Here's why I'm totally confused.
Fact checked by Sarah Scott
There are plenty of things no one tells you before you have kids. You know the ones like after giving birth, you AND your baby will wear diapers home from the hospital. But then there are things that were crystal clear to me from the moment two pink lines appeared on my home pregnancy test. The main one? Babies are expensive. (Even the cost of home pregnancy tests gave me sticker shock).
Of course, with babies and kids, there’s an arsenal of products and supplies that are non-negotiable. But early on as a new parent, I quickly discovered that pricier products did not make them the superior ones. Case in point—when my daughter was 6 months old, I spent $50 on imported suntan lotion that smelled terrible and wore off in minutes.
So when I learned that Dior is launching a "a complete skincare line for little ones”—I thought for sure that I was being punked. After all, this collection includes “scented water” for $230, a pear-scented face and body moisturizer for $115, and a $95 face, body, and hair foam.
My daughter is 8 years old and I don’t think I spend $230 a year on her bath and body products. As a baby, we used Johnson & Johnson’s “No More Tears” products pretty exclusively and now that my daughter is older and has more of a say, she’s quite happy with smelling like “Cotton Candy” after scrubbing herself with Dove Kids body wash.
If I can’t “subscribe and save” on Amazon or buy in bulk at Costco or BJ's, then it’s likely not in my budget (or on my radar). That is not to say that I am cheap. I have treated myself to a few designer bags. My husband and I like to stay in nice hotels. My daughter is not lacking in toys.
I’m a huge fan of drugstore makeup and toiletries. I'm loyal to certain brands and specific products and think they work just as well—if not better—than the $100-an-ounce creams and serums that many of my friends and colleagues swear by. I’ve never had “help” by way of injections and am always mistaken for being in my late 30s rather than mid-40s. So if I’m getting by with soft skin and minimal pores by shopping at the CVS beauty counter, there’s zero reason that my child needs luxury products in her bathroom.
I’m sure the Dior products are creamy and smell delicious. I’m sure they are made with the highest-grade ingredients that have been tested and are safe for sensitive skin. But does more expensive really mean they are better for your baby? And is it necessary to douse your baby with “scented water?” It is akin to a “baby perfume,” featuring hints of pear, wild rose, and white musk. Ahhh yes, that will smell divine when mixed with notes of poop and spit up!
I know celebrities and other wealthy parents will buy the entire line to give their babies a “spa-like” experience each night. These are the same people buying Louis Vuitton’s Meli-Melo Gold playsuit for $1,270 in a size 3 months. Or the Dior Bassinet and Stroller Combo for $7,700.
Newsflash—I think my daughter grew so fast that we skipped the 3-month sizing and went straight to 6 months. Also, I changed my daughter’s clothes so often that even if I splurged on a higher-end brand’s onesie or romper, it usually became the victim of a big blowout or projectile vomiting. No one ever saw it and it usually ended up in the trash. Expensive products are not immune from babies’ bodily functions and overall attraction to messiness.
One thing I’ve tried to practice in my now eight years as a parent is the mantra “good for you, not for me.” Sometimes it works: good for you that you’re teaching your baby Spanish at 8 months old—not for me. I don’t care if my child is bilingual when all she speaks is gibberish. Yet other times it makes me worry: good for you that your child had five playdates last week . . . not for me to make small talk with moms I barely know . . . but wait, is my kid not well-liked??
But when it comes to over-the-top spending on designer/luxury baby products? I say “not for me” without a tinge of regret or secret longing . . . but I hope those who think they are giving their child a special experience or leg up in life with these expensive products factored into their budget so early in life also know how expensive college is too!
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