I’ve recently shifted back to Australia from the UK in preparation for my first child. Figured family and friends could come in handy. So in addition to expecting Baby Number One in the frighteningly near future, I’m also reacquainting myself with a country that looks the same but feels different (or it could be me), and all the jargon, tricks, products and advice about ‘shopping for baby’.
What makes it even more fun are the exasperated eye rolls you get if you don’t know about something and the assumption that – because you’re a woman – you should. I’d be forgiven for finding a cave to hide in for the next year. Like many new Mums, I haven’t got a clue. It’s all new and daunting.
I quite like my creature comforts, so I’ve opted out of the cave solution and instead went in search of help. I found it at Baby Kingdom at Bankstown in Sydney where I learned more in one hour with their sales team than I thought I would ever know.
For a start, I have to say this store is designed with sanity in mind. Actually, that’s a fib. It’s designed with insanity in mind: particularly the confused, sleep deprived and nervous insanity of new parents who don’t have the headspace to cope with a poorly disorganised store. Here you will find a neatly organised, one-floor space that tenderly guides you to what you need for feeding, getting your baby on the move, dressing and protecting your baby from the elements, and sorting your nursery space.
Babies have to eat
We started in the feeding and care section – right near the entrance. Here we found the breast pumps, the dummies, the bottles, the formula, the sterilisers and the countless other items I’m preparing myself to term as ‘necessities’ in the coming months. You can sleepwalk in, grab, pay, go.
I’m toying with the notion of a breast pump, but don’t know if I’ll need one yet so holding out – but the advice on electric versus manual was straightforward, human and honest. Basically, I’m not going to be in the mood for manual labour and some nifty person far better at maths than I has taken the time to sort an electric option. I say that’s a winner in my book. So I took notes. At the moment the Avent Electric is looking like an option, but we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted in late April.
Getting baby around: Prams, buggies, strollers etc…
Then there was The Buggy. Or Pram. Or Stroller. Or Integrated Travel System. Or Hydrogen Fuelled Infant Rocket. Honestly, my head was spinning on the Big Buggy Dilemma. In any case, I was eased into this with an explanation on a few key factors that I found helpful as criteria for this monster purchasing decision.
There are a few options on baby carriers and slings as well. I’m eyeing up the Baby Bjorn Active myself.
A place for baby to sleep
Then it’s time for the nursery – a whole other story. But it should be said that there isn’t just the cot to consider: linen, mattress protectors, night lights – it’s all there.
Babywear and grooming
You also have accessories, baby grows, grooming and skincare to consider. So there are the lotions, bathing, clothes and of course, nappies and associated products for taking care of a key preoccupation in early life.
Oh my, and then there are the toys. Which is a whole other adventure.
For the minute, I’m enjoying the fact that I actually understand all this a little better and had it explained to me by friendly, helpful and thorough people. They didn’t stare at me aghast that I don’t have the magic microchip that allegedly equips every female with immediate encyclopedic knowledge about baby kit. They have an online checklist too.
If I wasn’t eight months up the duff, I would have invited my newfound best friends out for a glass of wine in thanks.