Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dumb Things That Parents Buy For Babies

There are a number of dumb things that parents buy for babies. Some are obviously dumb, as there is a plethora of technology that has been tailored to baby rearing. In my mind, baby essentials are: clothes, crib (or similar enclosed sleeping arrangement so baby does not hurt himself), blanket, car seat, possibly a Johnny Jump-Up and diapers. Everything else is questionable, including baby toys that your baby is entertained by, momentarily.

Here are the top three items that most parents see as essential that are really quite useless.

#3 Bibs- Seriously, my babies have never made a mess on the bib only. It is all over their shirt. And now they have bibs with pockets. Those pockets don't keep banana off the babies' sleeves. Feed them in just a diaper, or nothing if you EC, or understand that feeding is messy business and you'll have to wash the whole outfit.

#2 Diaper Wipes - Have you ever heard of a wash cloth? Babies hate the chemicals, and so do you. Wet wash cloths clean better that wipes, too, try it.

#1 Baby Towels - Just because babies are small, doesn't mean they don't feel. Baby towels are too small to effectively swaddle after the baby is a few months old. And if you do get the towel to cover the baby, it is instantly soaked through because it is too thin. That's just not nice for the baby. Give them a real towel.

Motherhood is sold as a hard job. If you read any of the baby and parenting magazines, you read of exhausted mothers who can't think straight. But, is it really that hard? Maybe I have abnormally easy babies, but it seems obvious that they are portraying motherhood as so hard so that they can sell you stuff to make it easier.


  1. I so agree on the bibs thing! lol

    with the baby wipes we do use them but we make our own. No chemicals and all natural and we use washable burp cloths

    we have baby towels...but again I made them out of 3 big fluffy adult toels and three fluffy hand towels...if they can fit around me...the atre going to fit around the baby! lol

  2. All I really need for a baby is myself (food, warmth, comfort), a carrier (sling or 5 yards of fabric to make a wrap) and a car seat. Babies don't care about designer bedding, anyway!

    I recently experimented with a wrap, which is 5 yards of fabric. You can read about it here:

  3. Where has your other blog gone, I'm sad!!

  4. With two babies who had reflux, bibs saved us a LOT of time and and laundry! So much easier to change the bibs than to change their whole outfits 10 times a day!

  5. I disagree on the list. I bought baby towels for my first over 7 yrs ago and still use them on all 3 of the kids. Yes, even the 7 yr old. They like the folded part for their head. I say the towels have been worth the money spent. One thing, I have small kids, so the towels were always big enough and still are.

    Bibs, I can take them or leave 'em. I am currently using burp cloths since my 7 mos old just went on the bottle and makes a mess. I can't find the bibs I like, so the burp cloths will do for now. However, in a highchair my kids don't make a huge mess and a bib has always worked well for us.

    As for wipes, maybe I am addicted (LOL), but I use them everywhere. It is one thing I am holding on even though I switched to cloth diapers for my 3rd. We have them all over the house and in the car. It saves on washing a ton of little washcloths. I have enough laundry to deal with.

    There were so many things you can put on a list of unneeded baby items (the wipe warmer is one that makes me insane) that I am surprised you picked those 3. Personally, I don't like those jump up things. I don't think they are good for the baby's back and legs. But that is the great thing about free will, we get to choose what we think is best for us and our families.

  6. "Maybe I have abnormally easy babies, but it seems obvious that they are portraying motherhood as so hard so that they can sell you stuff to make it easier."

    Who is the 'they' you are referring to here? Are you implying that there is a vast media conspiracy to show motherhood as difficult??

  7. AMEN!

    Bibs... totally overrated and undersized.

    TOYS: My children will break off the baby locks on the cabinets to get at the tupperware when their toybox is only feet away.

    I'm beginning to think our carseats were unneccesary too... having 5 kids WE NEVER GO ANYWHERE WITH THEM ALL ANYMORE! Seriously... I have 2 baby carseats that have each been used only a handful of times. Lovely, huh.

  8. so when i want a bib, i take a hand towel and put it up the babies shirt and pull it out the top and down. they are wider and then it covers the top of the shirt more

  9. I have to disagree with you on the last one. At least partially. While the world is definitely trying to sell you stuff you don't need, parenting *is* a hard job! Maybe you did have unusually good babies. Mine have run the gamut, but parenting even my easier children, has been hard.

    This is the hardest job in the world, in my opinion. It's also the best, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

  10. I so agree on wipes- only use them when I'm away from home. I don't even "make my own" even though there are a ton of 'recipes' for them. I just use a wash cloth and a squirt of water. (I keep a peri-bottle of water on the changing table) Saves a ton of money. Plus having a tiny load of washcloths motivates me to use my cloth diapers more often, as I only use them sporadically, to get a decent load of wash before things get mildew-ey.

    Bibs- I found them fairly useless with my first two, but the new baby is a drooler and bubble maker. The bibs keep the necklines of his tops from getting all soggy.

    Sorry you've gotten a lot of flack. Too bad so many people forget that every family is different and what works (or seems right) for one family may be wrong for another.

    Hope the haters don't follow you here.

  11. THANK YOU!! Could we add wipe warmers to the ridiculess list?? I mean seriously. We didn't use bibs or baby towels, we did/do use wipes though mostly just for convenience. When I got pregnant I was amazed at all the STUFF that people thought I needed. I'm with you. She needed a place to sleep, something to cover her and food when I could no longer feed her.