March 15, 2012

High Price of Baby Extras

I thought I had a good handle on baby gear, but apparently there was a whole category of gear I wasn’t considering. I thought I picked out the car seat I wanted and the stroller. But lately I’ve been looking into a lot of the add-ons and I just have to say – wow. For one car seat I was looking at, the extra base is $70! For just $10 more I could get a super cheap additional infant carry for D’s car and skip the second base all together. Want an insect or rain cover to go with the stroller? They can easily run $50 on up. Each! What was once a good value car seat may now be way more expensive than comparable ones once you factor in all these extras. It’s like if the word ‘baby’ or ‘mommy’ is used, be prepared for a price hike. ‘Baby humidifiers’ are 20% more than small room humidifiers. Ever hear of the mommy hook that lets you attach a diaper bag to a stroller? It’s basically a Carabiner snap hook for 33% more.

Everyone wants the ‘the best’ for their baby, and, some equate ‘the best’ as ‘most expensive’. Most moms-to-be also have baby showers. In my neck of the woods, $30-50 per gift is standard, so a $50 insect/shade cover is a fine gift. Registering for 50 $30-50 gifts doesn’t seem unreasonable. But for a mom footing most of the bill herself, it adds up quickly and feels insane. The high price of baby extras also makes it harder to determine what’s a good deal, and what isn’t.

I recently was considering a 3 wheel stroller like the Britax B-Agile. The universal car seat adapter (allows you to attach an any infant car seat to turn the stroller into an infant stroller) for the B-Agile is around $40. If I go with the Britax B-Safe care seat, I can forgo the converter, however the B-Safe will cost me roughly $140 more, even when bought together in a ‘travel system’. An infant car seat under $100 would be cheaper, even considering I would need a converter. Of course, the choice of car seat also comes with a fixed additional cost of the second base for the second car. We haven’t even factored in trays or toys yet, which differ per brand.

When it comes to stroller adapters and extra car seat bases, I’m not willing to go second hand. You never know how the previous owner treated it. Was the base in a car crash? Was the adapter used with an overweight seat, or in a way it wasn’t designed for? These things not only void the warranty, but can create a safety issue. Used teethers also gross me out. But I’m 100% on board with second hand for many things like stroller covers and clothes that can easily be washed. I’d also consider going brand agnostic for some of the extras. A generic insect or whether cover may only cost $10. It won’t fit as nicely, but for 1/4th the price, would you care?

We also plan on holding off on some of these extras. This has been a very mild winter, with almost no rain. I’d hate to buy a rain cover and then never take it out of the packaging. The other day I almost bought a JJ Cole Infant Car Seat Cover. It was on sale ($15, down from $30) but since baby is due in June, she will be six months old by December/January. Even if we have a colder winter, she may be out of the infant seat by then. Saving $15 is good, but saving $30 by not buying an item we won’t use is even better.

It all makes me happy I started looking at gear early. Hopefully I’ll have it figured out by the time the baby comes!

Posted in Shopping | Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *