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Shopping for first baby and need some impartial, experienced opinions.

(14 Posts)
dozyrosie Sun 14-Aug-11 20:40:53

Before I started looking I had no idea of how much there was to choose from and all the things there are to consider. After weeks of trawling the web, shops and books I've just made my mind up on a pram, car seat and cot.
With the aim of getting good quality, value for money, that will last as long as possible. We have a small house, my DP drives a Ford Fiesta, and I use public transport.
This is what I'm thinking of getting:

Silver Cross Surf
www.silvercross.co.uk/prams-and-travel-systems/surf/

Britax First Class Pluss
www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_763171_langId_-1_categoryId_165763#dtab

Kiddicare Space Saver Cot
www.kiddicare.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/productdisplayA_2472_10751_-1_45694_136162_10001_14687

I'm in need of some impartial, honest experience and I'd really appreciate your thoughts on any of these. I just need to know that I'm choosing wisely.

ParkerRocks Sun 14-Aug-11 20:51:08

Hi dozyrosie! Buying for your first baby is a minefield! Have you checked the carseat will fit your car using the fit finder on the Britax website? The fit of the carseat is very important in ensuring it's safe for your little one.
The cot looks lovely! Much like the one I had for my first. Based on the fact you use public transport and also the longevity I would suggest you consider the Maclaren XLR with the soft cot for the early days. I made the mistake of buying an expensive pram only to downsize to a maclaren when my little one was about 6 months old! The pram was barely used after 6 months!

carpetlover Sun 14-Aug-11 20:51:48

Firstly, congratulations. I'm on my fourth and clearly remember how we literally knew nothing when our first born came along.

Ok, the pram looks fine to me. Nice to have a carrycot when they're little. Is it one they can safely sleep in? Some are and some aren't. If you get one that is then you don't need to worry about a moses basket or similar. Though of course, you can put them in the cot each time. Have you checked how it folds and bumps up/down kerbs? There will be steps of some sort in the shops to try. You could also check out the pushchair reviews on MN. The only thing that would put me off from looking at the picture is how small the basket is. But then I always ended up filling mine.

The car seat seems fine too. I have no experience of the combined stage 0 and stage 1 ones. Again, check the reviews. My only worry would be how well it reclines for a newborn as if theyre too vertical, their head flops forward. Also, check how it fits in the car.

The cot looks a great price but buying as space saving one can be a false economy. Firstly they might grow out of it before they are ready for a bed and second, I have always found cotbeds to be excellent because the tiny low down toddler bed is so much more suited to them that an enormous single bed which is often too high in those first few bed months when they continually fall out. So, personally, I'd opt for a cot bed if you have the room.

Sorry, not really much help. Good luck with everything though!

BonzoDooDah Mon 15-Aug-11 17:10:27

The pram looks great and so does the car seat. One thing to consider is if you want a car seat with a handle that attaches to the pram base as I found that really useful for moving a sleeping baby about. Although they do get heavy really quickly so you won't be carrying them in that for long but sticking it on the pram is great. Also good for things like going to the supermarket and putting the car seat in the shopping trolley rather than wake them. Something like this with a pram and carry cot for less than the Silver Cross.

Romilly70 Mon 15-Aug-11 17:23:20

Would also second buying a "travel system" where you transfer the car seat straight onto the pushchair chassis.
DS is 10 months now, and I bought this for him
www.amazon.co.uk/HAUCK-ALL-TRAVEL-SYSTEM-PLUS/dp/B004FJJFNK

I used the car seat till he was 9 months and then we have bought a stage 2 seat which will last till he is 12yrs. (bits keep detaching so it "grows" with him.)

Also, I don't use public transport (as we live in the countryside and don;t have any!!) but ocassionally when i have had to carry the pushchair with DS up steps, I am glad I went for a really lightweight one. - I went to john lewis and tried picking up the various pushchairs till I decided on mine. Also it is an "umbrella folding" one so folds pretty small and I can just about squeeze it into the boot of my polo - with the parcel shelf taken off, so make sure you try the pushchair folded into your car before you buy....

good luck, and although a minefiled, is such fun buying for your first baby - enjoy!!

BertieBotts Mon 15-Aug-11 17:32:29

I would look more into the car seat thing, the First Class is a good seat, but as someone said above, it can be quite upright for a newborn, and also, you wouldn't have the option to transfer a sleeping baby into the house, which can be a godsend in the first year, whether you have a routine or not. If you're not bothered about it attaching onto a pram, this is really cheap at the moment and the side impact protection looks great - that's your main concern with the cheaper end of the market in the first seats, really.

