Slytherin Vs Hufflepuff

When small beings make big noises …

Before I had a baby, I had no idea how remarkably touching, tender and special the moment is when a baby stares in sheer adoration into the face of mommy. The first time I saw that look my heart just melted. Then I looked into the face of my squalling infant and thought somewhat bitterly, “How come you never look at me that way?”

When I first heard that my parents’ next-door neighbour would be having a little boy around the same time as Slytherin Baby I envisioned lovely play dates with my pink-cheeked, pink-dressed little princess playing sweetly with the blue-clad, rambunctious little boy. Yes, I know I claim to hate gender stereotypes but, apparently, I’m as prone to mainstream media brainwashing as everyone else. Fortunately, Slytherin Baby is not such a hypocrite. She refuses to conform to the narrow dictates that subscribe to our gendered behaviour.

The first hint I had that my little girl might not be a delicate little flower was the night I stood over her cot watching the little cherubim sleeping, her impossibly long eyelashes casting shadows on her cheeks, her rosebud-lipped mouth half open as she breathed gently. Then I heard it. Her eyes flew open and she stared at me in shocked indignation.

“That was all you kid,” I told her.

“What’s going on?” Himself asked as he stuck his head in the door.

“Well, she’s your daughter all right,” I told him over her outraged yells. “She just farted so loudly she woke herself up.”

I guess her behaviour when she met the neighbour’s kid shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The Other Mom walked in with her baby lying sweetly and gently in her arms, gazing at her with the same look of joy-struck adoration I wear when I see a plate of brownies. My infant was also in my arms; not so much lying as kicking, flailing and arching. The neighbour kid shot an incredulous look at the screaming banshee before turning politely away and returning his eyes to his mom.

“Please sit down,” I yelled. “I’ll just…”

I fumbled frantically for my secret weapon, the one thing guaranteed to produce instant quiet – her bottle. I shoved it into her mouth and enjoyed a blessed moment of silence. Then she started sucking. I glanced at her in horror – I’d never heard anything quite like that before – she sounded like a dehydrated warthog confronted with water for the first time in a month. Slytherin Baby looked coldly back at me, her look plainly said, “You’ll never silence me.” Her tiny hands clutched the oversized bottle, making her look like a frat boy downing a keg.

Once she had slurped, sucked and gargled her way through her bottle, I sat her up to meet her new friend. She squinted at the intruder and burped. Not one of her usual, normal-human burps. As the echo of her epic burp reverberated around the room, I muttered to her, “Why are you this way?”

She glanced at the other baby who cooed adoringly at his mother and then back at me, her look plainly saying that if I wanted a Hufflepuff, I shouldn’t have named my unborn baby Slytherin Baby.

“Are you quite done?” I muttered to her through gritted teeth.

Slytherin Baby cooed up at me, straightened her legs, arched her back and farted. An earth-shattering loud fart. The sort of fart that stops conversations and engulfs the room in its stench. The Other Mom and her Hufflepuff Kid were very polite and barely flinched. The conversation continued politely.

“Your child is gorgeous,” I told The Other Mom sincerely as I admired her child, who flashed me a glance and a shy, gummy smile. Out the corner of my eye, I saw Slytherin Baby turn to look at the interloper. My grip on her tightened slightly – the universal mom-signal of “Don’t you dare.” She ignored me. Her back arched, her legs straightened and a loud, wet explosion rang through the room. I closed my eyes in despair.

Of course, the changing station would be right next to the chair my guests were sitting in. I tried to calculate my chances of braving it out. I forced a smile, which froze as I felt Slytherin Baby straighten her legs once again. Like the aftershock of a massive earthquake, another eruption from my daughter’s pants echoed around us. A stinky miasma engulfed us. Hufflepuff Kid started to whimper. His mom shifted him slightly and he buried his head in her neck, clutched her shirt and calmed down.

Slytherin Baby screwed up her face, which was turning puce. “Sorry,” I mouthed over the howling.

