When starting a family, there are so many things to take in. The impending responsibility; getting through the milestones of pregnancy (12 week scan, 20 week scan, etc); making the necessary changes to the house to prepare for baby; and so on – the list is probably endless.

Regarding items, or products that retailers try to sell you for your baby that will “help” with this or save time here. Half of them are completely ridiculous, but what they don’t tell you is that they will take an age to put together, the instructions will be non-existent and you are more likely to break it when trying to fix the pieces together then you are to actually find the item useful when baby arrives.

The other thing that retailers don’t tell you is that if you already have a child, this item is just going to be too ‘interesting’ for them not to touch, mess with, or break so if you are planning on a larger family, i.e. more than one child – don’t buy it – however that’s probably doesn’t make commercial sense for them to do that. But never fear! Luke is here is to give you all the low down of items that are not compatible with toddlers, however great they will be for your baby.

a) Basically anything that has buttons – We had a few items that we had with Nathanael that we wanted to use again, one of these things was a battery powered swing where you could pop the little one in and gently rock them to calm them down or get them to sleep etc. It had different music as well but the tunes were awful, however the buttons are just too damn irresistible for a toddler to press and then start dancing around to the tunes. The other problem with this item is that the swing element can be ‘overridden’ if you manual push the swing, and the word gentle is not in a toddlers vocabulary and side to side our new baby rocks vigorously – needless to say that item has been removed from the lounge.

b) Child seats – we have a chair for our new baby that they can sit in once they can hold their head up, it apparently is a useful item until 12-18 months; however a toddler can probably still fit in it and eventually gets stuck meaning that they will need rescuing right at a moment when your baby is having an off minute/hour/day.

c) Baby Play Mats – similar to point 1 with the buttons but as you are there with your baby trying to get them to lift their head and encouraging them all the way, a toddler sees this as a perfect opportunity to do the same and then wonders why you are not as enthusiastic towards them as they lay in it raging at the little toys dangling from the activity bar.

However all this being said, with regards to my boys, Nathanael and Judah, Nathanael has been the most helpful big brother Kiri and I could ever ask for. He basically wants Judah to be a year old so he can play with him which is lovely to see, he helps with nappy changes and getting muslins.

Parenthood is a minefield of do’s and don’ts and may work and may not work with no real clear cut way to dealing with what I call – Emotion Management… Parents of young child will understand, not to alienate the rest of you.



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