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 more than a grand, and that’s only for the first six months of baby’s life!
Here are the most shortlived newborn products:
1. Do You Really Need An Infant Capsule?
This is the epitome of overrated necessity. I have three kids, and I’ve never used an infant capsule with any of them. Many new mums by default assume that this is a safety issue and that infant capsules are the ONLY thing that a newborn should be put into in a car. They even go out of their way to find one that is compatible with their pram.
This misunderstanding is definitely easy to come by. 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, most standard baby car seats on the market these days are suitable from birth, and yes that means newborn. But that is only if you have it correctly installed and adjusted for a newborn. The best way to ensure this is to get a professional baby car seat fitting service for as low as $37, or if you just want to get a peace of mind, you can book a baby car restraint check.
There are many baby car seats suitable from 0-3 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?
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.
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.
2. The Crib/Bassinet/Cradle Only Saves Space, Not Money
Less is more, but in this case, although cribs (or bassinets) are smaller than standard-sized baby cots, they cost just as much!
Also, take into consideration that you’re paying the same amount for something that has a significantly shorter lifespan than their larger counterpart. The period of usage of a crib 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?
3. The Baby Rocker – Not Every Baby Loves It
Technically, baby swings, or baby bouncers, are great as a sleeping aid for newborns. But you’ll be surprised that some babies by default just hate them and would prefer to be attached to mum in a baby carrier instead.
Unfortunately, the temperament of your newborn is really something you wouldn’t know until he or she arrives earthside, i.e. you might have already gone out and bought a super high tech and expensive baby rocker, like the Baby Bjorn bouncer.
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 around exploring, rather than being strapped to a stationery mechanism.
The Financially Savvy Solution: Hire Newborn Essentials, 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 $600+.
For a standardised comparison, I have chosen the cheapest available only price for the following products to compare against 6 months of hiring from Hire For Baby.
All costs are in AUD and accurate as at 19/02/2020.
4moms BounceRoo Baby Rocker
The cost of buying and hiring different brands and products will vary, so a more accurate of looking at this data is to calculate the savings as a percentage:
625/1120 x 100 = 56%
Essentially, this means that regardless of which brand or product you want to buy, you can save roughly 50% of the cost if you choose to hire instead.
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 baby travel items)
Rental shops like Hire For Baby have short-term rental periods (as short as one day for high chairs and other items) for all newborn essentials hire and because they are locally operated Australia wide, many operators will be able to travel out to mums to deliver your rental products – even if you’re in the hospital!
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This was written at night while my kids are in bed. Help me stay awake so I can keep producing free & useful content for Aussie mums!