What is your opinion on pricey, high-end baby items?

[deleted account] ( 28 moms have responded )

How much do you think is outrageous to spend on baby items, gear, and clothing? Are you thrifty, or prefer luxury brand name sky's the limit? Do you buy new or used?



IMO, I simply can't even fathom the cost of a high end Bugaboo stroller, which is about a mortgage payment! I don't believe in pricey boutique clothing and fancy schmancy accessories when babies stain, spit up, and grow out quickly. Spending thousands of dollars on a nursery is silly.



For my baby shower, I received a Graco travel system and other higher end items like the crib, crib bedding, excellent breast pump, and a papsan swing. We did treat ourselves to the Arm's Reach co-sleeper when my son was an infant. I wish I could have afforded 2 Britax car seats when it was time to covert to forward facing. But I was very satisfied with the Evenflo Triumph seats, and used income tax returns when I bought them. I also got a great deal on a brand new discontinued Chicco umbrella stroller when my son was 1. I sell a lot of my son's items that he no longer uses on Craigslist in order to buy the new things. I do get hand-me down clothing from my nephew and also hit the sale's racks.



But I still consider myself to be a thrify person. If things are not on sale, we don't buy it.

I consider myself average middle-income. I'm a teacher, and hubby is a letter carrier. We budget carefully but also allow ourselves to splurge on our family.



I suppose if someone has a disposable income, then it's their money to do what they wish, right? Love to hear your thoguhts, comments, opinions.

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Ruth - posted on 06/10/2009

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Kids don't care what their pram looks like or what they're wearing. I think the money that some parents splash out on their infants would be much more appreciated and put to better use in a savings account for when the child is older.

My kids have some designer gear, but I buy them from charity shops and sometimes eBay.

I'm expecting my 2nd child in December and the only thing I'll be buying that is a bit pricey is a rear-facing pram/pushchair, as I've read that a lot of kids' speech and language problems could be to do with mothers not talking to their child whilst they're in the buggy or the child can't see the mother's mouth forming the words when she IS talking.

But that's ALL I'll be buying!

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Lissa - posted on 04/20/2011

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With my first we were bought a silver cross pram which had the detachable carry cot, converted to a buggy and had lots of added extras. It cost around £500 which was a huge amount of money then but was shared between a number of family members. That pram is now 14 years old and has been used by 8 (I think) babies and will probably do a lot more :)
My friends and I always shared the baby items, you pass them on and then it comes back to you when it's needed again.
When it comes to clothes I don't understand why people spend a fortune, they are only going to wear them for a month or two before they have outgrown them.

Hayley - posted on 04/20/2011

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I think the cost is outrageous and I never buy anything that is extortionately price....not because I can't afford it but on principle. I buy most things from a supermarket like clothing and everything else I get second hand. I'll be damned it Im paying 45 quid for a pair of shoes at Clarks or 60 quid for a coat at Debenhamns! and the price of buggies is unbelievable!!! Nearly a grand for some of these lol!... I don't think so.

Elaine - posted on 06/11/2009

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We shop on ebay, and then resell items. It is wonderful to see our son dressed in nice clothing, that we otherwise would not be able to afford.

Brooke - posted on 06/10/2009

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I will admit we wnet and bought all of our daughters stuff brand new... BUT they were very cheap, we bought most of our stuff from target, big w, k-mart etc..(discount stores in Australia) all together it would have added up to over $1000 but each item was no more then $300..that being the cot..

We had heaps of clothes bought for us and given to us, although I bought some we weren't expecting our daughter to be full term and in premmie clothes.

I don't believe buying a $700 stroller etc is needed.. hello we are human we need to live..

Sarah - posted on 06/10/2009

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If a product is worth it, then I don't mind paying for it if it is at all within my budget. DH and I won't go outside our means to purchase products, but we will save up, shop around, and buy the products that we think are best. For example, right now I'm getting ready to buy a nice umbrella stroller. I've looked at a ton of reviews and am watching prices and saving coupons/codes to reduce the price further. I'm okay with spending a little bit more on it because I want something that I know will last. In terms of baby gear, I won't skimp if there is truly a better or safer product that will last me in the long run.

