Experiencing our shopping service with A Beauty Junkie in London
By Jen Thorne
We understand that finding all those essentials for your new baby can't be a bit of a minefield, which is why we do our best to help you where we can. That's why we created our Personal Shopping service, to help new and overwhelmed parents find everything they need, when they need it. We're so proud of our service, we thought we'd put it to the test. We asked Jen Thorne, mum to be and creator of the brilliant 'A Beauty Junkie in London' blog, to give our Personal Shopping service a try.
When it comes to getting prepared for your first baby, it can be a pretty daunting process. Not only in the sense of the midwife appointments and the ups and downs of pregnancy. But on the totally practical side of what do you need to buy? What does a newborn need? What are the things that might be an absolute God-send in the middle of the night when they won’t settle or what are the things that you can maybe pass on, or at least wait until they’re a few months old.
Honestly, shopping for baby can be a minefield and having the chance to speak to someone who is knowledgeable to advise you personally through the process is a dream. Which is where the Mamas & Papas Personal Shopping service is SO worth signing up for.
The thing with getting ready for baby is that everyone has their advice and opinions. When you’re pregnant you will most likely find yourself reading articles, magazines and blog posts galore all proclaiming to give you that ‘newborn essentials’ checklist. But you will also realise that there might be certain things that you need to adapt for your own circumstances. Anything from how much space you have, where you live, what car you drive (if you have a car at all), budget, personal style preferences etc. There certainly isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ essentials list. Plus there’s the other side to preparing for baby, that you need the core items plus there are the ‘nice to have’ items. Cute cuddly toys, snuggly blankets, photo-worthy baby grows…
Through my pregnancy we didn’t really start shopping for anything for baby until around the 30 week mark. Partly because of where Christmas fell, it felt like it was a good time to hold off until after the festive period. In the meantime I did my own online research so I had a bit of an idea and started to make lists of what items we wanted; what we thought were the essentials for us; and what we might like to have for those early days too. The big thing I found was that each time you think you’ve cracked it, you find another avenue of baby-prep with more questions to answer. Which is why I found having the time to explore a specialist store like Mamas & Papas (I visited the flagship store in Westfield Shepherds Bush - it's a GORGEOUS space) with the support of a personal shopper, so I could browse and ask questions as we went around.
It was so helpful to get to chat to someone about those smaller detail questions - things like do I need a baby bouncer? With the advice being that they usually go down a storm but you might want to wait until baby is here so you can see what they might be comfortable in or what they will enjoy before you shell out. Really helpful advice with making the best purchase for you in mind, rather than being purely sales driven. Which is what I think makes the Personal Shopping service at Mamas & Papas really special. They’re genuinely there to help you with a very customised approach so you go away happy and feeling that your questions have been answered and you’re that little bit more prepared for the life-changing moment of baby arriving than you were before.
For my Personal Shopping experience I was focussing on a few areas I hadn’t yet covered in my own preparations, with a mixture of practical and lovely items on my shopping list. I needed to find a sleeping solution which we will use whilst baby is downstairs with us so I picked out the gorgeous moses basket with beautiful grey bedding details. I also picked up some basic essentials of sheets, cellular blankets and moses basket bedding (handily on 3 for 2 offer). This was one of my key questions for the personal shopper about how you work out what bedding is ‘right’ for baby. As someone who loves to snuggle under a duvet it’s hard to look into baby’s bed and think that a flat mattress and a simple sheet is cosy enough - but with the reassurance of the personal shopper I felt I had what I needed.
Along with the essentials, I couldn’t resist picking up some of the gorgeous ‘lovely to have’ items. A super snuggly Elephant tummy-time activity rug and rattle. Plus a matching ‘first toy’ elephant grab rattle that is packed in my hospital bag. Honestly, the soft toys in Mamas & Papas just make my heart melt. It’s hard to resist choosing them all!
If you’re in the process of preparing for baby’s arrival or even just want some advice on a nursery update or changing pram option. It’s well worth booking in for the Personal Shopping experience - it’s a free service, offered in every store and there’s no obligation to buy or minimum spend at all. You get the perk of having a dedicated personal shopper help answer your questions AND you get greeted with refreshments. Whatever ‘size’ of purchase you’re looking to make from essential bedding to the all important pushchair decision. They can really help you navigate the options and work out what’s the best option for you.
We're thrilled that we were able to help Jen find just what she needed, as well as explain away any concerns she was having about keeping her little one comfortable at night. Our Personal Shopping know what they're doing. Most of them are parents themselves, so they know what's important, and they're trained to ask the right questions, so they can figure out the items you'll need that best suit you, your baby and the way you live your life.
If you're interested in finding our more, check out our guide to our Personal Shopping service, or book an appointment. If you'd like to get to know us a little better before booking, look out for one of our Parents to Be events - they're a great way to get started.
Jen is a 30-something new mum, who lives in London. She blogs as Beauty Junkie on a range of topics, including beauty reviews, travel destination tips and pregnancy and parenting diaries.