Preparing for Baby: When Brand Name is Worth It

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about all the stuff you might think you need for baby, but actually don’t.  Today it’s the opposite.  If you’re going to buy any of these items, we’ve had the best results by staying away from certain generic brands or actually splurging on the name brands.

1.  Baby Carriers
Babybjorn is the way to go.  We bought a lesser brand the first time around.  It worked all right, but straps were really hard to adjust (both for parents and babies) and there was way too much give in the neck area for really little babies.  By the time baby #2 came around, we had been extremely lucky to have a friend gift us a hand-me-down Babybjorn.  If I could go back and do it again, I’d just spend the money the first time.  It’s so worth it.  It resolved all of the problems the inferior brand presented.

2.  Binkys/Pacifiers/Whatever You Call Them
This one’s actually about a brand I’d stay away from.  For the most part, all brands are the same.  So it’s not worth spending a fortune on crazy “nice” ones.  But when we bought Playtex brand pacifiers, they simply did not work.  One of ours held onto the bink for a while, but couldn’t hold this one in their mouth for anything.  It might be a good brand if you’re trying to wean them off the binky, but not to actually use it.  At least not in my experience.  Spend a few bucks extra and get any other brand.

3.  Clothing
Certain brands of clothing are going to fit some kids better than others.  There’s one brand that I couldn’t stand, but daddy kept on buying.  And that’s okay.  Because I have preferences that annoy him, too, I’m sure.  But Granimals clothing drives me crazy.  It’s super cheap and super cute, but if you have a 6-9 month t-shirt it will be too short by month seven and a half.  I’d rather just spend a little more (or shop consignment) and get a brand that will fit long-term.

4.  Stuffed Animals in Sealed Boxes
I had a friend who used to work at a toy store.  And thanks to her stories I will never buy a stuffed animal loose again.  Snot and spit and dirty hands handle those things before mom can either say “yes” or “no” to the purchase, and when she says “no” those things go right back on the shelf.  And stuffed animals are impossible to wash.  You’re not supposed to put them in the washer/dryer.  You could risk it anyways, but that may not be safe.  You could wash them and not put them through the dryer, but then you risk it growing mold (which you may never see; it could grow inside.)  Or you could just spot wash the outside.  That’s not enough to make me feel like it’s clean.  So my preference is to buy stuffed animals that come in sealed boxes.  It seems like they’re becoming rare and when you do find them, they’re often expensive.  But, OH, the peace of mind!

5.  A Good Stroller
A good stroller is totally worth the splurge.  It doesn’t have to be THE top brand name, but it’s nice if it can hold an infant car seat and is built sturdy enough to last a few years.  Those $20 umbrella strollers are convenient, but they won’t get the job done long-term.  It’s already hard enough to go anywhere with kids; it’s worth the money to make those trips a little easier.



This post is a part of Finance Savvy Saturdays at Femme Frugality and Monica on Money.

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6 thoughts on “Preparing for Baby: When Brand Name is Worth It

  1. Kris

    I have to go with brand name diapers. We tried using the Kirkland brand of diapers for our baby (after using Huggies) and he broke out in a rash. When he turned two, we tried to use the Target brand (thinking he was outgrown of sensitive skin) and he hated it so much. He kept saying, “itchy!” and tried to tear them off. So Huggies. Yeah. They win.

    1. femmefrugality

      We tried the Rite Aid brand and they sucked. For the most part I think all diapers are the same, but for babies with sensitive skin brand can definitely be an issue. We’re mostly attached to Luvs because they’re a bit cheaper and we haven’t had big problems with rashes, but love Huggies, too!

    1. femmefrugality

      Granimals is the basest level of Walmart clothing, but we do have a lot of great Faded Glory stuff that I have nothing negative to say about. And I LOVE Target’s brand, Circo. They have the flipping cutest stuff. But honestly, I find that shopping clearance at these stores and shopping clearance at the Carter’s store bring relatively similar shopping totals. (Granimals are significantly cheaper, but I don’t really like them for the reasons listed above.) The absolute best way to go for us has been consignment/resale, because you can get even fancy brands for Granimals pricing.


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