“No problem,” called The Other Mother.

I felt like I was trapped in one of those nightmares where you can’t run fast enough as I pulled wet wipe after wet wipe out of the packet, trying to clean my baby, comfort her and breathe through my mouth. I just couldn’t seem to gain any traction as she writhed and screamed, and tried to kick her poo nappy onto our guests.

Finally, I had her clean. As I turned to deposit the nappy into the bin, I heard the blessed sound of silence. Immediately followed by the sound of a gentle tinkling. I spun around to see Slytherin Baby with her bare legs curled up in the air and a puddle of pee spreading over the changing mat, soaking into her clothes and seeping up into her hair. We all stared at her. Slytherin Baby smiled beatifically up at me and then at Other Mom and Hufflepuff Kid.

I leant over her and hissed threateningly, “I promise, when you’re 16 I’m reminding you both of how you behaved the first time you met him!”

This article was written for and originally posted on the BabyYumYum website here

In Deep Sh%t

“Wet wipes!” I typed a WhatsApp to my husband who was at the shops using the knuckle of my pinkie, which was the only part of my hand not covered in baby poo. Slytherin Baby whimpered and whined up at me from her position splayed on the changing mat. “What are you moaning about kid?” I muttered as I used the second to last wet wipe to wipe the poo from off her neck. “If anyone should be crying,” I continued as the last wet wipe was used to wipe poo from inside her bellybutton, “it’s me.” I picked up her poo-soaked vest and baby grow with two fingers and looked longingly at the bin, before throwing them into the wash basket. 

“We had almost half a packet of wet wipes yesterday,” said Himself as he handed over an optimistically small packet an hour later.

“That was yesterday,” I explained patiently. “Since then we’ve had three poonamis. During the last one I used a record-breaking thirteen wipes.”   

“You know, wet wipes are expensive. We need to be careful we’re not using too many at each change.”

“Tell you what,” I suggested through gritted teeth, “next change, you show me how to not use too many.”

“Oh shit!” I heard a few hours later. After a few more minutes of swearing, I popped my head into the nursery. “Don’t forget to go easy on the wet wipes,” I called helpfully from the doorway. Slytherin Baby whimpered pathetically, as she lay naked, vulnerable and covered in poo, no doubt sensing she was about to become a child of a broken home.

I moved forward to reassure her, but then stopped short. “How did she manage to get poo in her hair?” I exclaimed.

“That might have been me,” Himself admitted. “But her clothes were covered in poop and I had to get that vest off her somehow.”

“You do know that the shoulders of the vest can be pulled down so you don’t have to pull it over her head,” I told him. There was a long moment of silence as Himself glared first at me and then at the laundry basket. Slytherin Baby whimpered again.

“This isn’t normal,” I murmured as I tried to find a clean spot to pat my child.

“Obviously not,” said Himself. “If this were normal, the human race would have died out long ago!”

“I think this is diarrhoea.”

“How many poos has she had this week?” he asked.

“I lost count somewhere around Wednesday; but I do know I’ve washed seventeen baby grows, four sheets, a mattress protector and the car seat. Maybe that’s not normal.”

“What have we been doing about it?” Himself wrestled another wet wipe out of the packet.

We are giving her water, and massaging her stomach, and rubbing her back, and washing her clothes over and over again.”

Slytherin Baby kicked her poo-covered feet against Himself’s white t-shirt.

“We need to call someone,” I fretted. 

“It’s the middle of the night; we can’t disturb anyone now. We’ll just have to white-knuckle it till morning.”

Slytherin Baby glared up at us. 

“You’re right; we need to cut back on wet wipes,” said Himself decidedly. He picked up the baby and holding her a safe distance from himself marched out the room.

“Where are you going? And what are we going to do?” I called after him.

I trailed him to the bathroom where he held Slytherin Baby over the bath with one hand and hosed her off with the handheld shower in the other. 

“We need to change her formula,” he said with great conviction. 

