27 Jun 2012
The cost of pregnancy product paranoia
For someone so small, no-one ever claimed babies were cheap. Recent research found that parents spend nearly £1,800 in preparation for their newborn’s arrival, while the Money Advice Service also found that running costs can be as much as £7,200 in the first year – excluding childcare.
But given that money is tight in most households these days, a big chunk of what parents shell out goes on baby products that never see the light of day, according to a new Cussons Mum & Me survey, with as much as £86 million per year wasted.
And it’s all down to pregnancy paranoia, the panic which floods over you when you try to sift through the masses of information and helpful advice to work out what you’re really going to need. Throw in pressure to be the perfect mum, and conflicting stories about what everyone else found to be essential – with 22 different sources for information, from midwives and antenatal groups to women’s own mums – and common sense doesn’t always stand much chance.
So more than two thirds of mums ended up buying products they never used, and over a third paid £100 or more on strange and useless items – with a quarter confessing they’d seen them described as must-haves on the internet and another quarter being told to get them by other parents.
Hopefully there aren’t too many things in my nursery that I’ll look back and kick myself over – certainly I haven’t been tempted to purchase some of the pointless products the survey mentions, like a breast-feeding bra for the father (the mind boggles), baby hammock, heated changing mat or fake hands for a cot to make the baby feel as if they’re being held. The same goes for a wet wipe warmer I came across a few months ago…
Although with some mums deciding a baby bath and breast pump were equally pointless (both of which are stashed away safely, courtesy of friends), it’s certainly not as obvious as it might seem.
Mind you, after a few weeks’ sleep deprivation, I can easily imagine how even the fake hands might start to seem like a good idea! What did you buy that you wish you hadn’t?
Image: John Althouse Cohen/Flickr