Buying for Baby: Purchase Power for New Parents

Merchandisers love new parents.

New parents are anxious. New parents are insecure. New parents are exhausted. And of course, new parents compensate for it all by buying stuff. They shop hard and they shop long. MsUrbanDaddy and I spent longer looking for our first buggy than our first home. Where is that buggy now? In the loft.

No other natural force can empty your wallet as fast as your first child. There are some who mistake a fleecing for purchase power (they’re out there – who do you think these are aimed at?). For the rest of us, real purchase power more often seems to lie in your ability to resist buying things – or at least to avoid a mugging.

So you want real purchase power? The Urban Daddy has made some notes…

* More expensive doesn’t mean more effective: As a baby, my kid resolutely refused to sleep in a moses basket of any kind. Which made me glad we tried her out in a standard Argos moses basket, rather than the way-more-expensive Mamas and Papas ones.

*2nd hand is grand: There’s just no point buying lots of new clothes for a newborn baby. Friends and family will likely give you more babygros and booties than you can use. If there’s any gaps, get down to somewhere like the Fara Charity Shops to fill them. Buy some 3-6months baby clobber while you’re at it – it rolls around faster than you think.

*There’s no such thing as a status buggy: Ok, buying the pram can be quite a special moment so spend what you’re comfortable with; just know that by the time your kid is two, he’ll be riding in a £40 Maclaren clone.

*They really do play with the boxes:  I found that the more bells and whistles a toy had, the less my daughter played with it. Don’t forget that simple toys are great and cardboard tubes are even better. Not as good as your smartphone, though.

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