It’s no surprise to some that I loath the baby industry and it’s constant peddling of useless products! It’s out of control the crap being marketed out there.

Here, let’s take a peak at some of the most asinine products on the market today…

The Pee Pee Tee Pee. If this isn’t the most redonkulous baby product out there I don’t know what is. I have a son and I can’t even imagine what use this would be.

Baby Knee Pads. Babies are born without kneecaps for a reason.

Mesh feeder. Because it’s better to let your baby suck on food through vinyl mesh instead of just giving them the food? If they can’t eat the food on it’s own, maybe they aren’t ready to eat? Vinyl toys are being questioned for their safety and yet parents want their children to chew and suck on it?

Bumbo Baby Seat. Another product to help you not touch your child. They may not be ready to sit on their own but who cares?! It could only be worst if you stick them in the Bumbo Seat in front of Baby Einstein videos. I suppose it’s better than buying silly puddy in bulk to stick your baby upright in (on?) all over your house.

Itzbeen Timer. Scheduling at it’s best because you don’t even have to remember when you last fed, changed, gave medication to or even held you baby. This little dodad will tell you when you need to care for your baby so you don’t have to pay attention to your baby’s unique cues.

Thudguard Baby Helmet. I know what you’re thinking- “but it comes with little ears….”

Why Cry Baby Crying Analyzer. Yup, It’s actually suppose to analyze your baby’s cry. Don’t try to actually get to know your own child, rely on this device to tell you what’s wrong with them. It’s 87% successful. I wonder what you do the other 13% of the time if you’re so disconnected from your child that you’d use one of these things.

Baby Keeper. Doesn’t the picture say it all? Make hanging your child by their crotch from the back of a door possible. Get one of these and you won’t have to worry about your child getting into dangerous things and just generally being in your way anymore. Heck, hang them in a closet for their nap! Who needs a crib with one of these?

Miracle Blanket. Aka straitjacket for babies. To be truly creeped out by this product you should see the video on the product’s webpage. The way the baby is restrained is as if it weren’t a baby at all and rather a piece of meat being wrapped up at the deli. I believe it’s wrong to swaddle babies who obviously don’t want to be (ie. struggle to get loose) and carrying a child snuggled in a sling on their parent’s bodies to be a much healthier way to offer comfort.

Poteez. Disposable potty. I guess the makers of this product don’t realise it’s against the law to throw poop in the trash. If you’re going to go through the trouble of carrying one or even a few of these one use items you aren’t even allowed to dispose of, than why wouldn’t you just carry a regular potty or a designated waste holding reusable tupperware with you instead?

Sweet Peace Newborn Soothing Centre. This mom replacement rocks the baby, plays sounds like their mother’s heart beat or womb, vibrates, has a removable blanket the mom can put her scent on… all in the name of tricking a child into thinking the mother is actually taking care of them. Why doesn’t mom just soothe her baby?

Baby Bath. Really this could be about any baby bath, it just happens that I found a picture of a really silly one. Babies do not need to bathe enough that an actually baby bathtub is necessary. If babies need to go in the bath at all, they are much better off on the warm bodies of their parents in the regular bath.

Play Yard. Is this for real? All you need is some newspaper thrown down and it looks like this cage is ready for a new litter of puppies.

Disposable Baby Wipes. Sure, add a wipe warmer to the stupid baby products list if you want but if I had to have one of these stinky, alcohol soaked, frigid wipes wiping my bottom, I’d prefer it to be warm. What happened to good, old fashioned cloths to wipe bums? Why the need for alcohol and the completely unnatural stink added to even “scentless” wipes? Not to mention all the cost and waste that comes along with these hideous things.

Baby Toupee. Uh, wut?

Hooter Hider. This is one of my favourite completely useless baby products. The idea is to have a more discreet nursing session with your child and yet nothing says LOOK AT ME more than a huge cape of lavender floral fabric flung across your front. I bet it makes people wonder even more what the heck is going on under there, including the mother. How can she see what she’s doing or if her child is being smothered or overheated in the process? What is she hiding anyway? Breasts are readily exposed on a daily basis in the media and on the street! Breasts are supposed to be hidden when they are finally being used properly?

Lillebaby. No, this woman is not on her way to the ski hill with her snowboard. There is actually a baby in there. Could carrying a baby be more awkward and uncomfortable? Okay, maybe it could be with one of those heavy plastic bucket seats on your arm but this is still ridiculous. Apparently this thing is the height of fashion and can be used until the child is three. Um, okay.

Car Seat Carrier. Yay! Buy it today and see your chiropractor tomorrow!

