When registering for baby showers, moms-to-be do a lot of research before carefully choosing each item they want for their baby’s nursery. Research ranges from customer reviews to word-of-mouth from friends, to the sales rep at a store showing the latest and greatest in baby essentials. By the time the showers are over and the baby’s due date is within sight, moms have a lot of questions about what to expect, but feel confident they have everything necessary for a baby.
Then, the baby comes along and everything goes up in the air because as all moms know, there is no way to actually prepare for a child. Sure, parenting books, mommy blogs, and well-meaning friends and family can provide feedback and advice. However, when reality comes, all these suggestions and guidelines take a back seat to what a baby truly needs.
Many of these products that were so carefully chosen to be the most helpful gift, end up to be far less than what was promised. How many moms are out there who have spent hundreds of dollars on a bassinet only to keep their newborn in a Rock & Play, during her first few weeks? Or, what about that extremely expensive humidifier that quickly collected mold and was soon replaced by something more practical.
There are so many baby products out there that it is hard to keep track of what is best, what is essential, and what is there simply to make mom’s life easier. The three are not always the same product. There are plenty of products that can lead moms to curse, regardless of whether they are useful or not.
15 Diaper Pails Are More Like Giant Diaper Worms
Diaper pails are to a nursery what stuffing is to Thanksgiving Dinner. It is not the main event, but is there one without the other? Definitely not.
There is a reason these diaper pails are so popular- they work. According to the Diaper Genie Website, their product (and similar products) lock in odor through their design, as well as through a filter. The site also gives the lovely statistic that babies go through around 9,600 dirty diapers in their first three years of life. That’s a lot of smell.
The product may work, but that stack of 8+ used diapers that come out when it’s time to make more room is seriously no joke.
Diaper pails are great for keeping a nursery (and a home!) smelling a little less like a baby, or a dumpster. However, they aren’t without their flaws.
Anyone who has owned a diaper pail has also had to remove the bag from it. This is probably one of the most horrific smells ever. As soon as that little front section is opened and the bag is out in the open, the smell coming off it can practically be seen. Then, there is the wrangling of cutting off the top of the bag in order to seal it off before taking it to the garbage.
14 Button-Up Onesies, More Like Let Them Wear It As A Dress
Footie pajamas are probably one of the cutest things in the entire world. They are so cute that adults continue to make some for themselves as “jokes”, but we all know that it’s less of a joke and more of a reason to clothe their body in the fuzziness that is footie pjs. It’s okay, everyone gets it (but you do look ridiculous).
New moms get seemingly millions of footie pajamas as gifts in the months leading up to their baby’s arrival. Some have animals, some have little hearts, and some have cute little things on the tush area that even the most no-kid-loving person giggles at.
The cuteness factor is less of a concern at 2 am.
Some of them, however, have buttons from the very top to the very bottom. And, the worst pajamas, are the ones with the snap buttons right between the legs that you have to haul over their head, through their arms, and over their bodies. It's no fun Now, this doesn’t take away from the cute factor, but it absolutely is not practical. This (flawed) design requires parents to unsnap the pj’s multiple times before being able to get to the baby’s diaper to change it. Then, once the diaper is changed and the infant is nice and mad, parents have to snap them back up. It’s frustrating and time-consuming, and frankly, everyone’s too tired for this.
13 Who Wants To Pay 2000$ For A Complicated Stroller System
Picking out a stroller seems so daunting for parents-to-be. It has to be light enough to carry. It has to be easy to unfold. There needs to be a seamless way to get a sleeping baby in and out without waking him up. Did parents buy the one with the cup holder or did they go for the extra phone carrier? For something so basic, it has more desirables than a dream home.
According to What To Expect, strollers can cost anywhere from $65 to over $1,000 so the amount of choices, bells, and whistles between those price points is insane. Some strollers are designed to grow along with the baby and last throughout all of their stroller riding years. Some are really simple, they fold up quick and easy, and get tossed in the trunk. But, that’s just about all they offer. Then, of course, there are the ones celebrities use that are plated in gold and diamonds or something. That’s just a guess because no new-mom in her right mind would spend that much on just one of the hundreds of things she needs for her new baby.
Whether it's picking out the stroller, or actually learning how to use the thing, it can cause moms so much additional stress.
