28 April 2010

I Know why Babies Cost So Much

I know why babies cost so much. I do. I've worked out exactly why each child costs you £100,000 by the time they reach sweet sixteen.*

Glider chairs.

Yes, glider chairs and matching glider stools.


This item of 'nursery furniture' is listed in all the baby books as a baby essential.

Before Children I'd never heard of a glider chair. When I was pregnant with Presley I dutifully wrote one on my list of things we need for the baby.

It must be a symptom of 'baby brain'. I didn't question the price or the practicalities of glider chairs and matching glider stools. I really thought they were an essential purchase.

So we ordered the best chair and stool we could afford. They arrived. Andy unpacked them and put them together. Woo. We had our glider items. 

We were renting a flat at the time and planning to move when the bump-that-became-Presley was a few months old. We didn't have a nursery - couldn't have a nursery - so our glider items sat in the middle of the lounge. In front of the tumble dryer and fridge-freezer, but that's another story.

I stopped sharing the sofa with my husband and started sitting, regally, on my new throne (when I wasn't bouncing on my birthing ball, you know, the big blue thing that stays in the car when you go into hospital in agony labour). The chair wasn't that comfortable so I propped myself up with a v-pillow and a normal pillow, just to correct my posture. I didn't slouch throughout the entire pregnancy lest my baby go back-to-back. It worked.

Once Presley arrived I persevered with my glider items. I struggled to breastfeed in the chair because the arms were in the way.

On the plus side, the pocket was handy for keeping my lip balm and nail file in.

On balance though I would have to say that glider items are a total waste of money.

All you need for a baby is love, a pair of strong arms, nappies, cotton wool, vests and babygros and muslin squares - plenty of muslin squares. Forget the explore garden gym, forget the all singing, all dancing, all swinging chair, forget the baby bath, the top and tail bowls and the drop-side cot - seriously you'll never drop the side. The only time the side dropped on Presley's cot was the time it fell on my foot. Bloody thing.

Hands up, who else has a glider chair gathering dust and clothes?

What else did you buy for your babies that was a complete waste of money? 

*I have no idea what it actually costs to bring up a child, but £100,000 is a figure that sounds plausible.

This post has been written for the Sleep is for the Weak writing workshop. This week I chose prompt no.3 What gadget, object or invention do you find completely useless and impractical and think the world could do without.


  1. LOL! I *had* to have a glider chair too, and to tell the truth it wasn't always (ever) the most comfortable place to sit and breastfeed. It has since lived in more or less every room in the house, as has the glider stool (also essential). The chair currently resides in the kitchen and the stool has my ironing mountain stacked on it in the living room. That said, I do love it, many's the night I would rock gently with a fussy baby, a blanket over both of us and fall asleep reclined in my chair - ah, happy days xx

  2. I'd never even heard of them until recently, and I've managed perfectly without one. ;)

  3. I was fortunate in that a premature birth prevented me from wasting a lot of money on un-needed items that I was planning to buy. Once he was here, I soon learned what I DID and DID NOT need.

  4. Oh I totally agree!!! All you need is a comfy sofa to breastfeed on! I have also mastered the art of breastfeeding and walking around the house! Don't get me started on top and tail bowls...plus Baby B had hardly any 'baby' toys because I knew she'd grow out of them within months.
    I'll get off my soap box now xx

  5. You know I love my glider chair. I have the one in your picture. I had to add a cushion to it to get it the right height for nursing, as you say the arms got in the way, but after that I spend many many nights rocking and nursing in it, soothed sick toddlers, and up until just recently when the kids have got too big to both sit on my lap, we read all our bedtime stories in it too. It still sits in the children's room.

    The other day though my toddler almost launched it out of the window, treating it as a playground ride.

    So I'm about to get rid of it, but I feel very sad, as it was so well used and loved!

  6. I really wanted one but luckily had no money to buy one!

  7. I will admit to wanting one but not being to justify the price. Have no idea why i wanted one though, I know i would never have used it - I can't even sit up right on the sofa, I'm a sprawler.

  8. Lol, I dreamed of a glider chair but decided I could not justify the cost. So glad I did now! Mich x

  9. I always wanted one to but could not figure out where to put it , glad i never bothered.

    And what is with drop side cots? DD1 did not have one but it was my must have purchase for DD2 , we searched everywhere for one that had to be the same colour wood as DD1 cot (cause sharing room) and was also a cot bed and finially found one. And how many times did we use it? Um not once i don't think

  10. I too have a glider, but I ended up using the tub chair for feeds. The glider is now up in the craft room!

  11. I didn't have the money or space for one. I looked for an Ikea Poang chair & stool on ebay but always got outbid grrrr! Breastfeeding in bed, on sofa, even sat on floor is fine though :)
    There is so much stuff marketed to expectant mums that you just don't need!

  12. I'm so glad I didn't splash out on one! It wasn't the cost its just that we didn't physically have space for one. :-)



  13. I didn't have one of those and from what I can read don't regret it at all! So many useless things targeted at mums. The top and tail bowl I have never used and the baby bath is also just a waste. Not to mention the swinging chairs things!
    My parents in law are amazed at all the gadgets nowadays and I keep putting my foot down and have to be blunt about it. I will not use that. Sounds horrible but they would buy it anyway if I didn't.

  14. Oh I forgot, there is an award for you over at mine!

  15. I found pretty much most of the 'essentials' for babies are... er.. not. Then when we went to Bosnia, and Luke was 18 months old, we dropped almost all baby paraphelalia. No more buggy. No more high chair. Mattress on the floor instead of a cot. Never looked back, never missed anything. Not once.

