Baby-Related Purchases

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Baby-Related Purchases - Consumer Behavior

Some behaviours and preferences for baby-related products for millennial parents are Sustainability, children’s opinions, and healthy lifestyle concerns. Below are the complete details of the research findings.


  • Sustainability is a driving concern for millennial parents when they shop for their babies. It is for this reason that they like natural fibers when shopping for their babies’ clothes, according to Susan DeGhett, owner of a 37-year-old children’s wear shop in Montclair, NJ.
  • Seventy-nine percent (79%) of millenials believe that better quality apparels are made from cotton, as found from a survey by Lifestyle Monitor.
  • Owing to this belief, 72% of millennial mothers are willing to pay more for cotton clothes for their kids and 75% of them prefer their children to be dressed in cotton clothes.
  • According to data from Monitor, 57% of millennial mothers say they would be more loyal to a clothing brand that offers environmentally friendly or sustainable apparel. They (76%) believe that cotton is the most sustainable fiber.
  • Importantly, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that 64% of millennial parents will shop at a brand they are loyal to, before considering a competitor. Fourty-nine percent (49%) of them remain loyal to a brand even when they have cheaper options, and 52% of them will remain loyal to a brand even when there are more convenient options.
  • Millennial mothers are so interested in cotton clothes for their children because they feel cotton clothes are the softest (86%), they feel it is the best material for children’s wear (84%), they feel it has the highest quality (83%), and they feel it is the longest lasting (76%).
  • Behind millennial mothers’ keen interest in sustainable apparel is their desire to make efforts to protect the environment. According to the Monitor research, millennial mothers stated that they always or usually make efforts to protect the environment by purchasing clothes made from sustainable materials.

Children’s Opinions

  • Fourty-five percent (45%) of millennial fathers leverage search to get answers to questions regarding things such as the best baby products and the best cities for families.
  • Fathers outspend mothers on back-to-school products by over $100.
  • Young children are well able to champion the need for certain products or brands. Over 75% of parents say that kids influence their buying decisions. Globally, children under the age of 11 years possess purchase influencing power that equates to about $1.2 trillion.
  • Every year, kids see more than 40,000 marketing messages and brands now spend $12 billion in marketing to kids.
  • Eighty-seven percent (87%) of kids remember the adverts they see and 77% of millennial parents revealed that their kids tell them to purchase some products that they have seen in adverts.
  • Almost 75% of the time, parents purchase the products their kids request for and end they end up spending about 60% more than they would otherwise have.

Healthy Lifestyle

  • Millennial parents want baby products that promote healthy lifestyles. They avoid harmful chemicals and products whenever they can.
  • It is because of this reason that baby products that clean things with just water and natural ingredients get more popular among millennial parents.
  • Another example of products that millennial mothers go after, that highlight this interest include water bottles made from glass, covered in a protective silicone covering to protect against drops that could introduce harmful chemicals to them or their babies.
  • Millennial parents are cautious of the soap and shampoo they put on their babies. A Vox survey found that the Johnson’s Baby brand, albeit the top selling baby line, has steadily been losing its market share. Millennial parents now make a push for products they believe to be clean and natural, and from companies they believe to be trustworthy.

Dietary Concerns

  • Millennials are the largest growing population of vegans. Their interest in a plant-based lifestyle has been translated onto their children, thus they purchase products that resonate with their feeding habits.
  • Many skincare companies have gone totally vegan, or at least created some dedicated lines to appeal to their plant-based consumers.
  • These companies make conscious efforts to create new products/collections for babies and mothers, thereby keeping their customer base in the family.

Personalisation and Reviews

  • Nowadays, millennials are drawn to products that are customisable and can be personalised. From customisable clothes offers that allow them to enter information such as zip codes, favourite sports and colours to create shirts; to customisable jewelry for kids, they put in their time to find clothes that show off who they are.
  • Also, when buying things for their kids, especially via e-commerce, millennial mothers look for products that stand out: those with five star ratings and reviews.

How Millennials Compare to Previous generations for Babycare Products.

  • When it comes to babycare products, millennials are more loyal to brands. Fourty-nine percent (49%) of millennial parents remain loyal to a brand despite cheaper options, versus 30% of other generations.
  • Fifty-five percent (55%) of millennial parents will remain loyal to a brand despite more convenient options, versus 35% of older generations.
  • Millennial mothers are specific about their likes and dislikes. Ninety-three percent (93%) of them share information about clothing, shoes, and accessories online and in-person.
  • On average, a millennial mother is asked for product recommendations 10 times in a month, versus 6 times for mothers overall.

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Baby-Related Purchases - Determinants

Mobile phones largely influence every part of the buying process for parents by providing research product information, reviews, and price comparisons among other determinants that Millennial parents have when purchasing baby-related goods. The top determinants for Millennial and Gen Z parents in purchasing baby-related hard goods are YouTube, the brand's values, high-quality materials, high-ratings, and individualism and personalization. Insights focus primarily on Millennial parents as they represent 90% of new mothers and Gen Z age range is from very young to just entering college and the workforce, so research regarding them as parents has not been conducted yet. In addition, it is likely that very young parents would not make these types of purchases themselves. An overview of these determinants that Millennial and Gen Z insights are described below.

1. YouTube

  • Millennial parents very frequently use YouTube to inform their brand and product decisions. Three out of four are open to videos by brands and companies and 72% admit they use YouTube to make better purchase decisions. In addition, millennial parents seek out guidance from brands they see as thought leaders in the baby industry.
  • Millennial parents also trust brands that provide guidance and instructional videos for their products online as evidenced by the 86% of Millennial dads use YouTube when using products and assembling gear.

