It’s crazy to think that 100 years ago, most women had the bare basics of baby products- cloth diapers, blankets, dressing gown, crib, and maybe a stroller. Today, the list of products a new mom (or even a mom on her 2nd, or 5th child) feels she needs can go-on-and-on to fill up two pages (or two rooms in the house). Why?
The simple answer is that companies like to sell us stuff and we like to buy, especially when it comes to our little ones. Yet, do new moms really need a dozen blankets and pillows for different occasions? The answer is no. You won’t need or use all of the baby products that you’ll either buy or receive as a gift.
But, we get it, it’s easy to get caught into the whoopla of baby products that you’ll think you will need. Talk to friends and family members and you’ll have a long list of items containing some things that you might even have to Google, just to understand what to do with them. Go online and you’ll be overwhelmed with information about products and brands. And, all of that information can make it pretty hard to decide just exactly what you’ll need as a new mom.
Not to mention that some items are just so cute! To help out new moms we’ve rounded up a list of some of the most useless baby products out there. And, yes for some of these products we plead guilty for buying only to allow them to collect dust in our own basements.
14 Baby Bullet
The baby bullet is a glorified food blender / processor with a smile drawn on the front. Most of the items that come with the bullet you probably already have in your house, such as bowls, a spatula, Tupperware, and of course a blender. Although, the makers behind the Baby Bullet will go after your dollars by having you believe that it is the most convenient and healthiest way to make baby food. Yet, what they don’t tell you is that if you want to make mashed peas or the perennial baby favorite applesauce, then you will still have to cook the veggies down first. For moms that aren’t afraid of missing the latest ‘it’ item to clog their kitchen counter, you can just as easily blend, Ziploc, and freeze your baby food with the help of the ‘baby bullet’.
13 Baby Bumbo
‘At Bumbo, we believe every child deserves a bright future.’ And, what can be brighter for a child’s future than preparing for a sedentary career sitting behind a desk at 3 months old? Back in the day it was perfectly acceptable to sit infants on the floor, maybe with a blanket if you really wanted to be fancy. You figured that nature would take its course and they’d learn how to sit up right on their own, just like you did and the generations of babies that came before you. These days, it’s all about the baby bumbo, a baby seat that helps children learn to sit upright. New moms will love lugging around the plastic car-seat-like seat, because they don’t already have enough to carry. Babies will love getting help with their posture and enjoying playtime strapped into a plastic seat.
12 Baby Sound Machine
Lulling children to sleep is an art. Yet, sticking electronics close to them may not be the best answer. Considering that it’s recommended that adults should not be exposed to more than 85 decibels of sound intensity for more than 8-hours and most sound machines placed near cribs register more than 85 decibels and if they’re on throughout the night that could be 10-12 hours of high-pitched noise that could harm small ears. “I’m not saying that these devices will cause hearing loss. I’m just saying that they could,” said Dr. Blake Papsin, a chief totolaryngologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto told the New York Times. While researchers continue their studies why not save your money and try the old-fashioned route and belt out a tune or two to get your little one to sleep?
11 Bottle Sterilizer
If you have ever received one of these at your baby shower, most likely you’ve found it collecting dust in a cupboard somewhere in your kitchen. Why? It’s actually just as convenient to clean baby bottles by tossing them into the dishwasher or hand washing with all the rest of your dishes. Paying $50+ for a fancy steam machine to clean bottles just doesn’t seem worth losing the counter space over when boiling water or dish soap could do the job just as well. One verified purchaser of a bottle sterilizer on Amazon wrote ‘It really leaves everything very wet, which is disappointing. I feel like I could use the dishwasher and it would do a better job.’ So, it’s not convenient if you’ll have to dry it afterwards anyway to prevent unsanitary mold.
10 Baby Bathrobe
After a luxurious shower your baby will want to lounge in his / her bathrobe and fuzzy slippers for a moment. You might even massage those adorable little feet after a long day of being carried. Sounds hilarious, right? Well, a baby bathrobe is hilarious, because you’ll most likely rush from the tub, to a towel, to a diaper. Sure, baby bathrobes are super adorable and I can raise my hand as to falling into the marketing trap to buy one… okay two. Yet, to be honest at bath time you’ll just really want to dress your baby in a diaper and pjs. You know to avoid accidents, tantrums, cold little toes and all! And, you’ll want to do that fast. Bathrobe? As one wise woman once said, ain’t got no time for that!
9 The Expensive Stroller
Strollers are more like name-brand handbags these days and with the price tag to match. Is that the latest Versace you’re pushing your newborn in for $4,000? Or, maybe you have the Bugaboo, which has been the ‘it’ stroller since it appeared on ‘Sex & the City’. If you have a seven-figure bank account, then why not splurge on your little one? For those with a more modest bank account it makes more sense to stash that money for a college fund. Aside from the brand name, strollers don’t differ that much. You can find one just as durable, lightweight, easy to push around, and compact but with a more modest price tag. So, what’s the point on spending all that money on something that you’ll only have to get rid of in a year or two anyway?