Crib. Many babies go from being in the most intimate and comforting of places, a mother’s womb and then being put alone in a box with bars down the hall. “But they need to learn independence!” “But they need to learn how to sleep!” Riiiiiiight. They actually need to learn that they are loved and cared for and that their parents are going to meet their needs for being close and comforted. Babies need care throughout the night. Having them be further away is not only harder on the parent but less ideal for the growing child.

Disposable Diapers. Maybe an obvious add to this list and I’m not sure why I didn’t in the first place. Disposable Diapers are the biggest offenders to the landfill of all time. In case anyone didn’t know, they take somewhere between 500-800 years to decompose. One child can produce around 3,200 used diapers in only one year and thanks to parents keeping their children in diapers longer (even as long as seven years old!) it’s a disgusting number heading to the landfill per child. Disgusting enough that I don’t even want to calculate the final numbers. Disposable diapers stink. They smell before they’re soiled in and even worst afterwards. The gel that so remarkably wicks away moisture can cause toxic shock syndrome in our babies. Ever notice the little gel crystals on their genitals? (!) The carcinogenic chemicals used, the diaper rashes, the cost, blah blah blah… All the obvious serious detriments to using disposable diapers aside, the alternatives are not even difficult alternatives. So many think cloth diapering is “so much work” but it is so not. Add using elimination communication to that and it’s even easier, shorter time spent in any diapers at all and better physically, mentally and emotionally for the child.

I’m sure there are many more asinine baby products out there but these were just off the top of my head. If you know of any to add to the list, feel free to let me know!

29 Responses to Useless Baby Products

  1. paxye says:

    Those are great!! I agree 100% with you on all of them…

    Some of the products out there for babies make me realize how disconnected people are from their babies…

  2. Annie says:

    Some of those things really made me laugh to think that people would use them but then, yeah I find myself a bit sad that it leads parents to be disconnected from their children! The fact that many parents in this western society try so hard to get away from their children is rather disturbing.

  3. Annie says:

    Colleen, I accidentally deleted your comment so I’ll attach it here:

    *****
    i have been a birth and postpartum doula for nearly a decade, and i have to say that although there are a lot of baby products out there; i professionally and personally recommend the miracle blanket 100%. the act of swaddling a baby has been around as long as well, babies! my last 2 babies were 9 pounds at birth, and a typical square receiving blanket was too small, and actually posed a threat since they could wiggle out of it…leaving a loose (and potentially dangerous) blanket beside them.

    the miracle blanket provides a secure and reassuring swaddle, that has helped thousands of babies and parents. the hunderds and hundreds of testimonials on their website from parents and professionals says it all! they guarantee it works. so, i can only assume that you did not actually try it yourself?

    i normally don’t defend products (as i agree there are a lot out there) but knowing first-hand how wonderful the miracle blanket is, i had to come its’ defense ;)

    in the doula spirit,
    colleen

  4. Annie says:

    Thanks Colleen for your comment and being above using wording such as “stupid” and “imbecile”. ;)

    If you had read my blog instead of just visiting quickly for a drive by scolding, you would have seen that I gave birth to a ten pound baby over a year ago and never felt the need to use a miracle blanket or any other such restrictive devises. You’d also notice if you’d perused my blog that I believe in such things as co sleeping where there is no fear of my baby being smothered by a blanket they’ve wiggled loose from. (Oh the dangers of perversive parenting!) Crib death is thankfully not one “danger” I’m worried about.

    I don’t doubt this product’s following. I’m sure every product that I personally find inane and a waste of money has equal enthusiasm from many consumers. Look how many people fervently endorse elective cesarean sections despite their obvious dangers to both mother and baby. I digress.

    I think the common theme to my listing the following products is that they are unnecessary as mothers (and fathers) are able and even better suited to comforting, caring and nurturing our children.

    As an aside swaddling in the distant past often included also carrying the children or hanging them from something where they would be swaying gently and naturally while always being in close contact with the parent or another family type individual where all their needs would be quickly and thoroughly met. ie. cradleboards A sling would probably be the next closest thing these days. Also something to consider is the fact that in many cultures where swaddling was popular, hip dysphasia was a sad consequence.

    In the spirit of mothering naturally (as is the theme of this blog in case anyone missed it),
    Annie

    ps. Thanks for reminding me to include the mother of all useless baby products on the market to my list- the crib.