Imagine standing in the rain, trying desperately to transport your infant into the car, then frantically failing to figure out how to break the thing down. Oh, and some moms have multiples or they have another toddler to deal with as well.
Good thing moms don't melt in the rain.
12 Front Riding Or Back Riding Car Seats
Similar to the stress of a stroller system is that of a car seat. Car seats are literally what protects your bundle of joy in the death trap that is your vehicle. Not to scare anyone here, but according to A Secure Life, car accidents are the second-leading cause of deaths in children 1-4. So, picking out a car seat is no laughing matter.
Not that any parent is laughing it up when making this purchase, right? This is generally met with panic and doubts about being able to be a good parent at all. The stress of a car seat escalates quickly into question your ability to provide basic care for a human. I don’t know why this is, but it’s triggering for moms-to-be.
Between front riding or back riding car seats, who cares they're just going to detach themselves anyway.
Then, even after the selection has been made, the joy of getting your child into the seat is a treat. As an infant, it’s (thankfully) pretty easy since their seats click right in (let’s all take a moment to thank whatever engineer developed this system!). Toddler seats, though? It’s not that the seats themselves are tough to navigate, it’s the tiny person in them refusing to be strapped down and wanting to eat all the cheerios that have managed to get caught in every single crevice it has to offer, that is the challenge.
The laws are continuously changing, so it’s a fair gamble that kids born this year will have to be in car seats until they go to college, making moms everywhere not only curse but develop new curse words along the way.
11 Night Time Lotion Meets The Energizer Bunny
One of the most popular pieces of advice parents get is to develop a bedtime “routine” for their baby, to help establish a bedtime, and then work towards the sleeping through the night milestone. This is easy to jump on right away because this is a stepping stone to being able to get sleep. Parents will do just about anything to make the dream of sleep a reality.
There are a variety of recommendations when it comes to the bedtime routine. The Baby Center suggests starting at the same time every night (get that bedtime down) and doing the exact same thing every time so that babies will begin to know what is next.
Or what about the times when a baby gets lotion put on from head to toe, in hopes for a peaceful bedtime, only to be reenergized back to life from this superpower cream garbage?
Oftentimes, "Nighttime" lotions are suggested. Usually, this is a lavender scented lotion to put on the baby’s skin, not only for moisturizing his delicate skin but to associate the smell with bedtime (lavender is most commonly used because it is supposed to make humans tired).
This sounds reasonable, until your baby’s delicate skin starts breaking out in a rash and not only is he not sleeping, he is also screaming because he’s itchy and uncomfortable. This is typically when moms learn that there is a reason most baby-focused products are unscented or hypoallergenic.
10 Long winded parenting books
As a parent, if you don’t know what you’re doing, there are always resources out there to give you an opinion or answer. A quick Google search will give you pages on pages of articles and blogs, or mommy-boards where you will be sure to get some real-life advice, and maybe even spark an argument amongst the “laid back” moms and “crunchy” moms. As much fun as it can be to sit back with a bowl of popcorn and watch that argument unfold, it’s not exactly helpful when it comes to learning how to parent.
So, good old-fashioned books to the rescue! There are books by experts, by comedians, by real-life moms who turned their wisdom into a handy sidekick for the next generation. There are books on feeding, sleeping, clothing, educating, and disciplining children. Basically, there is no limit to the information available to a parent.
However, there is a limit to how much time a parent has to invest in a book.
Moms hardly have enough time to shower, let alone spend 30 minutes reading through just the introduction portion of a book. Moms need answers and they need them quick. Unfortunately, there is no option to search through hashtags in hard copy books. Nothing can make a mom more frustrated than trying to look up the answer to why her child is crying and not being able to quickly locate the answer, while her child is actually crying in the background.
9 Nose Frida: The Baby Booger Buster
If you’re a mommy who hasn’t heard of the Nose Frida, you haven’t lived! Seriously. This little snot sucking mechanism runs circles around the little bulb you get to bring home from the hospital.
The Nose Frida website calls itself a “doctor invented...natural and hygienic baby booger buster.” That sounds interesting enough, right? Well, it is a tube that parents stick up their baby’s nostril, it has a long straw-like tube attached to it that the parent sucks out of to create suction in the nose, and essentially do the same thing that we all do when we blow our noses.
It is utterly disgusting to think about, but actually very safe because there is a filter that protects a mom or dad’s mouth from the gunk they are sucking out.
