Thursday, July 08, 2010

Pointless baby "necessities" that are a waste of money

  1. baby mittens. Most newborn outfits come with the little fold-over pocket on the sleeves to keep baby from scratching herself, and if they don't you can use socks, which are cheaper and stay on better than little thumbless mittens anyway.
  2. bassinet. I'm not talking about the pack-n-play with a higher level for a newborn to sleep in, but the piece of designer wicker furniture that stands in the corner, all top-heavy, just waiting for the baby to learn to move the slightest bit and topple it over. Cute, but pointless.
  3. wipe warmer. If your house is too cold for baby wipes, why is the baby sleeping in it? Otherwise, room temperature wipes are fine and don't bother most babies. Maybe if the alternative were bracingly cold wipes a warmer would make sense, but in that case either the butt in question would already be bracingly cold, or you'd be an idiot for storing your wipes in the fridge.
  4. gender specific gear. For one thing, ultrasounds are NOT always right, and buying your high chair, car seat, stroller, and swing in sexist colors could prove to be a mistake. For another thing, what if you have another baby someday and that kid is the opposite sex? Hand me downs are great, but when everything is pink and frilly, and the next baby comes out with a penis, it might be awkward (and expensive) to say the least.
  5. Jogging strollers. Unless you actively jog, in straight lines on a roadway rather than a segmented sidewalk, these strollers are kind of pointless. For one thing, they cost WAY more than the regular travel-system stroller, which will work from birth through the toddler years, but they also don't all turn. A lot of the jogging strollers have immobile front wheels, which makes turning corners and maneuvering through doorways incredibly difficult.
  6. crib sets. Of course when you're pregnant and setting up the baby's room, you want everything to be as cute as possible. But the $200 crib set is ridiculous. It is possible to buy a sheet (or two) and bumper pads for less than a hundred bucks. For less than fifty, probably. And the comforter and dust ruffle may look nice, but you don't use a blanket in the beginning anyway, and a dust ruffle is pretty pointless as it is. Also, these sets come with one sheep, which is fine until you put an actual baby on it and it gets spit up on, or pooped on, or it just becomes time to do a load of laundry, and then you have to have a second sheet anyway.
  7. shoes. Shoes for children and adults are to protect their feet in case they step on something, or to keep them clean. Babies need no such protection. They look good in pictures, but you have no way of knowing how comfortable they are and wearing shoes can actually hamper learning to walk. If you must put shoes on a baby (barring formal occasions like weddings) use the soft ones without soles. And for God's sake, don't spend $50 on Nikes for a kid who will outgrow them within a month and never appreciate it anyway.
  8. walkers. They don't teach babies how to walk; they teach them how to propel themselves backward into table legs and cabinets, and occasionally down stairs. If you want something comparable, get an exersaucer. It comes with more toys and less mobility.

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