Rocky View Publishing editor daunted by billion-dollar baby product business
Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 11:18 am
Well the cat’s out of the bag, by the time this column goes to press, I will be almost six months pregnant!
My husband, Matt, and I could not be more thrilled about welcoming a little one into our lives this October but as every parent on the face of the planet knows, with that excitement comes sheer, overwhelming terror.
Let’s skip over the anxiety-inducing fact that I actually have to give birth to the child and go straight to bringing a completely helpless human being of our own creation, home from the hospital and caring for his or her every need. It is just plain frightening and overwhelming.
Add to that the fact that no amount of baby classes or asking friends and parents for advice can fully prepare you for what to do when that inevitable, unexpected situation pops up (whatever it might be).
I am convinced this fear and uncertainty is what has made the baby products industry a multi-billion dollar one.
Whether you are looking for a major purchase like a crib or debating on which wipes to buy, the amount of selection is seemingly endless and overwhelming. (Take it from me – the over-tired soon-to-be first-time-mom whose eyes have been glued to her laptop screen researching products from the time I get home from work in the evening until I can’t keep them open anymore).
Parents’ who might be unsure how to properly change a diaper are more likely to feel they need the top-of-the-line changing table, deluxe-pillow-top changing pad, brand-name diapers, medicated cream and high-end Diaper Genie.
No idea which stroller is safest for your new bundle of joy? I can see how you might be confused with choices like standard, car seat frames, travel systems, umbrella, lightweight, joggers, three-wheel, four wheel, all-terrain and more. Reviews will tell you it’s the most expensive one that will let you sleep soundly at night.
What about car seats, there can’t be as many things to consider for a car seat can there? Think again - according to the good-old Internet, you must consider ease of use, the type of base, the quality of the safety harness, the security of the latch, comfort, side-impact protection, installation and cost. Don’t forget to ask: What’s the safety rating? When was it manufactured (they expire, you know)? Is it easy to adjust? Is it easy to clean? Does it fit in my car? And don’t even get me started on the number of brand names available.
And then there’s the products that seem completely unnecessary until you are growing your own small human inside you. Pre-pregnant Stacie would have balked at the idea of something called the Baby Bullet and asked “Why not just use a blender?” But now I’m pretty sure I need at least one before Baby G arrives.
There is no easier target for a sales person than an expecting parent and the associates know it.
Try walking in to any children’s store with a baby bump and see how many employees run up to you asking if you would like some help. They basically race each other to the door as you approach (it’s kind of entertaining actually – perhaps an idea for a new spectators sport?).
Although I am sure we will spend money on some products that we regret later and I guarantee (even though I’m onto their ploy) an eager sales person will convince me I need something bordering on useless for the little one, we are very lucky to have family and friends who have been there before.
They will provide us with not only invaluable hand-me-downs but advice on what products to steer our new stroller around and which ones will be lifesavers.
I am a strong believer in the quote, “If it doesn’t scare you, it’s not worth doing” and I know that although this is the most daunting adventure Matt and I have ever undertaken, it will also be the most incredible and rewarding.
Despite my fears and trepidations, I can’t wait to welcome Baby G into our lives – after we’ve done a bit more shopping of course.