Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The top five over-hyped and under-needed baby products 0-6 months

After writing my most useful baby things post a while back, many of you said you found the list helpful so I planned to follow it with the items I bought but wish I hadn't so people could save themselves the cash but between travel, weddings, sickness and writing I did not have the time to follow up as quickly as I meant to. But today? I'm typing these words from my couch from a house that rests on an icy hill in a southern city that shuts down at the mention of flurries and so is certainly at wits end now that actual real sticky snow has landed. So I finally have some downtime to compile this in the hopes that it is helpful to you as I know that many of you reading are new mamas or mamas to be. Please bear in mind this is my opinion, not hard set facts. Clearly someone finds these items useful or they wouldn't be sold at baby stores by the bucketful. So without further ado:

Bottle Warmer. This may not apply to babies who are primarily bottle-fed but I used to give him pumped milk in a bottle and personally found it to be more trouble than it was worth, instead I just ran the bottle under some hot water in the sink or if it was particularly cold I put a pot on the stove and stick the bottle in, in just a few minutes it was done. If you're planning to give a bottle just once-in-a-while there's no need to invest in an expensive bottle warmer.


Bottle Sterilizer. Simply put you don't need to sterilize your bottle each and every single time. After the first time you can just wash it. Using the sterilizer has led to the burned out microwaves of several of my friends. 
Receiving Blankets. Someone told me you can't have enough receiving blankets. So I bought ten. Yes, they're helpful but you don't need ten particularly the Carter's receiving blankets which are horrid thin cardboard like things that are a complete waste of money. I use them to line my changing pad but I hardly needed so many. I ended up buying a nice blanket from Etsy and Miss Matched [err and yes it has come to my attention that they sell things for girls- but a purple blanket is fine!] They were warm, large enough to swaddle with, and those two were all I needed as they alternated between the wash.

Sleep positioner. We got three as presents and though they've since been recalled I never understood them to begin with. The one on an incline made Waleed slip and flip when he was too young to roll back over. The one without an incline just seemed silly as he was swaddled so he wasn't exactly going to roll anywhere. If you swaddle in the early months, a sleep positioner is just unneeded.

Changing Table. Now keep in mind this is a list of over-hyped and under-needed, not unneeded. You do need to change your babies diaper and you do need a place to do so- but I personally don't think you need a changing table. Sure they look pretty particularly if you have a matching nursery but most parents I've talked to are like me and barely change their baby on that changing table- instead you fling a receiving blanket on the bed and strip the babe down there, or on the floor while you catch up on The Wire, etc. If you want to get one buy a used one or one heavily discounted because they are very expensive and very underused.


Helpful? If so I'll post a similar list for what I'm learning I don't need as I trekk through months 6-12! Disagree? Have anything to add to the list? Please share in the comments below!

11 comments:

E said...

I lived by the bottle warmer until we started giving him powdered formula. A bottle warmer and a cooler upstairs really helped us a lot!! We also used the sterilizer a lot in the beginning. We didn't have many bottles so we would wash and sterilize each time. I still live by the changing table. I have every thing I need there so that is where he get's changed.

Jamila said...

You forgot to add the wipes warmer to your list. I actually use my receiving blankets a lot. They are great for throwing on the bed or floor for tummy time, swaddling, burp clothes, etc.

I use a dresser as a changing table. I just bought a changing pad to go on top. Like E said, everything is on spot. When she's older I'll just pull the changing off and it's a regular dresser.

Sleep positioners are so unsafe! My MIL gave me one from Pakistan, I stuck in the back of the closet.

We sterilize the bottles once a day in a microwave sterilizer. I guess we don't HAVE to, but our lactation consultant suggested it. It burned out your friends microwave?? How??

As far as a bottle warmer, Rania will take a bottle cold. But on the rare occasion I warm it, I just stick the bottle in a mug full of hot water. Warms up in a couple minutes.

Baby shoes are totally useless! I bought one pair to match with an outfit for Arslan's office holiday party. She wore them for 10-15 minutes, then they were on the floor.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for the list!!! Me and DH went to Buy Buy Baby the other day and are amazed at how much stuff is out there. We know we don't need most of it! Pixie

Aisha said...

E- glad that you shared your own personal (and different) experience with these things!

Jamila, Yep it burned out two of my friends microwaves- it just involves using a lot of energy I guess? Oh- and baby shoes are actually VERY useful once she discovers her feet and likes pulling them to her mouth- since then he just pulls off his socks and booties- I also thought they were useless until he started pulling off socks- so then we had to buy shoes because he can't take them off which when its cold out is a big issue!!! Thanks for sharing your take!

Pixie- glad its helpful to you, thought of you as someone who might benefit when I made the list. The baby stores are overwhelming!! When are you due?!?!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! Make sure to do one for 6-12!

katery said...

changing table we use a lot, i really don't change louise anywhere except her changing table unless we're not home. it was expensive, but i think the reason ours was a little on the pricey side is that the top part comes off and it coverts into a regular piece of furniture. actually, it's the middle piece in this post:
http://katery.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/nursery-furniture/
we got a million swaddle blankets but there was one that i really liked, we had two of them and basically they were the only ones we used.

katery said...

whoops, this was supposed to be the forst sentence of that comment:
definitely the bottle sterilizer, we bought one and i don't think we used it once.

kmina said...

I knew the sterilizer would be little used once I buy it, because it usually happens this way, and what do you know, one week after I bought it, I went into overproduction. Fun times.

I also went for the changing table that is actually a dresser with a changing pad on top that you can take off after you do not need it anymore. They are quite popular here actually. Everything I need is in the drawer or up on the shelf - neat. I think it might be the only place where my baby lies on his back without protesting.

I hate baby socks. They are very cute, but I still have to meet a pair that will actually stay on my baby's always moving little feet for more than 10 minutes. I prefer tights. And so I have two pairs of cotton tights that I dress him in over and over and 12 pairs of socks out of which 8 pairs were never worn. The tights that are not 100% cotton are not that good, since they give him smelly feet - very uncool.

I used the receiving blankets for the first two months, I think. I used to swaddle him, and had 2 favourite ones that I used, but he was a very long baby to begin with, so that did not last long. I also do not use the small pieces of cloth that are to wipe the spit up (the word escapes me right now). I use paper handkerchiefs and napkins, they absorb better and I do not add to my never ending laundry pile.

'Murgdan' said...

I've loved these posts so much, I'm planning one of my own. We actually LOOOOVE our bottle warmer, even more now that I'm primarily pumping and bottle-feeding. I think it comes in more handy when you have large cooled bottles (ours are 6oz each) and it takes so long to really warm them under warm water. But I just got a cheapo bottle warmer, nothing fancy.

My most unneeded item, unfortunately, was a crib.

And we got a dresser that we use as a changing table.

:-) Keep 'em coming.

Aisha said...

Kate thanks for your perspective on this! I remember ou told me to go easy on the receiving blankets- lol- but I had to learn for myself I guess!

Kmina- I think Carter's is just extremely bad quality blankets which is the issue- but WHAT A GREAT IDEA for stockings- socks- I go through a pack every other week- I thought it was just me!

Murgdan- can't wait for yours! Yeah I figured that a bottle warmer is more useful when your'e regularly giving bottles- particularly of the size you are giving- thanks for sharing your different experience with them! :)

latinaish.com said...

Agreed on everything except the blankets. LOL. I think I'm probably the one who told you to stock up on them, (sorry!) We used to have 20+ blankets when the boys were babies and we used them all.

My kids are now 12 and 9, and I still say you can never have enough blankets, hee hee...

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