So… where do we put the baby?

March 31st, 2009 by Francis

"Euh... où est-ce qu'on va mettre le bébé?!" Faites attention si vous achetez les meubles pour votre petit. C'est pas comme avant, hein?! Oui, oui... je sais que vous êtes allé à Ikea une fois, et que vous vous êtes débrouillé pour trouver de la place pour un armoire, un fauteuil Poäng, un bamboo, et un bougeoir super mignon... et il y avait même de la place pour ta copine dans le coffre... Mais avec un bébé, c'est vraiment un autre bouilloire plein des poissons!

LettersWe went up to Ely on Saturday, to brave an NCT Nearly New sale, and then to go and see some friends who live close to Ely.

Ely is mainly famous for it impressive cathedral, the Ship of the Fens. Now and then, though, it hosts one of these sales. A lot of them seem take place in March and October, I think, in towns all over the UK, but you might be able to find one near you at any time of the year.

They are the place to go for secondhand (or just unused, unwanted) stuff  -  loads of different things, and brilliant prices. Don’t buy everything new!!!

Elbow room only

Karyn had been to one before, with our friends Sam and Nata, so she knew that it might be a bit chaotic. Well,  you know, quite organised chaos, of a very British kind.

So there might be a bit of elbowing and glaring going on, while people grab what they want, but mostly it is pretty civil.  :)   I didn’t witness any hair-pulling or eye-gouging next to the bedtime storybooks table, that’s for sure.

I had Cillian on my chest, in his carrier, and as usual, he looked on with an air of placid calm. Until he remember he was hungry, that is, but no surprises there. Boobs at the ready!

There’s no point getting a 10 week old child toys, so we ignored all the coloured plastic. We did buy a couple of storybooks and a book of nursery songs, for future reference. If nothing else, they are made out of that thick, child-friendly cardboard, so Cillian can chew on them when he starts teething.

I managed to get a couple of furtive photos of the crowds, and one or two of the tables of stuff. There’s a video on that NCT web page I linked to above so you can see what it’s like.


We noticed, almost by accident, that there was a second room at the sale, and this was where they had cots and bicycles and stuff. Jolly good, because that is what we were looking for (not the bicycles, yet!).

We found a cot bed for £30, and a decent highchair for £8. Bargain. The trouble came when we got outside.

First, it was hailing. Hard.

Second, only certain packing combinations were allowed, according to the spatial dynamics of our car:

  1. One adult, one baby, car seat, highchair, sides of cot bed, mattress (leftover: base of cot bed, ends of cot bed)
  2. Two adults, highchair, sides of cot bed, mattress (leftover: car seat, base of cot bed, ends of cot bed… oh, and a BABY)
  3. Baby (in driving seat), highchair, base of cot bed, mattress (leftover: two adults, car seat, sides of cot bed, ends of cot bed, and the baby can’t drive)

Hmmm. So that was a learning experience.

Babies take up quite a lot of room in a car (especially a fairly small one, like ours), particularly when you count the car seat and the bag of stuff you need. Therefore, it is important to carefully conisder the dimensions of anything you buy, like baby furniture.

Luckily, our lovely friends, Jun and Hiromi, came and picked up what we couldn’t fit in our car, and we got everything to there house. The cot bed is still there, so we have t flip a coin to figure out who is going back to Ely to pick it up!

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One Response to “So… where do we put the baby?”

  1. Karyn Says:

    The correct answer to the cot/bed-baby/high chair problem was: everything in the car with all the seat folded, plus one adult…. the other adult+baby back to Cambridge by train. Easy – we could have figure this out if we didn’t panic because of the hailing and baby not being happy.

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