Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Useless Stuff You Don't Need

I recently saw a product on Amazon and I'll still coming to terms with: a) the fact that it exists, and b) that anyone has awarded it average of 4 stars.

OK, so (deep breath to control the rage) - it's a baby wipes warmer. And it's £24.99!!!! Now I've heard and seen some utterly useless baby products before, but this takes the biscuit and gets my goat all in one go. Not only is it an unnecessary piece of rubbish you do NOT need cluttering up your home, but it preys on the worries, fears and insecurities of new parents and parents-to-be in a quite spectacular fashion. The marketing of such a product seems to taunt us and pull at our guilt strings with mental images of screaming, red-faced, bare-bottomed infants being violated with icy-cold wipes: "Don't you love your baby enough to warm his wipes?"

My question, to echo one of the more down-to-earth reviewers, is: if you are worried about the temperature of a babywipe, I shudder to think what else you're paralysed with guilt about. What happens when you start thinking about the cost of university? Or global warming? Does your head explode?

These are some other items I found pretty useless:
  • Changing stations - look pretty, never used.
  • Changing bag - so expensive, with loads of pockets you won't use. Buy a nice, big bag or use the free one from Boots' Parenting Club.
  • Overly stimulating toys - I don't have anything exept teddies in their cots. An Ipod and speakers in the room is good at first.
  • Baby monitors with two-way speakers - these scare the CRAP out of children!!!!!
  • Baby wardrobes - I have started hanging some bits up, but only because I've started having to iron the odd thing. Pointless for babies.
  • Playpen - use a travel cot.
  • Moses basket - controvertial or what??!! I used the carrycots off my pushchair instead.
  • Shoes for babies that can't even crawl - don't get me started!!

Other top useless buys are:
  • breast milk freezer storage bags
  • a mouli (for baby food)
  • cot bumper
  • baby towels (why does the baby have to have a triangle on its head?)
  • baby nail scissors (use clippers instead)
  • snot remover (they just don't work. They only one that works is the one where you suck it out with a tube)
  • top and tail bowl (I don't know anyone who actually does this, let alone uses a special bowl)
  • bottle warmer
  • bath thermometer (use your elbow)
  • bath seat
  • breastfeeding scarf (this is a pashmina, no?)
  • pre-packed hospital bag
  • nappy disposal system (use a small bin and empty it every day. Nothing can disguise the smell of 30 dirty nappies).
The difficult thing about preparing to have your baby is that you feel that you have to have everything 100% ready before the big event. In actual fact you just need to have enough of everything to get through the first few days. After that you will be looking for reasons to leave the house, so popping to Mothercare (where they have a feeding room and changing facilities) turns into a lovely family day out.

These are the things I reckon you need beforehand:
  • size 1 nappies - the hospital will not provide nappies and a newborn can go through 12 in 24 hours 
  • babywipes - packets and packets. You'll need them and they don't have a use-by date
  • babygros and vests (aka bodysuits) - newborn and 0-3 months in case you have a whopper
  • hat
  • cardigan
  • small cellular blankets - although I accidentally stole quite a few from the hospital!
  • carseat - can't take the baby home without one!
  • pushchair/pram
  • dummies - I know, I know...
  • maternity sanitary pads - LOADS! Even if you have a cesarean
  • ready meals
 Right, I'm off to write a scathing review on Amazon for a product I do not own.


  1. Thanks so much for this post. I am expecting twins in November and the list of stuff you 'have' to buy for your babies is ridiculous! Glad to see I'm not the only one that thinks some of this stuff is just crazy!!!

  2. Right?! By the way, ebay is your absolute best friend if you are expecting twins - get involved! x