Top Ten Products that you DON'T need (Babies!)

Imdaewen Forumite Posts: 45 Forumite

I don't see a thread discussing this.

I didn't know what items we needed/didn't need for our baby (she is 5 months). There was a couple of items that I know that we didn't need like the nappy stacker. I found that even though cot sets are lovely, they are full of items that are not recommended to have because of SIDs.

But what items have you regretted buying?

And also

What items have you bought which have been useful?

I would have to say I disagree with the Electric Steam Steriliser being a good item. We bought a 6 bottle steam steriliser second hand (along with some other items) and this is one of my regrets. When you break the seal you break the sterilisation which means you have to run it every time you have done a bottle which is a waste of electricity. We use cold water sterilisation, lasts 24 hours. mum I know uses a bottle which has an inbuilt steam sterilisation for the microwave.

Second item would be the nappy bin. The Cassettes are expensive. The Cassettes are £10 for three at the moment and the price goes up and down like a yoyo, they also get more expensive the larger the nappies. I stopped buying these when I realised that the amount spent on this was crazy and we couldn't get them at £7.50.
Nappy sacks cost 35p per 300 bags.

We don't use the door bouncer as it only fits on one door which means she is out the way of supervision as we cannot see her and she is in the way. She also falls asleep very quickly in it. Luckily we only bought it for £5 second hand.

Good items we have bought have been a Fisher Price electric swing. She loves it and it was very handy in getting her to sleep in the early days. It is also the most expensive as we spent £70ish on it. Suffice to say we debated over it before buying!

Best item has to be Grobags. She is a fidget bum and blankets are off her in seconds (even swaddled) Grobag keeps her warm at night and no chance of being on her face like a blanket might be. Official grobags are expensive, but they don't shrink as much as others.

Audio baby monitor is also good, she wakes us up by chatting in the morning, obviously you can hear crying etc or (if you have a mat attached) get alerted if no movement/breathing has been detected.

Bumbo is also a good item. Pricey if bought new. My mum bought me the Bumbo. Profits of the Bumbo do go to charities in South Africa (hopefully...). As with all toys baby should be supervised as there is a 'tipping out' issue - so that doesn't really bother me. I would call it a lifesaver as she loves to sit up and as I had a caesarean it is difficult for her to be up against me all the time.

My partner made an over the cot changer, it has a hinge so it gives me a nice space to change baby or to bath her. It doesn't match the cot or look especially pretty but it is practical.
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  • daisiegg
    daisiegg Forumite Posts: 5,395 Forumite
    Thanks for this! I am pregnant for the first time so found this really interesting. I hope you get more replies with people sharing their experiences! I wonder if posting it on the main marriages and families board too might get more replies...? (So dads can answer as well)
  • Gillyx
    Gillyx Forumite Posts: 6,847
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Things we loved, jumperoo, baby bath, play mat with activities above, cot mobile, travel system, gro bags and Medela swing electric breast pump.

    Things that were a waste of money for us, buying a cheap stroller (baby wouldn't go in it, as he preferred parent facing and a high up position) steriliser (we ended up using mam bottles which self sterilise in the microwave) bouncer and swing, little one wouldn't take to them at all he had reflux so would only settle on your shoulder.

    Every single baby is different though and I'd try before you buy with most big things if at all possible as resell value is pretty crap. If you can try a friends bouncer or swing once baby gets here, I'd do that before committing to buying.
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  • sulkisu
    sulkisu Forumite Posts: 1,285 Forumite
    Not very expensive but I found baby bibs a waste of money. I used them for a short time, but then bought a bumper pack of muslin cloths on Ebay and found them much more practical. They can also be used when your child gets older.
    My baby bath and changing mat also never really got used. I used a cople of old towels (double folded) on the bed or floor as a changing mat, and an old washing up bowl to bathe them in.
    Baby changing bag. I bought a special one, which wasn't very practical and in the end bought a normal flight bag, which saw me through DS1 and the twins. Lots of pockets, surdy and with the addition of portable changing mat, did the job.
    Baby towels - only used once or twice.
  • supersaver2
    supersaver2 Forumite Posts: 977 Forumite
    Best item for us was our Ewan The Dream Sheep, it guarantees our daughter will be asleep in about 5 minutes flat! The best £30.00 we've spent and when the stitching started coming away we even got sent a brand new one free of charge.

