The first time I wrote about Useless Baby Products. I had to make a second post because I keep coming across all these insane things the baby industry makes that parents and children do. not. need. Some of them are just crazy and some kinda scary. All of them unnecessary.

Mr. Milker- Obviously I’m supporter of breastfeeding and honestly, I might even prefer this product to bottle feeding but it’s still weird and unnecessary if the baby has a mother they can nurse on. It’s marketed for fathers who may have “breastfeeding envy” or to give mothers “a break”. Breastfeeding has so many benefits for both mother and child- benefits that can never be replicated with bottles, breast shaped or otherwise. It threatens a nursing relationship to miss feedings and doesn’t give mother’s “a break” because to keep the nursing relationship sound she has to pump all the times she would be nursing anyway.

Child Locator- I don’t live in an overly populated country and live in a small rural community but I still can’t help puzzling over why someone would want to use one of these things. It’s like one of those key finding devices… for your kid! With the option of vibrating instead of a loud alarm, it’s better than the next product.

Bosieboo- This invisible fence lets out an alarm if your child steps out the set boundary. I’m not sure what’s worst- this product or a leash? At least the limits of a leash can be obviously felt by a child.

Leash- Might as well give the child leash it’s own mention. I wish we didn’t live in a world where anyone thought they “had to” leash their child.

Thumb Guard- I honestly don’t really know what I think about thumb sucking. Many times it seems that children suck their thumbs because their need for comfort/sucking isn’t available via breastfeeding. Some parents even encourage a child to find comfort in the thumb or dummy or blanket rather than offering the comfort themselves. That said, I’ve also seen babies who are breastfed on demand who suck their thumbs… so who knows?

Regardless, putting a plastic sheath on a child’s hand is really bizarre. I wonder what playing and other every day activities look like for this child. Sad really.

Lolaloo- You’re asking yourself what is this thing, right? Can you believe this thing is actually suppose to help soothe your child when they cio by vibrating whatever you attach it to. Attach it to a crib, stroller, bucket carseat and you can walk away not having to listen to your child when what they most probably need is to simply be picked up. Carry (or wear) your babies! Too many benefits to mention all but movement-wise wearing your child in a carrier offers the most natural movements for baby’s comfort and you are right there if they need you. We do not need more (any) products to separate babies with their caregivers.

Easidream- Another product to help you detach from your baby, ignoring their needs. This product includes a pad to put under you child in a crib that rocks them back and forth and a sheep that hangs on the crib rail that thumps the sound the baby might have heard in utero. The problem is the baby isn’t in utero anymore and if they were all their needs would obviously be met from being close to mom to not being hungry. Babies have needs but one of the most important is for comfort and touch. Ironically, it’s hard to meet a baby’s many needs when you aren’t there to notice. We do not need more (any) products to separate babies with their caregivers.

OK to Wake Up- This alarm clock can be set to any arbitrary time a parent decides their child is allowed to get out of bed. Why wouldn’t the child’s own bodies know best when they were ready to wake up?

Padded Walls- Taking child proofing much much too far.

Kick bee- Speaking of taking things too far. This devise will automatically microblog all your unborn baby’s movements on Twitter.

Time Out Pad- Firstly time outs are bad. You don’t “teach” better behaviour with power over, shame and humiliation. I wonder if this same company sells switches as well?

You put your child on this pressure sensitive pad and it keeps the time out time for you. If they get up from the pad then the time stops and an alarm sounds. Another product where a parent can try and pass of the blame for the punishment they themselves are inflicting on a child.

Baby Cage- I’m not really sure what to say about this patented product. It negates most of the benefits of cosleeping- like having your baby close, nursing without having to get up (or lift a cage off your baby first)… Co sleeping is not dangerous!

Crib Cage Tent-  At first I thought this thing was a good idea. Who wouldn’t want to protect their child from large birds swooping down to peck their eyes out? Oh, that’s not what it’s for. It’s the final piece for making your crib into a true cage.

Dummy Feeder- Not really sure what to say about this. Bottle propping is seriously upsetting to see. Nursing is the best choice and feeding should be a time to connect with baby. There are also risks to bottle propping- possible choking, overfeeding and tooth decay with liquid pooling in the mouth when it’s not swallowed.

Heelarious- Not so hilarious as absurd. Baby’s first high heels. I mean really, what more is there to say? This is a useless and even stupid baby product.

Credit Card Teether- Only slightly less stupid than high heels for baby. These products paint a disturbing picture of the values parents instil in their kids. I know not everyone thinks this way but I hope for a bit more sustainability for my children than fashion and amassing stuff.