“It’ll never be that easy,” I retorted over Slytherin Baby’s indignant squeals. “Besides we’re using Nan, that’s the one the doctor suggested so it must be good. Maybe I should look it up on Goo–”

“NO! No looking up anything on Google! Phone your doctor friend in the morning, but I’m telling you, we just need to change her formula.”

I rolled my eyes at his nativity. As if a problem could be solved easily! 

“You do know I’m not a paediatrician,” my friend told me the next morning.

“Yes, but you did a rotation in the paediatric ward.”

“I know. And I vowed never to work in that department again. I can’t handle the neurotic mothers. Now, why aren’t you phoning your normal paediatrician?” she asked.

“Because it’s five thirty in the morning. I can’t phone him now,” I replied.

“No,” said The Doctor Friend somewhat drily. “That would be ridiculous.”

“Well?” Himself demanded five minutes later.

“It’s diarrhoea and we’re going to change her formula.”

Himself raised an eyebrow. “If only someone had suggested that sooner.”

Slytherin Baby grunted. I shared her scepticism.

The formula aisle stretched before us like some terrifying test we had to pass. “How do we choose?” I whispered.

“We look for the one that will suit our needs,” replied Himself confidently.

“Which one is that? This one is called AR, this one is HA, this one,” a hysterical note crept into my voice, “is just a number! What does that mean? How many times you feed her? How many times you have a nervous breakdown?” I paced nervously in front of the overwhelming tins. “She’s a girl, so we do we get the pink tin? We want the best for her, do we get the gold tin?”

“This one. We get this one,” Himself picked up a tin.

“Novalac AD. Why that one?”

“AD stands for anti-diarrhoea. Call me crazy, but I think that might be the one.”

I stared doubtfully. No way was any problem involving Slytherin Baby going to be solved just like that. I fidgeted anxiously with my phone.

“No Google!”

“I’m not going to Google.”

“You’re asking your Bad Moms’ group, aren’t you?”

“We prefer our full name – The Badass Moms’ group,” I said stiffly. Himself and Slytherin Baby shared a look, deploring my insecurity.

“Ok,” I said a few minutes later. “Novalac is a good formula.” Himself took off running for the tills with the tin before I could read any more replies.

Slytherin Baby was smiling. I didn’t know she did that. I mean I knew she was physically capable; I just figured she was one of those people who never smiled. Apparently I was wrong.

“A week of normal poos! Can I choose a formula or can I choose a formula? Do you know how much we’re going to save on wet wipes and diapers and washing?” Himself was very excited at the thought as he stood over my shoulder and watched me open a wet nappy.

“Yes,” I cooed at my daughter. “Do you know how much diapers cost?” Slytherin Baby cooed back at me with a grin.

“Do you know, I wonder how much of her personality was just grumpiness at the wrong formula?” mused Himself.

I looked into the eyes of my smiling baby as I used a single wet wipe to clean her. “Do you think we have a Hufflepuff?” I asked, worried, as I slid a clean nappy under her; she helpfully lifted her legs. And then pooed all over my hand and the new nappy. Slytherin Baby smiled and waved up at us.

This article was written for and originally posted on the BabyYumYum website here

Don’t Feed the Gremlins After Midnight

Slytherin baby is gorgeous. She’s a teeny tiny, adorable, female version of Himself. (I just carried you for nine months, gave birth to you, sustain you, but by all means look like your father – I’m just your host.) Unfortunately, she doesn’t look like Himself when he’s browsing car websites, or shooting aliens on his computer; no, she looks like him when he’s doing taxes – very perplexed and extremely concerned.

“She has such an expressive face!” exclaimed a variety of visitors.

“Yes,” I sighed. “It’s just a pity that she only has three expressions: shock, horror and deep suspicion.”

While other babies gaze at their mothers with wide-eyed adoration, mine executes the perfect side-eye.

