Why New Parents are a Marketer’s Dream

Baby sleeping in a Moses basket

We all know that having a baby is expensive. Before the baby comes we spend hours making lists, comparing products, ensuring our new baby gets the best of everything. What we don’t always realise, is that the spending doesn’t stop once the baby arrives. Thrown in to the unchartered territory of new parenthood, our instinct is often to throw money at the problems because, surely, in the 200,000 years for which people have been having babies, someone must have found a way to make it easier!


Sleep Solutions

The number one problem that plagues new parents is of course, sleep. In those dark hours awake with your baby, what better way to pass the time than browsing online for a way to get your little darling to close its eyes for more than 30 minutes at a time. Marketing geniuses around the world have cottoned on to this and you can buy a huge variety of different “solutions”. You can buy beds, light shows, bubble baths, toys, blankets, books, dummies and hundreds of other things all aimed at helping your baby get 40 winks.

Each time you click “add to basket” you are convinced that this time you’ve found the Holy Grail. You wait with bated breath for the product to arrive. On the first night you use it, it’s a success! You congratulate yourself for putting an end to end your sleepless nights. Then the next night comes. For some reason, the baby who loved this new product last night, is now having none of it. Back to the internet you go. This cycle then continues until your baby eventually starts to sleep through, as a result of the passing of time and in no way aided by the endless purchases you have made.


Getting them Fed

Feeding is another problem area with new babies. Who’d have thought something so natural and essential to life could be a problem? Alas, some babies just don’t seem to find it that easy. Luckily, manufacturers have come up with a whole host of solutions. If you’re breastfeeding you’ll likely be searching out next day delivery nipple shields, creams and feeding cushions. If you’re bottle feeding you’ll be ordering the latest anti colic teats not to mention a perfect prep machine to minimise the amount of time between the wailing starting up and the bottle being ready. 


The dreaded Teething

As they start to get a bit older, new shopping opportunities will present themselves. Around 6 months (earlier if you’re really unlucky) you’ll hit the teething phase. Your once cheerful baby will spend its day whining and crying, even your ever popular impression of a duck wont pacify them. You’ll become a regular visitor to Boots to stock up on teething powders and numbing gels, not to mention the ubiquitous Sophie the Giraffe, todays essential teething accessory.


Play Time

Once your baby is spending more of the day awake (although don’t get excited, they are probably still spending most of the night awake too) you’ll want to entertain them. The toy industry has very much picked up on the fact that parents worry about their babies hitting milestones. For that reason you’ll be able to stock your trolley with toys to help them sit up, help them crawl (along with these if you’re really overprotective), to strengthen their legs ready for standing and help them take their first steps. Not to mention the must have item for all parents, the Circle of Neglect (no judgement here, I so wish these had been around when my kid’s were babies!)


Dressing Up

And all of this before you’ve even clothed your baby! Before the baby comes, you may well have been sensible. You read the advice that sleepsuits are really the easiest thing for the first few months and so you stocked up on those. Then the baby arrives. A well meaning relative turns up with a tiny outfit for them. It looks so cute. The next time you’re in Tesco’s buying (yet more) nappies, you have a quick wander down the baby aisle. There are so many gorgeous, tiny clothes. Before you know it you have more outfits that your baby will ever have time to wear including a pumpkin costume for Halloween and a Harry Potter outfit for World Book Day.


By the time your baby is one, you’ll be horrified to discover it has grown out of all of these products, most of which are still like new. Instead of spending your time shopping online, you will now spend it selling your “miracle solutions” and cute outfits on to the next unsuspecting new parent.


Why new parents are a marketers dream - Baby asleep in a Moses basket


  1. June 4, 2019 / 10:28 am

    So true. And every single shop has the nerve to put together their “new baby essential edit” featuring nothing that costs below £79.99 and nothing that’s actually required. I used to work in marketing so I know how much you have to sell your soul to the devil, but there’s something that seems even more cruel tha usual about manipulating new parents who are already terrified, exhausted and clueless.

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:22 am

      It really is taking advantage isn’t it?

  2. June 4, 2019 / 10:37 am

    This was definitely the case for my first son. My poor younger son just got the hand me downs from his older brother and his cousins. Because of the age difference, his older brother was growing out of the toys that his younger brother was growing in to and so many of his older brother’s clothes were barely worn. At least Rowan’s environmental impact will be lower!!!

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:23 am

      Nearly new is the way to go! (I’m biased though, I run nearly new sale!)

  3. Vicki
    June 4, 2019 / 8:13 pm

    I fell for so many of the cons!! Best advice I could give a new mum, white baby grows, lots of, that you can boil wash!! 🙈😂

  4. Sharon
    June 4, 2019 / 8:24 pm

    I couldn’t agree more and even more so for first time parents

  5. June 4, 2019 / 9:22 pm

    That is so true! This was me with my firstborn. I got smarted with my daughter 😂 I realized that I did not use a lot of the stuff that I bought – either because I did not need it, like it, or had too many options to be able to use them all 😉

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:24 am

      That’s so true, we end up with May more options than we can actually use!

