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"Must-Have" baby gear you hate - Page 2

post #21 of 36

BOB strollers! Baby monitors- we were given one and it was like a cruel joke, since DS wouldn't sleep as much as an armlength away from me for nearly a year.

post #22 of 36

I have to put in my vote for near hatred for the ubiquitous Pack and Play. I often work as a post partum doula, I'm not in my 20s... or my 30s... and just left my 40s.... so the height of those things my clients seem to think they need to have is just the right height to put my back out. For me, it's easier to either do the stairs and put the baby in bed (once they start sleeping without needing to be held) or just use a Moses type basket.

 

We got a swing/ baby bed combination in 1986. We used it with all 3 kids, my sister used it, some friends used it. It's the wind up kind, no motor. The little bed came out and we would take it with us, even camping.

 

When I walk into a client's house and don't see a Pack and Play, I'm happy. One of my friends got pregnant in her mid 40s and I swear she must have used the word "Pack and Play" about 5000 times while she was pregnant. It drove me crazy. She has an 750 sq foot house. She needed one more piece of furniture in that tiny house, where you could hear the baby in his room at OUR house?

 

Plus, there's no way the mattress in those things are comfortable. We bought a new little mattress for every baby for our Graco baby swing and bed.

 

I did use the wipe warmer. We live in OLD houses. Drafty. I make my own wipe solution and use washcloths. The first time my Fall baby got her butt wiped after it cot cold, she screamed her lungs out! I went out and bought a wipe warmer and wrapped it around an old wipe container and put our solution in it. I changed the water every day, and our babies butts were warm and no more screaming during diaper change.

 

I also loved our baby monitor. We have an old house that rambles big with lots of rooms. You can't hear babies if you are downstairs or outside. We spend a lot of time in our garden (on an acre plot) so if the baby is asleep and I decided to pick some tomatoes, I had to take the baby monitor so I could catch them before they cried. My friend who has the 750 sq foot house also had a video baby monitor. They would sit, literally TWO feet from the baby's door and stare at the monitor. :rotflmao

 

Same with changing tables. Those of you Mamas in your 20s or with good backs might not need one, but I have never been able to change a baby on a bed without hurting myself. Also, I like all my necessities in ONE place, I've seen newborns roll over so I never take my hands off babies on changing tables ever. I liked my diapers and my socks and my onesies and pins and pants and baby ointments and wipe solution and cloth wipes all in my reach. My DH had to built a shelf to put the wipe warmer on, as the babies would grab at it. Eventually, they started grabbing at the cord and had to then deal with cold wipe solution, but they weren't newborns then, so it was fine.

post #23 of 36
Thread Starter 
I found monitors useful because my co-sleeping babies napped in my bed, and with the monitor on I could hear as soon as they started to wake up and I could get in before they crawled off the bed.
post #24 of 36

I'm kind of on the other side of the changing table thing now. I've been changing my daughter on the floor for a while now, because she's getting heavy enough that I'd rather bend down than lift her up. But heading into my 3rd trimester, I feel like I'm in a bit of a catch-22. For how long can I sit on the floor to change her? A bed seems like the worst of both worlds, because you still have to lift the child and you have to bend. At least you can (theoretically) sit cross-legged or kneel on the floor.

 

My sister had to get a baby shower gift for her new nephew on the other side of the family, and I went with her. I looked at their registry, and holy cow, they were registered for pretty much every baby-related item I could imagine! I tried to get away with as little stuff as possible! I hate clutter. I bought things as we found we needed them, rather than buying them up in advance. I suppose I can understand doing it in advance if a lot of people are willing to buy you stuff, but that wasn't my situation.

post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post
 

I'm kind of on the other side of the changing table thing now. I've been changing my daughter on the floor for a while now, because she's getting heavy enough that I'd rather bend down than lift her up. But heading into my 3rd trimester, I feel like I'm in a bit of a catch-22. For how long can I sit on the floor to change her? A bed seems like the worst of both worlds, because you still have to lift the child and you have to bend. At least you can (theoretically) sit cross-legged or kneel on the floor.

 

My sister had to get a baby shower gift for her new nephew on the other side of the family, and I went with her. I looked at their registry, and holy cow, they were registered for pretty much every baby-related item I could imagine! I tried to get away with as little stuff as possible! I hate clutter. I bought things as we found we needed them, rather than buying them up in advance. I suppose I can understand doing it in advance if a lot of people are willing to buy you stuff, but that wasn't my situation.


My first and second babies were 26 months apart, so I also had a toddler in diapers when I was pregnant. (I also had an irritable uterus and pre term labor and wasn't supposed to lift anything. LOL!) My oldest DD learned to climb up the shelves of the changing table, with me right behind her, so I could change her diaper without bending or lifting.

post #26 of 36

Right after letting them cry themselves to sleep, all this babygear is my second worst american nightmare. Those exersaucers... aren't they bad for their development... a battery powered swing is just creepy... Pack and play... I dont get it, when you visit people, aren't there more people to want to hold a baby and give the baby a tour of what's cool in this house. You yourself visit people so you could get some "fresh air" why should the baby be stuck with the same environment...

