Keeping Up with the Baby Joneses
When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, two thoughts immediately popped into my head: #1) Oh my God, my life will never be the same AND #2) Oh my God, I’m going to need to buy a lot of baby stuff!
It’s not like fifty years ago where all you needed was a bassinet, some bottles and a few cloth diapers. Having a child these days is more expensive than ever as there are so many more options to choose from when it comes to baby products. There are baby cribs that convert into toddler beds and day beds (I still haven’t figured out what a day bed is yet. Can’t you use the same bed for day and night?) There are baby chairs that vibrate, baby chairs that swing, baby chairs that swing AND vibrate and baby chairs that are like the Flying Elephant ride at Disneyland that do everything but change your baby’s diaper (Wishing they invent that one soon!)
Probably the most confusing item for me was picking out a stroller. Not only are there more stroller models than car models, but the range in prices is crazy. You can go with the reliable but economical “Toyota Corolla model” (before all the recalls) that will get your baby from A to B ($200) or you can choose the sleek and cool “red Ferrari model” that has all the modern add-ons like an iPod docking station and coffee cup warmer ($2000!!!) I’m sorry… but for that price, I’d rather hire someone to carry my baby around for me.
Every baby item I found was advertised as the “must have” baby product to make life easier and happier for you and your baby and if you don’t get this for your child, then you must not want the best for your baby (i.e., you’re going to suck as a mom). So much pressure and I hadn’t even had a baby yet! So I wondered, how does a new mom “keep up with Joneses” and buy the best for her baby without going into extreme debt? I asked my friends who were moms and they all had the same answer…buy everything used. (Lightbulb!)
Now I always thought you were supposed to buy everything new for your baby because everyone knows how kids beat up and trash everything they touch. But it turns out that baby items are in a completely different category. Because they’re usually only used for a very short period of time, most used baby items are in near perfect condition – only needing a good wipe down or wash.
I was floored at how many “never been used” or “brand new” items were selling for a fraction of the retail cost. Suddenly I realized I could buy the trendy Bumbo (if you don’t know what this is don’t worry, it just means you haven’t had a baby in the last two years) which retails for almost $100, for only $25! And the Disney Elephant Ride swing was now within reach for only $50 compared to $200 in-store. Unbelievable savings! I could now spoil my baby and show everyone (especially those Joneses) that – yes I DO want the best for my baby. They just don’t need to know what it cost. *wink* *wink*.