Thursday, 3 July 2008


It's been almost a week since we went to Mothercare. And we still haven't decided on the buggy / pushchair / travel system etc, etc, etc. Actually that's not true, I'd decided a month or two ago. I'm convinced that CP is a boy, mainly because of the 70% likely statistic and a gut feeling I have. So it's more than likely that we'll have a girl. Anyway because I think it's a boy I decided that we should have an urban, tech, rugged, three wheel style buggy and that was really all I cared about. I have found it's almost impossible to research what to get on the Internet alone which I find frustrating. As a web-person I'm normally able to go from rank amateur in any given subject to what Americans call 'pro-sumer' pretty quickly. A 'pro-sumer' is basically a polite term for dangerous-amount-of-knowledge type person. This is also the basis of the Zulu principle, which a guy in the US (Jim Slater, if you care) formed after his wife watched an hour long TV programme about Zulu people in Africa and subsequently wowed a dinner party by talking at length about the Zulus. His principle was that anyone could become more expert in any given subject or niche in a short amount of time than the vast majority of the population and also with only a little research. He then applied this to the money markets and made a fortune, wrote a best selling book etc. The book has now been largely discredited in money market terms, but I think the principle stands on its feet with regard to more general topics.

Well all subjects other than baby and child transportation that is.

Basically you can get a buggy, a pushchair (I think for older babies / small children), a pram (pramette??!) or a combination or travel system. Some are good from birth to toddler, some you can't use until the baby is six months and all cost more than you'd spend on a good suit.

Then you have to decide how cool you want to be and how much you want to show other young mums and dads that you (or rather your baby's generous grandparents) can afford the product they wanted. If a Bugaboo is good enough for Gweneth and Chris then it must be right (and therefore cool enough) for us. The fact is that that's total bollocks and what you want is something which doesn't break for 3 years and the main 'carer' (couldn't hate that term more - surely we're both main carers - does the minor carer not care as much?) can fold up and lift easily into the car.

A Bugaboo is around £700, the Quinny is around £500 and Mothercare's own brand is more like £380.

The summary is that the Bugaboo is the lightest and most expensive and does nowhere near enough more to justify a price tag of almost double the own-brand version and the Quinny Buzz is light enough, foldable enough, fits in the car and is perfect in every department other than cost.

This is tiring.

The conclusion is that I'd like the Quinny as it does everything we need and also looks the part. It also has proper pneumatic tyres which I think will be useful on the cobbles of Guildford high street. I think the fixed, hard plastic ones would jolt our bones to pieces just going to the supermarket. I wanted the Quinny in April and since have spent time online and inMothercare and I still want it. Clare needs to scour the market, read more, set focus groups and poll a few hundred more new mums before comitting but that's cool, because I know we'll end up with the Quinny. That's why I love my wife so much. She's the sensible, research-led, calculated one and I'm the impulsive, get-it-done-as-fast-as-possible, rash one, yet we normally reach the same conclusion in the end, albeit with me being bored waiting. You need some polar opposites in a relationship, I know what a frustrating pain in the arse I can be and Clare knows how difficult she finds making a decision. It's good to mix it up.

I'll update the blog when we finally reach our decision (it'll be the Quinny).

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