It’s also weirdly satisfying to watch all of that congestion gather in that tube as the baby’s nose clears up.
That is all assuming the baby will allow it to happen, which not many do. In fact, the older that baby gets, the more his nose will run, and the stronger he will get. So, he will be able to fight off his mom and dad from so much as wiping his nose, let alone putting some crazy contraption up to it.
8 Where Exactly Does That Fancy Thermometer Go?
For some reason, new parents are led to believe they need some super-duper fancy thermometer to take their kids' temperature. Nevermind the fact that almost any adult can think back to their childhood and remember the cheap drug-store brand thermometers their parents used on them, for some reason parents-to-be buy into this load of bologna.
Then, the baby comes along and learning how to use this thing is harder to learn than the newest smartphone.
It never turns on right. It reads a different temperature three times in a row on the same person, and your kid is screaming because she’s sick and doesn’t want to sit still while you glide the thing across her forehead for the 8th time because you’re still trying to figure it out.
Finally, once a mom is certain she has a close-enough-to-accurate reading, she takes her baby into the doctor who will inevitably ask “did you take her temperature rectally because that’s what we prefer” (this is usually only during the first year of life, but that is 365 days of dealing with that fancy thermometer that wasn’t even needed in the first place). Nothing will make a mom want to swear more than successfully wrangling her kid only to find out the wrangling could have been avoided all along.
7 Expensive Diapers Are A Skip, Hop, And Explosion Away
Diapers are obviously a baby essential. Ther's not much parents can do to get around it, though if there is a way that we are unaware of, please let us know!
There are so many brands of diapers out there that it's honestly overwhelming. Newborn, with baby powder, stretchy, overnight, swimming, hypoallergenic, organic, doesn't-harm-the-environment, Thongies, the list goes on. There seem to be more options in diapers than there are in adult underwear styles, and honestly, that’s concerning.
Eventually, parents finally decide on a brand of diapers. For some, that almost always turns out to be the really expensive brand. Maybe it’s because they truly believe it is superior, or maybe it’s because reviews say they’re great for sensitive skin, or it's just because they come in fun colors and patterns, and mom has determined that’s enough of a reason for the price hike.
She will quickly regret that decision once that baby has a blowout situation, just like every other baby, in every other diaper out there.
No amount of special products, shapes, or colors will stop the inevitable. Babies poop. A lot. There are not many parents that get away unscathed in the “blowout mess” part of raising a baby. So, it's understandable when she spews some profanity when she looks and realizes she was just drafted $50 extra a month for a diaper that does exactly what the basic Target brand does.
6 Pack & Plays Better Go Away
Crib travel systems. Such a blessing for parents on the go. Such a curse for any parent trying to set it up or take it down.
It’s supposed to be simple, a couple pulls here and a click there. Well, the actual giving birth part of having a baby is supposed to be simple since women’s bodies are literally designed to do just that also. But, you don’t see women in labor smiling and saying “this is so easy” very often, now do you?
Thankfully, they require less assembly than say, an Ikea table, but are somehow more complicated than they claim to be.
Crib travel systems, like the Pack’N’Play, are good for when you take a trip to visit grandma and grandpa or book a hotel room that doesn’t offer bed options for babies. These are oftentimes used as a changing station or in place of a bassinet in the early weeks of infancy as well. More often than not, moms get them set up and walk away with pinches, ruined nail polish, or just simply walk away and ask someone else to take care of it because “it shouldn’t be this hard!”
The worst ones are the off-brand ones, the ones that seemingly always have a coupon for 50% off. They are a steal for a reason.
5 Baby Walkers Or Baby Planters
These seem to be on every baby registry list, and then manage to be on even more lists moving on, because they are one of the most popular items on lists. They come in all kinds of styles such as sit-to-stand, wooden, with wheels, with soft pads, lots of music, or just very basic. They are a great way for little ones to learn how to pull themselves up, and then ultimately, walk.
They are also a great way for kids to faceplant.
It doesn’t matter who you are, your baby is a hot mess when he’s learning how to walk. He has very little leg and core muscle strength. So, one minute you’re watching him closely as he’s walking around with his little helper, then as soon as you put your eyes back on HGTV, you hear a crash and a cry. Yep, he wiped out….again.
