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Baby Cots and Bassinets
by The Man from Matunga (MFM)

End of Confinement

The day WFM completed 35 weeks, she decided to go shopping. The gynecologist had called her for a final check-up that day and she decided to add on a shopping expedition for baby cots.

It was a warm Saturday afternoon that saw WFM, my mom and me step out to go shopping. The first stop was Ideal Home, on Marine Lines, a dingy, dank shop, selling baby items, especially cots. We saw a large number of wooden cots there, of different sizes, shapes, colors and designs. We were looking for a reasonably large cot that would take the two kids. Most of these had a wooden shelf near the top edge of the cot to rest the infants on. Once the kids became older and bigger, the shelf could be removed to convert the cot into a playpen. We could then buy a second cot/playpen if necessary.

We really liked one particular cot, but it was priced at Rs.11, 000 (300$), which we thought was rather steep and so we decided to try a couple of other places before coming to a decision. In any case, delivery would be only after 25 days, since these were all made to order.

Breach Candy

Next we went to Just Moms near Benzer at Breach Candy. This is a small shop stocking all kinds of baby items, including baby food, soaps, diapers, sterilizers and mother-care items including breast pumps. They did not have any cots on display, but had a catalogue of wooden cots similar to the ones at Ideal Home, almost in the same price range.

Our third stop was Premsons, which among other things was supposed to have baby and mother-care stuff. We climbed up to the first floor to look at the baby cots only to find out that they stocked only imported cots, which were all sold out and there was no guarantee when the next lot would come in. We saw a large number of rockers, etc. but these did not interest us at the time. We also saw a large number of breast pumps.

Price War

We decided to place an order the next week with Ideal Home. In the meantime, WFM's sister-in-law called up saying that baby cots similar to the ones at Ideal Home were available in a shop in Santacruz for around Rs. 3000 and we should go and see them. We dismissed her advice, thinking that such a large price difference was bound to be at the cost of quality. When she insisted that we should at least see the cots before deciding, my mom went to Santacruz a week later. She came back saying that the quality seemed to be the same as in the shops in South Mumbai and apparently as per the owner's claim, the carpenter making these cots for all the shops was the same. The only reason for the price difference was supposedly geography.

Actually, even if the quality had been a little inferior, as long as the cots were usable and would not disintegrate within two years, we would have bought one. I remember the baby cot that my parents had bought in England when I was an infant; it was so sturdy and durable that it was passed down the family for the next 25 years and was finally discarded only five years ago. 


Just as we were about the place an order, my mom saw some more baby cots outside a shop on Charni Rd. I made a trip to this place and found a new shop called Newborns and Up, just a few minutes walk from Sir Hurkisondas Hospital. They too had wooden baby cots, but the owner showed me some imported bassinets and cots made of aluminium frames and polyester cloth. These were easy to pull apart and build again, looked extremely durable, carried the Mothercare tag and could be used as playpens once the infants were a little older. Though a little expensive (Rs 7500/200$), I liked one bassinet so much that I bought it on the spot. We would buy the second one as and when the need arose.

The shopping expedition that we undertook the day WFM finished 35 weeks however proved to be expensive in more ways than one, as we realized the next day.


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