Case study: 'I kept noticing how cool the parents looked. It was sort of like they still had their freedom'

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LOUISE and Charles Thompson are the proud parents of six-month-old Beau and enjoy taking him for walks in his bright red Bugaboo Bee pram as favoured by celebrities.

Louise, 34, an IT worker from Perth, said the pram had been the most expensive item of baby equipment for Beau, their first child, but that both sets of grandparents had clubbed together to buy it.

"I used to be quite critical of people spending a lot on baby things, but when I found out I was pregnant I got a bit obsessed with all the latest gadgets on offer and was spending ages on the internet 'researching' it all.

"I kept noticing prams in the street and noticed how cool the parents looked, folk walking around with a coffee in one hand and pushing this trendy pram with the other. It was sort of like they still had their freedom and I wanted to be like that.

"I've calmed down a lot now and think we could have done things a lot cheaper, such as taking up the many offers of second-hand prams from friends.

"I thought I'd researched it all. I hadn't factored in the cost of on-going things, such as disposable nappies and baby wipes, which eat up a lot of cash. But I do love going out with the pram.

"The pram cost about 560 but it does include a baby cocoon, car seat and sun canopy. My husband likes the fact that the 'handlebar' has ten positions."

The Thompsons also bought a new cot for 300 and estimate that they have spent about 100 on bedding and 150 on a new high chair.

"Doing up the spare room for the baby cost about 400, including shelving and curtains."

Mr Thompson, 31, a computer programmer, said: "My brother is a joiner and he did most of the work.

"Matching nursery furniture can look quite good, but is very expensive. My brother said he can easily cut out chipboard panels for when Beau is older and we'll ask him when he's older if he wants his bed turned into a fort or a castle.

"Personally I like the pram and even though we didn't pay for it, I think it is one of the best bits of kit we've got."