Today’s Hint: Go For Gender-Neutral Baby Gear

When I was pregnant and picking out which color stroller, car seat, high chair and other major baby gear to get, I opted for colors like green, black and white. This wasn’t because we didn’t know the gender of our soon-to-arrive little one.

Rather, it was because we hoped to have additional children, so even though we were having a girl, I wanted to make sure the gear I bought wasn’t gender specific, a frugal baby gear shopping strategy that is today’s hint.

While it can be tempting to buy a magenta stroller or a pink car seat for a girl, opting for gear in gender-neutral colors can save you from having to buy additional items for future children of the opposite gender, assuming, of course, that you wouldn’t want to cart a boy around in pink gear or a girl around in boyish blue designs.

This tip, which I write about in my first post as a contributor to The Frugal Shopper, a new U.S. News & World Report Money blog covering useful savings tips and strategies, doesn’t just work for baby gear purchases. It’s also useful to keep in mind when you’re purchasing baby clothes (think onesies and pajamas), nighttime accessories (think swaddles and sleep sacks), nursery décor, mealtime gear (such as sippy cups and plates) and toys (think Legos, dollhouses and play kitchens like this one), among other items.

In fact, as Alpha Consumer blogger Kimberly Palmer and Huff Post Parents have both pointed out, “gender-segregation starts early these days,” with everything from Legos to sippy cups coming in designs color-coded for the different genders.

When you plan to have more than one kid, however, going the neutral route can be a way to save money. And I’m not the first parent to point this out –moms who already have more than one kid suggest it as well.

Rachel over at Small Notebook, for instance, suggests going for gender-neutral colors for certain major baby gear purchases “to make it easier to use them for the next baby.” Elsewhere, Nadia Carriere of, writes over at Giggle’s Gab blog about how she has always “been partial to the gender-neutral nursery” because by going for gender-neutral décor, “you don’t have to worry about redoing your nursery for each child.”

Similarly, April over at Holistic Homemaking, says to “go gender neutral when possible,” especially when it come to shoes, jackets, newborn clothing and car seats. Other parents who also are fans of this trick include Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas and moms chatting over at Baby Center and What to Expect. “I would definitely go with more gender neutral for the ‘big’ items,” writes one mom over at What to Expect.

To be sure, many parents want to get past the gender stereotypes that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, so if you fall into that territory, you may not care about outfitting a boy in a girlish design and vice versa.

In addition, as I write at The Frugal Shopper blog, you probably won’t want to reuse all of your first baby’s gear anyway, especially if you wait a long time between having kids. There’s also always the chance that you may not have any additional kids.

So, going gender-neutral the first time around may not be so important to all parents.

Still, by opting for gender-neutral gear from the get go, and by following two other baby gear shopping tips I write about over at The Frugal Shopper, you’re at least giving yourself the option to save money. Read the full post over at The Frugal Shopper.

What are your thoughts on going for gear in gender-neutral colors? Yea or nay? What are your tips for buying gear from the get go that can last as your family grows?

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  1. amy says

    I’m all for gender neutral selections (especially since I did end up having a girl and boy) – also makes it easier to give away baby items in future. I’ve had more issues with other people in this regard (and manufacturers/stores not carrying enough neutral items) than making the decision to go neutral.

    People who bought us items for the first baby, a girl, deliberately ignored the gender neutral selections on the registry. They were so excited they bought alot of pink. Alot! For example we chose an umbrella stroller in a neutral color. When the person could not find that same stroller (which was ok) they got a different one in hearts with pink trim (not exactly a look most people associate with boys). And while they said we could always exchange it, that was difficult as the shower was a few weeks prior to delivery, we were in the middle of moving at that time, the store was over 30 minutes away and we working over 60+ hour weeks leading up to having baby (company owner). And became impossible after as well (failure to thrive issues). So I wish there were a way to get through to gift givers that other children may be added to the family later and if the family selected neutral gender larger or reusable items, please try to get a neutral color.

    On the flip side…we also have a purple-gray infant car seat that was given to us for the first child. This is perfectly acceptable to us to use for a boy for the next 6 months (it’s less than 3 years old). Yet other people insist we change the seat out and spend money we do not have when it is unlikely the seat will be used for more than 6 months (at the rate he is growing) and it’s not a garish noticeable purple color at all. So we’re left shaking our heads at how everyone wants to dictate color to us :)

  2. says

    LOVE gender neutral gear but mind you I’m not that big a fan of Pink. Going gender neutral can save so much money in the long run as you don’t have to buy extra clothes for if your 2nd child is a different gender to the first. Kate :)


  1. […] To be sure, there likely are logical reasons behind the price differences, like supply and demand variations, and differing manufacturing and formulation processes. Still, knowing that prices can vary by color can help you save money. If there’s no reason why you need a certain colored item, you can simply buy the cheaper hue. Though, of course, even if a gender-neutral colored item costs more, you may be able to use it for longer. […]

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