There was a time in my pre-kid life where I declared myself an astute shopper. I’d confidently make purchases with a cost-per-use mentality. I’d shop around for the best price on anything, from a suitcase to a vacuum cleaner, but I also happily splurged on items that deserved it. (Designer handbags, I’m looking at you!)
But around five years ago, after I welcomed the first of my two baby boys, it dawned on me that there were entire shopping centre sections that I’d never ventured into. Yep, the kiddie stores. And when parenthood came in hot, so did the realisation that I had zero strategy on how to invest in the stuff they needed to, y’know, live.
Nowadays, with a five-year-old and a three-year-old in my world, I finally have a handle on which small kid items require splurging and where you can look to save.
Watch: We ask our mums what they did that made them feel like they were failing at parenting. Post continues after video.
But an important caveat here; if you have the means and it brings you joy to go all out for your little one – do not let me stop you!
However, if you’re keen to know when you should or should not cut budget corners, then here’s a few of my tried and tested suggestions...
'The big three' baby buys.
Once that we’re-having-a-baby excitement has settled in, you’ll soon be up for 'the big three' of baby equipment purchases - the pram, cot and car seat.
And if you were hoping for a simple decision, think again. There are countless brands, models and styles to choose from - all with a wide range of price tags.
Now, we all have budgets to work with. So, bearing that in mind, I’d suggest researching the items available in your price range and try to test the product in person if you can.
Trust me, you’ll be using 'the big three' A LOT over the next few years, so if one seems a bit more comfortable or works slightly better than a marginally cheaper option - spend up. It’s worth it.
Alternatively, you can also investigate well-maintained second-hand options or even baby equipment hire to level up your 'big three' items without paying for the full RRP. Just make sure to always thoroughly check out any used goods - particularly kid’s car seats, which should be less than 10 years old and should not have previously been involved in a car accident.