This article just boggles my mind.
While I appreciate the sentiment, and normally the NYT can do no wrong by me, this is a bit much. Talk about the plight of first-world problems. While I temper my statements with the fact that I just purchased an outlandishly over-priced double stroller for our baby on the way, I do feel like this is old news for anyone who has had kids.
While we purchased lots of new stuff for our first-born, I really stuck by my adage of "I don't pay retail." My crib and changer were sale items at Target as were most of her clothes, her swing, the travel system and so on. Many other items, such as our bouncy seat, bumbo chair, jumperoo and lots more clothes, were obtained from friends passing them on, or via the "permanent loan" system where I used the bouncer my friend's daughters had outgrown, but gave it back when I was done, so someone else could use it and so on. I love baby consignment shops, especially for shoes. Who buys $60 Nikes for a three month old? Not me when someone else clearly did and now I can buy them for 3 bucks. Now with a second girl on the way, we will reuse the clothing, bedding, crib, car seats and so on. The stroller was a splurge specifically because we need so little to bring this one home. Plus we got it on sale, saved two hundred dollars thank you very much.
The point here is not to prove how virtous we are, after all, being frugal is not a moral imperative, but to say that even as a family who can, thankfully, afford to spend on baby gear, you would have to be crazy to do so. I agree with many of the commenters that this is not a new craze among the upper-class, it is just a return to the common sense that we, as a nation, may have forgotten.