Shelf Life


Often when I make bigger purchases, I wonder how long they’re going to last. It’s inevitable I suppose! And you can’t always rely on what it says on the packaging as obviously they’re going to insist your baby will still be using their bouncer when they’re 27 cause they want to sell you their product! So here’s a little list of how long we used items for in the hope it informs you a little about (a) whether to buy things at all, and (b) how much to spend on stuff.

I also did a blog a very long time ago about things we’d found completely unnecessary (here) and things we’d loved (here), although I will probably do some update posts soon! So you might find those handy if you missed them first time round! 

Bouncer: when we first got this, she barely spent any time in it at all and when she was in it, she was slumped to one side so we’d have to put blankets round her to keep her vaguely in the right position. Since she’s been moving and able to throw herself off the sofa, she’s been using the bouncer for her daytime naps and she’s still doing so.

Moses basket: some people say they’re a waste of money because they only last five minutes. Alex stayed in hers until she was six months old when she went into her own room in her cot. And she wasn’t a particularly short baby.

First size car seat: she still uses this when she’s going in a different car, although she’s been in her ‘big girl’ Maxi Cosi Two Way Pearl in daddy’s car from about six months.

Pram: we swapped from a proper lie down carrycot style pram (part of a travel system) again at around six months and she’s been using her buggy (a Joie Nitro) ever since.

Sling: Alex went in this whenever we went on walks in the countryside from about three months until about a month or so ago (so around ten months) just because she’s on the 75th centile so quite a heavy baby to lug around! My nephew is now getting the use out of our old sling, although it wasn’t a particularly expensive one so I’m sure if you invested more (and used it much more regularly to get used to it) you could make it last longer.

High chair: from six months and still using it now, although she alternates between that and her booster seat so I can see us getting rid fairly soon.

Baby bath/bath chair: the baby bath didn’t get any use from about four/five months, simply because I found it much easier to have her in the seat in the big bath. We stopped using that once she could sit completely unaided for a long time at around eight months, and she’s just sat in the big bath ever since.

Jumparoo: this was packed away about a month ago but she hadn’t used it for a fair few weeks and it was just taking up space in our living room. Once she was crawling and cruising she kind of lost interest in it, although she still loves bouncing on the bed or jumping up and down when she’s stood up.

That’s the main items I can think of that we’ve stopped using, with a few that are still going strong.

Harriet and Alexandra x

Choosing A Pram

Having a good ol' snooze in her pram.

Having a good ol’ snooze in her pram.

We were incredibly lucky in that some good friends of ours were just about to finish using their travel system (car seat, pram and pushchair) when we were on the lookout for one so we were able to snap theirs up for a more than generous price (don’t ever buy a second-hand car seat from someone you don’t know in case it’s been involved in a crash, as even a small bump can affect the internal workings of the seat). However, I’ve now been a pram user (“I’m Harriet and I use a pram nearly every day…”) for nearly five months so I wanted to share some thoughts on what to look out for in the hope of helping any wannabe pram owners!

The handles: seems like an odd place to start, but it’s the first thing I thought of when out and about yesterday thinking about the content of this post. Essentially you’re either going to end up with a pram with two handles (which is what we have on our Hauck Condor Mickey Mouse set-up) or one with a bar across the front to push it with. Ours is fab as you can pretty much balance all your shopping on the handles, something you wouldn’t be able to do with the other type. However, I do find manoeuvring is really tricky with just one hand whereas others seem fairly easy to push with one. And you can always buy a bag hook, although I doubt it would hold as many bags as two handles.

Rear/parent facing: at the moment Alexandra uses the flat pram attachment which faces into whoever’s pushing the pram. I really like this as she falls asleep very easily in it but when she’s awake it’s easy to keep an eye on her and she will generally be fine in there because she can see me or her dad. When she moves into the stroller type base (when she can sit up unaided) she’ll be facing out into the big wide world. I think she’ll really like this because she’s nosey but those who’d like their baby facing them for a little while longer might want to consider that when looking at pram options.

Colours: our pram is mainly black with some cream on it and has a very subtle Mickey Mouse design (as in a couple of sets of Mickey ears on it rather than a ‘print’ as such). Some of the prams I’ve seen SCREAM IN YOUR FACE BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL THE  BRIGHT COLOURS IN SOME CRAZY PATTERN. That’s not for me necessarily, although for some people they may love it; personally I don’t want to feel like I’m at a disco every time I take my child for a walk. It sounds obvious but it may also be worth considering a neutral colour if you’re planning another child (and would keep the same pram) or if you want to try and sell it on after use.

Ease of use: how does it go up and down? Can you get the thing on and off public transport if you’re likely to be using that? Will it be easy to explain to friends and family how to use it if they babysit or offer to help while you soothe a crying baby? Things which may have seemed simple before get infinitely more complicated when accompanied by the sound of screaming or when you’re running late because the baby’s dropped one seconds before you were due to leave.

There’s obviously loads more to think about like: how much does it cost? (Some of them are more expensive than a small car!) Does it fit in my boot? Is the car seat easy to get in and out the car? But those are just a few of my thoughts!

Harriet and Alexandra x