So you’re a new mom
You want the very best for your baby. Top quality, uber chic, newest technology, shiny, gorgeous, comfy, stylish, cool, brand new, edgy etc, etc.
You’re finding yourself anticipating all kinds of needs you and your baby may or may not have and making all kinds of purchases based on that. You are a smart, educated lady and you know somewhere deep down that there is a ginormous baby product marketing machine which plays on your emotional side and takes advantage of generous, loving, kind hearts like yours :)
Of course, you will find some essential products but you will also be tempted by a TON of products which have little to no use/have a utility lifespan of about 3 weeks/will end up giving you a huge headache/are lovely but require storage space equivalent to half of your living room/are not recommended by healthcare professionals.
When it comes to baby products, if you are not well informed, you will end up with an empty bank account, a cluttered up apartment and one pissed off husband...trust me!
This is why, after consulting with my mom friends, we have come up with a complete guide of the most popular useless baby products! Thank me later darlings :)
I am proud to say that I personally did not fall into that trap, but a lot of my friends and even my own sister did! It is THE number one crappy baby product, pun-intended, as reported by my surroundings. It is expensive, takes up precious baby room space, requires double the work than a regular lidded garbage and once your baby starts to taste solids, none can hold the smell down. It is also nauseating to change the garbage. Terrible idea.
Here’s a gadget that most moms will agree is utterly useless, takes up space, is pricey and is currently sitting somewhere in a closet collecting dust. There are so many easy, efficient ways to avoid buying this product, I’m surprised it even exists.
First off, if you get your baby used to drinking their bottle at room temperature from the get go, which you should, you will never need this product.
Secondly, even if you have to warm the bottles for whatever reason, you can fill the bottle with a mix of cold/room temp water and hot water which you can boil the old fashion way (which won’t take long since we’re talking about a really small quantity), you can also warm the bottle in a bain-marie. You know, keep it simple :)
This is one of the most expensive types of thermometers out there, and guess what, it is not nearly as accurate as your good old rectal thermometers, especially for small babies under 6 months old. A number of studies have been conducted on this topic, and “The data simply don’t support their accuracy”. ‘Nough said.
On the one hand, walkers are very cute and seem really entertaining and fun for babies who are at that developmental stage in which they want to explore their surroundings yet haven’t learned to walk just yet. On the other hand, they take up a ton of space and are really annoying to clean. But above all, there is a potentially dangerous catch. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents not to use baby walkers. Not only do they increase risks of tripping, falling over and/or rolling down stairs, research also suggests that use of baby walkers doesn't help the process of learning to walk. Instead, they eliminate the desire to walk and can potentially be the cause of a physical delay in reaching the walking milestone. Physiotherapists will encourage you to let your baby crawl on the floor at his own pace, as nature intended.
Your baby’s weight is indeed a crucial piece of information for the first few months of life. During this time, especially if you have any kind of issue or doubt regarding his/her weight, you will be taking them to the doctor and have him weighed there, together with check ups. If you feel the urge to weigh the baby at some point or another, you can also weigh yourself on a regular scale, then weigh yourself with the baby, and the difference between the two numbers will be the baby’s weight. You know, simple baby math :)
Breastfeeding Pillow/Pregnancy pillow
OK let’s start with the pregnancy pillow which, basically, is equivalent to introducing a third person into your bedroom. I mean, yes, it seems super comfortable, but come on ladies, let’s try to remember the baby daddies here (ever notice how they never appear on any of these product ads…) While they sleep on their tiny side of the bed all by themselves, here you are cuddling and hugging your way through the night with your human size pillow companion. Not to mention, what are you supposed to do with your giant pillow after you give birth? The uncomfortable sleeping stage during pregnancy usually only lasts a couple of months...food for thought.
And the breastfeeding pillow is a controversial one. Some women swear by it, others find it cumbersome, uncomfortable and useless. This is one of those things you should never buy unless you are in a situation where you know you need it, and if possible, borrow, don’t buy it.
It takes up a lot of room, you don’t know how long you’re going to breastfeed for and even if you do breastfeed for a long while, you surely will not need it to get comfortable. It is, to my opinion another one of these nice to haves which quickly become a pain to store.
These can easily take up half of your living room, a lot of babies don’t enjoy them and most babies don’t fit in them after the age of three months. If you’re going to purchase one, make sure you have a specific storage and maintenance plan for it, as it will spend most of its life in storage collecting dust. Again, avoid buying, borrow if possible.
Fancy high chair
This one is a sensitive topic to a lot of disgruntled moms who fell into the classic high chair trap. A high chair is basically a piece of furniture that you will add to your kitchen/dining room for the next couple of years more or less. And if you care about aesthetics and the decor of your home, you will want something that is stylish, high quality and just fits, even if it means you have to spend more.
Now for the practical side of things. Unless you want a stinky kitchen and house, you will need to thoroughly clean the high chair after each meal. Not just the tray. The seat, the legs, the back, the sides, EVERY PART OF THE CHAIR will get filthy with crumbs and unidentifiable liquids. If you go for a model that is very much designed, with the fancy lining, leather like pillows, the cool little add ons etc.. you will regret it. Especially if it was really expensive, because, if you’re like me, you’ll prefer silently cursing the chair each time you have to scrub soups and purees off the little tiny slits you can’t reach than just throwing the whole damn thing out. It’s an ego thing.
My recommendation to you is not a cheap one but it is simple, high quality, stable and secure, versatile, easy to clean and timeless. I swear by it. Stokke high chair.
Your choice of stroller will very much depend on your lifestyle, whether you are more of a walker or a driver, whether you live in a rural area or a big city with narrow sidewalks, and the amount of time you estimate your baby/toddler will be spending in the stroller daily.
Still, I really recommend that you start off with a light, easy and simple stroller. The huge ones with all the storage space and extra room are nice but on a daily basis, especially if you’re using it for short trips around the city, they can easily become really heavy, cumbersome and annoying. I’ve personally have had both and I definitely feel lighter and enjoy the compact model more.
The idea of these may work well with that image of the cool, stylish, boho mom you would like to be however in reality, they can be a huge, stressful pain in the neck.
Baby wearing is awesome but you really have to make sure that you choose the way to wear your baby that is right for you. I received a baby wearing scarf as a gift and never actually used it, because no matter how many YouTube tutorials I watched, the whole thing just did not seem secure to me; I felt like my baby could drop on the floor at any time. That just turned that experience into a stressful, scary one, which I ended up avoiding by getting a more ‘mainstream’ baby carrier (Ergo 360).
Manual breast pump
Painful and expensive. Try to rent/borrow an automatic one.
Musical electric baby nasal aspirator
Not recommended by doctors. Believe me, in moments like these, the music won’t help.
Wireless LED Dummy sterilizer
If you carry more than one dummy and sterilize at home in boiling water, you will never need this product.
Ergonomic cocoon nest - your baby might not enjoy it at all. Very short product life span.
Good luck and happy shopping :)