first learned that the eldest of my two boys Isaac was going to be entering the world, I was truly shocked by the amount of things we needed to buy. High at the top of the priority list was a car seat because after all, we couldn’t get him home from the hospital without one. If you’ve ever shopped for a baby car seat then you will know that prices vary drastically. As with all things, when the price varies so does the quality. When it comes to the safety of a child I’m a great believer in paying for the best item you can realistically afford.
The other thing that differs greatly with the price of car seats is the functionality. Some are front facing, others rear facing, some heavy, others light and the list goes on. Mrs.B and I decided that because we were going to be lugging this thing around for the next year or so, it wasn’t worth buying cheap. Finally try not to let the temptation of a second hand car seat on eBay lure you in. With no quality checks or guarantees, is it really worth the risk? Plus you don’t know if the seat has any damage from a previous accident affecting the current safety performance of the seat itself. You might think that no one would be heartless enough to sell a damaged car seat online but I’m sure there are people out there that would.
Similar to the car seat, as a parent you’re going to be wrestling with any pram you buy for the next couple of years, maybe longer if you keep using it for a second child. (Sorry to scare any men reading this!) Seriously though you’ll need a pram that manoeuvres well, with quality components, will take the weight of shopping bags and most of all will be reliable. In my eyes it’s just not worth buying a cheap pram.
It took a lot of convincing from Mrs.B to get me to agree with her on this point but at long last she won me over. Apparently – because toddler’s bones are so malleable – cheaply made or even second hand shoes have the potential to damage the feet and in turn the growth of a young child irreversibly. I’m not saying you have to spend a fortune and fork out for designer brands; I would just avoid the really cheap brands. There are many good UK websites where you can buy kids shoes on sale without having to sacrifice the quality.
Talking about the support needed for the bone structure of growing babies, a good quality mattress is something that shouldn’t be overlooked! There are many features that are important to look out for such as being fire resistant, anti-allergenic and one that I feel is vital… waterproof! Also do a bit of research about what kind of supportive filling you want for your baby. Will it be a foam, spring, pocketed or duel core etc. Each one has its features so it’s completely up to you.
The key to getting the best value for money on all of the above products is good research! You don’t have to go wild and completely blow your budget, but don’t let the cheap price of an item lure you into buying a bad product.
What do you think? Are there any items I’ve missed and what is your experience with the items mentioned above?