I remember the first time I fell in love with Sophie. My wife was pregnant with our first child, and one of my friends posted a picture on Facebook of her infant napping sweetly in her car seat. In her hands, she was cupping Sophie – la belle girafe – the sweetest looking teething doll I’ve seen. Of course, I had to get one! It was imperative that my unborn child would someday sleep softly in his own car seat, gently, lovingly holding his own Sophie; his first French love. Then I checked on Amazon. Sophie is adorable. Her simply painted and yet irrepressibly charming smile beams out at all without partiality. It’s hard not to fall in love with her. But she’s 13 quid. And 13 quid for a squeaky toy that your child will bite, squeeze and drool on and then discard almost as soon as she first reached her chubby hands out to grab. You may hear parents say, “My Alfie just loves his Sophie!”, “Elisa cries if she’s left without her little giraffe”. I don’t doubt it. But I do doubt that Alfie and Elisa wouldn’t be equally happy to play with a dog toy from Poundland. Did I mention that Sophie is 13 quid? And here lies the rub. Baby products are aimed at the parents, not their babies. It’s the parents that part with money. You will buy loads of things for your kids that are really for you. We know this because we’ve done the same. And in this blog, we will share our mistakes, our regrets and our embarrassments. Also, we will hopefully give you some advice on what we think you should get and what you should avoid. As all parents know, it is not difficult to entertain babies. Since having kids, we’ve discovered the value that junk mail and pizza flyers have in keeping our children occupied (more about that later). I know you want a Sophie. I do too. I really do! Look at her, she’s lovely! But she’s 13 quid.
Photo credit: Stephan Planken