Having a baby can be expensive – but if you’re a savvy shopper, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
No matter your intentions, though, the attraction of that must-have toy is likely to tempt you to part with your hard-earned cash. I imagine this doesn’t improve with age, as your baby’s babbling will turn into ‘This Minion inflatable is all I’ve ever wanted, Mummy and Daddy’!
The old adage that the box the toy came in is the thing that ends up being played with most is already ringing true for us.
Albie has more toys than his little brain can process already, with varying values. Here’s his favourites:
Mummy’s hair – Why shell out hundreds of pounds on the latest interactive toy when pulling Mummy’s hair is just as fun? A few months into your parenting journey, your little one will be grabbing everything – and when you tell them to stop it, it’ll be twice as fun doing it again.
Dinosaur rattle – We came across these gems by chance on Facebook. Made by Best Years, these adorable little dinosaurs are soft, brightly coloured and some of them rattle, too – they’re ‘trisensorytops’ (sorry!). Ranging from a few pounds to around £25 for the biggest beasts, they’re often on offer, making them a top choice if you’re on a budget. Oh, and they’re washable, from experience – perfect for a refluxy baby! For an additional and also low-cost sensory experience, try an emergency foil blanket. Albie loved scrunching them up!
Anything you’re holding – Following on from the Mummy’s hair school of thought, you soon realise that your baby will just want to play (or eat) anything you’re holding with. This is why I’ve got a very scrunched legal document for the house we’re looking to buy! Also in this category can go playmats, muslins, duvets or blankets, as demonstrated by Albie right on cue!
Matchstick Monkey (or free option: your finger) – An absolute lifesaver for helping teething troubles, Matchstick Monkey was £9.99 well spent. Albie loves his monkey as it’s a perfect size for his tiny hands, while monkey’s bonce, with toothbrush-like nodules, seems to satisfy his urge to chew perfectly. Rather avoid spending a tenner? Just insert your little finger in between your bubba’s gums for a real-life experience of what a medieval torture victim felt as they were subjected to the thumbscrews.
Whisk – If you’d have told me a whisk would be Albie’s favourite toy seven months ago, I’d have ditched Mothercare for IKEA quicker than you could say Swedish meatballs. It’s true, though, for all the dinosaurs and neon monkeys, the simplest things make the toys of dreams! For the record, honey spoons and pastry brushes are close – but nowt beats the mighty whisk.