Anne Claxton, Baby Advisor at Regan's SuperValu Firhouse, talks to us about all things babies.
Eight years working as our SuperValu Baby Advisor in Firhouse and seven previous years’ experience of taking care of our customers has earned Anne Claxton the title “the mother of all baby advisors”.
A love of kids and a great rapport with babies drew Anne to the job of our in-store Baby Advisor. A relatively new role in the world of retail, SuperValu’s strong emphasis on community shopping meant we saw the importance and value of Anne’s position.
Anne explains that a big part of her role is to advise mothers of children with special dietary needs. For example, a lot of mums who have children who are ceoliac talk to Anne and together they go through the products to see what the contents of each one is, in order to find what is most suitable.
“One of our customers has a little baby boy who has a serious immune deficiency meaning that he can’t have much fat in his diet at all,” Anne says.
A significant development which shows the need for a role like this, is the range of baby food products which cater for babies with special dietary needs. Thankfully Anne can point to new product ranges such as Ella’s Kitchen which have very low fat options.
While health concerns have always been a key feature of baby products, there has been a huge increase in the range of organic products on offer to meet the demands of today’s health conscious mothers. A lot of the organic products nowadays also have very low fat content and SuperValu carries a wide range of these.
“There are more brands and more competition and that has brought the price down a lot. Plus SuperValu has frequent specials on nappies too allowing mums benefit from the special price stock up”
Another dramatic change that Anne has seen over the years is the greater emphasis on product convenience, something that makes life a lot easier for time pressed young mothers.
When she started in SuperValu, ready-made milk was not on the market, it was all powdered milk that the mother had to make up. “The ready-made milk is a lot more convenient. Nowadays too, everything comes in microwavable containers that are a lot lighter to carry in the shopping bag and, of course, a lot handier to heat up”.
Another change that gives mothers a break is that disposable nappies are no longer the luxury they were in Anne’s own mother’s day. “There are more brands and more competition and this has brought the price down a lot. Plus SuperValu has frequent specials on nappies too allowing mums to benefit from stocking up” she says.
In addition, it’s no longer one size fits all. Nowadays, there are half-sizes which means a snugger fit and a drier baby. There is also a choice of sizes in other SuperValu baby products such as cups and soothers, Anne says as she highlights one benefit of a better fit. “Years ago when there was only one size of soother, babies used to get more wind because the soothers were the wrong size for them and were letting too much air in”.
"There is a long shelf life on most of the products so when you see a special offer, stock up on the products that work best for you and your baby”
She follows by pointing out that it’s tough enough being a mother without having to face today’s recession, so she advises making the most of any special offers. "There is a long shelf life on most of the products so when you see a special offer, stock up on the products that work best for you and your baby”.
Anne also suggests keeping an eye out for the SuperValu ads in the Sunday papers. These days a mother can get a bit overwhelmed with all the information available on the Internet, in papers and in baby books. But when mothers ask for advice, Anne has one constant tip. ‘“Every baby is different, there is no one size fits all. So listen to your gut instinct. You will know when your child is uncomfortable or hungry” she adds.
Anne finishes with another piece of advice for a young mother. “Trust what your mother has to say. She raised you and your brothers and sisters. So listen to her advice”.
Call in to your local SuperValu to talk to your Baby Advisor. For details on the closest store to you click here.