  16. We never had the space for one and I'm pretty glad we didn't after reading your post. Also money was (still is) tight so we would never have been able to afford one. The sofa with a few cushions did us fine. xx

  17. Now I loved my glider and we still sit and read stories in it - and L is saving it until she has babies (bless!) but it's massive and takes up so much space especially now we need to get a desk in her room.

    The most useless thing I bought - baby listening system. Seriously we lived in a 2 up 2 down if she screamed I could hear her from pretty much anywhere. £80 quid spent which was completely useless and never used!

  18. We didn't have a glider chair, or very much else (apart from those baby grows and muslin squares) when my first was born. But I didn't have anywhere comfy to sit for those looonng hours of breastfeeding either. So heavily pregnant with my second, I set out to find the lovliest one I could. And I'm so glad I did! I only wish I had it here with me now (sadly left behind in Vancouver) - but I did make sure I got one with wide enough arms and a good high back you could rest your head back on...heaven!

  19. I remember looking for a glider chair and then seeing the price and deciding I didn't really need one. I used the OH's office chair for a day or two but like you the arms got in the way of breastfeeding so in the end I bought a beanbag!

    I wrote a post not so long ago about the baby things people tell us we need, but we probably don't. Many of my mummy friends don't agree with me, but its how I see it.


  20. Hey, once you've breastfed on a low wall outside your local high street church, the only thing you'll need to breatfeed is a comfy elasticated bra and a top with a long neck!

  21. Yes there are tons of gadgets we buy when we are pregnant that end up being less then pointless. I never had a glider chair but I made my husband buy me a very expensive rocking chair. Put it in sons room and ended up collecting dust & clothes as you say. I always breastfed in front of tv!

  22. Peabee, ah, lovely. Yes, we did a fair bit of rocking in ours too :-) x

    Beth, you saved hundreds of pounds!

    Inceywinceymummy, I wish the baby books were honest about what you really need!

    Clarey, rant away! I used to keep cotton wool in my top and tail bowl! x

    Geekymummy, I'm so glad someone got their money's worth. How lovely :-) x

  23. My OH tried to get me to have a glider chair but as soon as I sat on it I knew it wouldn't be right, plus it would take up the whole nursery! Do you know everyone says loads of muslin squares and I hardly used them. MM was just not a sicky baby I guess.
    Never used the baby lotion/oil/shampoo/talc that we were bought before he arrived.

  24. BNM, that's a relief!

    Heather, I didn't give it a second thought, I had to have one!!

    Mich, you saved loads of money there! x

    Laura, I know. It's more trouble than it's worth! x

    The Mad House, I hope it's getting some use now :-)

  25. Make Do Mum, we've got that Ikea chair. The boys get their bedtime stories on it!

    Chrissie, they are massive!

    Foodie Mummy, parents are obsessed with buying everything for the baby! Thanks for the award, I'll be over shortly to collect it :-)

    Fraught Mummy, that's really good to know. A mattress on the floor is a great idea, not so far to fall!

    Mummyfiles, exactly, that's all you need!

  26. Liz, I'm glad you both love your chair. We were the same with the monitor when we lived in a flat. The feedback was louder than P crying!

    Tup Tup Toys, it is wonderful when you find a comfy chair :-)

    Jumbly Mummy, I totally agree with your list, apart from the swaddling blanket. Cash was swaddled until he was about six months! Poor little fella!

    20Something Mum, the only thing you really need are boobs ;-)

    Heather, oh what a shame about your rocking chair x

  27. Mummy Limited, I wish I'd sat in one! Mine were both quite sicky babies. We've still got all our baby lotions and potions too. :-)

  28. I have that exact chair!!! Ha!

    Actually I loved it when I was pregnant. I spent a lot of my labour leant over the footstool rocking backwards and forwards.

    But when Kai was born, I just didn't have the elbow room to breastfeed him in it, I'd keep banging his head on the arm rests! So it was left unused for a while.

    Now, however, it is Kai's favourite place to watch TV, and have a cuddle, and read books together. So I guess over-all we got our money's worth out of it ;)


  29. Couldn't agree more, what a load of old nonsense 'they' tell you you should buy. When we packed up the house I found stuff in the attic that neither girl had ever looked at. I did consider getting a chair like that but her room was so small it was either that or the cot !

  30. Ha ha! Controversially I loved ours and used it from when I was about six months pregnant as it was the only place I couldet comfortable. I found it great for feeding too but then I bottle fed so maybe the angle required it different from that of breastfeeding. I have to say though that I was pleased to pick one up for £100 as opposed to the £500 quoted by John Lewis at the time!

  31. I started reading this post misreading glider as gilder...as in gilded with gold! Not far off methinks having looked at prices! I didn't have a nursing chair, I so longed for one with my first but couldn't afford one. The sofa and a whole pile of cushions worked very well but wasn't as pretty!

  32. Josie, I'm so glad you got your money's worth out of yours :-) x

    Scribbling Mum, I'd say you made the right choice!

    Baking Mad Mama, another satisfied customer! x

    Christine, I know, for the price you would expect them to have gold in them somewhere!

  33. Lol,I've got one, it was in the sale. Never used it for feeding as it was uncomfortable after my c-section but did come in handy to rock BG to sleep. Its still in her bedroom

  34. New Mummy, glad you got one in the sale and got some use out of it :-)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin