In the seven years that I've been in business, one of the things I'm proud of is that my vision has never altered in terms of the products we sell. If you've never been to the store, we have a great selection of cloth diapers, slings, and breastfeeding essentials. Over the years, our offerings have expanded to offer more choice, however, we have managed to steer clear of the increasing number of baby gadgets that are available these days. So here it is, my list of things you probably don't need.
1) Babysafe Feeder. So the gist of this product is that you put baby's food in a mesh bag, so junior can suck on it safely. Mmmmm, tasty! Would you like to eat your food like this? Read their "Why?" page, and most first-time parents will likely run out and buy one (holy scare tactics!). When you are introducing solids to your baby, use common sense and supervision. Your parents didn't have the Babysafe Feeder, and you turned out OK, right?
2) Dunston Baby Language DVD collection. Is this for real? Seriously? Interpret your baby's secret language of crying? I saw this on Oprah Winfrey and just about peed my pants, I'm not sure what was funnier, the concept, or Oprah's wide-eyed reaction (she has no kids, remember?). Then I was contacted by a sales rep to see if we'd be interested in selling it, and I laughed so hard I almost choked on my tongue (hmm, perhaps I could have used a Babysafe Feeder after all!). Spend a little time with your baby, and you'll eventually figure him out. There is no 'secret language of crying', save yourself the $50 and pass on this nonsense.
3) Pee-pee Teepee and other variations thereof. So you're changing your baby, and he keeps peeing on you. What's a gal to do? Simple, put a tiny little triangle of fabric (a teepee, get it?) on top of his penis, and voila, problem solved. Except junior's powerful stream of urine would knock that puppy off before you can say "What a dumb idea", assuming it didn't fall off as soon as junior kicked his legs (babies move, ya know?). If your baby is constantly peeing when you change him, just potty him!
4) Stretchmark cream. Any brand. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there's pretty much nothing you can do to prevent stretchmarks. It's genetic. Take a peak at your mother's belly. No stretchmarks? Well, you're likely in the clear. Of course, I didn't know better when I was pregnant with #1 and I oiled myself up before bed like a WWF wrestler (I'm dating myself here), and guess what? I still got 'em! Maybe the cream will make your belly feel better, but don't count on it to prevent stretchmarks. FYI, I also exercised my ass off and drank liters of water everyday, and it got me nowhere. I'm not going to tell you to wear them like a 'badge of honor', but I will tell you they fade over time, and I mean come on, did you really think you were going to start a swimsuit modelling career after you had the baby? Is it really that big of a deal if you get stretchmarks? You will get over it, trust me.
5) Change tables in general. This is a complete waste of money and floorspace. You will not haul ass to the nursery every time you need to change junior. Just get yourself a little folding change pad or two, and keep them handy where you tend to spend most or your day -- ie, in the TV room or kitchen. This is far more practical. We have a change table in the nursery, although a more accurate name would be "the spot where I pile all the baby crap I never use" table. Right now, it's full of winter pyjamas and toys. Yes, clearly, I win the most-organized-mother-of-the-year title, but lay off me, I've got 4 kids and I'm self-employed, I've earned the right to be disorganized!
So what about you? Have you bought anything only to find out it was a waste of money? Let us know! Perhaps you can prevent someone from making the same mistake. I'll pick a comment and you will receive your choice of laundry detergent, on the house. Comments submitted before August 17th are eligible.