You don’t need half of it. And a third of it you can buy used.
If having a kid has taught me anything, it’s that consumerism is horrible and manipulative in ways I didn’t care to face until now.
Buy Buy Baby exists only to over charge moms who believe they need these things for their new babies. I mean, it’s called BUY BUY BABY. And it totally makes sense that we’re duped into buying tons of pointless, borderline useless items at inflated prices.
Having things for your baby is the sum total of pressure: social, psychological (one day I’ll talk about what happens to a person whose hormones are totally out of whack and is sleep deprived), maternal, financial, educational. You name it, every way in which you can feel inadequate is perfectly exploited when it comes to buying things for your baby.
And no matter how many times another mom who just had a baby tells you “You Do NOT Need These Things”, you will still buy and ask for so much pointless shit.
Or shit that will last MAYBE three months. Baby swings, Baby jumpers, Baby walkers, Baby activity mats, Baby chairs. Do you know A Baby? You know how they, like, gain weight and inches and learn how to move? Yeah, well those things render most baby things UNUSABLE after a very short period of time.
Not to mention the fact that they outgrow clothes sometimes in One Week. Seriously, my kid wore 3-6 month sized clothes for maybe eight days.
I had bags and bags of clothes that were worn a handful of times. And yes, some of those items were lovingly sent to a friend for her new baby. A lot of them were dropped off at Goodwill. And still more of them are sitting in a closet waiting to be sorted through and hypothetically being brought to a consignment shop for trade so I can get other gently used items. (HAHAHA, who am I kidding that I will actually do this?)
Lets talk about baby clothes for a minute. Look, I realize that there is a huge problem with the clothing industry. I should definitely shop more consciously and locally and recognize how much cheap, overseas labor is making it possible to buy a shirt for $3.80 that I’ll only wear once to a bar because I’m still sporting maternity clothes held up by belts and other layers and can’t be seen in that shit when I go into the city to a real place with actual people.
When you are buying a whole new wardrobe every season, every year, and you’re on a budget (and lets not forget that my kid doesn’t even know what he’s wearing yet), you are not willing to pay $10 or more for an item.
Fine, *I* am not OK with spending that much.
Instead, I wait for places like Carter’s or Kohl’s to have coupons and then will buy en masse to replace all of the things that don’t fit.
I do this mostly because these stupid coupons force you to spend X amount of money. And everything is priced in such a way to make it impossible to hit that number on the nose, so you’ll inevitably overspend.
I kid you not, yesterday I went to Carter’s with a 25% off $40 coupon all ready to purchase five pairs of pajamas that are usually $8 (after an inexplicable 50% off sale that basically never ends) and they were NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.
An item that has been at that dumb store every other time I’ve been in there is suddenly gone. Instead, they had $20 pajamas that were 50% off, meaning now I’d only be able to buy four.
FUCK YOU, CARTERS.
Also, those assholes were trying to sell me six pairs of socks for $14.
In a fit of rage, I went to Walmart immediately afterwards and spent $10 on twelve pairs of socks.
And yeah, I felt like a jerk buying things at Walmart because I know their low prices come at the expense of a lot of hardworking people. But I know for certain they weren’t paying that Carter’s salesgirl more than minimum wage either.
Medela is one of the #1 brands selling breast pumps. They run about $200-$300 a pop. In theory, they should last at least a year.
The measurement markings on a few of my bottles have almost completely rubbed off and one of the collars to the nipples broke. You can’t buy individual bottles. Also, if you buy new nipples, they don’t come with collars.
You get one set of tubing, which after awhile, gets gross. Medela does not provide a cleaning kit, nor do they sell their tubing at stores. I had to buy mine on Amazon.
When I went to email them to see if I could get new bottles to replace the ones with faded measurements, I was armed and ready with photos. But there’s no direct email address. Instead, you have to send a message through their website, which not only doesn’t allow attachments, but also has a character limit. They replied saying I needed to call customer service and if it was deemed worthy of replacement, would have to send in the used ones (and also provide proof of purchase, which, like, isn’t having the product proof??)
Maybe this doesn’t sound like a totally unreasonable request. But I’d like to tell a company that makes breast pumps, MOMS OF NEW BABIES DON’T EXACTLY HAVE TIME ON THEIR HANDS TO FUCKING PACKAGE UP THEIR DAMAGED PRODUCTS (WHICH THEY STILL ACTUALLY NEED TO USE EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE SOMEWHAT DYSFUNCTIONAL) AND MAIL THEM OUT.
So Medela can also FUCK OFF.
Now, on to diapers.
This is the one thing I decided not to bargain on. Don’t ask me why, but after finding Pampers superior to all other diapers while nannying, I chose to use them for my kid. They are basically the most expensive ones (alongside Huggies.)
And mostly, they live up to their cost.
However. I decided to try their “cruiser” variety after the baby started to crawl. I figured it might stay on a little better, blah, blah, blah. I bought a small pack and liked them.
I need to now interject with Target’s coupon. $10 off $50 on ANY COMBINATION of diapers and wipes.
A box of diapers costs $24.99.
WELL PLAYED, TARGET.
So when I bought two boxes and a small package of wipes (for $1.79), the coupon came up invalid. Thankfully the cashiers (because this happened on two different occasions), still let me have the discount. But you KNOW the intention is for someone to go way beyond $50.
Anyway, I had this annoying coupon and decided to buy a box of the cruisers. Cool, right?
You get 16 less diapers for the same price of Cruisers as their Baby Dry line.
Even though I’ve made the (probably dumb) choice of going with Pampers, they were not going to railroad me into buying them just because they fit a little bit more securely on my baby’s ass.
FUCK NO, Pampers.
Baby products are evil and I probably should just stick my kid in the lowest priced diapers, wrapped in a sack and give him Kleenex boxes (the non-brand name ones) and toilet paper rolls to play with. Because he would be fine.
And so should I.