In terms of things like clothes though, I'm a totally thrifty shopper. I don't think I've paid retail price for anything I've bought for my son. Usually, I buy things that are on sale or clearance and often use a coupon as well...I hardly ever pay more than a couple of dollars an outfit, which is fine with me.

Betsy - posted on 06/10/2009

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I do admit to spending more than a lot on my daughter's clothes. With 4 boys who don't want anything more than a t-shirt or sweatshirt and jeans, having one girl who loves clothes makes it too much fun!

Betsy - posted on 06/10/2009

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Everyone is at different times of their lives, different socio-ecomonic situations, so my answer would depend on the individual. If buying a high-end item takes from the money for bills, a safe amount of savings or college fund, it isn't that bright of an idea. When we first started out, we were getting established, so no, I wouldn't put that much income into a high-end item. Now, we are established. I can comfortably buy why I want. I don't splurge just to splurge. I have a $1000 stroller, but that was the best one for us having 3 babies in 1 yr. I researched multiple strollers the entire pregnancy. It was flexible, allowing for the toddler seat to be exchanged for an infant seat, and option stand bar as we expand out family. It manuevers better than any stroller I have ever had, and for a stroller that holds so many kids, it 29" width allows for going through any door or store aisle. Now before the twins, when we had our 3rd ((only one in a stroller at that time), I only bought a cheap umbrella stroller. I had the money to purchase my choice of stroller, but knew from the 1st 2 kids that I always bought a nice stroller, that sat in the grage because the umbrella stroller was so much more convenient, so I skipped that waste of money. With 3 babies, having a good stroller to accomodate that was crucial. Buying a top of the line breastpump was also a necessity in upping milk supply for premature twins, and my previous experience with cheaper pumps made them a waste of money in my eyes.

It's a combination of things. Being able to comfortably afford them is number one, but also sometimes going the cheaper route can end up more expensive when you have to replace the items 3 times, so that can be a factor and varies by type of item. Sometimes it is just what the parents want, and if they have worked for years to be in the place to comfortably afford what they want, they should enjoy the benefits of those years of hard work to have what they desire, but the baby doesn't care about the price tag.

[deleted account]

I had an acquaintance who was better off than most people I know. She spent close to $3000 on a nursery with a round crib, gorgeous crib bedding, furniture, and she hired someone to paint the room with murals. I suppose the furniture is still being used-a dresser and armoir. It's just so out of my price league! I haven't seen this woman in 2 years, so I have no idea if she had another baby or if her price style is still the same. But, like I said, if you have the financial means, why not?

Joanna - posted on 06/10/2009

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the most expensive thing that i have bought for my 17 month son was his cot bed i had to get the mattress separately so in total it was about £179, his carseat was only £40 and as it is a two stange seat he will get a lot of use out of it.

if you really want to be frugal breast feed as it does not cost a penny and is the best thing you could possibly feed a baby

[deleted account]

Quoting LaCi:


I see no reason to spend a lot on his clothing, I buy at JC Penny, because they have extremely nice boys clothes, on sale days so his outfits end up being about $10 and I buy them big to ensure he actually wears them for a decent amount of time.




I have to say that the JC Penny brand clothing, Okie Dokie, has been my all-time favorite for my son!  They wash & wear so nicely, are breatheable, and so affordable!  JC Penny's sales can't be beat!  My son, and my 2 nephews are all extremely active and this brand has been a winner from infancy.  My son is now at the maximum size of 5T and has graduated to JC Penny's bigger kid size, and these are the hand-me downs I get from nephew #1.  Any of the clothing that is still in great condition goes back to my sister for nephew #2. 



I honestly can't rationalize pricey outfits for my son.  He is such a t-shirt & shorts kinda kid-plays rough too.  He rarely ever has a need to get dressed up other than for a formal picture, and then maybe a polo shirt and nice khakis.

Mel - posted on 06/10/2009

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We are on one income and i get a little help from the governement which doesnt go far after fuel is put into our car, but we do pretty well.
My son is spoilt rotten. Between his 2 grand mothers, his step mother, and my friends he has more clothing than i do! I love buying him new things when i have the money to do so. But i usually buy sale items unless i absolutley love it and he must have it.
He gets hand me down toys and clothes from a family friend who's son is 18 months older so the clothes are great because he gets to grow into them.
I dont see any point in buying brand name/designer clothing for a baby or even a child for that matter. Unless its a special occasion (bday or xmas) and they have specifically asked for something. Otherwise its sale items because they just grow way to quickly!