Yotaro Baby Simulator- This thing is just plain creepy. This product is apparently made for children who have a new sibling on the way. Still useless, but couldn’t they at least make it look like a real baby? It’s incredibly sad that the manufactures of this company have a cio setting to help you get used to hearing and leaving a baby to cry since there is nothing you can do to help the fake baby- not even pick it up and hold it.

I’ve also shared what I think are useful baby products.

35 Responses to Stop the Insanity take two

  1. Michele says:

    Wow. It’s amazing that most of these products actually exist.

    A couple of your original useless baby products, I’m sure glad they did because they worked for my son and for our family.

  2. Natalie says:

    Oh my word! What a waste! and you can only guess that people that came up with these useless things think they are changing the world. So sad.

  3. Mickey S says:

    Yup Yup
    Embarrassing to be Human sometimes.
    Really.
    :(

  4. Em says:

    I’m speechless…..those things are insane!

  5. Dawn Suzette says:

    Wow… what to say. These are just scary!

  6. jenqu says:

    Don’t underestimate the leash. It gives a wandering child a sense of freedom while keeping them near and dear. I am as attached of a parent as they come, but I also have a child with autism who needs for me to allow him to walk by himself.

  7. Genevieve says:

    This is such an excellent post! I can’t believe that these products are even manufactured. I think that a lot of people are looking for an easy way out to parenting. The problem is that they don’t fully understand the needs of their children and the future problems that stem from utilizing methods such as cio. What a great blog to follow!!!

  8. paxye says:

    That thumb thing makes me claustrophobic.. Opposable thumbs are a good thing, I can’t imagine limiting my child in that way..

    The crib cage/tent is a scary one, It is really pushing the limits for me of treating a child like an animal. A quick google image search also shows the dangers of using them (child hanging in one on the side of the crib)… I don’t like cribs at all but if a child is old enough and able enough to climb out then it is time to go to something else…

  9. Lucy Dolan says:

    LOL Funny and totally tragic. I think the Mr Milker is a spoof – I was looking on the website that sells these and it seems to be a joke – but then again…. I am not sure. But when I looked at this http://greatinventions.tv/products/109.php
    I was pretty sure I was being had.

  10. Lise says:

    Wow. It’s shocking what people think they need. Or what companies work to convince people they need.

  11. Debbie says:

    OMG. I don’t even know what to say to these products. Cages, and high heels a credit card teethers? Not to mention everything else. Obviously these products are made for parents who don’t know their kids at all…and don’t want to get to know them. This truly is tragic and a very sad comment on how so many people choose to parent.

  12. Melodie says:

    Interesting round up. It’s amazing what some people come up with and other people obviously actually buy.

  13. JP says:

    the crib tent can be helpful as a tool to keep pets out of the crib (it’s not simply a way to keep a child in). my brother & SiL had their children in the crib from day 1 and used the crib tent to both keep the cats out and the kids in.

    our first is due any day now and we plan on cosleeping for at least at least 6mos to a year, but if our child moves into a crib before a toddler bed (even if just for naps), then we’ll get one of those tents to keep our cuddly cats out of the child’s crib for the baby’s safety. i figure once our kid can get out of a crib, they’re old enough to handle a cat climbing in and the tent won’t be necessary by then.

  14. Shannon says:

    I’ll have to show my husband round two. I left the computer on overnight the last time I looked at these and he was actually laughing out loud when he got up in the morning.

  15. Annie says:

    I’m glad so many of you laughed as much as I did about these crazy useless things!

    Mickey- best comment ever. That totally made my day.

    Jenqu- A leash offers a child a sense of freedom? I can’t say I agree that your comment makes any sense whatsoever. Sounds more like an oxymoron, if you ask me. I do agree that you are literally an attached mom.

    Lucy- I would be so glad to hear it’s a hoax! That link is weird! You should google “baby cage”. There’s a whole website that I’m sure must be a hoax.

    JP- I think it will be interesting for you to see how your plans all work out for you once your child is born. Every child is different and so are their ever changing needs. If you are committed to meeting their needs, knowing that you’ll do “this” or “that” for “this long” or “that long” is impossible. In my experience, being flexible in expectations is really important in parenting.

    Crib cage/tent is useless because cribs are completely unnecessary. Babies are meant to be close to mom and are better off for it. Babies can easily nap on a bed with or without mom beside them. The key is whether or not mom is present, literally, intellectually and emotionally. If she is than the kind of “safety” a baby needs changes drastically. You don’t have to rely on *stuff* to take responsibility for your dear child.

