It’s no surprise that this new chapter comes with a lot of… stuff. From the obvious big ticket items to things you never knew you needed, here’s where to get the gear.
This super-useful store sells travel cots, high chairs and toys, but is best-known for its safety products, such as baby gates, balcony guards, corner protectors for sharp pieces of furniture and latches for kitchen cupboards to keep little hands out. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but the friendly staff are used to bewildered-looking parents – so ask questions and let them guide you. You can also shop online if you want to stay at home.
Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.bsafeuae.com (04 388 3454).
This regular market sells pre-loved baby and toddler goods, plus maternity wear, and takes place monthly throughout the year at Times Square Center, with buyers flocking to bag a bargain. This means coming early. Earlier than you think. Stalls vary in quality and content, but you’ll find clothes (they must be clean and in good condition), books, toys, gadgets and more. Businesses can also sell products, so it’s a great chance to meet some small companies, too. So sharpen those elbows and don’t be afraid to haggle. Check online for the next event.
One of the biggest brands in the business – and the winner of our Best Kids’ Store Award – BabyShop sells it all. From a vast choice of bottle brands (which are often on sale) and clothes from newborn to school age, to car seats, rockers, strollers and nursery furniture, a few hours in here could set you up for your little one’s arrival. There’s a small selection of maternity clothing too. You can also shop on the website for online exclusives, with delivery and click and collect available, plus Mommy Mondays, where once a week you get a 25 percent discount.
Loved by mums, babysouk.com is an online baby store providing a large variety of baby products including strollers, carriers, slings and much more. Baby shopping has never been easier thanks to babysouk.
This charming store has a main branch in The Dubai Mall, and a concession in Level Kids at CityWalk, and is best-loved for its imported items from European brands, with an emphasis on quality. It also carries a good range of gadgets, including adaptors and add-ons for Bugaboo strollers, reflux wedges, bottle brushes, bathtime essentials and baby monitors, alongside some really sweet décor and playmats for the nursery.
Various locations including The Dubai Mall, Dowtown Dubai, LevelKids, City Walk, Dubai and Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi, www.bumblebee-me.com.
This giant classified website a must-click if you’re looking for second-hand items without the big price tags, and frequent trawls can uncover some gems from high-end brands, such as Silver Cross push chairs and Pottery Barn cots. It’s not advised to buy car seats without knowing their full history, as accidents can impact their safety.
Early Learning Centre (ELC)
There are plenty of baby toys at this longstanding store. ELC helps children grow into happy, self-confident individuals with fantastic toys that help develop vital skills, get off to the best possible start and have tremendous fun.
Various locations including The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai and Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi (04 339 9812).
Five Little Ducks
Five Little Ducks has two branches, one in Town Centre Mall in Jumeirah and another in Arabian Centre. While not huge, the shops offer a really well curated mix of products from brilliant brands; bath products from Child’s Farm, Maxi-Cosi car seats, Stokke high chairs, milestone muslins from Lulujo and soft toys by Jelly Cat. There’s a personalisation service too, making it a great spot for gift shopping.
Various locations including Town Centre, Dubai and Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi, Instagram.com/fivelittleducksme.
The winner of our Best Toy Store 2018, enter a world of joy and wonder at Hamleys – if we dare say – for both kids and adults. This is one you’ll be visiting for years to come.
Various locations including The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai and Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi (04 339 8889).
Ask experienced mums which cot or high chair they have, and the answer is usually “Oh, I got it from IKEA and it’s great”. It’s an easy, stylish and well-priced option for kitting out the nursery, furniture is simple and well-made, and fits into any colour scheme. High chairs start from Dhs49, changing tables from Dhs99 and cots from Dhs229, and there are flash sales if you have the IKEA Family card. You’ll also find play mats, bedding, toys and storage.
Dubai Festival City. Dubai, Dubai Festival Plaza, Dubai and Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, www.ikea.com/ae.
When it comes to service, Just Kidding is the gold standard. The staff are incredibly well-trained, and a real point of authority, especially in the overwhelming world of car seats, with them taking the time to not only explain the options, but fit them in your own car. There are two big stores, and the offering is impressive, with strollers from Bugaboo, Stokke, Baby Jogger and the in-demand BabyZen Yoyo (perfect for travelling), seriously chic furniture and all sorts of gadgets, from food prep machines to humidifiers.
Various locations incluidng Gold & Diamond Park, Dubai and Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi, www.justkidding-me.com.
Mamas & Papas
This UK store’s free personal shopping service is a must if you need a helping hand. Sit with an advisor in the dedicated lounge (a comfy chair and cup of tea when pregnant is always appreciated) and explain what you’re looking for, and they’ll guide you around the store, with no obligation to buy. The range is wide and very high quality, with adorable outfits, long-lasting furniture, car seats (there’s a fake car in-store so you can try it out), strollers and toys, and it carries Tiba & Marl if you’re looking for a stylish changing bag. The online shopping will blow you away too – free and same day delivery.
Various locations including Mall of the Emirates, Dubai and Al Wahda Mall,Abu Dhabi, www.mamasandpapas.ae.
Did you even have a baby if you don’t own a pack of white sleepsuits from Mothercare? What’s great about these vests and rompers are the choice of sizes; the term “newborn” can cover a huge range of weights, but Mothercare has options for “tiny” and “small” babies, so parents of premature little ones might find some clothing here. They wash well too. You’ll also find a comprehensive range of bottles, plus the all-important breast pads and maternity pants for you, post-birth.
Various locations including The Walk, JBR, Dubai and Abu Dhabi Mall, Abu Dhabi, www.mothercare.ae.
This vast website – which is our Best Online Kids’ Store 2018 – has it all, strollers, car seats, clothing, nipple cream, toys, gadgets, pacifiers, nursery décor, changing bags, furniture, breastfeeding pillows… More than 200,000 products in fact. It also has a panel of “mumz” who have reviewed items across the site, so you can get some real insights. There’s free delivery when you spend Dhs200, and free local returns, plus a choice of payment, including cash on delivery, credit card, bank transfer and gift voucher.
Real Mums Group – Second Hand Souq
There’s always a family looking to get rid of the very things you’re looking for, whether it’s a travel stroller or doll’s house. Join the popular Real Mums Group – Second Hand Souq Facebook page and you’ll be able to see the pre-loved items pop up. Vendors need to share price and location, and because you can click on their profile there seems to be less messing around than on other platforms. You might even spot someone selling entire nursery sets, clothes for certain age groups and bags of toys perfect for your little one’s next few months.
Offering free shipping on all orders (no minimum spend required), Sprii puts the customer front and centre. Price is the big priority on this UAE website, with price matching and regular sales, even on popular brands such as Maxi-Cosi, Melissa & Doug, Medela and Pampers, where you can often score more than 50 percent discount. It’s also extremely useful
for non-baby items such as toiletries for you, kitchenware and even gifts.
The Toy Store
This store stocks toys and games that kids know and love – from Disney, Marvel, LEGO and Barbie, to Paddington and Sylvanian Families, they also have the newest ranges in the world of toys.
Various locations including Mercato Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road and Abu Dhabi Mall, Abu Dhabi (04 344 7828).
UAE Preloved Baby Items For Free
A great chance to pay it forward, this Facebook group offers second-hand items to those in need. There’s no buying or selling, just post a picture and description of what you’d like to give away to another member, with the hope that they will do the same once they no longer need it. Once claimed, the poster needs to say who took the product to ensure transparency. You
can offer baby products, maternity wear and family essentials, and all members must be approved.