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Buy, buy, baby, good-buy: Leigh Sanders goes shopping for baby

By Leigh Sanders | Woman | Published:

Getting ready for baby’s arrival will mean hitting the shops and buying all sorts of bits and pieces. Leigh Sanders gets used to the idea. . .

Top of the list – what to buy? . . . there’s lots to think about

So the ultrasound has been and gone and we know we can look forward to having a bonny little boy – I feel like I have completed level two on some mysterious video game. Just about anyway, there is one boss level which neither me or the other half can seem to figure out – the car seat.

We are pretty confident about a lot of our decisions. Our cot seems sturdy, the baby bouncer looks a right laugh if bells and animal faces are your poison, while we know roughly what we are looking for when it comes to upgrading one of the I’m-20-something-and-love-my-cheap-little-runaround cars.

But that damned car seat. . .

I ventured into one parental store recently and saw the shelves arching away from me, stacked from top to bottom with all different makes of carriers; alternating colours, sizes, safety warnings and price tags.

The rabbit in the headlights feeling quickly whooshed into a sort of confused paralysis. For years I have mocked my mum for her technophobia when it comes to computers. Her slow stare at the screen and her one-fingered typing that turns a sentence into a lifetime. Now I know what she feels.

Each information tag threw numbers and measurements and technological words at me that meant about as much as a Frisbee to a fish.

Luckily, like many a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, I have the option to phone a friend.

Now, more than ever, we have come to realise the generosity of those around us.

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It seems parents of slightly older nippers are queueing up to offer tips, ideas and even their child’s former merchandise they no longer need. Many offer prices that seem to be doing them out of a small fortune, while others just want it gone to make way for their child’s next fad or phase. It is reassuring to be able to count on the experience of another to guide us, particularly when we are this clueless on certain items.

We have had some amazing offers to help us out with some of the more expensive wares, and we thank everyone who has come forward. And they have also been able to point us in the direction of items they ‘couldn’t live without’, while ushering us away from things they thought were necessary but it turned out their little one wasn’t interested in.

Then there are the families who seem to be forming an orderly queue already to provide babysitting duties. If the great grandmother on the maternal side lives up to how often she says she will watch mini me then it will probably not know what his parents look like. We’ll be having better social lives than we do now.

While there are moments when you still feel real fear about raising a baby correctly and not hurting the little guy along the way, these are few and far between when you have a real team behind you with experience in this field.

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I wasn’t sure if pregnancy would feel like a very lonesome road in the sense of each parent is totally different and nothing anyone can say relates to how you are feeling so please shut the hell up.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. This network of helpers and advice givers has been hidden to me all this time, and now the clubhouse doors have finally been swung open and the party sounds great inside.

I now look forward to a time when I can be the advice giver, and hopefully help another parent-to-be feel that same feeling of inclusiveness and belonging. You’re in the club now mate, here’s your badge.

Don’t be bamboozled by shopping for your little one

  • Clothing shouldn’t be at the top of the shopping list. Gifts from relatives will have your little one kitted out.
  • We all know ebay has absolutely everything, but ebay has absolutely EVERYTHING. Baby Peaky Blinders outfit? Sure. Baby Viking hat. . .errr, yep.
  • The people who create playmats are a very different breed. Some of the designs are downright crazy. Can I have what they are drinking please?
  • You are going to have a lot of baby bits and bobs, so make space for it. A cot, Moses basket, chair, baby bouncer, playmat. There will always be somewhere to lie down.
  • Baby book authors must be preparing little ones for adult life forgetfulness. In nearly every book the star has lost something and needs to find it.
  • Farley’s Rusks are heavenly. You will need to buy three boxes – one for baby and two for yourself.
Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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