Luke and I have discovered some funny things along the way in this journey we call BABY PREP. One thing we've found in particular is the intense status-symbol hierarchy involved in shopping for certain baby products.
The clothing category is a big one for sure, as there really is a HUGE range in price from one store to the next for baby clothes, and a lot of time the quality of the clothing reflects that. (But not always.) This category is more obvious because clothing is a pretty big status symbol no matter who you are or how old you happen to be.
There seems to be several other funny categories, but the biggest one (and most unexpected) we've encountered has got to be STROLLERS.
Strollers are a Big, Giant, Humongous deal. Before we found out we were having a baby I think it's safe to say that we assumed most strollers out there would be pretty good, and that it wouldn't matter too much in the end what we chose, as long as it wasn't falling apart.
We were WRONG! Everyone out there with a baby seems to know the fancy schmancy brands of strollers and the incredible range of options out there. Boy, if you can afford a really REALLY pricey stroller, you must be rich and important! Or something! It's almost on par with cars and the status you would get from buying a really good, expensive, luxury car. There is a HUGE range in price in strollers. It's unreal.
It's sad because now that we've done our research and purchased our stroller, I find I seem to be checking out strollers we see everywhere to see what name brand that particular mom happened to buy. I'm usually pretty impressed when I see an expensive brand, and I am disappointed to say I also feel a little snooty and unimpressed when I see a cheap-ass stroller being used.
Recently in our prenatal class the topic of strollers came up. One couple in particular launched into a monologue about how they had decided they were going to purchase a Bugaboo Frog stroller. This may sound funny to you if you haven't done any stroller research, but I happen to know this stroller is at the pricey end of things. Usually close to $1000, and that is not including extra things you would likely need to use with the stroller. You would definitely end up spending over a grand, sometimes quite a bit over a grand, in order to get the full deal with all the parts and all the accessories available. The couple spent time defending their choice of deciding on such an expensive stroller, and I know it is likely very good quality, but I really feel that STATUS was probably a big part in their decision making process, whether they realized it or not.
I'm not really sure what point I'm trying to make here, because we ended up buying a pretty expensive stroller. Well, maybe the more accurate term for it would be "middle to upper end of the road", and yes, I think we may have been sucked in a little bit. We do like the stroller though because of how light it is, and the cheaper quality strollers seem to be pretty huge and cumbersome. I didn't want to get stuck in the grocery store or someplace with a behemoth of a stroller, taking up way too much space and ticking people off. We definitely didn't splurge on a Bugaboo though.
This is the one we bought, the Quinny Buzz. It is very light, easy to maneouvre and easy to fold up & pack away. It has a cool feature when you unfold it - it somehow has a sort of hydraulic automatic air thing where it unfolds itself smoothly and impressively, leaving your hands free to care for your baby instead of fiddling with clasps and levers. All the better to impress all the other neighbourhood babies with, my dear!
This would be an example of a cheaper quality stroller. I think the downfall for most people is how bulky and cumbersome it would tend to be and that most of its parts are made of plastic. As a device in which to push your child around, however, it definitely gets the job done, and that's all some people care about! (Which is fair!) Plus it is HUNDREDS of dollars cheaper than a lot of other strollers out there.
I'm sure I'll be back with more puzzled musings on the BABY PREP process as our due date draws near. No shortage of fun though, that's for sure!