Over Christmas a lot of people I know have made the announcement that they're expecting, and in the last week two of my close friends have announced pregnancies, it seems Spring really has sprung early this year! My oldest child has now reached 22 years old, so it isn't just children that I'm seeing announced by my friends, it's grandchildren....
When I was pregnant with my older children the internet was new and exciting, but quite empty, and I was one of the first people I knew to order anything for my baby online. In 1998 I ordered a step to fasten to the back of my pram for my toddler to stand on. It was very basic, unlike anything anyone in Derby had ever seen, and came all the way from Sweden. I loved my step and it's no surprise they're so commonplace now. The world has changed and become smaller, and if you are looking for baby equipment now you really don't have to struggle to find everything you could ever need in one location.
One of the best, and most reasonably priced sites for sourcing everything for your baby and toddler that I've seen is Online4Baby. It's hard to believe the difference between now and the 1990's. With my first child I cut down single bedsheets to cot sheets, and bought one set of pretty baby bedding because that was all I could find that I liked, and all I could afford.
Buying online means you can browse a massive selection and prices are far more competitive. This Clair De Lune infant bedding is all surprisingly around the same price as I would have paid for similar 22 years ago, the fabrics are improved and there is so much choice that I'd barely know where to start.
A couple of other things have changed since 1994, and one of them is speed. When I ordered my child step for my pushchair, I had to order it 8 weeks in advance, and it took a full 6 weeks to arrive. I had no idea exactly when I'd get my order. Life doesn't move at that pace any more at all! We demand more, and you can now get your baby purchases over £50 delivered free the next day in a specific one hour delivery slot.
Another big change since 1994 is finance. Back then it was fairly usual to pay for baby equipment a little each month, and arrange to complete payment and pick it up a few weeks before your child was due. Although this is still an option, the UK population does now work more on credit. When I was asked if I wanted to write about Online4Baby I wasn't planning on accepting this paid job initially, as my children are older, but I checked out their credit options and I really liked them. Obviously you have to fit eligibility, but then with a 10% deposit you can have your goods and pay the remainder of the cost over 6 months at no extra charge. Paying over 12 months only incurs 4.9%, which adds less than £12 to a £500 bill.
New and young parents don't tend to have a lot of money, and my 22 year old son has friends with new babies who, if they are anything like I was at 22, will be finding money very tight themselves. I remember it well, and every penny saved helps.
If you are a person who would rather see your product 'in the flesh', and you are one of my North West UK readers then you are in luck! Online4Baby have opened a brand new 3000sqft showroom in Oldham. Just off Junction 21 of the M60, it is a one-stop shop which houses a massive selection from the range available online. I'd have loved that when I was pregnant, and my poor partner would have had to endure hours of browsing.....