One of the hardest parts about parenting (besides carrying around a bowling ball for nine months) is knowing what we'll need once that baby comes. How many toys are too many toys? Should we even buy the baby shoes? Are Diaper Genies worth it? And don't even get me started on baby-proofing a home; sooner or later it becomes difficult to simply wash those hands!
With so many rules, reminders, and things to worry about, how does a new family know what they really need? Think about all the items and new inventions pop out at us while strolling through Target. These companies (and their reviews) make many parents feel like they can't do their job properly without 100 different gadgets and toys.
Parents need to remember that this whole birthing thing has been going down for centuries. This generation's parents didn't have half the things new parents have now, and they raised kids the only way they knew how. While having a contraption that hides the stench of a diaper is magical for any home, along with having an adorable amount of baby sneakers, they aren't necessities. Moms have gotten so lost in the baby shopping industry that they're simply buying things that they don't even end up using. And these are just a few of them.
Just by quickly looking at this picture, you'd think it was some sort of Keurig. The fact that it says 'Baby Breeza' in bold letters is the only thing that stops you from trying to make a cup of coffee. The Baby Breeza Formula Pro Advanced may seem snazzy and shiny, making your child's perfect bottle for you, but it's something you can also do yourself... For $200, this machine accurately measures the correct amount baby formula you need while also warming it up. It's a great gadget if you're someone who dislikes making their baby's bottle time and time again, but if you don't mind making their bottle, most moms say it's a waste of money.
I am the first one to appreciate how adorable baby shoes are. When I see a baby version of Nikes, my heart feels things it's never felt before... But are they worth the money? No! Your baby can't sit up straight, crawl, or walk yet — why do they need $100 shoes they're only going to wear for a picture? When a mom or dad takes the baby out of the house, they typically have warm socks or booties on their little one's feet. It's rare to see fashionable brands on their feet mainly because it's also a pain to put them on. Your baby is so soft and new, they have no idea what a shoe is or how it's supposed to fit.
When I first saw this product, I thought it was a joke... But it's real, friends. Oh, it's real. The Pee-Pee Teepee is exactly what it sounds. It's a small, clothed teepee that a parent can place over their son's privates so he won't accidentally pee on them while getting his diaper changed. Don't get me wrong, once you've been peed on multiple times by your son, you'll want something like this, but it's just another thing to worry about if you ask me.
When it comes to changing time, not only do you need to undress your child, find the wipes, the baby powder, and diapers, you now have to find this teepee so you don't get peed on. But guess what? It's more laundry to worry about once he pees in it...
I need everyone to take a look at the diaper on the bunny. To many, it looks like a bunny wearing a diaper with some kind of sticker on it. In actuality though, it's a bunny wearing a "Poop Alarm." As if a baby couldn't already feel it or you couldn't smell it, the brand Alibaba created this "unique device" that alerts parents when their child soiled their diaper. No more smelling butts, apparently! Not only will a light tone play once there's...matter in the diaper, but an LED light will also appear... No judgment to the parent who actually utilizes this thing, but I'm pretty sure you'll know when your baby exploded in their diaper.
Why do so many people buy new baby toys? I know it's a sweet gesture, and hopefully something the small baby will play with when they're older, but that's exactly the point... Babies can't play with stuffed animals until they're older, so what's the point in buying them? One or two of them is perfectly acceptable but a baby really shouldn't have loads of stuffed animals in their crib; it's a hazard. Kids seem to be more impressed by the box the toy comes in than the actual toy anyway! Save the money and space and skip on the stuffed animals until their old enough to pick on they actually like.
It's pretty self-explanatory, but wipe warmers are these small machines that make baby wipes the perfect temperature to use on a baby's behind. I'm sure a warm wipe is much more comfortable than a cold one but is it really necessary? When I think back to 40-50 years ago, they never had a thing that warmed up baby wipes and all our relatives turned out just fine, not having any complications in the bathroom.
