You may know someone who’s having a baby. Or already had one. Or is expecting to have one sometime around the holidays. I can’t tell you what to buy those people because I don’t know them. Maybe they aren’t pacifier people. Perhaps they like to forgo towels and opt for a “natural” method of drying baby.
What I can tell you is that once upon a time, four years ago, my husband and I got a lot of baby stuff we never really used. Between two babies we used about a quarter of all the items, if that. Now that baby three is on the way, this a list of the items that never hit their stride in our home and why we don’t want them again:
1. The Diaper Genie. If you rub the container, a genie doesn’t actually appear and remove your soiled diapers to a far away place. So, I find the name a bit misleading. I’ve always walked poopy diapers to the trash can outside. If it’s the middle of the night, I toss them into a used grocery bag, tie it up, and toss it in the garage until the morning. Sometimes I forget to take them out the next day. Which is fine in the winter. But, I don’t have to tell you what happens when the temperatures hit 80 degrees in there.
2. Shopping Cart Seat Cover. I bought one because it was going to keep my second daughter from ever getting sick. It was the grocery shopping cart equivalent to a plastic bubble. My husband said it was weird, and we’d never use it. I agreed it was weird, but I swore to the gods of alternative sanitizers that I would use the heck out of it. I’d laugh in the face of common colds as my infant, and I raced up the grocery store aisles, carelessly tossing items into the back of the cart—the area riddled with germs. I never did use it. But, I see plenty of moms with these. I guess I’m just a big believer in immunity boosting by way of Target shopping carts during cold and flu season. Or I’m just a big believer in being lazy.
3. The Baby Bullet. First of all, the name doesn’t communicate purée. It communicates an amusement park ride. Which we all know can create a type of purée, just not the kind you’d like to feed your baby. Unless you’re a bird. Secondly, a crock pot or microwave + a blender + ice cube trays (each cube slot is 1 ounce) + Ziploc freezer bags + one day a month to bake, steam and cook = homemade baby food. Just as easy. A lot less expensive.
4. Bathtub Thermometer. The only time I ever used it was in lukewarm water. The thing read over 90 degrees and started sounding off like an air raid siren. Even after it was out of the water it continued to beep for almost an hour. Like an Edgar Allen Poe story, it haunted me day and night. I couldn’t escape. I heard it in my sleep. In my dreams. It roused me from solid sleep. I finally put it in a box in the basement crawl space to find some peace. I recently let my kids play with it in the tub, and it did the same thing. I’ve since retired it to the back of a bathroom drawer. In the basement. Someone with a new baby is getting this from us for Christmas.
5 Car Bottle Warmers. These things plug into your cigarette lighter to “conveniently” warm your baby’s bottle. The one we got wasn’t convenient. We could’ve warmed the bottle under our armpits faster than this gadget.
6. Baby Powder. I kept forgetting I had any. I think I still have the same container that I got at my baby shower in 2010. I’m not sure what we’ll use it for, maybe one day we’ll run out of things to do and just use it to make a mess.
7. Baby Bottle Sterilizer. We never used ours because we have:
A. A dishwasher
B. A stove to boil water on.
C. Both A and B
D. Hand Sanitizer
E. All of the above, except, we don’t use hand sanitizer to clean baby bottles. At least not yet, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
The answer is E.
8. 0-3 month diapers. Unless you have a preemie (we had one of those) you’re likely only to use these for a short time. My second baby was so big I could’ve passed her off as a 9-year-old only three days after birth. She used newborn diapers as liners for her size twelve diaper.
9. Diaper Holder. You know the adorable one that comes with your crib bedding? If you’ve never tried to wrangle a diaper out of one of these in the dark, half asleep, with a mostly naked baby wailing into the night, you should. It’s so much fun.
Now, I’m not saying you don’t love any of this stuff. I’m not saying you shouldn’t love any of this stuff. I’m not even saying you shouldn’t buy any of this stuff. I’m saying I didn’t like any of this stuff.
Maybe I’m just the victim of serial product defects. I mean, it’s possible for someone to have luck that bad. Seriously, I had four blank fortune cookie fortunes this year. If the Diaper Genie had been more useful and granted me a few wishes, maybe I could’ve improved product performance. Or at least gotten rid of that stupid bathtub thermometer that I’m pretty sure Santa purposely left at our house just to get it out of his sleigh. I think I hear it now.
Related post: 12 Things I Thought About Babies…Before I Had One