The Good, The Bad and The Ugly : Useful Baby Items

Recently, we have been passing on a lot of our baby stuff (the front of our house looked like a charity shop for a few days last week!)  Most of the items have been a success and seen us through 3 babies however some things we only used once and put in the loft ‘for when it would come in handy’. Having a clear out has been an uber satisfying process.  It has also made me think, if we were to buy again with the beauty of hindsight, what were the items we got the most use out of?

Here is the list –

Classic Cot Bed £395 The White Company

No point buying a normal cot as you will inevitably have to buy a cot bed.  ‘What about if and when a sibling comes along?’ Buy another cot bed as the first born wont be out of the original cot bed for a…. long… time.

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Maclaren Techno XLR £265 Mothercare

So you cant tell a first time mother to buy second hand because they won’t. (Would you have bought second hand for your Precious First Born?!)  However you can direct them towards a Maclaren. Maclaren works from the offset as it has a travel system and a new born adapter so you really can use it from newborn. They are also pretty cool…

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Bjorn High Chair £149 John Lewis

We were very kindly given this on long term loan when our second was about 10 months and it lasted till he was about 2.5. Now my daughter is using it and you wouldn’t know that it has gone through 4 children (2 of my friend’s and 2 of mine) – it is still spotless.  It is very supportive so you can use it from about 5 months. The seat extends as your child gets bigger. What I love the most is the detachable tray that makes it easy to clean. We initially bought a vast padded monstrosity with straps that became so skanky and worn we binned it after number 1. Oh, if I had known.

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Chicco Band Baby Walker £44.99

We bought a static ring of neglect, I mean bouncer, first, but should have just gone straight to this as it doubles up as a bouncer AND a walker. You can even feed the baby in it as the tray detaches. I was quite sorry to see it go! (If you don’t have the space for anything on wheels, the Jumperoo is the best option for a static one).

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BabyBjorn Baby Carrier

We have been the owners of an Ergo, a fabric sling and a back pack carrier (not all at once) but nothing compares to the trusty Bjorn which we always reverted back to. I still have a vivid memory of my husband carrying round my 3 year old in it (as a joke obvs, but it shows you how sturdy and hard wearing it is). It is also super snug for a newborn, easy to put on (once you master the technique) and most importantly comfortable. I carried a ‘refluxy’ baby around the kitchen in it for many months and we were both pretty happy for hours on end.

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Phil and Teds from £190

After resisting the pressure from most mothers of 2 or more that the Phil and Teds was the only option (as I didn’t want little bean not to have a good view) after trying a number of bulky side by side buggies, with my tail wagging between my legs, we relented and bought the Sport version.  Best decision ever.  Suits a new baby too with the cacoon. (Doubles up as a brilliant basket for footballs/scooters/buckets and spades when not in full use…)

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Playskool Explore N’ Grow Busy Ball Popper £32

I posted an article this week on my Facebook Page about less toys being better for children.  Wish I had read that a while back!  One toy that has had all three children amused for hours is the Ball Popper. With a 5, 3 and 1 year old, it is still a great toy. There are 5 balls, so no ‘mine’ and the music that accompanies it is less grating than most. The battery lasts longer than the average too.

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Nappy Stacker £44 The Nursery Window

This is on the expensive side for a nappy stacker but it hasn’t dropped a thread in 5 years of everyday use and is still as pretty as the day we bought it.

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Gro Anywhere Blind Moon and Stars £24.99

This is a savior if you are staying with people and don’t want to inflict (lack of) sleep paranoia on your hosts, as it has suckers that stick to anything and the curtain blacks out the light very sufficiently.

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Anywayup Classic Beaker £7.90 for 2

I have had many a soggy handbag situation from non leak beakers but these really wont leak. So much so they are quite hard to take the lid off but totally worth the struggle (and for the price).  They also come in green/pink/cow print and with handles.

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Some items you have to buy new (like the above obviously), but some are just as good second hand. The Buying/Selling/Giving groups on Facebook in each postcode are a simple way to buy locally and a good way to save some £££ (to put towards a much needed date night!)  My house no longer looks like I am a pantone colour tester for plastics but some of the contraptions will be missed (for a short time at least).

What items did you find useful?