LaCi - posted on 06/10/2009

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We got nice things for the baby shower, car seat, his crib and dresser, his high chair, etc which was great and very much appreciated.

I see no reason to spend a lot on his clothing, I buy at JC Penny, because they have extremely nice boys clothes, on sale days so his outfits end up being about $10 and I buy them big to ensure he actually wears them for a decent amount of time.

I don't even bother with toys anymore.

All the freakin toys we have and all he cares about are the coasters, the curtains, shoes, cell phones, and everything else that is not supposed to be a baby toy.

I bought expensive winter clothes at the end of winter sales last year in a size I think will fit him this coming winter *fingers crossed* so $20-50 items came to be about $2-3 ...
I'm definitely a thrifty person. If something were absolutely amazing, I'd totally splurge. But I can almost always find everything in a great sale.

I'm all for used stuff, unfortunately there werent many hand me downs when I had him, most of my friends have girls. Although I did get a ton of clothes from a girl i worked with, they're still a little big for him, but totally cute and waiting for him to grow.

Melissa - posted on 06/10/2009

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just remember with things like car seats IF they are allowed to be sold they are SAFE as they have to be certified. I was told by a lady from kidsafe when was the guest speaker at mothers group that the only differance between cheaper carseats and expensive ones is that they may have more padding/ better qaulity fabric (cosmetics basically) etc but doesnt mean they are any safer as they ALL have to comply with the safety standards (asss) to be allowed to be sold.



The most expensive thing i have bought for my baby to date is his swing, we hired the car capsule from kidsafe for 6 months and have a car seat ready to go after that. My parents bought us the cot (crib) for him.

i use cloth nappies (diapers) -the good old fashioned terry cloth ones :) through the day and disposable when im out and about and overnight.



Formula i buy the best- S-26 Gold alpha pro, when comparing tins with the next brand down had more "goodies" in it like omega 3 and biofactors etc, i can usually pick it up for $23.00 at some stores, supermarkets tend to sell it for $27.00.

Lydia - posted on 06/09/2009

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I was really lucky because my sister and best friend both have young children so when I fell pregnant I was actually inundated with more baby stuff than I could fit in the house! For the bigger items I was looking at paying more for safety (car seats, prams and cot) but for clothing - its all donated and once a week we walk up to the local op shop and spend up to $10 on clothing and books. I will spend more money on better quality toys (I like wood rather than plastic) but then I don think she needs to be bought many of these as she will get quite a few for birthdays and christmas's. The money I save from all this second hand stuff goes into an education fund for her which is where I dont want to skimp.

Amanda - posted on 06/09/2009

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I consider myself pretty savvy with money however after having 2 children I have learned through the first one that somethings are worth spending more money on, car seats and strollers are my main thing, oh and front carriers. with our first daughter we had our share of crappy car seats and I hated them, hard to install and looked uncomfortable. Since we are often in the car up to 9 hours to visit family I opted for a britax for baby #2, it was a little bit more money but she can use it to 65 pounds and since I have tiny kids this is the only car seat I will need for her. even my tall 5 year old fits nicely in my 1 yr olds britax! well worth the $400. The stroller, we got a travel system with baby number 1 and I hated the thing. it was difficult to stear and never fit in any of the shops, we ended up putting her in those cheap umbrella strollers because they werre easier, problem was they were so crappy made and so tiny. I have long legs and need a taller stroller so with baby number 2 we skipped the travel system and got a silver cross pop, push chair! push chairs are a new concept for canada but have been in europe for a long time. The push chair cost me $200, not as expensive as the $800 camelion or bugaboo but just as good. I do wish i would have paid the extra 400 for the peg-perego stroller as it has more padding than my silver cross pop. high chairs, we had one of thoes reclining ones for baby #1, hated it, she could never reach the tray even at a year. we got the wodden eddie bower chair for baby #2 $220 well spent and she can reach the chair and it is easy to clean. I know you can buy simple small plastic highchairs form ikea for $30 but we liked the wodden one because it matched or dinning set. The swing we got a travel fold up one for $60, it plays music just like the big ones and is like a hammock for small babies. glad i didnt pay $300 for a big one.
I try to buy used gear as much as possible with the exception of carseats. I shop baby gap because i find their clothes last a long time and still look new after several washes. I never pay full price and never more than $15 per out fit. I buy gap because the clothes are cute and not tacky. I dont like my kids wearing character clothes and graphic tshirts, I want them to look put together and not like an advertisement for a tv show.
I dont buy walmart because I don't like the quality of the items, the george brand is a bit better but typically i find they are made for larger kids and often cant find anything to fit my kids from walmart.
I spend money when I know an item will last. other things it doesn't matter