“I didn’t think I would need to put up with this for at least another twelve years,” I mused as Slytherin Baby swept me up and down with her eyes; her expression indicating she found me wanting.  Slytherin Baby doesn’t gaze at me in wonder; she stares at me as if to say, “I’m not stupid; I can spot a pair of amateurs when I see them.”  And honestly, she might have a point.

Upon carrying our latest addition into the house, I turned to Himself in a panic, “What do we do now? Do we feed it after midnight? Can we get it wet?”

It turns out that she definitely wants to be fed after midnight (and again before dawn, and just after dawn, and then midmorning, and then late morning, and…) and she does not want to get wet. At all. Ever. Baths are bad. Very bad.

For someone who is essentially non-verbal, Slytherin Baby can be very good at making her displeasure known.

When I was expecting her, I had a little meltdown (for a change). “How can I look after a baby when I can’t even keep my pot plants alive?” I exclaimed.

“Don’t worry,” my friends assured me. “Pot plants don’t scream when they’re hungry – babies do.”

It turns out my friends were right. The only problem is that when babies yell, they don’t let you know exactly what’s wrong. “Can you be more specific?” I cried to my screaming baby. “Look the lady at the baby classes said babies only cry for certain things. You’ve been fed, you’ve been changed, you’ve been burped, you’re warm enough, you’ve just had a nap, you’re being carried and gently told what a beautiful baby you are. You may not believe it, but I promise you kid – you’re living your best life.”   

Of course, that isn’t to say that Slytherin Baby can’t be adorable – she can be; she’s just very selective about when she wants to be.

“Be careful what you put out into the universe,” one of my more New Age friends warned me when she heard me refer to my then-unborn child as a Slytherin. “If you keep talking about having a Slytherin, that’s what she’s going to be.”

“Uh-huh,” I replied and politely waited until I was out of the room before rolling my eyes.

“Don’t roll your eyes!” she called out after me. I should have been more impressed with her witchy powers.

“Oh, she’s an angel,” sighed Himself as he walked into the house to see his little girl lying peacefully dreaming in her cot, looking gorgeous completely endearing. “You go rest, I’ll look after her now.”

“Great,” I muttered, red-eyed and white-faced, as I narrowed my eyes at my child, who had been screaming like a little hellion all afternoon and had fallen asleep five minutes before her father walked in.  

“We’re so lucky we have an easy baby,” Himself murmured as he went about his evening activities, stopping only to admire his sleeping child.

“So lucky,” I growled as I finally managed to brush my teeth for the first time that day.

Now this may not sound like a big deal, and it wouldn’t necessarily indicate a Slytherin personality, not if it happened once or twice. But Slytherin Baby is apparently psychic. No matter what time her father arrives home in the evening, or her grandmother visits in the morning, Slytherin Baby calms down five minutes before they walk in.

“This little thing make a huge noise? Never!” coos The Grandmother as she gazes enraptured at the beautiful, wide-eyed baby, quietly sucking her fingers; looking nothing like the kid with the screwed-up, scarlet face I’d been trying to settle from four that morning.

“Slytherin,” I whispered to my child. I could swear she winked at me.

This article was written for and originally posted on the BabyYumYum website here

Untimely Ripped

Untimely Ripped

By Amy Lalouette

I have seen things! Things that can never be unseen.

There were many things I dreaded about being pregnant and to be honest none of them were as bad as I imagined (I do have a very vivid imagination!), with one exception.

“Do I really have to?” I whined.

“I have to do it as well,” Himself replied. Then he saw my face. “I guess I shouldn’t complain, should I?”

“Not unless the word ‘alimony’ means anything to you.”

“You can always close your eyes,” he suggested.

Could have. Should have. Would have. But once I peeked, that was it; there was no going back and I stared transfixed in horror.

“So what did you all think?” asked the leader of the antenatal class as she turned off the video of the childbirth.

The comments ranged from, “I’m nervous,” to “That was beautiful.”

“Nobody asked me what I thought,” I complained afterwards to Himself

“That’s because we didn’t need to. You made your views perfectly clear without saying a word!”