    Our bouncy chair was invaluable in the early days. The medela swing breast pump was used lots in our house and never had any troubles, yes its expensive, but sometimes its worth spending that bit extra for a quality item. Lots of people don't use a baby bath, but ours was used every night and now our daughter is a bit older she uses it in the garden when we have a warm day and plays with her bath toys in it, keeps her entertained for ages!

    Agree with the earlier poster about Gro Bags, really good idea. We got all of ours at TK Maxx for about £9.00 each.

    Items that weren't needed or used included the door bouncer, she just didn't like and it got in the way. Also we bought quite an expensive baby monitor, this has never really been used as we can hear her all through the house!
  • ema_o
    ema_o Forumite Posts: 885 Forumite
    We barely used the door bouncer but a jumperoo was fantastic and got a lot of use. Mind you for baby entertainment nothing beat wearing bright patterened socks and wiggling my toes!

    Fabric sling was incredibly useful when baby wouldn't settle & I'm looking forwards to having it for my 2nd (so I can still play with my older one)! I think the last time I used it he was around 7 months at a friends bbq party - he went to sleep and I was able to enjoy the party knowing he was close & happy (we were only expecting to stop a couple of hours)!

    Not quite the same but I advise against stocking up on particular brands / sizes of nappies and wipes. Some never suited ours, in particular the standard Johnsons wipes although we used them for cleaning after DIY so they didn't go to waste!

    I'd say the pushchair is the most expensive purchase that has the most potential to go wrong. Do your research, make sure the one you want works for all / most scenarios that you expect to be using it for. I know a few people who have regretted not getting a buggy that faces both ways. Personally I wish I'd bought 2 to start with - quinny zapp to use with the car seat when popping to the shops, plus something for walking on forest trails and the side of the rugby pitch. We had the M&P Sola which wasn't bad, but we got a zapp second hand and really notice the difference pushing it through the shops / fitting it in the car boot. Not that we did that much shopping!!
  • kathrynha
    kathrynha Forumite Posts: 2,469
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Car Insurance Carver!
    Baby bath - for us it was a good buy, as bathroom at the time was a draughty, cold, revolting place and hubby strong enough to carry a full baby bath into the kitchen to empty it. However if you have a nice bathroom don't bother.

    Special changing unit - don't bother. If you don't want to do it kneeling down on the floor, upstairs do it on the bed and downstairs do it on the dining room table. You put them on a changing mat, so mess it contained.

    Anything special to put mucky nappies in. Value nappy sacks do the job perfectly fine, and if it's particularly stinky, and not getting taken straight out to dustbin, jun double bag it.

    Fancy rocking baby seats. My daughter was perfectly happy with a basic bouncy seat. Some babies like the rocking seats, but at least wait till baby is born to see if you need to spend the money.

    Muslin squares - best buy ever. Recommend coloured ones though, as they wash better.

    Toys for under 3 months - don't bother, save your money till child is interested in toys

    Travel changing mat - I found this invaluable, baby changing places can be revolting

    Special baby changing bag - just use a regular bag. I used a rucksack as it left both hads free, and hubby wasn't embarressed to be seen with it.

