One of the bigger surprises to me when I was pregnant is how much parents-to-be are marketing targets. Somehow, magazines started arriving in our mailbox, along with ads and solictations for everything under the sun. And I thought it might dial down a little with the second baby (since I wasn’t registering or being given baby showers) but no.
So I liked this thing from Time’s Cheapskate blog about the most useless baby products. After all, what’s useful is going to vary enormously from family to family and baby to baby, but the useless stuff is pretty much a waste of money for everybody.
They looked for info from all of the funniest, snarkiest parenting blogs out there (including this one) and came up with their list. Here are some highlights:
Crib bedding sets: After all, you can’t use most of what’s in there for safety reasons. I will say we used the blanket ours came with for a wall hanging (and it seems to be made for that exact purpose), and used the crib bumpers with our first because we didn’t know better. But basically, yeah, we paid something like $98 for a sheet and a wall hanging, and ours was even cheap becasue it was being discontinued.
Baby shoes: As the writer points out, those cute little shoes are for aesthetic purposes only, since babies aren’t walking. And both my kids could not and would not keep shoes on their feet. When they were tiny, they’d just kick them right off (usually somewhere like church or Target where I wouldn’t realize it until well afterwards and then that tiny shoe was just lost to eternity), and when they got a little more dexterous they were both champion shoe removers.
And my favorite: The Pee-Pee Teepee. These are little paper cones you put over your son’s business so you don’t get spritzed. When I found out I was having a boy, I asked my friends if these things were worth the exorbitant price. My friends, being a sensible bunch, had no idea what I was talking about. No parent needs these after about the first week or so, by which time you’re so proficient at diaper changes you can beat Baby Roulette every time. And even then, as the From Here to Paternity blogger points out, there’s a cheap alternative –they’re called paper towels. We used burp cloths or cloth diapers, too.
So add to the discussion–what’s your favorite?