Baby-buy must-haves for switched-on parents
- Credit: Sally White
So what parenting equipment is actually essential? A Norwich mum-of-two and blogger bigs up backpacks, buggies and Netflix
First time around my approach was 'No gear and no idea.' Nappies were changed on laps, sterilising was done in a salad bowl with a splash of Miltons and I schlepped the baby about in a third-hand sling.
Enough time has passed for me to realise there are a few things that make life easier with a couple of kids but they are things I never would have guessed:
A bomb-proof phone cover.
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Kids love to plop an iPhone down the loo. They love to play Duplo games on your brand-new upgrade while eating Weetabix. They love to smack your phone out of your hand while you're sending a work email. Get ahead of the game and behind the whims of fashion by getting one of those whacking great rubbery phone covers. Even if your child hasn't worked out where its hands are yet, anyone who's tried to play Candy Crush whilst breastfeeding knows the perils of dropping a phone.
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Changing bags are the biggest swindle of parenthood. Firstly because they're always marketed at women and men are just as nifty at changing a nappy thankyouverymuch and secondly they always have cupcakes or hearts on and neither of those things are particularly associated with defecation. Plus, if you've got a cross-body bag on you and you lean over to pick up your child, 20lbs of junk you cart about in your bag comes hurtling down and clouts your darling on the head. It's all about the backpack. Load up, sling it on your back or hook it on the buggy and you've chosen comfort and good posture over impracticality.
I realise my advice is more Year Seven Chic then Yummy Mummy but that phrase has always repulsed me and everyone knows 11 year olds are the coolest little mavericks in the school. Having your keys around your neck is flipping handy. Think how many times you've hurled your keys into the car while you strap in a squawking, writhing child. Think how many times you've then screamed 'WHERE ARE MY KEYS?!' Pop them on a fancy lanyard and you'll be feeling smug. Thank you to my friend Richy for this tip; she always looked so calm on the school run and this was her secret.
A museum pass
I like to mention this at every possible opportunity but Norfolk Museums do a pass for all their museums (castle, Time and Tide, Gressenhall amongst several others) for a very reasonable price. It's such a good idea because when you've got Four Wall Syndrome you can pop to a museum for an hour, have a slab of cake and come home and you've done something with the day. If museums aren't your bag (we can never be friends) then there are season tickets to other attractions.
You look like you know what you're doing with a Maclaren umbrella buggy. They're the Ford Focus of prams and they send a strong message: you don't need the flashy bit of pricey kit, you're a pro. You can get a cradle bit that lays on top for when they're small and then use it as a fold up buggy until you're buggy-free. And there are zillions for sale second-hand. Hurrah!
Because you never go out and it's got PAW Patrol on it. Everyone's happy. Best fiver you'll spend.
A comfy dressing gown
The more synthetic the better (cotton ones don't warm up fast enough). Big pockets for lip balm and snacks. Go extra large for extra comfort. Splash out on a cheerful pattern because you'll probably spend a good deal of time in it. Heaven.
And that's it! Forget your nappy bins, your video baby monitors and your state of the art buggies. Pop on your slippers, switch on Netflix and save your money for a museum pass.
Sally White blogs at wifeofawigwearer.com or catch up with her on instagram @wifeofawigwearer.