Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 23, 2010 03:37 PM
As if being a mother wasn’t already complicated enough, brands are vying for their loyalty in regard to how they transport their babies. Yes, that’s right. There is a branded lifestyle mama war occurring; for now, it is mostly centered in cities, but the phenomenon is spreading rapidly.
Mothers already have enough important decisions to make: breast feed vs. bottle feed, employ a full-time nanny and have a career vs. stay-at-home, public vs. private school – and now stroller vs. sling.
In the stroller corner, the top of the line model is the Stokke Xplory Complete, (think "Sex in the City"), made from automobile-grade plastic with mosquito net included. The innovative height optimizes eye contact and bonding and keeps your child away from dust... Price tag: $1,199.
In the baby carrier corner, Gucci’s brand features a beige/ebony GG fabric with white leather trim and adjustable shoulder straps. Price tag: $895. Or perhaps, for less expensive option, an organic silk sling that sells for $500 from Sakura Bloom.
Brands in both categories enjoy popularity and consumer loyalty, but the fact is both methods have drawbacks. In 2009, a Consumer Reports article listed sling-type carriers under “Five Products Not To Buy for Your Baby,” citing at least four baby deaths and reports of serious injury: There is difficulty in figuring out the rings and fear of the baby flipping/slipping out. And with strollers, even venerable brands like Graco and Maclaren have had to issue huge product recalls for flaws that caused injury.
Front pack, baby backpack, stroller or sling, your parenting style will largely determine your choice. But overall, the three things to consider when selecting this crucial family travel gear are: convenience, comfort, and look. And the fourth may be what you want the brand to say about you as a parent.