Do You Really Need That Baby Product or Is It Just Marketing?

Written by: Janel Duffy
Posted: July 03, 2024

TL/DR: It’s probably good marketing, but we’ll show you some ways to figure out if you need the gear.

As an expectant parent, you’re likely bombarded with marketing messages about various baby products. You see them on your social media feeds, on your pregnancy apps, in marketing emails, and not to mention the aisles of baby gear at any store you walk into. It can be  overwhelming to figure out which products are essential and which products just have a great marketing team behind them. 
Before you even begin shopping or creating a baby registry, it’s important to look at your lifestyle, your goals, your budget (or the estimated budget of folks contributing to tangible gifts), and a lot of other individual factors. The trouble with the baby products on the market is that they are pushed toward any and all parents as a one-size-fits-all solution for any “issue”. I talked with Lexi Tabor, our resident baby gear expert and new parent specialist, to break down how a parent might figure all of this out for themselves.

Understanding baby product buzzwords 

Like any good marketing, companies play to the emotional needs of the consumer. In this case, the consumers are new parents. When you’re trying to learn your new baby and figure out how to manage your hormones, almost anything can be emotional. There are a few buzzwords that get paired with baby products to make them seem legit or more appealing and even necessary to the new parent. 

Some of the terms you’ll see on products are:

“Anti-colic” – This works because no parent wants their baby suffering from colic, and if a parent has the choice between their baby having colic or not– 100% of parents will choose not having colic. So when a product is marketed with the term “anti-colic” or “helps with colic” or anything similar, it makes a convincing argument for parents to purchase the product (or put it on their baby registry). While some of the products may help with colic, often the root cause can’t be addressed with a product, and instead needs professional attention from a lactation consultant, a chiropractor, a pediatrician, or another specialist.
“Hospital-grade” – This term suggests that a product meets certain criteria and standards that might make the product suitable for use in a hospital setting. It might imply higher durability, better performance, or stricter safety standards. However, the term itself isn’t necessarily regulated and can vary in meaning based on the product and the manufacturer. So while you might find it on a bunch of different products, it doesn’t necessarily mean the product is better or a must-have. It’s important to research, check the standards, talk to folks you trust, and work with the professionals who can give you specific guidance on the products you’re curious about.
“Sleep-through-the-night” – Slap this phrase on a paper bag and desperate, sleep deprived parents will buy it. Kidding (but not really). If there’s one thing that is universally hard to navigate in new parenthood is figuring out how to get enough quality rest to function and live with a newborn. Using “sleep-through-the-night” language on products, whether it’s a swaddle, bassinet, or something else– is a promise that is rarely kept. When it comes to sleep, there are so many factors for babies, parents, and their living environments, that deeming one product as the answer to getting a full night of sleep is unrealistic at best.
There are plenty of other buzzwords we could include in this list, eco-friendly, Montessori, minimal, etc. The most important thing is that you do your research to see if those products are living up to their claims, and whether or not they actually fit your needs as a parent.

Even beyond those buzzwords, products are often marketed as a way to fix a problem or to make certain things easier

When in reality, there might not actually be a problem that needs addressing OR the problem or situation that needs to be fixed needs actual hands-on support from a professional, not something that you can buy off the shelves. 

Here are some examples of products that are solving a problem that might not actually exist:


Formula dispenser

  • Marketing claim: Makes it easier to prepare formula bottles.
  • Fact: Not necessarily easier; parts need frequent cleaning, adding to cost and effort.
  • Risks: Inconsistent formula preparation, potential safety issues for young or immunocompromised infants.
  • Alternative: The Jar Method.

“Smart” bassinet

  • Marketing claim: Helps your baby fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
  • Fact: Infant waking is biologically normal and crucial for their development.
  • Risks: Missed hunger cues, delayed development, over-reliance on technology.
  • Benefits: May help parents with high sleep needs or those without additional support.
  • Alternatives: Learning biological norms, hiring an overnight doula or other overnight provider, intuitive sleep consulting.

Baby monitoring tech

  • Marketing claim: Reduces anxiety and mental load.
  • Fact: Often increases anxiety and reliance on technology, may give false alarms.
  • Risks: Not a replacement for human interaction, potential inaccuracies.
  • Benefits: Useful for parents of multiples or those needing to track specific data under professional guidance.
  • Alternatives: Consulting with lactation experts, pediatric occupational therapists, perinatal mental health providers, and doulas.

How to figure out if a product is something YOU need

Because every baby, family, home, and circumstance is unique, you have to evaluate the products you’re being marketed with considerations that match your lifestyle. This is a really great place to work with a gift registry expert, because they can talk with you in-depth about your family’s needs and goals.
But, for brevity, and since this is a blog post, here are some quick questions to ask yourself when you’re debating on buying baby gear or putting it on your baby registry.

Consider the following:

Postpartum care

  • Goals: What are your primary needs for recovery and self-care?
  • Product evaluation: Does this product support your recovery and overall well-being? Is the product going to be more helpful than it is a hindrance?

Feeding your baby

  • Goals: How do you plan to feed your baby (breastfeeding, formula, combination)?
  • Product evaluation: Will this product make feeding easier or more convenient without compromising safety or health?


  • Goals: What are your expectations for your baby’s sleep patterns? What are your sleep needs as a parent (and human)?
  • Product evaluation: Does this product align with the biological norms of infant sleep, or does it promise unrealistic outcomes?

Diapering and toileting / baby body care

  • Goals: What are your preferences for diapering and baby’s hygiene?
  • Product evaluation: Is the product necessary for maintaining hygiene and comfort, or is it an expensive add-on? (ie: creams, lotions, soaps, blams, etc). Do these products meet your personal standards for ingredients?

Baby play & development

  • Goals: How do you plan to support your baby’s development?
  • Product evaluation: Does this product offer meaningful stimulation and development opportunities?

Traveling with your baby

  • Goals: How often will you travel with your baby, and what are your transportation needs?
  • Product evaluation: Will this product genuinely make travel safer and more convenient? (ie: stroller systems, convertible car seats, carriers, etc)
When you’re thinking about baby products, it’s a good idea to take recommendations from trusted friends or family members whose lifestyles align with yours. Trust recommendations from professionals who know your needs and goals, and be critical of unsolicited advice.

Why BeHerVillage is the better choice for baby registries

Our registry is focused first on the moms and brand new parents, helping them to thrive in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with the help of support professionals, rather than baby gear. We believe that parenthood was never meant to be done alone and that hiring professionals can drastically change the trajectory of a mom’s postpartum experience. When you use the BeHerVillage registry, you can find and fund the support you deserve to help you in all aspects of parenthood (and most of these pros can help guide your quest for finding the best baby gear).
Find your baby gear after you set up your support team.

BeHerVillage is helping parents like you get the funds they need for the support they deserve! Are you having a baby and are looking for support? Create a registry for support today and get gifted funds directly into your bank account to pay for your support team. You deserve this.

Are you a birthworker who supports new moms? Use BeHerVillage to help your clients pay for your support. Create your free profile here and you can be the best baby shower gift a mom will ever get!
Category: Getting Ready For Your Baby
Tags: baby shower , baby registry , postpartum , nursery


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