Better half and I are slightly older than average parents ( no numbers) so have had the benefit of watching both sets of family go through the early stages of family life. You’d have thought this would have warned us but we naively jumped in both feet first anyway.
My younger brother’s wife, after we’d told them and the shock had subsided, sent me what is now known simply as ‘the list’. An excel spreadsheet that managed in 100 lines to convey to us how little we knew, how much we needed to buy and how wildly life was about to change. It had words on it that, at the time, we had no clue about. ‘Breast Pump’, ‘sleep suits’ and ‘a travel system’.
It was daunting but also a life saver. Here on our computer screen was now the first guidance as to what to buy and how to do this, from someone we trusted and we knew had got it about right. And we followed it, added to it, highlighted it, researched it and finally ticked off all the bits we thought we needed. And then we sent it to everyone else we knew was having a baby too. And we still do. So…
The Travel System
This merits an entire post all of its own. What used to be called a pram or a push chair has been techno-geeked, health and safety-d and posh-and-becks-d. No one can have just a pushchair any more. I looked cluelessly around at the huge number, types and styles available with no idea what I was doing -the last time I’d even looked at a pram, it was for a doll, not an actual baby. So Better Half did the manly thing and whisked me and impending bump down to nearby John Lewis and interrogated the nice lady in the baby department for an hour. I then weebled (I was 30 weeks, walking was no longer possible) round the fourth floor pushing each of them and trying not to hurl in the Haberdashery department. There were things I hadn’t thought of like the fact that I’m tall with a penchant for heels means that some of the handles were too low. Others were quite heavy. Some were just a bit too cool or frankly not quite us. But here’s what we learnt…
The wheel chassis is now an individual entity upon which varying attachments can be added, albeit you buy them as a set. The wheels themselves range from your super sleek, about town designed by nasa types to your ruggedised, off road trikes designed to scale Everest. Are you a stroller, a walker, a hiker or a runner? City slicker or country bumpkin? Don’t let your baby carriage limit your lifestyle. Ha!
On top of the wheel chassis, is the baby carrier itself. And again lifestyle dictates but there are other practicalities in there too. For the first month or so, bimp is basically an eating and sleeping mini machine with no head control. The first part of the carriage bit then is probably the bit that looks like a pram. Somewhere bimp can sleep post feed and you can get on with shopping or your lifestyle coffee when you finally manage to get out of the house. The second attachment is more of a seat. We didn’t really start using this til about month three when neck control was good and he was less asleep. The seat we got can be rotated however and that’s really useful. It can either face you (probably best to begin with) or away from you (junior loved this, like a whole new world had opened up to him!). It can also be rotated from a pretty aggressive upright position through a couple of in between stages to a laid back Kipping position. Ideal now the little dude is six months and super curious but still needs his nap times.
The final attachment in terms of baby carriage is the transferable car seat. From safely attached to whatever mummy bus you drive to safely attached to the wheel chassis without so much as waking the bimp up. Word of warning, there are plenty out there who will warn you not to keep junior in his car seat too long because it might give them back issues. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/x554834/is-it-safe-to-let-my-baby-sleep-in-his-car-seat
Be sensible with the amount of time junior has in the car seat. He will let you know when he’s had enough though.
The final thing to add about travel systems is the cost. They can easily run into four figure sums of money. Of course, junior is worth it but do your research and the same super deluxe, super safe travel system in a smart store might be a few hundred quid cheaper online. And that money you can spend on starting a savings account for the wee man or buying the rest of the stuff on ‘the list’.