Jun 13, 2013

One Year Later: The 10 Least-Favorite Baby Products

It’s Oliver’s birthday this week, so we’re deviating from our regular house-oriented posts with some baby-oriented things we’ve learned over the past year.

For every wonderful-can’t-live-without-it product, there’s something that didn’t work out. Every baby is different, so for some people these might be on their essentials list. But for us, these items just didn’t work out.

1. A sink tub (like the Puj, etc.). I found these to be a huge waste of money. Oliver literally grew out of it in a week. And he hated it during the time he did fit into it because it kept him elevated and mostly out of the water, which left him cold and unhappy. The other day I mentioned how much I love the primo tub - it works for a newborn (once the cord falls off) until they are old enough for a real bathtub.

2. Diaper genie. These are very polarizing - you love them or hate them. Obviously they don’t work with cloth diapers, but even when we were using disposables in the early days - they are expensive, the bags are expensive, it still smells awful and when you have to empty it you are handling an unwieldy diaper-poop sausage that has to go into another bag. No thanks. Our $20 cans from Babies ‘R Us work just as well and use regular trash bags or washable cloth diaper bags. Win-win.

3. Big sets of bottles in all those brands baby doesn’t like. I have a lot of bottles Oliver refuses to use. The Playtex frustrate him. The Avent ones make him spit up. Don’t even let him see a Tommee Tippee. Oliver wants Dr. Brown’s and only Dr. Brown’s. In retrospect I should have just bought only 1 or 2 of each to try them out. See what works for him, because every baby is different. There’s no point in stocking up in all these big giants sets with all these different sizes and nipple levels and parts until you know what brand is the winner first.

4. Pacifiers. This is specifically for us because again every baby is different, but my point is that this can happen. It just never occurred to me before becoming a mom that some babies just don’t like pacifiers, no matter how hard you try to push one on them. And because I wanted to make sure we had several different brands for him to try out, we had dozens sterilized at the ready for his arrival home. What a waste of money! Lesson learned: just use the freebies from the hospital (and ask for a few extra!) until you’re sure they even like pacifiers.

5. PeePee Teepees. Oh boy! Cute name, but these are totally useless. They aren’t absorbent so they just get the your rascally boy and the changing pad dirty and wet. If anything, they make the whole situation worse. Absorbent, washable flannel wipes are a much better alternative until you master the art of diaper covering during boy diaper changes.

6. Rain cover for the stroller. This is entirely a lifestyle thing, but out here in the suburbs, the rain cover for our stroller is a waste. It takes way too long to put on to make it worth using from the car into a store. The oversized shade on our city mini works for a quick sprint from car to awning. And if it’s raining out we’re not going to take him on a long walk where he would need the cover. I can totally see this being essential for urbanites who have to walk everywhere, but when you have a car it’s just not necessary.

7. Bumbo chair. These are great for strengthening neck muscles, but we really didn’t use ours much. The only times I can remember really using it was when I wanted to take a picture of Oliver sitting somewhere before he could sit up on his own (like outside on the front porch). Some people like to use them with the activity tray for playtime, but we always use our high chair instead.

8. Car seat protector pads for underneath the car seat. Unless you have a fancy luxury vehicle with expensive, delicate, supple leather seats - the car seat shouldn’t do permanent damage. The foam pops back in a couple of days after an extended use. I’ve also read that some of these are actually dangerous because they mess with the car seat’s operation in an accident. Better to just skip them altogether.

9. Bottle warmer. A mug of hot water in the sink works just as well for warming up a bottle or defrosting a bag. It was just as fast and much cheaper!

10. Wipes warmer. Maybe this is different for winter babies in big drafty houses, but this was totally frivolous for a summer baby. If anything a cool wipe was refreshing on a hot day. And when he got a little older, by winter he was used to the cool wipes and never once protested about them not being warmed to the perfect temperature.


  1. Agreed! Can't say I know about the pee tee pees with my girls, but you nailed it!

  2. Can we add leaky sippy cups to this list? And those fancy bassinets you think you need, but really they grow out of in 5 minutes?