One of the reasons they’re lesser known may be the comically high prices. If you’re tempted by a onesie that says “rad to the bone,” it can be yours for a mere $25. You can buy a pack of boom-box patterned diapers for $14. (It’s difficult to figure out how many diapers you get in this pack for $14.) As a person who’s stood in the CVS and calculated the cost per diaper there versus diapers.com (and never considered that I might want a vintage boom-box pattern for my son to take a dump in), and as a person who’s happily picked through bags of hand-me-downs from friends, this kind of article is so far removed from my experience of outfitting kids that it seems almost laughable. Even the most design-oriented parents I know are using their skills to dress their kids in inexpensive but still adorable clothes. They put together beautiful nurseries from friends’ castoffs and Ikea. Even the wealthiest families I know recognize that every dollar spent on frivolities is less to put towards college or charity or other, more worthy things.
The kids’ shopping sites are another example of the Pinterest-ization of our ordinary lives—where all our spices have to be in apothecary jars and our necklaces pounded out of bent spoons. Who is buying a whale faucet attachment that shunts the water closer to your kid’s hands? You’re going to need it—for various definitions of “need”—for about a month.
And I say this as someone who has been extremely tempted by cute kids’ stuff: When I was outfitting my son’s room I went to great lengths to get a mobile that was so adorable, I would have driven to Vermont to get it if the woman hadn’t shipped it in time. Marketing is tempting, that’s its raison d’etre. But the problem with marketing is that it plants the idea that $110 for a little chair they’ll sit in once, or $40 for a dress they’ll wear for six weeks, is normal.
A perfect tomato-red and turquoise mobile? Totally necessary. I mean, at least until your babies turn into kids and you don’t need it anymore. Um, anyone want to buy a mobile?