Now, I’m not immune to the miracles of nature; I just don’t particularly like nature to have such an up close and personal encounter with my nether regions.

I turned then to my source of constant support and guidance. “What sort of delivery do you think I should have?” I asked Himself.

“Well, they say the recovery from natural birth is much easier -”

“Excuse me?! Did you see that video?! Did that look easier?!” I shrieked.

“But the actual procedure of C-section will be quicker, and you can plan it – “

“This is the birth of our child! It’s not about the time or convenience!”

“There is literally nothing I can say right now that will be correct is there?” Himself was resigned.

“Are you refusing to help me?!”

“Of course I’m here for you! But it’s your body. I can’t have an opinion; only you can choose what’s right for you.”

“Damn. That’s the most useless answer, and I can’t argue with it.”

To give Himself credit, his sigh of relief was almost inaudible.

“Although,” he mused, and I perked up, ready to argue again, “I do think you should have painkillers for the delivery.”

“Ya think?! Honey, I wouldn’t have a tooth extracted without painkillers; much less an actual human being!”

After all that, Slytherin Baby has made up her mind without consulting me, as is her wont. She is not moving.

“Is that so bad?” I asked; after all, I’ve been feeling like I could do with a little bit more time before I become responsible for keeping a human being alive.

“It doesn’t work like that,” my doctor assured me.

And so the decision has been made – we are going to have to take a stand and show Slytherin Baby who is boss. Naturally this made me nervous, not so much the decision itself, more the doubt of any course of action where we could show Slytherin Baby who is boss. I’ve yet to officially meet her, but I suspect I will not be winning many fights with her.

Ironically it would appear Himself is the only one without an opinion about this.

“This is what got Macbeth into so much trouble,” I grumbled to Himself after the tenth person felt the need to provide me with a detailed account of the horrors that were in store for me and commiserated on my unfortunate birth choice.

“I thought he was beheaded,” replied Himself, looking well pleased to finally use a useless piece of trivia from high school English.

“He was promised by the three witches that he could not be defeated by anyone ‘born of women’. Unfortunately for him, Macduff was ‘Untimely ripped from his mother’s womb’”


“Macduff was born by C-section, therefore, he wasn’t technically ‘born’. So he was able to defeat and behead Macbeth.”

“That’s a cop-out. That still counts as ‘being born’.”

“You’d think,” I muttered darkly. “But five hundred years later and I promise you, all these members of mothers’ groups would make the same mistake Macbeth did!!”

After all that the dramatic build up, Slytherin Baby was born with remarkably little fuss. And I have no doubt she will one day be able to defeat any tyrant she wants to.

This article was written for and originally posted on the BabyYumYum website here

Finishing Touches

With the big day looming, I’ve decided that I’ve changed my mind.

“Instead of having a baby these July holidays, let’s go on holiday instead,” I suggested to Himself, somewhat desperately.

“I don’t think it works like that.. What’s wrong? Why are you wincing?”

“I just got a punch in the colon.”

“Can’t imagine why she would do that,” Himself muttered wryly.

The thing is, I think I’m suffering from empty nest syndrome. I really think that Slytherin Baby should just stay put for a bit longer – I’m not ready for her to move out just yet.

There are so many things I still need to do before she arrives: finish decorating the nursery, packing my hospital bag, sleeping, seeing friends, having a life of my own…

“What do we still need to do to the nursery?” exclaimed Himself. “I’ve painted it, put up a pretty light, built a cot, installed an aircon! There isn’t enough space in the room to do anything else!”

“It needs to be decorated.”

“It’s pink! That counts as decorated!”

“I’ve ordered stickers for the wall. Unfortunately it’s a toss-up to see who will arrive first – the decorations or the baby.”

“Do you really think she’ll mind if she moves into a room that doesn’t have stickers?” he muttered.

“I suppose we could put up some picture frames; maybe she’ll like that.”

