Buying for your child is a daunting experience. There’s such a plethora of baby paraphernalia out there that deciding what you need, what you don’t and what all the jargon means can cause sleepless nights (and that’s only supposed to start once the baby is born!). It’s certainly a minefield, but one that John Lewis aims to help you navigate.

John Lewis Nursery Advice is a free service, offered to all parents, which aims to guide you through the complexities of the ideal cot, car seat, buggy, pram, wardrobe and all other manner of equipment. Being an expectant father, I decided to check it out.

It was evident by the length of time that we had to wait before getting an appointment that the service was popular. Expect to wait at least 2 weeks if you want a weekend slot, less if you’re able to go during the week.

The appointment lasts around an hour, which is plenty of time to cover all aspects of baby purchases. The nursery advisor also made us feel like we were the only thing on her mind and the appointment felt unrushed.

The advice given was very sound, truly impartial and very informative. When asking about which option was best, the advisor recommended the product that was right for us, not necessarily the most expensive option and indeed guided us away from expensive novelty items that the uninitiated may have felt would be bordering on child abuse not to provide their baby with.

By the time we were ready to leave we felt that we’d been given a really useful run-through of what we needed and where to get it and could look on smugly at the harassed-looking parents-to-be wading their way unaided through the terrifyingly well-stocked nursery department.

By the time we had cogitated over our complimentary pastry and coffee and thought of another question for Sue, she had already finalised our list and was able give it to us there and then (normally posted out to you).

The list contained all the basic items we would require, with a few luxury items for us to ponder on and was available online for us to order.

The list can also be issued to friends and relatives for them to use as you would a wedding list.

You can also add items to the list at will – although I’m sure Sue’s no-nonsense approach to a baby’s requirements would have ensured nothing vital was missing in the first place.

We were able to purchase big items on the day and have since ordered off the list, so now we just sit back and wait for John Lewis to deliver it all on the pre-arranged date – oh and that’s free too!

Price when reviewed:

An excellent service – if everyone providing it is as good as Sue. Considering it’s free and there’s no pressure to buy it can’t really be faulted.