How can there be a product that moms can both love and hate so much? These are supposed to be there to help our kiddies learn and develop, not create brain injuries. Okay, maybe that’s dramatic, but tell that to the mom who just wants to be able to get a glass of water, while her kid is playing with a toy that’s meant to be safe.
4 Baby Swim Rafts Of Doom
Baby swim rafts can definitely work. I’ve seen them work. I’ve seen the happiest babies in the world floating around on those things. For some reason, all my kid did in hers was cry, scream, and fall forward in an apparent attempt to drown herself to be able to escape the prison that was the float. Side note, I am aware my child is a bit theatrical.
Seriously though, baby swim floats are a lot of fun. They have shade built right in and still allow for playing with toys and kicking feet through the water. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of work to get babies to that happy place.
This is also about the time that mom decides self-tanners will work just as well as the real sun this summer and maybe swimming will wait another year.
The water is cold and different. They aren’t directly in mom’s arms anymore. They don’t understand why there is nothing under their feet. So, their best guess at a response to all this change is to cry and scream. Once they do start to get comfortable in the float, that is about the time when a bigger kid comes splashing through the pool and gets water in the baby’s eyes, and the whole cycle starts again.
3 Pumps Aren't That Subtle
Breast pumps are sneaky. They appear to be this happy medium for moms who want to provide their baby with breastmilk but have their partner share in the actual feeding responsibilities by using a bottle. Win-win, right? Not really. In the end, it's the mama’s job to bring the milk to the bottle, and there’s no amount of 50/50 promises a partner can make to make up for this.
Breast pumps, to be quite honest, hurt. Not to mention, they don’t have the natural instinct to do the work of getting the right amount of food out that babies can do.
They are also really loud, so while you may think you’re being discrete pumping in your office with your door closed and locked, Jane in the office next to you can hear what is going on, and she’s really uncomfortable.
There are so many different types of breast pumps that the simple decision on which to get is overwhelming. Will insurance cover this one? Does this style have a battery? How in the world do the “car pumps” work without giving every other driver a peep-show during their commute?
Obviously, these machines are fantastic because of what they do, it’s more a matter of how they do those things that can drive a mom to near-insanity.
2 Nose Saline Is More Of A Parent Trap
Another wonderful and helpful product that works (we're being honest here.) The point of saline spray is to spray it up the baby or toddler’s nose when he is congested. The saline then helps break up all the mucus and gunk up there to make it easier for mom to suction out. Unfortunately, babies and toddlers aren’t so thrilled about having liquid sprayed up their noses, when they are neither prepared for nor equipped with the ability to manage it.
This is another situation where there has to be a better way. It’s not really a flaw in the design because there are only so many ways to spray things up a kid’s nose, and sometimes a night with a humidifier in the room just can’t do the trick, so this is really the best option.
Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable to anyone.
It’s one of those times where moms wish their children could understand when she says “look, I don’t enjoy this any more than you do but we’re in this together right?” instead of simply thrashing around after she sprays one nostril and has one more to go, all before even attempting to suction.
If this doesn’t make a mom want to curse, what will?
1 Baby Monitors Are The New Invasion Of Privacy
Nowadays, our kids' grandparents love to tell us all about how when we were babies they didn’t have monitors, they just had to listen for us to cry. Well, you also smoked around us and had us in the front seat of your cars at 3 years old, so obviously, there’s a reason for this evolution in baby products.
Sometimes, though, it would be nice to go back to the simpler times of relying on our ability to hear. Like when your kiddo has a cough that wakes him up 47 times in the night, thus waking his parents up 47 times in the night.
All parents love the moment where their toddler decides she’s going to sit up in her bed and start talking to “someone” at 3 am, and suddenly you’re awake Googling “are ghosts real?”
Overall, video monitors are amazing. Parents don’t have to jump up every time their kiddo cries. They can flip on the screen to be sure nothing is seriously wrong, and wait to see if the baby will soothe himself back to sleep or it's time to start the day, at 2 am. It promotes development in babies, and enables laziness in parents; it’s a product most of us can stand behind.
What’s not so great to stand behind is that little machine’s ability to suck a battery down in 56 minutes and need to be charged again. By the time your baby is two, the monitor comes out of her room, not because you’re necessarily ready to take it out, but because it doesn’t work anymore and there’s no way you’re going to spend another $100+ on something that will die a pretty quick death.