Let's face it, moms, when it comes to baby items that we absolutely do not need, we're pros at collecting the stuff that's utterly useless. It's easy to fall into the trap of seemingly worthy baby items when it comes to being a parent, especially when the words 'easy' and 'fast' are thrown in. Even worse is when companies advertise their product as 'comforting' because if there's anything we want for those smiling baby faces, it's comfort.
Not all products are created equally and some are just created for no good reason at all. That's why we're about to put an end to it all.
All of these products have been voted as some of the most unnecessary household baby and parenting products any mom can have in her house. While many do have a legitimate purpose, they're on this list because the case of "why fix what isn't broken" is highly prevalent. We're not talking about going back to the old ways of cloth diapers and glass baby bottles (unless that's a mom's prerogative) but we are talking about leaving well enough alone. Without further ado, here are 20 things that are just wasting our paychecks and time.
Some things are tough to grapple with than others and, yes, anything that 'warms' a baby product is likely not worth it. That's just the truth as babies don't really seem to care one way or the other about the temperature of the wipe on their baby bottoms — they're not happy regardless, and a warmed wipe isn't going to change that. A box of wipes could just as easily be kept at room temperature or in a warm part of the room to achieve the same effect. With bottle warmers, no mom ever complained about needing to stick a baby bottle in a pot of warm water to keep it toasty... there's no need to buy an appliance to do it for you.
There are two issues with this. The first is that every mom will inevitably forget to grab it on the way out of the house what will 80 things going through her mom brain. Therefore, it's rendered useless from the get-go. Secondly, a shopping cart cover will require regular washing after each shopping trip in order to maintain its purpose... which is to prevent a child from sitting in a contaminated shopping cart seat, right? The problem is, once this shopping cart cover is placed over the seat, it, too, is picking up invisible germs and doing so over a wider area. So is there really a good purpose for this or is it just a catch-22?
Many moms will comment on the amount of money they've spent on changing tables only to use either the floor or the cleared top of a dresser. Changing tables can be a luxury if a parent can ensure that it will be used often but honestly? It probably won't. When your baby needs to be changed, it's going to happen wherever you plop down your wipes and a clean diaper. Over time, that place will vary from a blanket on the living room floor to the dresser in the master bedroom. Many parents find that changing a diaper can be done almost everywhere, changing table or not.
It's cute, it's convenient, and it's a good idea... in theory. When it comes down to it, if a busy mom can find time to make her own baby food (there is no judgment whatsoever either way), a baby food maker is not worth the money. A magic bullet (which is probably cheaper at this point) does just as well. Heck, even a regular blender or food processor works just as well as this miniature version. While a baby food maker might seem convenient and space-saving, there's no reason to go out and buy a smaller appliance in place of a larger one that already exists in your pantry closet.
While we all get a feeling of satisfaction when shoving a loaded diaper down into the diaper genie, it's often not worth the money it accrues over time. By their second child, many parents are likely throwing diapers in the trash rather than running out to find replacement bags. It needs to be taken out when it's full, consists of nothing but what feels like 50lbs of diapers, and can tend to smell if not taken out right away. By skipping this magic machine and simply taking the regular trash out more often, parents can bypass the need to ever refill their genie or witness the madness that awaits them inside.
Tummy time mats are something that gained popularity when they were first created but have slowly started to fizzle out and for good reason. They don't really do much in the way of helping a baby sit up and crawl around but cost a whole lot more than the average blanket. Some have unique patterns and colors while others have noisy toys and interesting textures, but the same is true of them all: they all include extras that are unnecessary. Your baby will be perfectly happy laying on their tummy on a comfy blanket with some of their favorite toys, just as they would with a $120 Tummy Time Mat.
Understandably, there are some circumstances which require specific baby-safe detergents. If your baby has very sensitive skin or allergies, then he or she is excluded from this list entry. However, in most cases, a 'baby-specific' detergent is just a fancy way of saying that the soap is free of anything artificial. Purchasing and all-natural kid-safe detergent will do the trick just as well. Additionally, when washing baby items in the laundry, less soap should be used to prevent buildup and potential irritation. With high-efficiency washers, less detergent is required anyway, so the type of detergent shouldn't be something worth stressing over.
Many moms will go out of their way to purchase nursing covers for use in public places. We've got news for you... while the covers are adorable, they're highly unnecessary. Of course, to each mom their own and if you're more comfortable using one of these, then don't let us stop you. However, if there is a mom out there who's on the fence, a good, opaque scarf can be used just as easily. Not to mention, a scarf can be easily concealed, can pull double duty when it's freezing out, and looks much cuter than a giant poncho that alerts everyone as to what's going on underneath.
Many moms do have bottle sterilizers and there's nothing wrong with that. However, there's really no difference between going this route or using a dishwasher. Some parents are more comfortable not putting their baby bottles in with other dishes but they both accomplish the same thing. By a parent's second or third child, chances are, they've found it's so much easier to just chuck a contaminated bottle in with that night's dishwasher load. We can't blame them — it's easier to clean a ton of things all at once rather than several small things individually. Dishwasher for the win.