Your second concern with the First Class as a seat is that you might decide, by the time your baby gets to that age, that you don't want them forward facing too early. Rear facing is much safer, so you might choose to go for an extended rear facing seat, in which case, your forward facing seat will be redundant. However, being a Group 0+1 seat, the First Class does allow rear facing until a maximum of 13kg, and the back is much taller than most infant seats, so you will probably be able to use it RF until the baby does hit the weight limit - anywhere from 18 months to 2.5 years, at a guess. Another option is to go for a seat which will take your child from whenever they outgrow the baby carrier, until they need only a booster. I think this tends to work out more expensive, but the convenience of the baby carrier in the first year might outweigh this. You may also choose to go for something like the Kiddy Infinity Pro or Comfort Pro, which has an impact shield instead of the more common 5-point harness. There are benefits to this which include being safer than a forward facing seat with 5 point harness in an accident, avoiding the problem of children being able to wriggle their arms out (almost all children at least try this), and it's really easy to move from car to car as well. So I think it's worth looking into the other options at Group 1 before you tie yourself into using a bog standard seat.

The cot you've picked is much smaller than a standard sized one (60 x 120cm) - I'd be wary with this, as it will mean you'll probably spend more buying the bedding and mattress, and also your baby will probably grow out of it before they are 18 months old. Would you be happy for them to go into a full sized single then? If not, you'll be buying a larger cot or a toddler bed (often sold as cotbeds) anyway - so it makes sense to go with one from the start. I like ikea for cots, they are cheap, they look nice, and they are standard size now as well, so you can buy sheets to fit them from anywhere. Another nice feature is that, aside from the very cheapest model, they are very easily converted into a bedside cot if you so wished, which is fantastic for breastfeeding at night in the early days and co-sleeping safely, and then eases the transition into a cot whenever you want to make that.

Good luck! smile

nomoremagnolia Mon 15-Aug-11 17:47:43

Buggy - I have the surf - and love it, a great pram, well built and good quality. I did have a fault with mine but SC fixed it no problems at all, and replaced the faulty bit with a different design, so I guess it was something they have redesigned since I bought mine (one of the first ones).

Car seat - The focus has a rather short seat belt and no isofix (at least the one I tried to put my baby seat in didn't) so I'd suggest going to a store and getting them to actually put the seat in your car to check it fits/can be secured in. The surf is compatible with the SC car seat (ventura) or Maxi Cosi (cabrio/ pebble) if you wanted to have a travel system.

Cots - I'd advise buying the best quality cot bed you can afford. It'll last until DC needs a full size single then. I have found since putting DS in his own bed he loves the space to move around in.

BertieBotts Mon 15-Aug-11 18:03:30

The First Class does fit in a Focus. The 2003 Focus anyway. XP had one.

dozyrosie Mon 15-Aug-11 20:14:39

I have posted this on pregnancy and products and got tones of responses, thanks for all your help guys. I guess when you ask for advice on mum's net then you really get it. Having read all the feedback and some more reviews I will...

Definitely stick with the Silver Cross surf as it has had some great reviews on here and in Bounty. It should not be a problem getting on our buses as they have pram parking spaces. My dad has also very kindly offered to buy the pram .

I will see how the First Class car seat fits in our car (Fiesta), but I may get the car seat that goes with the SC Surf www.silvercross.co.uk/car-seats/ventura-s/ , making the pram in to a travel system. This has also had good reviews and DC will also then be able to go in GP's cars.

From what almost everyone has said about the small cot, I will not get it. DP's old cot is in MIL's loft, so we can use this when DC goes in to their own room. There is just noway a full size cot will go in our room. I think Moses baskets seem to be a waste of money if they only last 3 months at most. I will look for an inexpensive bedside Co-Sleeper, the ones with 3 sides that are level with the our bed to use until DC is 6 months. Can anyone recommend a good one ?

Sorry for another really long post. And thanks again for your help, it is very much appreciated.

BertieBotts Mon 15-Aug-11 20:42:32

Ah well you didn't say that - if you have a cot for LO to go into later, then a crib or co-sleeper cot would be the best thing for now.

Inexpensive co-sleeper I'd say would be the ikea cots as you can convert them so easily. If you want a "proper" one, they are expensive, but you can get them in crib sizes which can be helpful.

How far do you have between your bed and the wall, if you push it over as far as it will go?

dozyrosie Mon 15-Aug-11 23:26:34

The cots I can see on the Ikea website are 66cm wide, at the very most I have 60cm, so annoying. I really am on a budget if I'm only going to use it for 6 months.

PrettyVacant1 Mon 15-Aug-11 23:52:10

Just a quick one, you say that your DP's old cot is in your MIL's loft.
Please check the spacing between the bars before you use it.
There are now regulations on how big the gaps are and it being an older cot it may not conform.

Good luck. smile

BertieBotts Tue 16-Aug-11 10:57:31

The mattresses are 60cm so they're all going to be slightly over that I'm afraid sad

BertieBotts Tue 16-Aug-11 10:59:44

If you're open to the idea of a bedside cot, how about just a bed guard, and co-sleep for the first 6 months?

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