Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What Not to Buy for Baby

I know, it's so much fun - sweeping through the aisles of XYZ Baby Store with the cart just millimeters from your protruding belly, excitedly flinging every miscellaneous thing into the cart because really, you have no clue what you need, but it all looks pretty impressive.

But listen carefully new parents. As I sit here, years, and hundreds, possibly (gulp) thousands of dollars later, and I look around at the endless piles of absolutely essential will for sure die without baby gear, I'm going to tell you something.

Some of it is good. Much of it is crap.


Step away from the piles of attractive but useless baby stuff. Put your wallet back in that pocket. Don't listen to the voices telling you yes yes you must immediately purchase that special new burp cloth with the extra pockets that catch the burp spit. You know why? Because you're currently in a state of sweaty delirium fueled by pre-baby madness and super savvy baby product marketers who are very talented at hyping you up into a consumerist tizz.

These are just my opinions. Okay? I'm just sayin'. If I were to have another baby, these are the things I would not purchase.

Diaper Genie
Ooh great! This is just what I need! you think as you picture the numerous diapers that will be stacked tidily and odourlessly away in the Genie. Great. But guess what? In a few days, you have no choice but to open the container and face the horror of all the poopy diapers that are now amassed into a diaper sausage! A sausage of poopy diapers. Poop sausage. Yuck. I used mine for about two months and couldn't bare it any more. For the love of gawd, simply take the rotten stinky diapers outside one by one as needed to save yourself the plight of the diaper sausage.

Pee-pee hat
What the hell is this madness? A penis hat? A pee preventer? This is all kinds of uselessness wrapped into a little profit making package. Basically, it's a square of fabric taped together to form a cone. That people buy. With money. Hmmm. Instead, here is what you do: move like a race horse - one diaper off, one on. Before any, um, leaks are sprung. No pee hats needed. Gawd.

Preformed swaddling blanket (the ones with all the fancy flaps and buttons and ties)
Here's an idea. Instead of forking out fifty dollars for a swanky bit of fabric with bells and whistles, spend five on a regular receiving blanket and fold it around your baby. Just as good. In fact better, in my experience. Folding instructions can be found here.

Wipes warmer
What? A what warmer? May I ask - what on earth did folks do before these things existed? How did they survive? Are they rolling around in their graves wailing "Oh golly gosh if only I had lived to own a wipes warmer. My life would surely have been immeasurably better. Why God Why?"

Baby sleep wedge
This is a piece of foam used to prop a baby onto its side to sleep. I'm sure there are reasons for this. Emmm? Nope, can't think of any. All that comes to mind is, what if someone picked me up and wedged me in between two giant pieces of foam and told me "I think you should sleep like this tonight. No, not on your back. No, not on your front. I'm sorry but I know what's most comfortable for you and I'm in charge. Okay?" Um no.

Baby nail clippers with light (so you can clip your baby's nails while they sleep)
Is it just me? I'm imagining how it must feel to be fast asleep, then suddenly hear a sinister clip, clip, clip, and then have a flashlight shining in your face. Waaaaaa! What the hell mum? Are you out of your freaking mind? I thought a giant monster with a light for a face was trying to kill me with a pair of clippers. I know kids don't love having their nails clipped. That's why I do it either when they first wake up, just before bed, or when they're distracted by something like the TV.

I'm sure there are more. Want to add one to the list? Be my guest!

I realize someone is probably going to write to me claiming that one or all of these inventions are in fact brilliant and extremely useful. These are simply my opinions as an experienced mum with young babies. Glad we good that sorted.
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LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

I use a Diaper Genie, but agree...everytime I have to empty it, I wonder why I bother. So gross.
The wipes warmer? I couldn't agree more. Sounds great...until you have a baby who gets too used to it and then comes in contact with a regular temp, or even cold wipe and they freak out!

Sparkless said...

Never used the Diaper Genie. Poopy diapers where taken to the outside garbage right away.
I did use a wedge although now I know it's a useless waste of money. It's supposed to prevent SIDS and keep babies sleeping on their sides or backs.
What I really could have used was cloth foream covers for the kids when they had colds cause they would constantly wipe their snot on their sleeves. Or maybe just running after them all day with a tissue would work too.

Loukia said...