8 Disposable Placemats
If you love landfills and a good cartoon character, then disposable placemats are for you! They will protect your baby from table surfaces and table surfaces from your baby. Just be careful about putting them on tables with a wood finish as the adhesive on the back can tear that off. For moms who hate doing dishes they’re a substitute for plates and placemats that you might have to wash off later. Of course, if you’re a parent who would prefer to contribute less to landfills, a standard placemat with an adhesive on the back will suffice. Just pack it in a Ziploc to take it with you. Plus, you’ll only have to buy it once or maybe twice instead of the monthly refills you’ll need to buy if you choose disposable placemats.
7 Baby Laundry Soap
Fine, we’ll admit it. We’re guilty of buying into this one. When you want to protect your baby’s gentle skin and avoid harsh chemicals it seems like a good idea to buy baby laundry soap and do extra loads of laundry. But let’s be practical here, your baby doesn’t really need special laundry soap. Save the space and cash by switching your family’s laundry detergent to a natural one if you haven’t already. There are plenty of brands out there offering formulas free of harsh chemicals, dyes, toxins, and with formulas that won’t irritate sensitive skin. If you’re worried that they won’t be able to get rid of tough stains, try soaking items beforehand. And, if you’re still worried about mixing their cute little sets into your load of sweaty shirts and pants, then by all means wash them separately.
6 A Diaper Stacker
So, you’ve wound up with one of these from a baby shower. At first you don’t know what it’s supposed to be used for. Even after you find out, you don’t use it, because it turns out that leaving the diapers in the case they come in is easier than moving them out and stacking them in a neat pile in your pretty little diaper stacker. You’re a new mom and you don’t have time for that. And, diaper companies realize that, because there’s a case that they come in that conveniently tears neatly at the bottom where you can pull out one diaper at a time. So, you put that on the changing table next to the wipes and other stuff you’ve been gifted to help you wipe your baby’s bottom clean.
5 Baby Powder
According to ‘TIME’, this made is onto the list of one of the most useless baby products of all time. And, even though it’s one of those products that will inevitably make its way into your home once you become a new mom, it’s not even a product that you should use or need. It will clump and become yucky the minute your baby’s diaper gets wet. Some even suggest that using it can be dangerous as the small particles can get into your baby’s eyes and lungs. And, let’s not forget that baby powder used to contain talc, known to be contaminated with asbestos a chemical known for causing a fatal form of cancer. Cornstarch options are sifter, but they can still contain fragrances and harmful chemicals that can harm the reproductive system.
4 Receiving Blankets
‘Why do we need burp clothes, swaddle blankets, and receiving blankets?’ That’s the question that one mom posed to BabyCenter. And, if you read the comments following the question, even the moms seem a little confused as to why they need receiving blankets. ‘Honestly, I found receiving blankets to be fairly useless,’ wrote one mom. Another mom who was welcoming baby number three also expressed that she found them ‘useless’ as they’re not big enough to swaddle with. Some moms seem to substitute burp cloths for receiving blankets. As one mom put it, ‘Why would I need burp cloths if I have receiving blankets?’ Size wise receiving blankets are in between burp cloths and swaddle blankets. Space-wise, they’re an extra bundle of fabric taking up space in your bag or closet that you could probably save for something else.
3 Baby Sleep Sack
Not only will you be gifted one of these, but also some retired family member will lovingly stitch up a baby sleep sack for your newborn. Either way, you’ll wonder why you need to put your baby in a sleep sack when they will be dressed in pyjamas and a blanket anyway. Sure they’ll have cute prints on them that will distract you from the fact that they’re designed similar to a straight jacket. Yet, as far as baby gear goes, it’s pretty useless. For moms worried that their babies will wiggle out of their blankets, it might serve a purpose, but then again snug pyjamas and a large blanket could work just as well. For moms constantly sleeping under the stars, the baby sleep sack doubles as a sleeping bag and that is the only time that I actually used the three that I somehow wound up with.
2 A Basinet For Baby
A bassinet is basically a mini version of a crib. And, I agree with one mom on the BabyCenter.com community board. It’s nice for naps, but definitely a product that I could have skipped. Considering that babies can sleep in a crib from day one and that they’ll outgrow a bassinet in probably less than 3 months, a bassinet is another baby product that you can live without. Some moms like it to keep next to their bed for feedings. If that’s the case, why not simply move the crib into your room for the first few months? Or, why simply walk down the hall or down the stairs for feedings? Sure, you might be tired, but saving space, money, and avoiding falling into the new mommy trap of buying useless products might make it worth it.
1 A Walking Helper
For parents who find it tedious to bend over and hold their child’s hand, this product is perfect, because you’ll only have to bend over to hold your child in a strap-on contraption that is supposed to help them walk. Not only does the contraption look uncomfortable for babies- it’s like a large diaper with a seatbelt- the verdict is still out on how it will actually help children walk. It’s designed to give babies support by protecting their waist while they learn to walk. It’s also supposed to be the ideal height so that parents don’t have to bend over and hurt their backs. Yet, it seems safer to save the $50 and trust that nature and nurturing will take its course and your child will learn to walk just like you and generations before you did.
Reference: Amazon.com, Parenting.com, TheDailyBeast.com, TIME.com,