Himself groaned. Then reminded himself how hormonal his wife was and sighed. “Ok, we can put up some of the photos from the maternity shoot we did. That way she can have family photos up.”

I grimaced.


“Well, they’re nice and everything, but…”

“But what?”

“But, those photos aren’t really what I look for in a picture.”

“What do you look for in a picture?”

“How thin they make me look.”

“Fine! I’ll put up the stickers, but then you have to pack your hospital bag!”

Now I know that you’re supposed have your hospital bag packed by the time you’re a week away from your due date, and to be fair, I’d had “Pack hospital bag” on my to-do list for the past month. I’d been confident when I put that on my list – smugly sure that I would be able to cross it off in no time and claim that I was well prepared for the baby’s arrival. All I had to do was find a list of what I needed for hospital – how difficult would that be? Surely, all hospital visits are more or less the same?

After finding three lists, all entitled things like “If you don’t pack this, your hospital stay will be miserable!”, I felt like I was back to normal – panicked and unsure.

All three lists assured me that if I didn’t pack exactly what they told me to pack, I would not survive labor; and, of course, all three lists were completely different! “Hospitals are hot – make sure you have summer pjs”; “I’ve never been so cold in my life – pack enough winter jammies”. The only thing they all agreed on was that I needed makeup. Unfortunately I don’t usually wear makeup and Himself refused to go to the shops to buy me some makeup just for the hospital.

No problem. I’ll just pack the baby’s bag. She doesn’t have to worry about summer or winter pjs.

“What’s the problem now?” asked Himself when I stormed out the room five minutes later muttering nasty things about hospital bags.

“I have to pack three baby grows for her!”

“So? We have lots, you’ve even arranged them according to size – just pack some of the 0 – 3 months.”

“Which 0 – 3 months?” I cried, showing him the three baby grows I had out – it looked like I was preparing for Goldilocks – there was a big one, a medium one and a little one. “They’re all labeled 0 – 3 months!”

“What happens if you go into labor and your bag isn’t packed?” he asked.

“Well, you’d drive me to hospital, make sure they gave me the good drugs and then you’d race back home and pack everything quickly.”

Himself backed out the room slowly. “Oh no. We agreed – I’m decorating the nursery; you’re packing the hospital bag!”  

This article was written for and originally posted on the BabyYumYum website here

Having Your Cake and Eating It.

Himself has had to put up with a fair amount of what I’ll term “quirky” behaviour since I’ve fallen pregnant (definitely not before then!) So when I suddenly grabbed his arm in double-fisted, white-knuckled grip and hissed, “Walk! Just walk and don’t stop!” in the middle of a shopping centre, he was only mildly perturbed. After a few moments of silent and obedient marching, he paused to ask, “Was it someone you know?”

“No. It was the coffeeshop. They had brownies on display in the window.”

“Honey, if you want a brownie, we can go back and get you a brownie.”

“No,” I hissed, digging my fingernails into his arm. “You don’t understand.” I stared at him with haunted eyes. “I want a brownie. Slytherin Baby wants all the brownies!”

Himself started walking just a little bit faster.

When Slytherin Baby first made her appearance known, she decided she didn’t like food at all. Which is a pity, because I love food. For four months she reluctantly accepted All Bran Flakes, tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches. Nothing else was acceptable in her mind.

“Why is she such a fussy eater?” I moaned as I watched The Mother pull a roast from the oven. Slytherin Baby already making grumbling noises about me not getting any ideas about being able to enjoy it.

“I have no idea where she gets it from,” muttered The Mother. “By the way, I roasted the butternut and the potatoes in the same dish. You’ll just have to pick out the butternut.”

“But Mom – you know I hate it when the butternut touches my food!”

And then Slytherin Baby discovered she likes chocolate. Slytherin Baby likes chocolate a lot. This is something I understand; I also love chocolate. But I’m fully aware that my body has not forgotten its European peasant ancestry: Oh, the English are coming to invade? Not a problem. “They’ll starve to death long before you will,” my hips and thighs assure me. “Yeah, we got your back,” agrees my butt.