 

When ever I am at a babyshower, I grinch. It's funny and sad to see all the old ladies go totally goo goo gaagaa for all this plastic crap. My advice for the american society would be, get over the love for all this material, give the best gift once the newborn is born and visit the family with a pot of soup, ask them if there's anything they would need.

 

and whats up with the "I only have to change the pink things to blue"??? Sorry to be such a know it all european, I hate that myself, but seriously, you think your boy will become gay? or do you just like to support the industry that pollutes the waters, so he doesn't have a chance at clean water when he grows up? I'm not saying this to pick a fight, just something to think about, putting things in perspective. buy white people!

 

The nursery decorating seems to be such an american rite of passage for the moms, great for people who can get their babies to sleep there. But if you are looking to save any money, focus your nest building urge elsewhere. I knew since before kids, I could never, ever be sleeping down the hallway from the baby I so love and so wanted. So I just invested on the crib and making sure it's all organic and not off gassing nasty stuff on my baby, there was plenty of nest building energy used in that research. (and how great that my niece now uses it) Everything I ever bought for my kids room, I've bought with the eye that it can be used till they move out for college.. you can do a lot with duvet covers and posters and toys on the shelves, to make it fit their age, I don't need to buy an elephant lamp shade or a "cars" bed...

post #27 of 36
I agree that "useless" is very personal and circumstance dependent.

Change table - I love ours! DH and I designed it and my dad made it from beautiful timber from a tree which came from the property where I grew up. It keeps everything together and is the perfect height. The chest of drawers we use for baby clothes is way to tall to double as a change table. I used it until my first DD was nearly 2 and now I'm using it for DD2.

Nursery - our girls both still co-sleep and have since birth. We've never owned any type of baby bed. However, we need a place to keep their clothes, books, toys, aforementioned change table etc. And one day they will want to sleep in their own room. I enjoyed setting up each girl's room. Nothing fancy, they've each used the change table and chest of drawers. We bought a lamp (soft light for night time), hung a few pictures, put a mobile over the change table (DD1 was given one and loved it, we waited to see if DD2 would also be given one then bought it ourselves when she didn't), put in a bookcase for their toys and books and that was it. Most of it isn't babyish and will last them quite a long while.

Mittens - I don't like them. I feel my babies need to be able to use their hands to explore. I cut their nails to prevent scratches. We live in a hot climate though so I can see that they might be needed in some cold places.

Wipes warmer - we've never had one but I felt awful for DD2 this winter. I would hate to be wiped with a cold, wet wipe. It wouldn't take much to talk me into one. And our winters are not what most people would call cold.
post #28 of 36
Batter powered swing = creepy? That literally made me LOL. What if it's A/C powered?

I also wish less of this stuff was plastic, but the prices of all-wood versions are prohibitive to some families.

I think the best part of these lists is to show how there is no such thing as definitive "must haves" and "useless."
post #29 of 36

no, it really was creepy, it turned on by itself, started a lullaby and move... it was sitting in my office room when I was pregnant. and creeped me out. But even without this flaw, I think it's eery for a baby to sit alone in this buzz machine. There's beauty in the mom pushing a swing and singing, not the machine that makes a buzzing sound and plastic click clack sound. Sorry I may be weird, but I wanted to have my baby around natural sounds of mom and dad, or quiet. The natural baby hammock that we bought was so much more pleasing to baby and my sense of decor, they are not more expensive. A wooden version of this swing would be, but that's not the point, right, it's about how much stuff you could do without.

 

This was propably started by a person who is interested in saving some natural resources or money, so if you don't fall into that category, then this is useless thread. To me it's much more than seeing how "useless" and "must haves" are relative terms. It's about questioning the need for so much stuff. parents of little babies do contribute to landfills and buy a lot...

post #30 of 36
Far downriver from the first pregnancy now, it's easier to just say what I consider essential.

A moby wrap, a carseat and car mirror, three days worth of (side snap!) clothing, two swaddle wraps of some kind, a warm blanket and beanie, Hanna Andersson socks, the Breast Friend, and a hacked crib sidecarred onto our bed at our mattress level.

The Baby Bjorn bouncy chair was not a necessity but a help during showering enough that I am fond of it.

A monitor was helpful after my first, when I would be occupied with older kid activities during naps that involved yard time.

A three drawer bureau with a changing pad on top was also nice for the baby's own things all in one space.

