When our daughter was six months old, my husband and I had a self-imposed diktat that we wouldn’t buy too much unnecessary ‘baby junk’, an attitude adopted as much by our desire to avoid excessive conspicuous consumption, and a household full of plastic, as it was by our perpetually limited finances.
I was a freelance journalist at the time, attempting to get work done writing reports while our baby napped. She was growing fast, and, delightful ball of impulses and flesh though she was, it was getting harder and harder to carve out pockets of time to get work done.
A close friend of ours, with three now-grown girls, recommended we invest in a Fisher-Price jumperoo – at £80, a king’s ransom, a week’s worth of groceries, and plastic and gaudy to boot. We trusted our friend, whose kids, on balance, seemed mostly sane and well adjusted, and purchased it.
It turned out to be a joy – for 45 minutes a day, our wee bairn would happily bounce and giggle in her jungle-themed jumperoo while I conducted research. Then, tired out, she’d nap as I wrote up my findings. It was an object lesson on how the right purchase, judiciously timed, can absolutely make life easier.
This is a rather self-indulgent way of laying out the purpose of the Recommended section. I don’t want to start on a high-minded diatribe about how money is hard-earned and you can trust us to help you spend it wisely (although I think I just did, and will almost certainly conclude with that).
Rather, I want to say that the aim here is that when you do shop – be it out of necessity, for personal pleasure, or to provide joy to those you care about– the articles we publish here are designed to help you do so in confidence that the purchases are vetted, the recommendations sound. People in the know are telling you what you need to know, when you need to know it.
Money is relative, of course, and what makes a smart purchase depends not only on your means, but your circumstance. We always bear that in mind and try to be as thoughtful as possible about our recommendations, even when they are decadent (look, the high-end of the market deserves to be evaluated as much as the lower end – what would a car magazine be if it always ignored Jaguars and solely featured Skodas?).
Our writers are experts in the given areas they write about, so they’ve a sound notion of market trends, the latest launches, and when an item that was released two years ago and costs £200 less might be a smarter purchase than the latest iteration. We want you to know that when the time comes (to quote Parks and Recreation) to ‘Treat Yo’Self’, you can do so in confidence.
Hope we can make you as happy as a baby in a jumperoo.