I care about my figure. Not enough to exercise and diet properly, but enough to try and rein in my addiction to chocolate. Do you know who doesn’t care about my figure? Slytherin Baby. Slytherin Baby does not give a damn about my figure at all. Going shopping with her is a menace. Himself has had to get used to pulling me, white-faced and sweating, away from the chocolate aisle. He learnt this the hard way after letting go of my hand in shops once and finding me ten minutes later sitting in front of the chocolate display lovingly cradling two jumbo packets of M&Ms. I’m sure it’s entirely coincidental that he volunteers to go to the shops instead of me whenever he can now.

In case you’re wondering – Slytherin Baby still doesn’t like normal food.

“Good luck to you raising such a fussy eater,” smirks The Mother.

This article was written for and originally posted on the BabyYumYum website here

In a Spin

I took a deep breath. “You will be fine,” I told myself firmly. “This will not be like last time. You can do this.” My fingers trembled slightly, but other than that, I was proud of how calm I was, and so, I started my consult with the great and powerful Google.

I know, I know. Any pregnant woman who Googles anything deserves what she gets. If the baby books and magazines are the dire prophets of doom, the internet is one of the four horsemen of the pregnancy apocalypse (along with birthing horror stories, unsolicited advice and strangers touching your stomach).

In my defense, I needed help. I had been told time and time again, get everything sorted out as soon as possible. Start buying your baby stuff now. Get the nursery ready. Get everything done. Have you packed your hospital bag?

Now time is running out for me – I only have months left, and I still do not have a pram.

I envisioned many things I would freak out over when I fell pregnant, and to my credit, I’ve managed to panic over all of them, but the one thing I overlooked was the pram issue. After all, it’s a pram – what is there to it? It has wheels and carries a baby. But before I took Himself, and his credit card, to shops, I figured I’d better gather a bit of information first.

“Just buck up and do it,” I told myself firmly as I set out to research prams.

It’s difficult now to imagine those blissful days when the only things that I knew existed were basic prams and car seats. Now I find myself pouring over page after page of travel systems, strollers, prams, buggies, joggers, isofix bases, adjustable car seats. I frantically tried to find a foundation from which to start my search. “Safety. Yes, that’s most important,” I hissed at the computer, jabbing away at the keys. “Safety first,” screamed website after website. “Get the safest car seat. Get a safe pram!”

“But what makes it the safest?” I yelled back. The websites all fell silent; refusing to give up the secret of which one was actually safe, comfortable and didn’t cost the same as my car. My eyes glazed over as I pushed through page after page telling me that travel systems were wonderful, and the worst decision I could make. That a car seat that clipped into a pram would be amazing, and make my life hell. That this pram was worth every cent, and horrendously overpriced. That that travel system was the only thing to buy if you love your kid, and you’re a gullible fool for buying it. But no one would tell me which one was actually safe.

“We can do this,” I murmured as I led Himself into the baby store. “This time we’ll talk to an actual human being and get the right information.”

“What are you looking for?” asked the nice young salesman as we circled the pit of prams.

“Safety!” I knew the answer to that one.

“This is the one for you,” replied the salesman. “Everything you need and want in a pram.” I threw Himself a triumphant look; talking to real person had indeed solved our problems.

Then I looked at the price.

For that price I might as well renovate my house and Slytherin Baby and I could live in luxury, never leaving it.

“It’ll be ok,” I reassured Himself two hours later as we entered the second baby store. “We now know what we want; we’re just comparing prices.”

“What are you looking for?” asked the nice young salesman.

“That one,” I answered confidently, pointing.

“Really? Are you sure? Do you want these features? And if you don’t have isofix in your car, it’s not safe to attach with a seatbelt. And if you’re looking for the following list of things, then this is not a good car seat you. You want to look at this one instead…”

This article was written for and originally posted on the BabyYumYum website here