  16. Krista says:

    You really need to go into business with these product reports. How do you FIND these things? I have been having a terrible day (PMS and huge financial problems – bad combo!!) and you have me laughing and rolling with this post. I know it’s not really funny on many levels, but it’s just what I needed today. Thanks.

  17. greenteacher says:

    oh…my…god… how did you find all that stuff!!! I hate hate hate the idea of a leash, but now that Zoe and Kai are both relatively good walkers , I am a little freaked at the idea of going for a walk on my own with both them, especially that Zoe has developed a strong liking for going into the street. I guess I’ll bring the wagon along and stick one in it in case of emergency ( and hope they don’t decide to climb out on their own…my wagon doesn’t have a door). Any other ideas?
    p.s. the creepy factor on that sibling doll is waaay high! what is up with those ears!?

  18. Magda says:

    Wow! wow… creepy…

    However, I have used a leash a few times at different airports when I was flying solo with dd when she was a toddler. I just had too many things (car seat, backpack, diaper bag, documents, occasionally loose toys or a drink, etc.) and dd refused to sit in a sling but wanted to run around in insanely crowded terminals. I used my ring sling as a leash (it went around her waist). I bought the actual leash to have on the way back but I think I still used the sling. It was a bit of a horror of a trip, 6 planes altogether…

  19. Justine says:

    This is indeed a creepy compilation.

    I’m going off on a tangent here, but your post got me thinking about how, before I had a child myself, I always felt uncomfortable with the baby and young kid scene and concluded that maybe I wouldn’t make a good mother. But I’ve *just now* realized that it wasn’t the babies and kids themselves that I didn’t like–it was all the “cute” (read: creepy) baby products, the conventional baby care “wisdom”, the artificial ways of relating to kids and so on that made me uncomfortable. It’s endemic in our culture, and I guess I thought it was just the way things are when you have a kid. It was such a turn off. No wonder I never felt that having kids was at the top of my list, and thank goodness I did finally have one and realize that that’s just not the way it has to be. Becoming a mother is the best thing I ever did.

    Now, I very much think of myself as a “natural” mother–not in the sense of “I’m a natural”, but in the sense that I prefer natural, unmediated, unsentimental ways of relating to babies and kids. I cannot stand the baby product and baby service industry. It’s powerful and pervasive; I hope someday it will be revealed for the damage it is doing to generations and that we will return to more natural ways. Posts like yours will surely help.

    Thanks for the food for thought.

  20. Annie says:

    Wow, I’ve seen some of those products before, but not all of them…crazy stuff!

    About the thumbsucking thing, both my kids sucks fingers/thumbs. My son started sucking/chewing his fingers and thumb when he was maybe 2 and he was still nursing at the time (and he was also very much a comfort nurser, so it surprised me when he started and he still continues to do it from time to time now). And then my daughter got her thumb in her mouth less than 24hrs after she was born. She definitely sucks her thumb or fingers for comfort, and it just baffles me that she doesn’t want to nurse for comfort. Whenever I try it actually just makes her more upset. I can’t imagine putting some plastic contraption on their hands to get them to stop though. I really don’t see the big deal about thumbsucking. We just don’t make a big deal of it and I expect that they will eventually give it up when they are ready.

    Oh, and the strangest thing I ever saw was a very young child (maybe 18 months or so) on a child leash with the leash dragging behind her (no parent attached to the other end!) wandering around a small carnival/fair. It really freaked me out and I quickly found the parents were just sitting down at a bench a few feet away–so why the leash?

  21. Earth Mama says:

    Oh good heavens – I could comment on every one but you did it perfectly!!

    Completely absurd!!

  22. Bridie says:

    I’m having a hard time figuring out which product disturbs me the most. Wow.

    We had a customer once request we bring in the Heelarious heels. Um, no. (Amber just looked at the picture and said “Why would a baby need those? They can’t even walk!!)

    I do have to cop to using the alarm clock – not the one pictured (obviously I guess since Mira wouldn’t be able to see the colour change) but the “Teach Me Time” talking version (and for different reasons that it being ok to be awake…)

  23. kristen says:

    OMG people are dumb I can’t believe these things even exist

  24. Katie says:

    Oh my. I enjoyed your post about necessary baby stuff, and this was a great follow up! Ugh. I cannot believe that people buy this stuff or even come up with these products!

  25. jenqu says:

    My son was able to walk and wander as aimlessly as I let him. Like I said, he has autism and I have other children. I suppose I could have kept him strapped into a stroller when we went on walks to keep him safely restrained….

  26. Carrie says:

    LOVE this post.