For the first time mamas reading...sometimes a necessity is what your hormones demand. If a decorated nursery and an exhaustively researched stroller are part of dreaming your baby into being, that is an important process. After my first, time spent handmaking a blanket and preparing the family for the birth was where I directed that energy, but the importance of creating a bubble for the coming newborn was the same. Blessings to you on your journeys to holding your baby, and may the help you need be present, gear included.
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCapucine View Post

For the first time mamas reading...sometimes a necessity is what your hormones demand. If a decorated nursery and an exhaustively researched stroller are part of dreaming your baby into being, that is an important process. After my first, time spent handmaking a blanket and preparing the family for the birth was where I directed that energy, but the importance of creating a bubble for the coming newborn was the same. Blessings to you on your journeys to holding your baby, and may the help you need be present, gear included.

I agree with LittleCapuchine on this. And I would also say that there are plenty of things which aren't necessary but some of those things do make life quite a bit easier. And that's ok too. I'm not suggesting buying one of everything and flooding the oceans with plastic and I'm not suggesting going into debt for stuff. Buy secondhand. Borrow. Pass around the family. There are many reasons those are great things to do. But sometimes it is really nice to have that not necessary but oh so helpful item.

And I know this thread isn't about that, it's about stuff which is neither necessary *nor* useful, I just wanted to follow up on what LC said.
post #32 of 36
To get back to the point of this thread, at the bottom of my screen was a link to 25 useful baby items (which turned out to be pretty much an ad for specific brands of products). Several things on the list stood out for me

- burp cloths. There are so many other things most people already have that can be used to catch baby vomit. I used flat nappies because I had them and they're perfect but there are also hand towels, bunny rugs, face washers if your baby isn't a big puker (my first wasn't), old t-shirts even!

- wipe solution. We used water, it worked perfectly.

And a personal gripe, reuseable breast pads were completely useless for me. They either soaked straight through and sat there, little sodden lumps or they didn't absorb at all and the milk ran out the side and soaked my shirt. I gave up and used disposables for number one and pretty much just leaked for number two.
post #33 of 36

Water as wipe solution was totally useless for me, but I loved my reusable breast pads. 

 

There are certainly baby products promoted in AP circles that did nothing for me, but somebody must like them. Prefolds and covers, for instance. Hated them. Stretchy wrap. Hated it. I saw that "25 useful products" post too and wasn't nuts about it. 

 

Bottom line is everybody is different, so I don't think there are any blanket recommendations. If a lot of moms found a particular product to be useless or annoying, that's probably a good reason not to buy it initially, but later on if you have some specific need that product would solve, then maybe consider it. I have enjoyed this thread, but would like it to stay with "I don't like X because of Y, I did Z instead" rather than "Why would anyone ever use X? It's so unnatural and ridiculous to do that, just do Z." 

post #34 of 36

I think erigeron hit the nail on the head (and a few other posters have as well).  I, for example, don't leak at all, so breast pads were totally useless for me (and of course I had bought a ton of them because everyone told me to).  I wouldn't have known they would be useless because I didn't know how my body reacts to breastfeeding.  Similarly, my daughter hated the swing and the bouncer, so those were useless to me, but I know lots of babies who LOVED them and whose mothers could shower in peace while baby was happy because of them.

 

My overall concern is not individual products that may or may not work for individual families, but the overall emphasis on consumerism and collecting "stuff" that not only distracts from the parent-child bond but that also creates mental stress and strains economic resources. 

post #35 of 36

My overall concern is not individual products that may or may not work for individual families, but the overall emphasis on consumerism and collecting "stuff" that not only distracts from the parent-child bond but that also creates mental stress and strains economic resources. 

 

There is that. But I wonder if part of it too could be families trying to plan ahead while they know what their economic resources are. If mom has to take unpaid time off or is going to quit her job to stay home, it might make sense to try to anticipate what you might want and get it ahead of time when you have more disposable income, or get people to buy it for you as a shower gift, rather than try to get by with the minimum and then find you're in a spot when you do need something spendy after baby comes. Although the idea of getting stuff secondhand, borrowing, or whatever, is certainly not promoted in the consumer culture, and is part of the solution to this.

 

If you're the first of your friends to have a baby, too, it's harder to do the borrow/buy from friends thing, and harder to get an idea of what gadgets work and what don't. We were in that position. I had to purchase everything we needed either new or secondhand, because none of our friends had kids yet. Now, expecting our second, I have lots of friends with kids and lots more options for getting items I don't already have (like, if I can't get the toddler out of the crib-turned-toddler-bed before the new baby is born, I can borrow a bassinet without too much trouble, unlike the first time around). 


Edited by erigeron - 11/11/13 at 11:58am
post #36 of 36

I was your run-of-the-mill main stream mama-to-be the first time around & got all the stuff.  I remember looking around after dd was born wondering how anyone raised a baby before all this stuff was available, stuff that she hated, mostly.  Had I read this article, I'd like to think I would have learned. http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/baby_gear.html  I still have most of it because I can't stand the though of a baby crying in it.

 

Sus

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