Crib Notes: Marketers Know How To Snare New Moms

July 19, 2013

baby products montageAs a soon-to-be mom, I’ve finally gotten my act together (nothing like preparing for baby a month out) and started to officially nest.

Trying to cut through the clutter and figure out exactly what I need – and what products are best – is entirely daunting. What’s needed in a diaper bag? Do I even need a diaper bag? Which stroller is best suited for my needs? What add ons do I need for my stroller and which are nice-to-haves?

Throughout my search, and my attempt to figure out answers to my endless questions, I’ve noticed a few different methods brands are using to market to new moms.

Fear
Brands aren’t afraid to play on the fear that is common in expecting moms. Fear of the unknown is a very powerful thing. Add in the fact that you’re responsible for the health, well-being and development of a tiny human being and well, you’ve sold most moms-to-be on your product.

The “must-have” lists at stores are rife with products that aren’t necessary, or even recommended. Some of these products specifically target that fear. Case in point: Head support systems for infant car seats. As we all know (hopefully), newborns aren’t able to support their heads — their necks simply aren’t strong enough. In an infant car seat, their head may flop around without any added support.

Enter head support systems. If I hadn’t done my due diligence –- talking to other moms and reading online forums –- I’d have purchased one. I now know that they’re not recommended and instead, I can just use a rolled up swaddling blanket.

Don’t even get me started on the fear associated with education and development. Will listening to stuff from the “Baby Einstein” series make my child a baby genius? Do I need to buy one of those baby-signing CDs to promote my child’s development? I am utterly clueless when it comes to the answers but one thing I do know, is I am pretty fearful that not exposing him/her will stunt development.

Comfort
bath_kneelerComfortable living, both for mom and baby, is another predominant theme I’ve seen. It’s fairly obvious, or should be, that you want both mom and baby to be as comfortable as can be.

This tactic comes into play with products such as the bath kneeler. Couldn’t you just kneel on a towel? In all honesty, I will probably purchase this product because it is just so adorably cute I can’t stand it.

Which brings us to …

Cuteness
Something I learned before I was expecting: Buttons, no and zippers, yes. It doesn’t matter how cute the sleeper set is, parents don’t want to be buttoning twenty buttons after a 3 a.m. diaper change.

What really amazes me though is how companies market their crib bedding. Most every store I’ve looked at online, except for Land of Nod, includes bumpers in photos of crib bedding. In fact, one popular company, which will remain unnamed, shows a bumper in every single photo of baby bedding. The kicker? For safety purposes, which I won’t go into here so as not to bring everyone down, nothing, absolutely nothing, including bumpers, is supposed to be in cribs. All you need is a crib sheet and your baby. Yet companies are still featuring bumpers in hopes expecting moms will want to up their purchase for a little more crib cuteness.

I’m sure I’ll encounter more tactics along the way as my search continues. Some traps I will fall into headfirst while others I’ll hopefully have the foresight to see through.