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Ways that shops try to get us pregnant women to spend more on baby stuff.

(26 Posts)
grottielottie Mon 22-Aug-11 10:15:40

So as my pregnancy has gone on I have probably fallen pray to one too many cute scratch mits or blankets but I have also become increasingly annoyed at things that shops do to make us buy twice the amount of stuff than we need.

For example:
Maternity clothes, very few will be any good for the early days of breast feeding.
Genderfication of everything, why does a bath support need to be pink or blue, oh yes so I will feel like I need a new one next time.
Baby grows with "2011" on them, that'll be useful next time not.
Plus the massive lists of 'must haves' in the in house magazine of mothercare, boots etc.

Anyone else got examples to help me avoid falling into the traps in the coming months?

justabigdisco Mon 22-Aug-11 10:43:44

I have just started to make a list of what we cannot do without in the first couple of weeks. minimal clothes, just a few white baby gros, assuming that people will buy us stuff.
anything else that we need - we will work out as we go along.
I think not knowing the sex helps (as we don't) because there is hardly any gender neutral stuff out there anyway - if we did know I might be more tempted to buy little cute outfits!
am trying my best to remain sensible and not get carried away smile

G1nger Mon 22-Aug-11 11:00:22

The advice on changing the cot mattress between children... I was going to do this, but was advised by friends that I should just take extra care of the existing one and get an additional mattress protector. Those mattresses are very expensive, considering they're just for babies!

Jacksterbear Mon 22-Aug-11 11:05:11

I was convinced during my 1st pregnancy that changing bags had some kind of magical properties and were a "must-have". Turns out they're just bags! grin

You just need to get a nice, large handbag, one that will fit over your buggy/pram handles as well as on your shoulder, and a travel changing mat, and bob's your uncle.

WeLoveHaribo Mon 22-Aug-11 11:24:13

I bought unisex or blue items (not just clothes) for baby No1 which turned out to be a boy, For No2 again not finding out but don't need very much at all especially in the 1st few weeks. If its a girl, my family and friends will bombard me with pink so im not worried about that.

I'm not sure what do do with mattress thou????
Def not getting moses basket matress (although they are very cheap!) as DS slept in hammock and only used moses basket on rare occasions.

My friend bought everything in pink and No2 is a boy so needs everything agian!

Catslikehats Mon 22-Aug-11 11:29:17

Grottielottie if it is your first DC I think there is no avoiding the traps - the jojomamanbebe catolugue becomes your bedtime reading and you can't help but go overboard grin

However so much of it is absolutely utterly pointless.

DC4 is now 6mths and I have just been marvelling at how little we bought for her.

Due to various reasons we had got rid of all our old baby stuff and I didn't want to buy anything before she was born.

Since she was born all I have bought is a cot, a bath support, a couple of packets of babygrows and last week splashed out on an ikea high chair. We have been lucky in that many people have been either extremely generous and/or desperate to get rid of stuff so that accounts for a lot of the not buying, but also I have started to make a conscious effort not to buy things until I actually need them and it is amazing how much you don't.

Catslikehats Mon 22-Aug-11 11:36:03

I believe reusing a matress is absolutely fine provided it hasn't previously been stored away, the danger as I understand it is if it gets damp so provided it has been kept scrupulously clean and dry there isn't an issue.

And YY to no changing bags - they are pretty much without exception hideous - a large handbag is a much better option.

grottielottie Mon 22-Aug-11 14:35:23

Yep this is my first, I have probably fallen into a few traps but also done well on eBay purchases too and put aside the urge for shinney new things. I'm no Eco worrior but the thought of the amount of waste that must happen from people buying new all the time has really made me think.

I also have a list of things like sterilisers, bouncy chairs etc that I'm hoping to pick up at a coming NCT nearly new sale if I can find and for a god price.

My PIL are probably the worst offenders for being seduced by cute stuff having bought us two moblies and a three pack of embroidered Muslins which were £16!

Catslikehats Mon 22-Aug-11 15:28:02

re a steriliser I wouldn't bother if you have a dishwasher and if you BF hot soapy water is fine.

lolajane2009 Mon 22-Aug-11 16:08:00

I have to admit I probably have bought some extras I didnt need but the worst thing to do is take hubby near the toys. I think I have softened a lot from pre preg and all hubby has to do is give me puppy dog eyes and I buy whatever he wants baby to have.