While some parents do enjoy having endless options with their baby monitoring system, it can often cause a bit of stress for new moms. Being able to see your baby sleeping is one thing but this also encourages constant checking, which can foster nothing but paranoia. Many parents once had access to only old-school, audio baby monitors, and they used them just fine. When your baby wakes up you'll know it, and a baby monitor is only intended to keep an eye on them in the event that they're not crying, yet awake. It should be used as a way to keep an eye on your baby when you're not in the room, not as a source of constant paranoia.
We don't want to be the ones to break the news but it's true: education videos have really shown no significant difference in a child's skill level compared to those who didn't watch them. A child will learn through experience as their senses develop which means catering to all five, not just sight and sound. While an educational video might keep them entertained and encourage them to interact, they're really no good until a child is old enough to understand what a movie is, as well as how to understand what's happening on the screen. Save these videos for their preschool or elementary school days – they'll be helpful to reinforce their school learning.
There's no difference between a baby-specific towel and an uber soft, regular towel. Especially nowadays when we can find microfiber towels everywhere, the days of baby towels are pretty much out. What we think feels good on a baby's skin really doesn't matter either way to them as long as it's not scratchy and harsh. Any towel that's soft, be it a microfiber or otherwise, will get the job done. Towels with hoods don't matter, either... They just look super cute. Therefore, unless you're buying a towel for looks, it's better to not waste your time. They're cute for photo shoots but that's about it!
Let's face it... This Peepee Teepee is far more adept to be a hat on a cat rather than a teepee on a peepee. This product's funny name is really all it has going for it as it rarely ever works. There's no scientific way to place it and if a parent does manage to succeed, a baby will inevitably pivot the wrong way and the thing will go flying. Usually, a steady stream will soon follow, thus rendering it useless and silly. By virtue of having a baby boy, these things should just be expected and anticipated since there's no way they're going to be stopped by a mini birthday hat.
There are companies that sell visors for babies for use during bathtime. While they're not the most useless products in the world, they can be more of a hassle than need be. For starters, if a baby already has an issue with bathtime, then these visors will only cause more discomfort. Secondly, one size doesn't always fit all which means an ill-fitting visor could lead to false security. While giving a baby a bath, it's best to stay old-fashioned and use your hand to shield their face... it's foolproof and far more gentle for them than a strange piece of plastic.
A baby will not be old enough to use or appreciate a stuffed animal until they're able to sleep in their own bed (not a crib). So while the idea of a stuffed animal is good-intentioned and will look nice on a shelf until they're older, it's not always something to spend tons of money on. These types of things are best when gifted by family members and friends rather than from parents since there are many other things they might find themselves needing. Not to mention, it can be totally creepy to have an entire shelf full of stuffed animal staring you and your baby down nightly.
We've said it once and we'll say it again: Fancy bedding is not conducive to anything other than a hazard when it comes to babies. With so many fluffy components and small details that a baby could find their way to, fancy bedding isn't something that experts even recommend choosing for a child who is still sleeping in a crib. When a child is older, then it's a different story. For an infant or toddler, neutral bedding with minimal flair is the best choice for babies. Not to mention, with all those used diapers, it's not likely that any parent would feel comfortable shoveling out loads of money for something that looks pretty.
We've gone from mobiles that sing melodies to white noise machines that are intended for use with babies. While, as adults, we love the use of our white noise machines to play natural rain sounds or fan noise, this isn't the case for a baby. Their brains and systems work differently than ours and what's comforting to us might not be to them. In all likelihood, they'll be perfectly happy with the soft hum of their mom's voice over the sound of a rainstorm any day. They're naturally inclined to relax when listening to their mother's voice and that will always be priceless.
This whole spa business is getting a bit out of hand, although we can totally see why. All we ever want is the best for our babies and that includes anything that helps them feel calm and relaxed. However, a baby does not tolerate the same type of day-to-day stress that adults do... unfortunately, this thought was lost in translation when it came to creating the 'baby spa.' Allowing a baby to free-float around a small pool might seem like a great idea but really, they have no idea that what they're doing is intended to be stress relief. It's more likely that we think it's great fun, which is why we applaud it for babies.
A thin blanket will swaddle a baby just as well as a swaddling blanket will. Instead, many moms end up spending money on these specific blankets that are intended to calm their baby down. In reality, the best way to calm your baby is simply to hold them close and reassure them. What they're being swaddled with is secondary when it comes to who is actually swaddling them. That's not to say that swaddling itself is a useless method, but the product that's used often won't make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Swaddle blanket, soft towel, baby blanket... they all serve the same purpose.
We all want the best of the best when it comes to our kids and that's understandable. What's not understandable is purchasing a 20-in-one car seat that claims to be top of the line, when we only need it for one job: Protecting our child in the car! Newer and fancy isn't always best and this is something that many parents find out rather quickly. Not only will a new, fancy piece of toddler equipment often be a hassle to figure out, but there's also the chance that it's too new to have solid reviews. In this case, going with what you know is often better.
Sources: alphamom.com, redtri.com, thriftyguardian.com