    You can spend so much money on babies, so buy second hand where you can. Most secondhand baby stuff has hardly been used, and if it's hard plastic, or machine washable it is easy enough to make sure it is clean to your own standards. Save your money for the stuff you really want/need new, like car seats and cot mattresses.
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  • Dinah93
    Dinah93 Forumite Posts: 11,463
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker Bake Off Boss!
    1. Door baby bouncer (up to £30) Yep, agree this is a waste, used it a handful of times only as first she hated it then when she had more strength she just kept pushing off then swinging back and I was scared of her hitting the frame.
    2. Baby washing bowls (up to £10) Any bowl will do!
    3. Manual breast pump (up to £80) Agree, if you're BF an electric is worth the extra £10 or so, much better results and more comfortable. I exclusively expressed for 12 weeks and if that's your plan hire a hospital grade one for £40 a month, not as cheap but saves so much time and produces about twice as much milk.
    4. Baby hammock (can cost more than £150) Lol what? Never had this
    5. Fabric sling (cost £15-£80) Completely disagree. Use mine several times a week, rarely use a buggy as it's just so much easier. Still at 2 I'll use a sling to give her some support and make her more comfortable in a hip carry. One of the best buys imo so long as you get the right kind (something that supports knee to knee, I use fabric wraps but any soft structured carrier is fairly adaptable. Anything with a metal frame or that doesn't offer baby enough support like baby bjorn type things you'll find you don't use anywhere near as much as they're just so uncomfortable)
    6. Nappy stacker (between £5-£20) Sounds useless!
    7. Bumbo seat (£30-£40) DD kept sliding out! Won't be getting one for the second one.
    8. Cot mobile (up to £30) Brilliant buy. Ours plays music and it settles her down, have taken the mobile bit off and just use the music box now.
    9. Swaddling blanket (£10-£25) DD hated to be swaddled. Despite being a preemie where they swaddle them in the nicu she would never ever allow her arms and legs to be contained. Agree with other posters though grow bags are brilliant.
    10. Nappy disposal bin (£10 to over £50) Used this for quite a while but its not essential, the cassettes cost a lot, if you wrap a nappy tightly there's no smell anyway.

    For me I'd also say the adaptors to put the car seat on the buggy frame were useless. You're not supposed to keep a baby in a car seat for more than an hour/2 hours depending on the type of seat, so I always just swapped the baby into the carrycot so I knew she was laid flat.

    Also toys for under 3 months old, they don't need anything!
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  • DigForVictory
    DigForVictory Forumite Posts: 11,880
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I didn't want a changing station - I was terrified youngling would fall off. So we got & stayed flexible enough to do changes on a (well padded) nappy mat on the floor.
    Two decades later our knees are not convinced but all three babies have never fallen off & are now healthy hearty hulking great young persons.

    Should I find myself in a wheelchair, I'll have to use *something*, but there are photos of my having my nappy changed on a plank across the bath. It's remarkable what you can do when you need & want to.
  • topdaddy_2
    topdaddy_2 Posts: 1,408 Forumite
    Neoprene bottle "keeper warmers" whatever theyre called. They work and useful to attach bottles to prams, bags etc.
  • bride2be2012
    bride2be2012 Forumite Posts: 682 Forumite
    Best buys:
    Door bouncer - most on this thread seem to think they are a waste of money, but my LG loves hers, she would spend all day in it if we let her! It's now at Gran's house, as we have a Jumperoo now.

    Jumperoo - got one second hand for a way would I have paid full price for it. She does like it, but not £100 like it!

    Bouncy Chair - life saver in the early days, let me get a cuppa while it was still hot. We bought two, a cheap one about £7, it wasn't much good until LO was about 4 months (despite it saying from birth), and a more supportive one that cost about £30.

    Car Seat Base - Ours isn't ISOFIX, it uses the seatbelt to hold the base in place, but it's the same idea...I LOVE fact, I hate having to taking DH car because I don't have the base and have to strap the car seat in.

    Waste of money:
    Bumbo - LG hated it, went in it once for about 10 minutes.

    Close Caboo Sling - Just couldn't get to grips with it. Bought it in a hurry without much thought. Then tried a mei tai and buckle carrier through a local sling library, so we are now waiting on our own mei tai arriving in the post, and I can't wait! So research slings etc properly, and try as many on as you can!

    Play Mat - bought it for DD's Xmas, when she was 3 months, she'd outgrown it by 5 months. Much better with a blanket and a few toys on the floor.
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