  6. June 5, 2019 / 8:03 am

    Couldn’t agree more they want to take the perfect canvas of your family. They have a sleeping owl or sheep that can magically send your child to sleep

  7. June 5, 2019 / 8:08 am

    So true … and then the cute clothes, and the cool shoes, and the …lifetsyle … we’re sitting ducks! #ItsOK

  8. June 5, 2019 / 10:19 am

    oh my i so relate to this post, i can’t believe some of the things i bought for my first daughter – it was part excitement and part not having a clue what would be useful or not. I am now due any day with second baby girl who poor thing has not had the same amount of money spent on her but it has given me a good opportunity to try and use some this stuff again – value for money girl number 2! #itsok

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:26 am

      Second babies may not get as much new stuff but they benefit from the wisdom we’ve developed instead!

  9. June 5, 2019 / 4:11 pm

    This is so true, I was quite proud I’d resisted a few of the recommended essentials because we have a 24 hour shop near by, so I figured I could wait and see if I needed them, but I still bought a few silly things. Some of the marketers must be laughing all the way to the bank at our anxieties #ItsOK

    • June 6, 2019 / 11:38 am

      Absolutely – we spent a fortune on different gadgets and gimmicks with our first! Most of which we barely used. Definitely reined it in with the second!!

  10. June 5, 2019 / 6:04 pm

    So painfully true. I could be smug and say that I didn’t do any of these things with my daughter, which is true, but only because my husband and I were both unemployed for the first six months of her life… every cloud! #ItsOK

  11. June 5, 2019 / 9:29 pm

    This is spot on! I guess marketers feed on the anxiety of first-time parents, who want to be 100% sure their baby has the best and safest of everything. An old mattress could result in cot death. X bottle could result in gas, hence Y is better. And the fears lead to spending of big bucks. Guess we all live and learn… the first child is an experiment, then we get smarter!

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:27 am

      Yep, I bought pretty much nothing do baby 2!

  12. June 6, 2019 / 6:48 pm

    Hell yes! When you’re a tired/desperate parent you’ll stupidly throw money at anything. I remember all that midnight Googling of sleep solutions. I read so many LONG articles which ended with no solution other than give us your bank details and you can enrol on our course. Grr! Loving your work, as always. #It’sOK

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:27 am

      Ahh, yes, I had forgotten about the courses!

  13. June 7, 2019 / 4:09 pm

    Oh, this made me laugh at how true it is! I remember Sophie the Giraffe and I also remember buying all the stuff brand new when in fact most of it could have been just as good sourced second hand. Hello eBay, my new best friend, when the time came to get rid of it! 🙂 Lisa

  14. June 8, 2019 / 10:14 am

    I howled when I clicked on the ‘Circle of Neglect’! We bought one of these for Christmas and she hates being restricted in it now, so we managed 4-5 months use for £80! I see them on the Facebook market place all the time. I managed to resist a lot of the marketing ploys as a FTM and have kept a lot of stuff for my future babies x

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:28 am

      The circle of neglect certainly has limited life span but fab while it works!

  15. June 8, 2019 / 12:45 pm

    Love this post – so true! A whole array of problems for people to invent products to solve!

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:29 am

      And yet none of them really do the job!

  16. June 8, 2019 / 4:57 pm

    This is so true, how much more we can be manipulated and guilt-tripped into unnecessary purchases when we’re most emotionally vulnerable (and sleep deprived!)

    • Jo
      June 28, 2019 / 8:06 pm

      Guilt has a lotto answer for!

  17. June 8, 2019 / 7:42 pm

    I was so guilty of being on amazon at 3am buying the next gadget that I “needed” for the baby if we were ever to sleep again. It’s so easy to get sucked in when you’re tired and vulnerable!

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:30 am

      We shouldn’t be allowed to shop when we’re sleep deprived should we!

  18. June 9, 2019 / 11:00 am

    This is hilarious, I remember it so well. I bought my son a ladybird light projecter. Tried it out during the day and he seemed to like it….put it on at night and he was terrified…we picked him up and he clung to us for dear life and then threw up in my face 🤦🏻‍♀️ Needless to say we sold it straight away.

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:31 am

      Wow, throwing up is a pretty strong reaction, I’ll remember to stay well away from light up ladybirds!

  19. June 10, 2019 / 10:40 am

    I remember the day we bought a Fisher-Price light up mobile for my daughter’s cot in the hope that the music and twinkly lights would help her to go back to sleep if she woke in the middle of the night – it made absolutely no difference and after a couple of nights we stopped even turning it on. It still hangs over the cot now for my second daughter but I don’t even think there are batteries in it anymore. It’s very pretty to look at but otherwise a total waste of money! #itsok

    • Jo
      June 12, 2019 / 9:31 am

      It’s a reminder to save your money next time!

  20. June 12, 2019 / 7:54 am

    There’s just so much we don’t need isn’t there! I bought & used almost half as much third time around #itsok

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