When you first turn into a parent and venture into the uncharted world of infant stores and catalogues, you will end up confronted with a staggering array of baby products and equipment. It could be some comfort to know very little of this is completely necessary — at least in the beginning.
There is no shortage of retail outlets with regard to baby products; the difficulty is a lot more in deciding where to start. Your decision includes high-street chains and department stores, grocery stores, catalogue stores and postal mail-order companies Or not to mention on the web nursery specialists. Each has the strengths and weaknesses: they are outlined below, and should help focus your shopping. In the event you use the Internet for creating purchases, you may also think it is worth visiting parenting sites for advice and info from other parents.
Baby product shopping
The most familiar infant-product outlet is actually Mothercare, but there are many other available choices; some well known, others less so.
Large baby chain stores
Mothercare is the largest and finest-known nursery chain in the UK. You will find branches throughout the region, and an increasing variety of large, out-of-town stores are being built called `Mothercare World’, these types of have a far larger range of stock compared to town-centre retailers. You can get pretty much everything you need with Mothercare — the range is actually wide and the costs reasonable, and the Mothercare own-label is very good value. However, the shop is not so good for further unusual items. You can order by means of the catalogue or the web site, both of which provide a more extensive range compared to many of the large-street stores, nevertheless the website offers around 5 times as many items as the catalogue. You can obtain a Mothercare account card to assist you spread the cost of transaction.
Babies ‘R’ Us is the specialist baby department from the US Toys ‘R’ us chain. As well as babies toys, it offers just about everything different you might need , from nursery wardrobes to wipes. The full assortment won’t be available in each and every store but can be found in the particular catalogue or on the website. The product range is comparable to those of Mothercare and in many cases the merchandise are slightly cheaper. The primary disadvantage is that since there are far fewer stores you might not have the same chance to see and try the products.
High street chains and supermarkets
Boots has a good reputation regarding feeding essentials (bottles, sterilisers and bibs, for example, along with its own-manufacturer baby food), in addition to diapers and baby toiletries. Bigger outlets also sell a good selection of toys. In most cases, stores tend to inventory small rather than big items of baby gear, so are not the place to visit to for things for example cots and prams. Nonetheless, you can order an extensive selection of larger things from the ‘Mother as well as Baby’ section of a boots website, or from the `Mother and Baby’ catalogue, for sale in stores.
Marks and Spencer has started to share nursery items in several larger stores. You can decide on a small selection of child car seats, pushchairs and cots, even though M&S is actually stronger on baby clothing and nursery accessories for example bedding. Again, you can buy in the catalogue or online, even though these don’t feature just about all M&S child products available and you will not find the same wide selection as in the largest retailers.
Supermarkets are making in-roads in the nursery products market. Your nearest supermarket will probably be among the best places for picking up necessities such as nappies, baby wipes and formula milk with your regular shopping. Most generate their own lines, that are comparable in quality towards the leading brands but far better value for money.
A couple of supermarkets have gone a measure further. Tesco has a thorough baby and child line, available either in stores or perhaps online, called `You plus your child’ — which is filled with products not generally on its shop shelves. It includes a reasonably good collection of items, including cots as well as bedding, although the option is not as extensive as that from a baby’s room specialist such as Mothercare. No other supermarkets complement the scale of Tesco on baby products, even though some are good in particular locations.
For example, Sainsbury’s includes a deal with the Early Learning Centre (ELC) so a selection of ELC toys are now obtainable in many Sainsbury’s stores, and also Asda offers a excellent selection of baby as well as children’s clothing. A selection of greater Asda stores also include a ‘George Babyshop’, with baby car seats, pushchairs and other basic nursery items.
Several department stores have superb nursery departments. Although the amounts available may not be great, many will have a great selection of quality goods. It’s worth paying a visit to the local department store to see what it really can offer. John Lewis, for example, has a specifically good reputation for ‘up-market’ nursery goods as well as out of the ordinary accessories and also own-label as well as ‘designer’ baby clothes (while not all stores will inventory the same items). Child products and toys tend to be listed on the web site, and you can purchase online.
Even if you think of catalogue shops such as Argos since the sort of place to get a cheap video recorder or vacuum cleaner, they can also be excellent sources of nursery products. Argos in particular offers outlets all over the country, and its particular nursery range includes the majority of the items you might be searching for, with major brand names — all at value-for-money prices. You can order from your local store, or perhaps from home via the particular catalogue or online.