Most of my stuff has come from ebay though as money is tight and everything is so expensive. Tried to buy plain changing mat but puppy dog eyes came out and spent a little extra on blue one. In laws bought pram thou and my parents bought us a sofa, dont ask, so all in all with pram and moses basket from ebay and their mattresses from kiddicare, half rrp price, we've done well.

Awomancalledhorse Mon 22-Aug-11 16:14:28

I really, really can't see why a room thermometer is a 'must have' (it's on all the lists that Lottie mentions in her first post).

Not a new thing, but nappy bags (those ones with a hanger out the top) make no sense either.

Personally, although I can understand WHY people do it, the idea of decorating a nursery/buying a whole range of bedroom furniture that the LO will outgrown when it gets to 5/6 makes no sense to me at all.

stressheaderic Mon 22-Aug-11 16:25:53

I hold my hand and admit I fell for it all with my first child. Not so much before she came, as I didn't have a clue what we'd need..but in the first year, I forked out for so-called 'essentials' such as a stupidly massive high chair, Bumbo, plastic bath seat, baby walker, blow up sitting ring, Jumperoo....all of which was used for a very short space of time and is now rammed into the cupboard under the stairs and falls out every time I open the damn door.
Don't fall for it, just borrow or get second hand or do without in the first place, a couple of sofa cushions work just as well for propping baby up as any purpose made thing.

Fresh01 Mon 22-Aug-11 19:40:50

I think shop assistants have something to do with it as well. I was recently in Mamas and Papas as I always get the new arrival a teddy after the 12 weeks scan and the shop assistant came over and asked was it my first baby, I said no 4th so she smiled and said I let you pick up what you need then. She said by 3rd and 4th time round you can't be "sold" anything but couples who come in expecting their 1st can be like the couple who she pointed at who were heading out of the store with arms laden and another pile to come back for and that didn't include cot and pram that were getting delivered.

A good friend told us when expecting no. 1 to buy things like pram, bouncer seat etc in uni-sex colours, that was invaluable advice as we have a mix of sexes. She also advised to get grobags in unisex patterns as although cute in pink and blue they get expensive if you have to replace togs and sizes.

Someone mentioned cot mattresses - we have never replaced ours in almost 6 years however it was always layered with mattress protector, sheet, mattress protector, sheet - saved fiddling around if it needed changed in the night, and has always been in use by someone. However, DC3 was a puker (first two weren't so mattress was like new) so I am going to replace it for no. 4.

We have never owned a moses basket for the first couple of months they just sleep in the carrycot part of the pram in the main living part of the house then at night have gone straight into their cot.

I wrote a list of what I thought I needed then spoke with two friends who already had kids, one was your unlimited budget type girl and the other a budget girl, it was surprising how many things they bought the same and said you didn't need. Saved us a lot of money.

johnnycomelurky Mon 22-Aug-11 19:53:18

Awomancalledhorse I got a Gro-egg room thermometer as a gift and it just makes me paranoid! "Oh no, it's turned red-we're all going to die!"

posypom Mon 22-Aug-11 20:20:56

My sanity check whenever I was out shopping was: if it needs batteries/electricity then it can't possibly be an "essential" - how would the human race have survived this long if it was?

Unfortunately it didn't stop me buying lots of stuff, but at least I was aware they were all just luxuries/nice-to-haves when I bought them!

Beesok Mon 22-Aug-11 20:54:17

So in line with this thread would you consider a baby monitor essential? Esp. in the first 6-7 months when I plan on having baby in crib next to our bed?

Everyone I know seems to recommend the Angel one with sensory pad and I def. do not want to compromise my child's health and have the whole first-time-mum-SIDS panic thing going on....should I buy it? smile

LoveInAColdClimate Mon 22-Aug-11 21:07:54

Beesok - I am pregnant with DC1 so can't comment personally, but friends use them when the baby is sleeping in the day or evening and the parents are downstairs or in the garden. If the baby's asleep next to you at night I shouldn't think it's needed then but they sleep a lot more than us so will be in bed at times when you're up and about and might not hear them cry if you're outside or have tv on.

