Looking after a child is costly. Research has shown that the average cost of raising a child up to the age of 18, excluding the likes of housing and council tax, was £75,436 for a couple as of 2019. This rose to £102,627 for a single parent — and costs continue to rise. Therefore, it’s essential that you keep your products in as best condition as possible to get full use and life out of them.
In 2020 especially, we have placed a lot more urgency on sanitising our products. The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the need for cleanliness to the forefront of our attention. While hand gels and sanitisers flew off the shelves and the British public were told to wash our hands thoroughly to the tune of happy birthday, we also paid more attention to wiping down our surfaces.
But what about those early-age products? Of course, cleanliness is a huge factor — the average child gets sick seven to eight times each year — but how else should you look after your items? While products can often come with a warranty, usually this warranty won’t cover every instance of wear and tear. This how to guide will talk you through the best methods to ensure your appliances stay in the best condition for as long as possible.
There are so many pushchairs available. Whether you need an all-terrain pushchair or a double buggy, the likelihood is you’ll intend to get a lot of use out of it. On average, people spend £340.32 on their pushchair. You should get enough use out of your new pushchair to see them outgrow it and you may even be able to pass it on. However, it’s key to make sure you maintain it correctly.
So, how can you do this?
- Fabrics: Often this is the toughest area to maintain. Children are messy and not exactly careful. Sometimes fabrics can easily be removed so you can wash them on a cool wash*. However, in the instances where this isn’t possible, you should dust down your stroller and vacuum it for the excess crumbs which are sure to fill the crevices. Then, using warm water and a sensitive, non-scented soap, simply scrub!*
- Chassis: This area will have been exposed to all the elements on your travels. This, as well as making it look less aesthetically pleasing, can compromise the safety of your pushchair. This is because excessive water and grime can cause rust. At a minimum, wash the frames when your apparatus is standing. Wherever possible, strip it down. This will make it easier to give it a thorough clean.
- Wheels: Due to the constant contact with the ground, your wheels are likely to suffer the most. Regularly check them for any rogue objects to avoid punctures. For a deep clean, fully remove the wheels so you can clean the connections and enable them to spin freely.
*Make sure you check your tags for guidance.
Breast milk is one of the best nutrients you can give your baby. However, you may want to purchase a breast pump to make sure you have a steady flow ready. If you do, you must make sure you are thoroughly cleaning it at all times. Leaving breast milk residue on pump parts can quickly lead to germs.
Make sure you are cleaning your apparatus after each use. That includes:
- Pumping area
- Pump kit
- Wash basin
- Bottle brush
For extra protection ensure you sanitise your products and allow to air dry. Once thoroughly dried, store in a clean and protected area to avoid any germ contamination.
The average baby car seat sets a UK parent back £140, with a child car seat costing £119.67. There are many styles to choose from too, from the rear-facing to ISOFIX. While other products can sometimes be purchased second hand, it’s advised against doing so with a car seat. This is because damage from any crashes may not be visible, meaning it could potentially be damaged without your knowledge.
With a car seat, ensure that you’re up to date with government laws to make sure that you are using them correctly. Also make sure you correctly install your seat into your vehicle.
To make sure you maintain this essential piece of equipment, you should:
- Always review your instructions — every seat is different.
- Take a photo so you know how it is supposed to go. Reattaching it wrong could affect how it would perform in a crash.
- Wash the covers. Once you’ve removed all covers, ensure you correctly disinfect them. It’s highly likely that your child would have soiled the seat in some form, meaning it could be a breeding ground for germs. Be aware that some seat covers will be hand wash only.
- Clean the harness. This is a hugely important part of what keeps your child safe in the seat. Using evasive chemicals can potentially damage the fabrics and lead to your seat’s performance dipping.
Of course, every product you own should be correctly cleaned and stored. Make sure you correctly follow any instruction manuals to keep it in the best condition for as long as possible.