  27. Lindsay says:

    I don’t know where you come up with this stuff sometimes Annie. I can’t believe half of those things are actually real items that people would buy and use. I admit that I briefly debated setting up our crib for naps, just because we have it, but would much prefer to have Fiona nap in the mei tei and/or our bed the same as Meredith did. I wouldn’t even have the crib if not for my mom (who I told not to buy us one). Kris read this post and was as flabbergasted as me, though he says the Mr Milker thing was on Meet the Fockers and was pretty hilarious.

  28. sarah says:

    those are both sad and funny. (but i have to say i think the baby high heels are funny -not that i would have wanted any for Maxine!!)

  29. Christine says:

    Yeah, most of these things are useless. But…the child locators are useful for people who have children with special needs. My son has Down syndrome and autism and was a huge wanderer for many years. Taking him anywhere outside our home was difficult. It’s not just too many people, but wooded areas or ponds/pools nearby that he wouldn’t hesitate to get into. We even considered getting the leash for him at one point, but he started finally getting better. Also, that thumbsucking device is crazy, but my daughter does suck her thumb and has since a few days old of her own accord and I nursed her for 18 months. I think it’s fine and she only does it when she lays down to sleep so it doesn’t interfere with daily activities, so we’re just letting her grow out of it on her own.

  30. Annie says:

    Thanks Christine. I touched on a couple of the points you mention here in another post, which you can read here if you like: http://annie.paxye.com/?p=2326

  31. mindy says:

    Ok…so I have looked at this list and for the most part, part the stuff is insane and completely unnecessary and some just ridiculous. On the other hand, I can see how some of these things would be useful for some children and families. The child locator and leash can work for someone that has a child with a special need, like myself. What disappointed me the most about this article and the comments and the criticism. EVERY parent has their own parenting style and has the right to decide what works best for them. Although you may or may not agree with what they do, it is not in anyway right for any of you to criticize and make assumptions such as they don’t understand their child or they are lazy and don’t want to be involved with their child. You have no idea what their life is like. I have a degree in child development and have two children of my own and I have worked with infants and young toddlers for 13 years and I would use some of these items and I would recommend some of these items to the parents I work with. Each child and family is unique in the sense that they have their own needs and what works best for them. Think about a teen parent or a single parent that has tried various things or methods to only have them not work. He or she may be at his/her wits end and have no support system in his/her life. Let’s face it, babies, toddlers and children in general are not always easy. And for some of us, life is not always peaches and cream. I’d rather have a parent use these items than have a child get hurt or possibly die because a parent was frustrated. Where I come from, this is a possibility and has happened. I truly believe that in most cases every single parent has their child’s best interest at heart. So instead of criticizing them for the choices they believe is best for them and their child, how about you take the time and maybe try and understand why they made that choice and how these items could be useful in some situations.

  32. Annie says:

    Thanks for the comment, Mindy. You might like to read another post I wrote responding to comments such as yours on this posting. http://annie.paxye.com/?p=2326

    I know tone is hard to read in print, especially if you’ve just surfed into a blog post by someone you’ve never read the words of before but this posting was written part in jest. These are ridiculous products deserving of pointing and laughing. Of course, you did also accurately pick up on my contempt for industry that tries to make money from putting space between a parent and a child. These products don’t enhance the lives of either parent or child.

    Parenting is certainly not easy. I would love to see more support and care given to those who need it, but the kind of support that helps bring parent and child more connected instead of just trying to replicate what a parent can offer so the parent doesn’t have to. That’s very sad.

  33. JD says:

    To of the products on your list are not as ridiculous as you might think.
    My daughter has autism and is an eloper. She runs whenever she gets half a chance, and damn is that kid fast!!
    The GPS tracker was purchased after she got out and went missing for over 45 minutes, eluding police and an entire neighborhood searching for her. (she was sitting in the grocery store, eating apples.)
    The leash is used if we’re anywhere in public that she could get into traffic or slip into a crowd.
    They both keep her safer in a world not designed for her.

  34. Annie says:

    Thanks for the comment, JD. I share further thoughts regarding situations such as yours here: http://annie.paxye.com/?p=2326

  35. Poj says:

    The thumb sucking thing there does have it´s purpose. If children keep doing so, there can occur some really nasty deformations of the jaws (feel free to check picture search), that are hard to treat. That´s why it´s occasionally recommended by dentists.
    But I really enjoyed the article. As pointed out before, in some cases all those devices can be of use, but regarding most parents it is just hilarious. I´ve seen now quite a few leashed children outside, and none of them was disabled but the parents seemed incompetent. I hope, that in 20 years from now, they´ll watch baby pictures together. Then they´ll have to explain to their children something like “Yeah, I put you on a leash/in a cage/let your daddy nurse you with fake boobs. That was just to give your therapist more leverage.”

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