Fantastic post! :)
I had the diaper genie, and after like, 10 days, we got rid of it. Never saw its use. We just bag the poopy diapers, and they go outside. What else... never got the peepee hat - so silly! AND I have 2 boys! ;)
And yes, any regular receiving blanket does a great swaddling job, too.

Kameron said...

I can't even count the number of items, I thought were the end all be all when I was pregnant with my son, that I ended up returning after I discovered their uselessness! I agreee with all of the ones you have mentioned and would like to throw the car bottle warmer into the hat!

Kameron said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mammatalk said...

Clippers with a light? Never saw that one. I would of purchased it, though. I'm a sucker.

I agree whole heartedly about the Diaper Genie. Yuck.

Midwest Mommy said...

I completely agree! There is so many things that I wish we would have never spent money on. Jeans for a newborn may be cute on the hanger but you are never going to make your baby wear them except for a 2 second photo.

Mwa said...

I just agree with you on all of the above. Oh, and shoes for a baby who's not walking yet.

That Girl39 said...

OMG... I never knew you could buy such a thing as a wipes warmer and nail clippers with a light on! I thought I bought too much crap when I was pregnant but having seen these I don't feel so bad! You're right... it's a market aimed at hormonal (scared?) mothers who think having these things will make their babies and therefore them happier. When SC was a baby the thing she loved most was a cardboard toilet roll tube...and me? Coffee in the morning and a glass of red at night! Great post! x

Captain Dumbass said...

You made it two months with the Diaper Genie? You're strong.

The Peepee Teepee, I'd forgotten about that.

Chic Mama said...

I am chuckling away here, for some reason, nail clippers with a light??? Never seen those. Great post. :0)

Lady Mama said...

LZ - Good point, I didn't even think of that potential problem with the wipes warmer.

Sparkless - forearm covers! That's a good idea. Although could you imagine how gross they'd be at the end of the day? Ew.

Loukia - I knew it couldn't just be me that thought the diaper genie was useless!

Kameron - I wish I had returned a few things instead of letting them pile up around the house.

Mammatalk - hehe, I was definitely a sucker for certain things too.

Midwest Mommy - Jeans - gah! Yes what a waste of money, though cute.

That Girl39 - See! All you need are a toilet roll tube and wine. Brilliant!

Captain Dumbass - Yes, two whole months of diaper sausage trauma.

Chic Mama - Yep, insanity.

Metropolitan Mum said...

Wipes warmers? WTF?
Great post!

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

I totally agree with your list - all of those items are totally useless. How in the world did our mothers survive parenthood without all this extra crap???

Elaine A. said...

I TOTALLY agree about the wipes warmer. My SIL gave me one that she had used and that was the most useless thing on the planet.

I kinda disagree on the swaddling thing though. I have been using a HALO sleep sack swaddler for Baby K and it's wonderful. But every baby is different as is every Mum! : )

And you cracked me up on the pee guard thing - ridiculous!!

Lady Mama said...

Elaine - Absolutely - everyone's different. The HALO sounds good. :)

JulieChats said...

I was laughing through a lot of this, have the pee-pee thingy and so far the only thing it's good for is getting us to laugh at the little guy when he wears it on his head. Also have the swaddler things got a few at the shower, used one a couple times, but yes, the regular blanket works better and he grew out of them by about a week....and would only EVER sleep on his stomach, even the dr ok'd it, but that's another story. Love this list! I could list a ton of things I wouldn't buy until I tried them with my particular baby,instead of registering for them & then unwrapping them & having him HATE them....borrow from your friends & ask for gift cards so you can get what YOUR baby likes. Mine had such bad gas that he never used the vibrating bouncy seat that most babies do, ditto with the swing (or 2 that we got)....

Michele Horne said...

I agree on every single one. I fell for some of this stuff with the first baby... but by #3- I was way too wise. Diaper Genie? Ewwww!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more about the wipe warmer. I purposely didn't ask for one because I think they're a waste. Very few paid attention to my baby registry and someone raved about how great they are. Really?!?! I worked at a children's center and you could tell which children had a wipe warmer at home because changing time was awful and a HUGE fight. Daddy and I agreed we'll not be using the warmer... That didn't come with a receipt... Because our child doesn't need something we did great as babies without.

On the diaper genies, the only time they aren't useless is if you find a good one that prevents all the nasty horror when it com.es time to take the trash out. I feel like they're impossible to find these days. We live in an apartment now, so we'll just be bagging each diaper before throwing them away.