Just got through a weekend of shopping for strollers, car seats, and the other large ticket items (I am now not allowed to go near the breast pump aisle).

A couple observations:

1) Baby things have become a lot more expensive in the last dozen years - I think the rate of inflation on baby gear may even outstrip that for undergraduate tuition. No more $30 umbrella strollers, no more functional strap 'em down carseats. Everything is now a "travel system", a "sleep system". $1189 for a stroller that is like the one the royal family is using?

2) China is verboten- Apparently the big thing among the upper classes is that nothing that your child touches/puts near its mouth can be from China. It is noble that people think "American-made" now automatically means "quality", but American manufacturers have just as fine a tradition of cutting corners.

3)First time expectant mothers are a judgy bunch - I could watch these women silently size each other up by what is in the other's cart all day long. Buy the silicon pacifier? You haven't done your homework, missy! Might as well sign your kid up for advanced orthodontia and remedial classes right now.

4) Detached dads - Quit checking your phone, and be part of this, douchebag. Though, this might have been a function of the store I was in. Way too many 40-something guys with 20-something, 30-something wives.

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5) We remain minimalists - With our first kid, we put the futon down in the front room, put out a baby corral, and that was her first year of existence. I just don't see a need for a matching bedroom set that you will chuck in a few years,or a $279 rocking robot that has 23 different motion settings (Is a kangaroo motion soothing?).