In the magical world of babies, certain trends seem to be so pervasive that a new one seems to be popping up every week. Picture the Groupon-lites that offer daily deals on everything from children’s clothing to toys, mommy and me classes and now even family trips.
One of the newest entries into this category taking over the baby world are subscription services. They offer everything from diapers and wipes, products for your home, clothes and more. You know something has caught on when the New York Times writes, “selling products by subscription is all of the rage.”
For parents, these subscriptions offer time-saving solutions that cut down on the product overload and ensure that you never run out of must-have items. Another great feature of these services is that they offer you the chance to try out something that you might not normally select in a store or add to your cart online. Just as CSA produce baskets encourage you to try new produce, these services introduce you to new products that just might transform your ability to clean your home in an eco-friendly fashion.
Amazon has experimented in this category with its 'Subscribe & Save' feature that provides a discount for items shipped every month, two, three or four. As a pioneer in the Amazon Mom program (and one who is very disappointed with their decision to terminate the program along with Diaper.com’s decision Friday 3/16 to end their Take 5 $5 Off Diaper Loyalty Program), I am a huge fan of the ability to get diapers delivered to my door without having to leave the house or even remember that I need diapers. The biggest problem that I have with the Amazon program is that there is not an option to have delivery more often than once a month. I mean, what new parent only buys diapers once a month?
These subscriptions services are a great baby shower present for moms-to-be, and many are available as gifts in one, three and even six month increments! Need just the right book, well there is a service for that. Are you a crafty mama? There is a subscription for you called Whimsy Box. If you are lucky enough to be able to afford raising a baby in New York there is a program that provides organic baby food direct from farms to baby even!
Stroller Traffic just featured a fantastic overview of some of these new subscription programs. But just remember, as the New York Times article pointed out, the reason these subscriptions programs came into being was so attract a consistent revenue stream for companies that they can rely on every month. So while they may seem attractive and time saving, they may also lure you into spending money that you may otherwise not have spent.
As someone who absolutely loves to shop for anything under the sun, be it walking the aisles at Target (you can find me there whenever I am having a bad day, the store cheers me up) or a new pair of Tory Burch flats, I love to shop. Starting from the age of 0, my mom took me to the grocery store and everywhere else with her, so I have a natural affinity for selecting bell peppers and greeting cards for friends. For this reason, most of the subscription services are not for me; I am simply too controlling to let my buying decisions be dictated by anyone else. They may however work wonderfully for your family and lifestyle, so check them out:
Subscriptions Offered: Diapers (& Wipes for $79.95/month) or Family Essentials (for $39.95/month with a free trial offered)
Subscriptions Offered: Products tailored to your child's age from clothes to sippy cups (for $25/month)
Subscriptions Offered: Starting from seven complete outfits plus seven onesies and seven sleepers starting at $49.98 for the 'basic wardrobe' to $97.99 for seven onesies, seven sellers and fourteen outfits for the 'better wardrobe' (like Hannah Anderson and Polo)
Subscriptions Offered: Deluxe product samples for moms and baby like Mustela (starting from $11/month)
Subscriptions Offered: High-end European products for mom and baby debuting soon (for $25/month)
Subscriptions Offered: Hands-on fun projects for kids ages 3-7 years old ($19.95/month)
Subscriptions Offered: Four to five deluxe samples for moms delivered per month (for $10/month or $110/year)
Subscriptions Offered: Customized box of eight to nine items of clothing from both major and boutique clothing brands per month ($39.95/month)
Subscriptions Offered: An acitivity box based on your child's age with materials and explanations to engage with your little one arrives once a month for $29.99/month of $299.99/year (two months free)
Subscriptions Offered: Four or more personalized educational toys available to keep for four weeks or more available by toy type or skill-set ($22.95/month for new toys every 8 weeks, $27.95/month for new toys every 6 weeks and $34.95/month for new toys every 4 weeks with a 14 day free trial)