Amazon sells these warmers for around $25-$30, and they're compact enough to fit on any changing table, but it seems like a waste when you look at the longevity. There's only so many months or years that you'll use this thing. Once your baby no longer needs to be wiped by you, where the heck do you store this thing?
Diaper Genies are a tough conversation among parents. It's pretty divided on how great things are or how useless they end up being. Essentially, Diaper Genies are complexed trash cans with a locking system that keeps the diaper stench locked in until you change the bag. If you're tired of your baby's changing room smelling like the contents of their diaper, then this high-tech trash can could be for you. But for many parents who've spent the cash on these things, it's not always worth it. Some parents found it hard to use, and other's were peeved you had to buy their brand of specific trash bags. When your baby goes through 10+ diapers a day. that's a lot of trash you're disposing of...
I know a mom's heart is in the right place when she buys her little one knee pads (for crawling), but I feel like some parents are losing their minds buying all these things they're not going to remember to use... When babies learn to crawl, most parents can attest that it's hard to catch up with them — they're movin' and groovin'! But that also means, they're on their knees a lot, which worries some parents. Just by looking at some of the reviews on a pair from Amazon, one mom claims they were very slippery (not doing their job) and they "fell apart" when she tried to wash them. One mom even explained how she felt these kneepads constrained her baby from their natural movements.
If you're that concerned over your babies knees, put down more carpet.
It saddens me how reliant on technology most of us are. We constantly feel like we need to be connected or entertained. There are some bathrooms that have a TV built in the mirror! I mean, do we really need the news or reality TV shows that badly? What's worse is that parents and developers are using our dependency on technology to their advantage by creating the "iPotty." When you're teaching your child how to use the "big kid" potty, you can train them on this.... thing. It's a toilet with a holder for a second, third, and fourth generation iPad. Allow them to sit in peace as they try to go to the bathroom while also being entertained by your iPad...
I should also note that the iPotty was voted the exact opposite of "Toy of the Year" by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). So make of that what you will.
Have you ever heard of Zaky hands? Otherwise known as The Zaky Hug, these are weighted gloves with an incredibly soft and inviting texture to curl around your baby. These "hands" create a safe space for your baby, along with positioning them in a safe and comfortable way. Think of these hands as a constant hug for your baby when you're not around. And while they were created for newborns who have trouble sleeping or have severe anxiety, it's not a necessity for most parents. These hands also cost around $60-$149, so if that's in your budget, then go right ahead and buy these massive hands.
There are a plethora of strollers out there that come with all different kinds of capabilities. I'm actually surprised there isn't a stroller that can fly yet. Some strollers come with an extra bassinet while others do not. However, there are a few moms who would rather save their money they buy the extra bassinet for the stroller because they'd rather use their car seat. Bassinets tend to be bulky and hard to travel with. If you keep your little one in the car seat, however, it's going to be easier to transport them to and from the car. Like with all things, do whatever works best for you and your baby.
Fridababy is selling these small, tube-like contraptions called the Windy. And in case you couldn't tell, the Windi is used to help your child relieve some gas. Developed by a doctor, it's a tube that you lubricate, stick up in there, and simply wait for the gas to pass. The website claims this is a "natural" way to help your baby get rid of gas, but there are also other ways that don't involve sticking tubes into your child. There are gas drops, massages, and bicycle kicks that can also help a bloated baby. Nevertheless, I would run this by your baby's doctor before spending $15.99 on this.
Potty training has the word "training" in it for a reason. It's not always easy. After going to the bathroom in their own diaper for months (or years), it's now time for them to recognize when they need to go so they can relieve themselves elsewhere. While every child is different in what urges them to use the restroom, there are some little boys out there who seem to be really inspired by urinals. Amazon sells a bunch of these DIY urinals that parents can hang on their bathroom wall for their kid. Some of them have a tub that connects to a drain, while others just fill up and require a parent to dump it out when they're done. Nevertheless, they could also use a normal toilet...
