As with all big life changes, becoming a parent provides ample opportunity to drain your bank account with gadgets that you are told will make your life easy.
But which of them actually make a difference?
Slow Cookers and Instant Kettles
Well the first thing to say is that anything that takes care of chores while you spend quality time with your new little bundle is worth its weight in gold. Some might question whether a remote control vacuum cleaner is worth the £300 price tag, but items such as slow cookers which allow you to bung in your ingredients and then dish them up several hours later are far more reasonable. If I were Prime Minister, I would issue one free with each baby.
The new breed of instant kettles fall into the same category on the basis that each new baby seems to boost the tea trade tenfold thanks to cuppas for friends, family and health visitors all of whom seem to call when you can least afford the time to get them a brew.
Sterilisers and Baby Monitors
There are some items which seem like ‘givens’ to new parents, such as bottle sterilisers and baby monitors. All very useful, but we soon found that the house became overrun with gadgets some of which – like the baby monitor – we never used and eventually gave away to someone who clearly has a bigger house, or worse hearing, than we do.
A lot of new parents do find baby monitors very comforting however, especially the newer versions which give you a video feed which makes for easy checking without having to creep upstairs like a past curfew teenager.
Bottle Warmers for The Dreaded Midnight Feed…
Speaking of nocturnal activities, if your baby is one of those delicate types that has to have their feed at exactly 38.514oC then be kind to yourself, especially in the dead of night, and invest in a bottle warmer. I know these might seem to fall into the same category as baby wipe warmers and bicycle clips for fish but when it’s 2.30am and you are so tired your brain itches, it makes sense to let a machine do the thinking for you.
Blenders and Washing Machines
For the slightly older baby, the hot ticket for those not following Baby Led Weaning are stick blenders and baby cookers. I don’t mean cookers for babies, I mean the sort of thing made by Beaba which steams, blends and sings the cucaracha all in one. I may have lied about the singing.
There are cordless stick blenders on the market which one of my friends takes with her when out to blend up some of her own food for her son. I might question the wisdom of carrying around something that revolves at 9500 a minute, but she swears by it.
My ultimate tip for the new parent though is to make sure your washing machine is ready for the challenge because never, since the invention of Sunday sports leagues, has anything generated as much laundry as a newborn baby.