A Word About Extras

For veteran moms, there are always products that you love to hate or just don’t think are necessary. I’d like to talk about some of them. You are allowed to disagree. Please don’t kick my ass—this is why I categorized this as an “opinion” post.

Here’s my top 10 unnecessary/needless baby products list:

10. A Nap Nanny. Seriously? What the heck do you think a bouncer is for? I think all baby gear should be versatile, even if it doesn’t always grow with the child. Bouncers are good for entertainment, feeding babies who aren’t high chair-ready, and…NAPS!!! Shock of the day. They’ve also been recalled, because of parents placing them precariously on countertops or beds, just like the Bumbo. This brings me to #9:

9. The Bumbo. So, it looks like an open gumdrop pod with feet. You can get a tray for it, like a booster seat. You can start ’em young and put infants in when they’re two months or so. You can also prop your child up on the couch with you sitting beside them, carry him/her in a sitting position, or support them with a Boppy! Once your baby sits up, you don’t need the thing. A Boppy, for example, works for nursing (duh!) and letting your baby rest on you when your arms are tired. I’ve even heard of moms with older kids using it to read a book! Smart idea. The Bumbo? More like a Dumbo to me.
8. Rock ‘n’ Plays. See #10.
7. Garanimals brand sippy cups. I freaking hate these things for kids under 18 months…why? THEREk IS NO FLOW VALVE!!!!!!!! I still get angry when I see the picture of A1 (10 months) with water ALL OVER HER SHIRT because MIL gave her one of these. Now, don’t get me wrong. This is a baby items countdown. This is good for OLDER toddlers, not babies who have used a sippy for a few months. Don’t let them drown or catch a cold. Use a sippy with a flow valve, like Munchkin or Nuby.
6. Walkers. I really dislike walkers, not because of safety alone, but because I feel they really don’t help kids learn to walk. A1 walked at 13 months. She cruised at 10 months and stood and 8 months. She would not let us hold her hands or walk with her until she tried it in a baby pool.
5. Hyland’s Teething Gel. I tried it with A1—nothing. I got Orajel, and it worked. If the pain is severe, go with the Orajel. When you sleep at night, thank me.
4. A bottle warmer. Yes, you read that right. This is not just because I breastfeed. I have one, and I realized I didn’t have to spend $32. I could have saved that money for something else A1 needed. Here’s another trick: get a bowl. Turn your water on, using hot only. Wait for the water to get its hottest. Fill the bowl a quarter of the way to half full, depending on how many ounces you have. Put it in the microwave for 3 minutes (I have a 700-800 watt unit, so the times may vary). A2 currently takes 6 oz. of expressed breast milk (EBM), so halfway is sufficient. You don’t want the bottle to float, so dump a little water it this happens, taking care not to burn yourself. Let it sit for 1:30-2:45. Test on your wrist. If close to body temp, serve to baby. If you have ready-to-feed formula that is already in the fridge (I used Alimentum to supplement A1, who had reflux), it might take longer. Freshly opened formula would take roughly 1:30. There, you just saved $32. Good stuff.
3. Sneakers, sandals, and other random shoes for newborns, with the exception of baptisms and some holidays. They fall off. They are another thing to lug around. If it’s cold, get some nice socks. Be a minimalist when it comes to newborns. They are adorable on their own, and they just want to be comfortable. For summer, bare feet. What’s cuter than little baby toes?
2. Necklaces on babies. I have two that I got for the kids’ baptisms. I have used them as keepsakes. My MIL wanted us to actually put them ON. They were 4 and 3 months, respectively. No, thanks.
ANNNNNND, the number one unnecessary and needless baby item?
1. WIPE WARMERS!!!!!!!!!!!! Since when was there a substitute for human body heat?! 2011, I guess, since I’ve never heard of these until A1 was born. Yes, the wipes were slightly cold, but both girls have survived. One of my closest mom friends has these, and she’s made some great parenting choices. She has great gear. This thing is just a bad product, and it doesn’t make a bad mom, it just creates a hindrance on the changing table. Huzzah!

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