First time mothers get easily lured in to buying many unnecessary bits and bobs that could end up costing a fortune. If you have no experience in the aria, knowing what things are absolute baby necessity can be quite stressful. Pressure from other mums or sales associates can also add to the never ending list of baby furniture and toys that you “must have”. As a strong opinionated mother-to-be, with no experience but plenty of hours of online research under my belt, I searched for the best combination of strategies for getting the essentials. Here are a few useful tricks I picked up along the way on how to get all baby necessities, receive the best advice and get the best of baby personal shopper services.
Shopping for a newborn baby is very overwhelming because of the endless list of clothes, cots, creams, changing mats/bags/accessories that mums need. If this is you first baby it is very hard to resist the urge of just getting one of everything and call it a day. Looking back at my personal experience there was definitely a point where reasonable thinking went out the window and I end up with many extra baby toys, clothes or accessories I really do not need. So here are few useful tips on how to shop for big and small baby items (that you will actually use):
- Do your research before hitting up the stores – this is absolute imperative when it comes to high ticket items such as car seats, baby pushchairs, prams and buggies, cots and beds, other furniture or baby monitors. Set your eyes on a specific model or functionality and read good few reviews of how other mums find it useful.
- Check all items in store – this golden rule applies the most especially when it comes to baby prams and baby monitors. I end up changing my mind on the model few times simply because it look too bulky/heavy/hard to fold or store/hard to use on the go.
- Schedule free baby personal shopper appointment before you buy– this type of service is not particularly popular, for one reason or another, but actually comes with many advantages. There is nothing more valuable than getting the full undivided attention of a knowledgeable sales associates on a busy Saturday afternoon! Also most department sales people are well familiar with how to handle the product, distinct product features and comparability with other brands. This type of information is quite essential and much easier to digest in person. Nevertheless, do your research upfront and be prepared to say NO to all the additional accessories which are not included in the price. Ask as many questions as possible and do challenge particular models or designs, after all you will be the one being stuck with it for awhile. Most often personal shopping services that are part of the big retail chains are completely free, they take place in separate and quite rooms with comfortable seats and refreshments, all vital components of surviving two hour baby shopping with your spouse.
- Get your baby clothes, books and toys on promotion – there is a nine months period to find the best deals and pick the best items from sales, so go ahead and take advantage of your time.
Recently I tried Mamas & Papas Personal Shopping experience and let me tell you its a great way to start your baby shopping journey. The service is completely free and you can book it any time that suit your schedule. There is no minimum spend required or any sort of obligation to buy anything after your consultation. What I personally liked the most was the fact that by arranging this appointment upfront I secured unlimited (well they said up to two hours) time with a designated sale associate that was only catering to my needs and wants. I had her complete undivided attention and she never run out to help other potential clients during my “alone time to think about it”. The appointment started with sit down face-to-face meeting over tea and cookies, where we discussed what pieces I currently have and what is left to purchase. First we looked online at the products and available options than moved on to walking around the shop floor and going through our pre-selected items. Susan* was very lovely and answered my many questions. She demonstrated products and really make me understand/determine which product will work for me and my lifestyle. I never felt pressured to buy anything, she was just being helpful pointing out the practicalities of using travel changing mats, difference between the four types of baby thermometers or why one might need a rear view car seat mirror. The whole experience was very positive and did result in few planned and unplanned purchases (I’ve never heard of Sophie The Giraffe, which apparently is a very popular baby toy from Paris). Meanwhile my other half also enjoyed his time, sitting down devouring one too many biscuits.
Despite the fact that we did not buy much or spend more than anticipated there was a small complimentary gift at the end of our session. The gift included a nice white set of newborn clothes and other baby bits. It was a nice gesture and considering how nice the staff was during our appointment I would gladly recommend this personal shopping service to any mum to be. You can book your private Mamas & Papas Personal Shopping experience via their main website.
*Susan is a very knowledgeable lady that works in Mamas & Papas shop in Fort Kinnaird Retail Park in Edinburgh. She was of great help and very assertive.