Dumb Ideas: 12 Baby Products to Avoid

- Russ Piffer

We’ve all wanted that luxury stroller or slightly overpriced jumper with the quirky saying on the front (Poop, there it is!). The items on this list, though, are unlikely to be anything the average parent would consider acquiring for their little one.

They range from the absurd to the slightly dangerous to the ridiculously expensive. But they all have one thing in common: if there’s something you could dream up (or would never dream up in a million years) somebody is selling it on the Internet.


Have you ever wanted to know the exact second your infant soils his diaper? Or felt your newborn should be put to work scrubbing the floor? How about dressed up like a piece of tasty Mexican cuisine?

If not, look in wonder at these products that are out there for your little one. And if so, get your credit card ready. You’re baby could wearing the same perfume as Gwyneth Paltrow’s in no time.

12 Love perfume ($Chic Baby)

According to this perfume’s description on Amazon, it’s used by Hollywood mothers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Tori Spelling. Recommended for six months and up, and perfect for making your little one smell like a little adult.

11 Beenie Baby Hat ($Kahn Enterprises)

Few things are more frustrating to a parent than when that clean soother lands on the floor at the supermarket. Do you pick it up, wipe off the dust bunnies and chewed gum and plop it back in baby’s mouth?

Or do you accept a screaming, but germ-free child? It’s a dilemma all parents have faced. A company called Kahn Enterprises attempted to solve it a few years ago when it released the Beeni Baby hat. The cap came with a cloth strap that went across the child’s mouth to keep the soother in place.

Though it seemed like a good idea, the product was recalled in 2011 because of the risk of asphyxiation.

10 Doorway Jungle Gym ($Hammacher Schlemmer)

While Hammacher Schlemmer is a completely reputable company, this jungle gym, which attaches to a doorframe like a chin-up bar, just looks like an accident waiting to happen.

9 Toy Grand Piano ($Hammacher Schlemmer)

This is really pretty cool. It’s on the list for how much it blows those toy keyboards from the ’80s and ’90s out of the water. With keys that light up to show your child what notes to play, a tempo that can be adjusted for skill, and 30 demo songs, your child’s inner pianist will flourish. Unfortunately, the miniature tuxedo is not included.

8 Bugaboo Andy Warhol stroller canopy and tote bag ($Neiman Marcus)

In the future, every baby will be famous for 15 minutes. But few will look as stylish as the one with this Andy Warhol banana stroller cover. Just what the doctor ordered to start your future factory girl, or boy, down the path to high fashion.

7 Gucci bibs ($Gucci)

There is no excuse for bad fashion, especially not with Gucci’s three-piece set of embroidered bibs. Why not mix a little haute couture with your infant’s applesauce spills?

6 The Baby Mop ($Better than Pants)

When you’re a parent, you’re almost certainly stretched to find the time for household chores. Well, thank god for the baby mop. This jumper adorned with an ultra-absorbent mop turns your rug rat into a living, breathing Swiffer. They are never too young to start helping out around the house.

5 The Pee-pee Teepee ($Beba Bean)

While this is not a product review list, the Pee-pee Teepee makes the cut for its pure ineffectiveness. My wife and I bought a pack for our newborn and quickly learned there’s only one thing messier than a baby who starts peeing mid-diaper change. And that’s trying to cap your squirming infant’s stream with a teepee.

4 The BabyKeeper Basic ($Mommysentials)

The BabyKeeper poses a pretty logical solution to the problem of what to do with your baby when he’s strapped to your chest and you have to use a public bathroom.

At the same time, it brings up questions like: How strong are those hooks? Will my baby actually look that happy suspended from a washroom stall? And, would it be unethical to hang him up like this at home?

As someone who once accidentally left a backpack with his passport and ID in it in a public restroom, I could see this leading to trouble.

3 Toddler Urinal (Peter Potty)

From Peter Potty comes the world’s only flushable toddler urinal. Teach your tot to pee like an adult. The product is adjustable to the size of your little boy, so you can keep emptying its urinal chamber long after he’s able to use a regular toilet.

2 Shark Bait Sleeping Bag

Nothing says, “deep, comfortable sleep,” like getting eaten by a shark. This Great White-shaped

sleeping bag is ideal for camping trips, sleepovers, and reenacting


1 Tortilla Baby Newborn Swaddle Blanket and Hat ($Skymall)

Perfect for the parent who wants to keep their little refried bean warm through the night while making countless Mexican food puns. As the writers at SkyMall put it, “This standout baby gift is the whole enchilada.” The famed in-flight catalogue might have declared bankruptcy in January, but its line of bizarre merchandise will live on forever, thanks to the Internet.

- Russ Piffer

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