A parent jumps for joy they wen their little one learns how to hold their bottle themselves. This frees their parents' hands, which allows them to get more done. However, having a bottle holder—in the car, no less—is a dangerous idea. While the holder pictured did a good job with making it look "cute," it's dangerous. This contraption could easily cause some problems. It's much safer for a parent to take the time and hold the bottle for their baby, that way they know how much they're drinking and that it's going down smoothly. All these spiffy inventions mean well, but I don't think they're all needed.
Have you ever heard of Sophie the Giraffe? Well, it's a children's toy that's been sweeping the nation (which is so surprising to me because it's just a teether!) for years. This giraffe-shaped teether is used for teething babies to chew on. It's made from 100% rubber and has different textures for kids to suck and chew on (its ears, tail, etc...). Sophie the Giraffe may be cute, but she's also grimy. There have been numerous reports of mould being found inside the giraffe (from the drool that gets caught in the tiny holes on the giraffe's body). Other parents noted how "smelly" this toy got when not washed enough.
When it comes to teethers and soothers, it doesn't need to be elaborate or look like an animal. Whatever is safe and gets the job done!
Most parents say that after they get to know their baby a little better, they begin to understand what their cries mean. My best friend always knows when her daughter is tired, hungry, or just wet herself just by her tears. Apparently, not all mothers have that intuition, though, which is why the Why Cry Baby Analyzer was invented. This small device lets you know if your child is crying out of boredom, hunger, or if they're just annoyed or stressed. The problem with this gadget is you're never going to know how accurate it is. Not to mention it allows you to rely solely on a device instead of being in tune with your child.
There are a few companies out there who've created these timeout pads. Depending on the brand, they're typically a cushion or plastic sitting-pad that allows your child to sit on it when in a timeout... The problem I have with this is it's a waste of space and money. When you tell your child to go in timeout, you typically have a space in the house they need to go in or a spot in whatever room that they need to sit in. You don't need a small, oval-shaped mat telling your kid to sit on it. They already know they have to do that!
Truth be told, there aren't many babies who dislike car rides. It's one of those spaces that makes them sleepy and eventually passes out in. That being said, the need for lavish car seat toys aren't really necessary. A few moms buy them so their child has something to focus on while driving, but nine times out of 10, they're just going to fall asleep.
In a What to Expect forum, one mom noticed that the hanging toys from her car seat actually deterred her from being able to see her baby's face, which she found unsettling. It's also one of those things that can be dangerous were there to be a quick stop or an accident.
Picking a stroller is a very personal choice. Some parents go for safety, some go for style, while others go for ease. It's one of those things you're going to bring with you everywhere, so it needs to be easy to use and comfortable for the baby above all else. Not all parents see it this way though, because there are a few who are enticing the idea of buying an Aston Martin stroller. Yes, the car manufacturer decided to design a few baby items for parents on-the-go, and they're pretty much as expensive as their cars. Depending on the style and edition of the stroller, you can spend upwards of $3,500 for a stroller! Now, I don't think I need to tell you what a frivolous purchase that could be...
Reviews are torn on this tiny product; some parents (and kids) adore this fun little watch while other parents think it's useless. The Potty Watch is a system that reminds your child to go to the bathroom. It's not a watcher, per se, it's more of a timer. A parent can set this little timer to go over every 30, 60, or 90 minutes to remind their little one to relieve themselves. When the time's up and it's time to go potty, lights will go off and music will play to entice the child. However, parents who bought this timer have no many nice things to say about it. Some say it's poorly made, the batteries were more expensive than the actual timer, the music stops working after a while... Truth be told, you might as well set an alarm on your phone every 30 minutes and do the same thing for free.
Just how the iPotty is made to entertain children as they try to go to the bathroom, the Woogie was created to give even more entertainment to the actual entertainment! A Woogie is something that holds your mobile device in place while you're watching a show or playing a game. Since the Woogie can come in different animal forms, a child can choose whichever stuffed animal they like better. In times where a child has to watch something on a screen, I'd stick to the TV. Having one place in the house for entertainment is a little better on the mind than a place in every room.