Changing2011 Mon 22-Aug-11 21:09:12

I'm not bothering with baby monitors this time. They make every sniffle sound like suffocation and I didn't use them after three months. Wish I hadnt thrown my cot mattress away now, that's one thing I do need angry and totally agree with changing bag ... My one from mother care was crap and didn't have anything useful to offer. Baby bath, waste of time, going for a bath sponge when small then got bath seat left from dd, that really was a godsend by the way, my dd loved the bath, but she was a chunky monkey and my back didn't love that sad

Expensive baby gym (present from grandparents) crap. Over pram toys.. Crap. The little books and toys on wires are much better. Potty was useless for dd, she went straight to the toilet, but the toilet seat we bought was great, will be using that again. Of course, new baby might be a potty lover, who knows. Got one anyway. Changing station in bedroom, waste of time, the travel changing mat which lived in the change bag was used most as it was handy when downstairs. Love my Lindam steriliser though and will be using that again, no compartments so just chuck it all in and go, no need to buy specific bottles to match steriliser.

aethelfleda Mon 22-Aug-11 21:32:01

NCT nearly new sales are FAB- it's worth joining the charity if you plan to buy lots of stuff from the gear there- the £35 or so for a yearly sub will be saved in one trip to a NNS, and most branches let you in early if you are a member and bring your card, so you get the best bargains. It's also a good place to sell on stuff once you've done with it: bigger brands like Mclaren/phil&Ted/Bugaboo/quinny have good resale value and it gets you some money back to plough into bigger kids stuff!

SnoozleDoozle Mon 22-Aug-11 22:06:31

I have a feeling that baby monitors are another thing that the baby industry sells as a must have and a safety item, when they are actually just something that some people like to use. I'm with the previous poster who said that if something requires electricity or batteries, it can't possibly be essential, otherwise how would we have survived until now?

I never used a baby monitor, and most people I know didn't either - when a newborn cries, you are likely to hear it all around the house, even over the top of the TV etc. But, then a lot depends on how you treat things such as daytime naps. My daughter always napped downstairs during the day, in her pram or whatever, so she was always in the room with me. At night, she shared our room, so again there was no need for a monitor anyway. Also, the layout of our house made it easy to hear her at all times.

Its each to their own, and I'm not criticising anyone for using them, but I do think that guilt and fear are powerful marketing tools that are used too much by shops and manufacturers, and frankly I think it is a very cruel way to market your product.

Velvetcu Mon 22-Aug-11 22:15:58

beesok I'm a first timer too and I bought the angel care one you're talking about. Got it from NCT shop for a decent price so I'm happy with it.

idlevice Tue 23-Aug-11 02:46:40

We had the Angelcare monitor for PFB as it was a high risk preg & I was so grateful to have a baby at the end, but we never used the sensory pad as we didn't want to risk it waking DS for a false alarm as we were so desperate for rest & sleep ourselves when he was sleeping! I wished we had bought a video monitor when he was older as it would have been great to see him moving about the cot in his sleep. I always used to wonder what he was doing hearing the sounds coming from his room but not daring to check in case I woke him & then finding him in some bizarre position when I finally did go in! Also for spying on him when he moved to a toddler bad & got up to play.

Agree that the marketing is OTT, esp things that have educational/development benefits, like it's some sort of competition for your baby to grow up. I had this pressurised feeling I had to get everything ready before the birth - then afterwards I realised,the shops are still there, if I want something I can go & get it, amazing!

madeindevon2 Tue 23-Aug-11 06:22:37

I don't see why babies can't use pink or blue items whichever sex they are. I have various gro bag for eg. And if I have a girl she will still use the blue ones!!
My baby monitor still gets used with ds and he is 4! He coughs a lot. Also big house. Have it onnin evening to make sure he's asleep but turn off at bed time. Also sometimes put it in when he's playing up in room to keep ear out if I'm downstairs. It's the thing i have had most use of! Far more than buggy even!!!!

Catslikehats Tue 23-Aug-11 09:48:39

I think baby monitors depend on both your baby and your house although I see very little point in having on for a new born.

I have never used one with the older DC's but DC4 is now 6mths, up until now she has slept downstairs in the evening but it is now time to get her in her cot and our house is such that there is just no way we can hear her from her cot even if she was screaming at the top of her lungs. So a baby monitor it is.

posypom Tue 23-Aug-11 10:20:22

It's so tempting wen you're pregnant to try and anticipate everything you'll ever need and then buy it in advance of the birth but actually there's very little you really need for the first few weeks and it's much easier to choose between all the different features and products once the baby arrives and you have a better idea of what you will and won't use. As a previous poster said, the shops will still be there and a quick trip to Mothercare will suddenly become an exciting outing when you've been holed up with a newborn for a couple of weeks (just me? hmm)

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