[deleted account]

A perfect example of how frugal I am: When my son turned a year old, one of my friends gave us a $50 Baby Gap gift card and my aunt gave us $50 cash. There isn't a Baby Gap in my area so I did all my shopping online. All TWO outfits! A pair of coveralls and a shirt, a pair of shorts and another shirt, $7 shipping and handling and the entire $50 gift card was GONE! I took my aunt's $50 cash and went to Bealls Factory Outlet to ease my guilty conscience over spending $50 on two outfits online. I walked out of Bealls with 4 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of pants, 5 shirts, and a pack of socks for my son. I also got myself a tank top and a 20 oz Sprite and walked out of the store with $8 change. Thrifty? Damn skippy! LOL The only things I absolutely wouldn't buy used are car seats. Other than that, our high chair was a hand me down. Many of my son's clothing has been hand me downs or Freecycle stuff. We buy him new things when he needs it...mostly pj's because it seems like for some reason he outgrows those first and often (why is that??? LOL). But even then, we go to Wal Mart and other discount stores because I don't see the point in spending so much money on something he will only fit into for maybe a few months. Even though we got a good car seat, we still only spent $150 on it, which is still kind of expensive in my book....but nothing compared to the fancy schmancy ones available.

So, in conclusion, hi, my name is Joy, but you can call me "El Cheapo" LOL! I just hope that when my son gets older, he will appreciate the value of not being materialistic and of making a dollar stretch. I hope he realizes that he can fulfill his needs without it costing a fortune....as we don't have a fortune anyways :) Well, not until we win the Powerball that is......

Krista - posted on 06/09/2009

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I always said that I wasn't going to be one of those people that dressed their kids in brand name clothes...but I just had my first 6 months ago, and I've discovered that I'm a bit of a sucker for buying baby stuff! I think it's because I used to love going clothes shopping for myself so much, and with the 20 lbs of baby fat that are hanging around, I hate shopping for clothes now, and make up for it by going crazy shopping for my son! I especially love shopping online...it's my new addiction! I still by cheap Walmart PJ's and clothes...but I can't resist little Gap blue jeans and T shirts too! I also wanted a really good stroller and car seat, so we have Peg Perego and Britax. We're definitely planning on having more kids, so hopefully I'll get a lot of use out of my many baby purchases! And if we don't have another boy, I'll have to have one hell of a garage sale to get rid of all these clothes lol!

?? - posted on 06/09/2009

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I never have seen the point of spending tons of money on baby items. My partner and his family are somewhat materialistic so he gets spoiled a lot with expensive baby things but my partners mom is very much a thrift store bargain shopping whiz. So our son has a mixture of expensive and expensive but bought cheap things and a lot of walmart bargain priced things as well.



All of his baby things, crib, strollers, change table, jumperoo, baby swing, baby bouncey/vibrating chairs, baby bath, carseat, they were all given to us in about the middle of my pregnancy. At his baby shower he got all sorts of neat things that were quite expensive from a clay hand and foot mold that is worth almost 75$ to a diaper genie(which we used for all of 1 bag that came with the apparatus).



When it comes to his clothes... sometimes we'll splurge and buy him something that is expensive because we just absolutely fall in love with it and we just got our family allowance payment so why not... but for the most part he gets walmart clothes and clothes that family/friends get him and clothes that my partners mom finds on EBay haha she's gotten him probably more than 100 pieces of clothing for less than $75 in the past 7 months that he has been alive.



I don't know many people around here that have boys to get hand-me-downs from but I would LOVE to get them. It seems that we don't get many hand-me-downs but I'm constantly giving the clothes our son grows out of to a friend of mine whos son is 2 months younger and my partners cousin whos son is 6 months younger. (I keep all the clothes that have sentimental value - and they mean more to me than any of the other stuff all together - if there was a fire or something, I would grab them before I would grab any of his other stuff.)



