Money

A Mom's Rant About Strollers Highlights What New Parents Spend Too Much On

When British mom Gylisa Jayne posted a rant about the uselessness of expensive strollers, the world responded by sharing it 13 thousand times.

Mom Rant

In the post, she describes first buying a used stroller that her daughter quickly grew out of, and then spending 40 pounds ($50) on one that was on sale at a supermarket. Afterwards, she had serious stroller envy over everyone else's expensive "prams," but her daughter started walking soon after, rendering it unnecessary.

Her ruminations about how expensive stroller options were touched on a serious problem that new parents struggle with: cost.

According to Parenting.com, "The average middle-income family will spend roughly $12,000 on child-related expenses in their baby’s first year of life."

Much of this is weekly costs like diapers, wipes, medicine, and formula. But new parents can find themselves spending well over $4,000 on baby furniture, $1,000 on a stroller, and hundreds of dollars on lavish diaper bags and new outfits. Some things are items that parents will only use for a short amount of time, and others they might never use at all.

But do they need to spend this kind of money? And do you really need to buy this stuff in the first place?

ATTN: reached out to both new and experienced parents to see what they wish they'd avoided.

Unsurprisingly, strollers were a hot topic for debate. Carrie Gergely told ATTN: "We got a huge fancy jogging stroller. We used it for one trip out of town, discovered what a pain it was to have a behemoth stroller & bought a cheap lightweight umbrella stroller that reclines instead. And we don't jog."

Expensive stroller/car seat combination were contested as well. Ted Hart said, "We never used it because the stroller was so bulky and designed to take a car seat or just the baby, if they can sit up. When [our son] was older, we just used a basic light umbrella stroller."

Strollers weren't the only thing that new parents slammed. 

Diaper bags were a particular object of scorn. Nicole Adkins told ATTN: that she got "a really fancy, expensive diaper bag from somebody, [but] I ended up using a ratty old backpack and it was perfect."

David Ekstrand recalled how he registered for not one, but two diaper bags, "a 'womanly' messenger-type one for my wife, and a 'manly' black backpack for myself. We ended up never using the messenger bag, and it's way too late to return it." Other dads backed him up on ditching their doodad-laden diaper bags for a simple backpack.

And parents spoke about how expensive clothes, tech, and furniture didn't meet their needs.

One mom told ATTN: "We got a lot of fancy newborn outfits [for a baby who was] born in June and spent the summer in T-shirts and a diaper." Other parents talked about new outfits that got worn once, or not at all. As for shoes, a mom told ATTN: about how she got nearly a dozen pairs for her newborn, and only needed one for photos.

Baby monitors were seen as something you generally don't need if your baby sleeps next to you or in the same room, and as David Hepworth put it, "Hearing a squeak from a child does not answer the question originally posed: Is the child safe?" Andrew Conkling told ATTN: "our apartment was and our house is compact enough that we've never needed our monitor."

Even staples like changing tables and cribs weren't necessary for everyone. A few parents told ATTN: of buying or receiving expensive cribs, just to have a baby who would only sleep in their bed — a practice doctors are still divided on.

And many parents simply changed their babies on a lightweight pad on the floor or bed, rather than an expensive changing table. Other pricey items that earned jeers from parents included wipe warmers, "a bath spigot cover with an integrated temperature readout," the changing attachments on pack and play portable cribs, and baby food makers.

But while some parents swear you don't need any of this stuff, it's important to remember that each parenting experience is different — what some parents scorn, others depend on.

For example, a few parents ATTN: spoke to thought baby swings were useless, while others said they were the only thing that would calm their baby down. The same went for expensive diaper pails, diaper bags, and yes, even strollers. Some parents didn't need them, and others couldn't imagine life without them.