2. Socially Responsible Brands

  • Millennial parents purchase brands that give back to the environment and the community and are responsibly sourced. Millennial parents can be convinced to buy products when they learn that the brand is socially responsible and donates to campaigns they care about or partner with organizations that help women and children living in poverty.
  • Almost half of millennial moms want companies with values that align with their own and will research to verify which brands they will give their business to brands that meets their functional needs and has social value such as ethical sourcing and sustainability. Not only does this drive them to purchase, but also influences after purchase behaviors such as recommending to friends.
  • 50% of parents research a brand's views on topics that matter to them personally, and they consider to be loyal and really care about what their brands stands for more so than their peers without children. Millennial parents feel good about purchases that add a layer of social consciousness to their buying decisions.

3. High-Quality Materials

4. Five-Star Ratings and Award Winning

  • Five-star ratings are a big determinant of Millennial parents' decisions to purchase baby-related goods. Many millennial moms seek toys that have been assessed by independent entities and won awards as they think those are the best for their baby.
  • Millennials are stated to have taken on an "infosumer identity" where they research and seek insight from other parents and online influencers to validate their purchase decisions.

5. Individualism and Personalization

Gen Z General Insights

  • 87% of Gen Z's parents report that their children influence their purchase decisions, and 36% of household product purchases are influenced by Gen Z. In addition, "48% of purchases specifically for the child are influenced by Gen Zers".
  • One parent explain the difference being that Millennials did not have the internet as children to research products and toys, whereas now Gen Z saves parents time by doing pre-purchase research such as where the product is located and the average price. Gen Zers also assist their parents' purchases by gathering product information and adding the items to the shopping cart.
  • 84% of parents are more likely to shop at places that make it easier to shop with their Gen Z children.
  • Gen Z trusts their peers on social media, and 70% of successful brands use Instagram influencers.


We first searched for preexisting information from consumer surveys and market analysis and sources such as the National Retail Foundation for information regarding Millennial and Gen Z parents purchasing habits for baby related goods. We uncovered information regarding Millennials, however searches for Gen Z uncovers how they influence the purchasing habits of their parents and households but no information was available regarding them as parents. This is likely due to the young age range of the group and only the older Gen Zers are just leaving high school and entering college or the workforce it is too soon for there to have been studies conducted regarding this group as parents. The youngest Millennials are still in their 20s, and Millennial women represent 90% of all new mothers, meaning Gen Zers would represent just 10% of new mothers and further explain the lack of information regarding their purchase decisions as mothers. Only 10% of Gen Zers are married and/or have a child, and those in the 18-24 age range are far less likely to have a child and make baby-related purchases than Millennials.

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Baby-Related Purchases by Generation

While limited information is available for the shopping habits of each specific generation when it comes to baby products, information was available to discern some key differences in baby product shopping today versus in previous years. Today, parents are likely to do more research, be more brand loyal, purchase more, and purchase increasingly specific items.


  • Millennial parents do more research about the baby products they buy than any other previous generation.
  • One reason for this is that Millennials have access to more information than previous generations, due to the internet and the smartphone.
  • A second reason is that there are more products than ever before. Previously, an item was generally made by only one brand. Now, multiple brands offer different variations of the same product, meaning that parents research the differences between the brands in order to pick the best one.

Brand Loyalty

  • Parents today are actually more brand loyal than parents of previous generations.
  • Parents today shop more with brands that reflect their social and political values, as opposed to previous generations that focused more on price.
  • However, parents in previous generations were more likely to shop at the same physical retailer, with less of a focus on the brand of the product and more focus on the store they purchased the products in. Today, parents can purchase products anywhere, including increasingly online, and focus on product brand.

Types of Products

  • In previous generations, there were fewer specialty baby products on the market. Products were designed as a one-size-fits-all solution, with brands assuming that all parents lived generally in the same fashion and that they all needed the same thing.
  • Today, brands have created specialized baby products for every occasion and every parenting lifestyle. For example, there are different types of strollers designed urban parents and rural parents.
  • Additionally, baby products today focus more on safety and child development than previous products.
  • Parents today are also demanding more natural products, especially food, than in previous generations.

Amount Spent

  • Parents today spend more on their babies than parents in previous generations did.
  • Some of this excess spending is due to an increased spending on toys and branded items for children.

Research Strategy

Since most of Gen Z, aged 7-22, are not yet parents, this research focused specifically on Millennials, aged 23-38, Gen X, aged 39-54, Boomers, aged 55-73, and the Silent Generation, aged 74-91.

Information specifically explaining how each generation shopped for baby items was not available. In attempting to locate this information, the research team utilized the following strategies.

We began by looking for pre-compiled comparison of differences in shopping habits for baby products between generations. In the course of this research, we found comparisons of how parents in different age groups shop. However, this information was for parents in general, not for baby products. Additionally, this information compared parents who are different ages but all raising kids now, rather than a historical review of how each generation shopped in their time periods. Even so, we were able to glean some important insights from this strategy, which have been included above, specifically on brand loyalty and research.

Next, we looked for comparisons in specific baby products purchased through the generations. We hoped that by identifying what types of baby products were purchased, we could identify differences in how each generation shopped. This strategy provided some helpful information on the increase in spending as well as the product specialization happening.

As an additional strategy, we broke the research down by generation and looked specifically for data about how each generation (Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation) shopped for their children. Via this strategy, only information on millennials was found, perhaps due to the fact that more data about shopping habits is being collected now than previously.

Then, we reviewed information on parenting styles, in the hope that it would provide insight into what things they purchased or how they purchased them. This strategy was in-line with previous information we found (especially on safety and more toys) and did not provide any new insights.

Finally, we reviewed the marketing changes of major baby retailers, to see if this could tell anything about how different generations shop. We specifically reviewed Walmart and Toys R Us. This strategy added credence to information found in previous articles, specifically on the increase in toys and preference for natural products.