There are a ton of baby products on the market that are a complete waste of money. However, there are basic newborn products that are probably on every mum’s shopping list at some stage but are in reality extremely shortlived, i.e. you won’t need them for more than six months after birth.
If you’ve ever bought (or plan to buy) any of these, it could cost you up to a grand, and that’s only for the first six months of baby’s life!
Here are the Top 3 Shortlived (Yet Most Expensive) Newborn Products:
Infant Capsules – The epitome of overrated necessity
Infant or baby capsules are greatly emphasised by hospitals before discharging mum and baby. It is basically mandatory to have one installed prior to bringing baby home.
However, capsules only have a lifespan of six months or so, after which most babies will outgrow it, or have enough head control to sit upright in a normal baby car seat.
Most baby car seats on the market these days are suitable from birth to four years, some even up to eight years, giving you much more bang for your buck. These car seats are ISOFIX compatible and often come with head and torso padding for extra impact protection, even for newborns. So why would people still buy an infant carrier?
Granted, most infant carriers are compatible with prams, making it easy to transport your sleeping baby from car to pram without having to wake her. But why throw away $400 just for an item that only lasts six months, just for a bit more convenience?
Also, infant carriers weight about 4kg on average, so plus your baby, you’ll be lugging around 8kg of weight every time you go out.
Crib/Bassinet/Cradle – Less is not really more
Cribs, or bassinets, are basically mini-cots that cost almost as much as a standard sized baby cot. Their lifespan is determined by a few factors:
- Baby’s speed of growth – If you’re baby is in the 90th percentile for height, she’ll probably outgrow the crib by four months.
- Baby’s mobility – If your baby is rolling over at three months, needless to say, it’s probably time to upgrade to a standard cot.
Most cribs are advertised to be suitable for up to six months, which means in the best case scenario, you can use it for a maximum of six months. When compared to the next 18 years till adulthood, that seems pretty shortlived if you ask me.
Understandably, some cribs are designed to join up with mum’s bed, as a co-sleeping extension, and this is particularly helpful in the first few months when night feeds are frequent.
However, many standard cots these days are also designed to have a drop-down side to convert it into a toddler bed (hint: extra value for money!), so you can just as easily push the cot up against your bed to form an extension for co-sleeping.
Cots with drop-down sides will comfortably accommodate your baby from newborn till three years old, maybe even longer if she’s happy with it.
So really, financially speaking, for the same cost, the choice is a no-brainer, isn’t it?
Baby carrier/sling – You love it, your baby might hate it
This is by far the biggest problem with baby carriers: Some babies by default just hate them. As great as they are in theory – hands-free breastfeeding on-the-go, ergonomically designed, attachment parenting etc – I have known mums with babies who reject being in any type of sling or carrier from day dot.
And this is really something you wouldn’t know until you’ve had your baby, i.e. you might have already gone out and bought an expensive carrier.
Furthermore, even if your baby enjoys it, once she starts crawling and walking with support (which can happen as early as five months and eight months respectively), chances are she will prefer to be out and about, or sitting in a pram watching the world, rather than strapped to you with little freedom.
The Financially Savvy Solution: Hire Baby Products, Don’t Buy
All of the abovementioned items have their complete merits, and definitely make parenting a tad easier for some of us. So by all means, do consider getting them, but hiring will be a far more cost-effective solution, saving you nearly $600.
Maxi Cosi MICO Infant Carrier
|$459 (on sale)|
Chicco Next 2 Me Co Sleeper
|$340 (on sale)|
Ergobaby Omni 360 Carrier
|$199 (on sale)|
The numbers speak for themselves. For short-term baby products, especially those costing like the above, hiring is really the way to go.
- More cost-effective in the short run, i.e. less than six months of use.
- Great way to trial products before committing to a purchase
- Ideal for holiday trips when you only need a particular product (like airplane travel items)