Monday, May 24, 2010

Useless Baby Gear

One thing I tried really hard to do while pregnant was block out all the useless baby items.  I knew we didn't need a wipes warmer for our baby to be happy and healthy.  But there are soo many items we either purchased or were given that turned out to be a waste of money.  We didn't buy a swing and by the time I decided I needed a bouncy seat, I found one for less than half of retail (in good shape, too!) at a consignment store.  My son barely used it, preferring to be held.  But while we didn't bring home every kind of plastic entertainment center or soothing rocker or whatever from the baby store, we did bring home a few duds.

1) Disposable nursing pads.  I went through a dozen boxes of these at least and with that money, I could have bought a dozen pairs of nice cloth ones and been done with it.  I never had to run out for diapers, but I did have to run out for more of these when I ran low and it irritated me to be doing that.  But I never knew when I would stop needing them.  Boogie was about 5-6 months old when the leaking slowed down to a mere trickle and I switched to a set of 6 cloth nursing pads.  Almost immediately after making the investment, I stopped needing them altogether.  But next time, I'll know.  And I'll be investing in cloth from the start (with maybe a box of disposables just in case).

2) Sleep Positioner.  I thought this was vital.  I mean VITAL.  Turns out that babies who can flip themselves over well enough to do so in their sleep don't need to stay on their backs all night to stay safe.  However, babies who can't...well, they won't!  There's no need to use these positioners and frankly, ours was a pain in the butt to clean.  If you feel you must have one, find one that does not have a back piece that goes under baby's head or you will be washing spit up off of it frequently.  And ours couldn't go in the dryer so that was fun, too.  I gave up on it fairly quickly.

3) A second car seat base.  My son has never once ridden in my husband's car.  The base didn't fit well and we never needed it, really.  Eventually, it went in my mother's car, but because I had a two door car, we were using her car 95% of the time anyway and could have easily only used hers, or (with more difficulty) only used mine.  Thankfully, I now have a 4 door car and we've more or less ditched the infant seat anyway!

4) Car seat toys.  Those adorable little toys that hang from the car seat handle for baby to play with?  Boogie never cared for them at all.  Besides, the handle should be back when the carseat is in the car, so when is he supposed to play with them?  I never liked for him to spend a lot of time in his seat when it wasn't in the car, so he got zero use from the toys. We recieved a ton of them and bought some ourselves and Boogie just never cared for them.  Now they collect dust at the bottom of his toy bins.

5) 9 Months size clothes.  Boogie was in and out of this size in maybe a month, and yet he had an entire complete wardrobe in that size.  Next time, we'll skip right to 12 months.

6) The breathable bumper.  Boogie didn't sleep in a crib until 7 months (we didn't even buy one until then!) but I put the bumper on it and found that within a month, he was pulling himself up to stand on it  and it really wasn't serving any purpose.  So down it came.  I'm pleased that we never bought a crib bedding set for $150 or more, since they seem to be almost entirely useless.  He sleeps on plain blue fitted sheets that were about $10 for 2 at IKEA.

Fess up!  What did you bring home for baby that was completely useless??

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  1. I agree with much of your list. 9 mo. clothes just a marketing gimmick. 2nd car seat base a complete waste -- my kids grew out of the infant seat so fast i wish I'd skipped the infant car seat all together and just bought a convertible. However, for me the disposable nursing pads are essential. I've tried and tried with reusable (wool with a cloth behind it for absorption) and I just can't do it -- I tried and I was going through 3 or 4 shirts and bras a day. So I'm back in disposables, at least until I night-wean. I am a MAJOR over producer and leak all the time until I wean, but I think reusable pads would work for most people.

  2. Thanks for stopping by! It's good to know I'm not the only one who fell for these things. Its so hard to distinguish between what is really a necessity and what is just going to end up being wasteful. I look forward to trying cloth nursing pads with my next one, and in the meantime, I sent Seventh Generation a product suggestion for chlorine-free nursing pads. Here's hoping they're listening!