When he grew out of his infant carseat, we bought him an $80 carseat that we researched to find out it was just as safe, if not safer without the extra hassles than the $180 carseat that was sitting beside it on the display. And that is probably the most expensive single thing that has been bought for him. His infant carseat we gave to my partners aunt to give to her neice who was about to have her first baby.



As for food and formula - as my partner says "nothing is too good for our lil man". So he gets the best food and formula that is available - which is Enfamil A+, 3 heart specialists, 5 pediatricians and 4 of the top baby doctors in all of Canada all told my sister (who's daughter had to have heart surgery within the first week of her life and has had 3 heart surgeries in her 15 months alive) is THE best. At $28 a tin, it's the one thing we spend the absolute most on. He also gets Heinz puree foods that are about 75 cents per mini-jar. Diapers he uses pampers that are $20 for 60'ish for $30 for 120'ish. Wipes he uses Huggies sensitive care $15 for 8 refills.



And toys, he got spoiled for xmas so we don't really have to buy him any toys haha we buy him random toys here and there that we see that he really takes an interest too when we're walking down the aisles and his toy pile is constantly growing but I think the most we've spent on a toy is about $20 and that was the leapfrog caterpillar.



My partner works in construction - he's a carpenter that works for an insurance claim restoration company and I am on parental leave until November, before that ends and after I plan on studying medical transcription, unit clerk or data entry (haven't fully decided - leaning towards med. trans. though), we definitely don't have disposable income by any means but we try to give our son the best anyways :)

[deleted account]

Quoting Kimberly:

Lisa, your last sentence made me laugh! Have you seen some of the things that babies "need?" I love the wipe warmers!



Haha... I've seen those - every baby needs a wipe warmer ;)

Tamara - posted on 06/09/2009

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There are very few things I will want to spend a large amount of cash on. The main things being car seats, soft baby carriers, breast pumps, and toys that will survive more than one child. Other than that, I'm darn frugal and will find things at yard sales, thrift stores, etc.

Kimberly - posted on 06/09/2009

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Lisa, your last sentence made me laugh! Have you seen some of the things that babies "need?" I love the wipe warmers!

Minnie - posted on 06/09/2009

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This is all I have ever used for a baby up to 12 months: gerber training pants (we EC, so no diapers), long sleeve tees, short sleeve tees, blankets, leg warmers, socks, a car seat, a mei tai I made for $20 in materials, a few toys and a ring-sling I made for $15 in materials.



I guess my answer is I think that it's silly what people think baby needs, and it's obviously a result of our consumeristic society.

[deleted account]



Quoting Victoria:

Hi,
It's far better buy what you can afford rather than get yourself into debt to have the 'best brands'.





 



I totally agree-buy what is in your price range!  No need to go into debt over a car seat or a crib.  Every single car seat on the market had to meet governmental standards or it would not be on the shelf!  Sure I would loved that $300 car seat, but I needed to think rationally and safety in other terms for my son.  I can also understand making an investment into a pricier item if you are planning on many children. 

[deleted account]

Hi,

It's far better buy what you can afford rather than get yourself into debt to have the 'best brands'. I bought mid range stuff for my daughter - sure, some of it wasn't as trendy as a lot of the more expensive brands, but it was functional & looked ok. I plan on using the same furniture etc for any future kids & will use the same clothes too - maybe just buying a few new pieces.

Christine - posted on 06/09/2009

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I agree, I just about die laughing at the "middle" price range items in Parents Magazine, who thinks a $300 car seat is middle ranged?

Kimberly - posted on 06/09/2009

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The only high-end items I asked for/bought were those that really were needed, i.e. Graco stroller based on price and reliability. I used an excellent book to choose what went on to my registry based on affordability and reliability. It's funny, the crib, rocker, breastpump (with essential internal parts replaced,) pak and play, and car seats were all used. I have never been a designer brand girl, and with a baby, I really don't get it. If someone enjoys those things, I can somewhat understand it, but for me, I just want something safe and lasting.



Clothes? Hand-me-downs from my sisters have been GREAT, and my mom has this passion for thrift stores. Actually, if we have designer brands for our son, they have come from there.

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