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Amongst the sheer mass of baby-related products we’ve bought, and the millions of pounds we’ve spent in the past two years, there are a few little diamonds that stand out amongst the bigger purchases as particularly great buys. So I thought, I’d share a few of my favourites:

IKEA High Chair
The high chair, a critical purchase. These things get so much daily use, and with meal times not always being the most stress-free of experiences (for all parties), it’s essential that you don’t give yourself the unnecessary headache of wanting to launch your (empty) highchair through the nearest window.

Don’t be lured in by fancy designer high chairs that look like a cross been a boiled egg and iRobot. They will not make the rest of your house look as fancy as the houses you’ll see in the adverts for these overpriced, Mork and Mindy inspired lumps of plastic. All they’ll do is make you get disproportionately stressed when that bit of bolognese sauce starts to stain it’s perfectly spherical white behind,and make you realise how the rest of your house doesn’t look like an Apple showroom.

Allow me to do you a kindness and take the pain out of this decision…. Buy the £14 IKEA high chair and use the £500 you’ve saved to go away with the fam. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this cornerstone of IKEA is not the most beautifully designed piece of furniture you’re going to own (unless you are us, then it most definitely is) but when it comes to function and value for money you really can’t beat it. I’ve been itching to get some bullet points into this post since I started writing it so here are my reasons to buy the IKEA high chair

  • Price – at £14 (£21 with the cushion) it’s more of a bargain than Peter Schmeichel back in 1991.
  • Cleaning – no awkward crevices for half eaten fish fingers and biscotti to find their way into, and with the removable tray, cleaning really is a 2 minute job. Well, unless it’s been one of ‘those’ lunchtimes where you’re going to have to jetwash the living room, high chair, baby, dogs and yourself.
  • Weight – with its simplistic design and lack of bells and whistles, this high chair is seriously light and easy to move from room to room when compared to its wooden counterparts.
  • They’re everywhere – I’d say 50% of restaurants use these high chairs, and even more so when you go abroad, so when your little Adam Richman rocks up to smash their latest man vs food contest, they’ll be perfectly happy in their favourite seat.

The Jumperoo
It stands alongside the Large Hadron Collider and Channel Tunnel as a marvel of modern engineering, and is an absolute must for any parent who has to actually ‘do things’ around the house. So unless you have an entourage of hired help to do your housework (if you do, I’m surprised you’re still reading after my £14 IKEA recommendation), I strongly advise you get on the Jumperoo train. Other than the obvious benefit of being able to do stuff, it’s great fun watching them wear themselves out bouncing around like MC Hammer.

You can never have enough storage….

Joolz Geo
Whilst I could write a whole post on this subject alone, I’ll try to keep this brief…. In my opinion if you have to use something everyday, you should never compromise on quality as you’ll only regret it if you do. Unfortunately, there are absolutely shed loads of pushchairs in every price bracket so your budget doesn’t really narrow it down all that much. In the end you just need to decide what’s important to you and you’ll find what you need. We went for the Joolz Geo for the following reasons:

  • Kate really liked it.

 

Big Sensible Car
If you are anything like me and you actually like cars, then get ready to make a big fat apology in advance to yours, because it’s about to appear in an episode of ‘Kid My Ride’. Picture it, Xzibit has just nipped round to collect your pride and joy, it’s been through the Kid My Ride workshop and he’s spitting these bars ahead of the big reveal…

“I’m talking baby seats, baby mirrors, murdered-out suction cup, blinds and baby on board signs that keep falling off. The latest baby in-car entertainment including nursery rhyme CDs, iPad holders so you never miss an episode of Blaze and toy cars that get jammed in the seat mechanisms. We’ve installed enough blankets to cover the BFG, we got changin’ bags, snacks and raisins stuck to the roof lining for added street credibility… For real”.

Bear in mind that I haven’t even mentioned a pushchair or, heaven forbid you’re going away for a weekend, your own luggage and in our case, dogs (to be clear, not dogs in our case). With this in mind, it really is worth making that leap to a big sensible car. It makes life so much easier not having to shoehorn all of your gear into the back of a Mini every time you need to go out. And if you can afford a 4×4 or something a little taller, you might just save a few trips to the chiropractor…

FYI – this isn’t our car, it’s Fenh’s. Not sure about his private plate though…

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