  5. Annie says:

    And for those who are not reading the rest of my blog and only following a link to this comment page you are welcome to read this post as well:

    http://annie.paxye.com/?p=50

    ;)

  6. Lindsay says:

    I didn’t even know some of those things existed… wow! Great post Annie, you are a good writer. About the swaddle, Meredith was naked pretty much her entire first 6 weeks. Except when my mom was visiting for about 2 1/2 weeks. I swear every time my mom held her, I’d get her back all swaddled up. I don’t get the obsession with swaddling. I think we may have tried it a few times when she was really fussy and we couldn’t figure out why, but that was before we had a good carrier and we didn’t then put her down.

    The play yard is a funny one. I have an online friend who every single video or picture she’s ever sent me of her daughter, the daughter is in a play yard and she (my friend) is standing outside of it. Kris and I call it her dog pen.

    I use disposable wipes, but they’re non-alcohol, scent free, and I throw them in the wash and get a lot of uses out of them. I buy new ones less than once a month. I always kept meaning to get cloth ones and never did. I do agree that disposable ones are ridiculous even though I use them.

  7. first time wandering over and YES.

    eager to read more from you.

    and WOW, that bike looks incredibly fun.

  8. Annie says:

    Hey Lindsay! Leif was also naked for the first few days and then whenever we were home. I just put him in my shirt or pouch with a prefold under his bum. It was so nice for him to be skin to skin with us. Ha, I just looking up and both my kids are naked right now!

    That is creepy creepy that your friend’s photos are always like that with the play yard. I can see the merits of a fence around a pool or an actual yard for safety but caging kids is pretty disturbing.

    I bought a whole bunch of cloths when I had Lily. I made coloured ones for bums and white ones for faces. We have to same ones now for Leif. Well, Lily still uses them too.

  9. Annie says:

    Thanks for popping by Kristin! I love my new bike. Now to crack the whip on my husband to finish the double kid’s seat so I can use ALL the time!

  10. dancing dragonfly says:

    My daughter was a preemie and not only did she need to be in a sling what seemed 24/7 but we could not put her down in our bed if she was not wrapped up due to her high startle reflex and high tone. This is where the heart to heart sling did double duty of sling and then wrapped around her to VERY SLOWLY lay her down on the bed. Swaddling has its place for certain babies that may have neurological or other medical issues. BOy has this topic created discussion!

  11. Regina says:

    Oh my…that lillebaby tote made me snort my tea right up my nose…my sinuses are burning but I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. It is truly amazing what people will buy, especially when they think they “need” it. That toupee is pretty hysterical too…I’m really hoping that’s a gag…

  12. Debbie says:

    How did I miss this post back in the fall? Anyway, I’m laughing so hard right now my side aches. Your sarcasm is fantastic. :) Honestly though, I don’t understand our need (well, not OUR need…but others needs) to indulge in such products. Our Western culture is so hard on parents who put their kids first (instead of themselves) and born from that harshness are all these ridiculous products so that the vast majority can continue to disconnect from their kids. Then everyone can return to work and not worry about our kids. And let’s be honest, these children really aren’t going to miss those parents who have had them in cages and cribs and soothing centres from day one. They don’t know any better. Great post btw. I’m still laughing. xo

  13. Debbie says:

    Oops…just realized that this was posted in 2008…not fall 2009. I was looking at the post above mine and got confused. It doesn’t take much. :)

  14. m moon says:

    I have an old grumpy dog and and 7 month old our play yard is great for indepenant play while I do other things for a little bit like dishes and gardening.

    no one else I know has one but it works for us.

  15. Annie says:

    I’d put my grumpy dog in a “play yard” too if I wasn’t able to keep an extra eye while getting things done and baby was out of a carrier exploring! That said, I don’t think my grumpy dog would have enjoyed being caged up and it’s still a waste of money because you could just put the grumpy dog in a different room or leashed or carry baby or stay attentive and keep the dog away from where the baby could bother her while she was naturally exploring….

  16. Michelle B says:

    To preface: Before a comment is made about me only stopping by only to comment on this post, that’s not the case–I’ve read many posts over several months and have tried some of your recipes and enjoy the blog–I just haven’t posted a comment before now. That said, I’m only trying to add another point of view to contribute to a discussion, not at all to be negative.

    While I agree that many of these baby products are useless (as are so many on the baby market), I think it is important to realize that not everyone’s situation or baby is alike and that some of these products may have their place as long as they are not used to replace connected and sensitive parenting. Something that I might find really useless might be a valuable item for another parent. It’s just my opinion, but I do not think it helpful to become self-righteous about these things.

    I have found several items on this list useful. For instance, our son pees like a racehorse and we use disposable diapers at night and we also use them as well as disposable wipes whilst traveling. The ones we use at home are collected by a company that makes shingles from them. The ones we use while traveling end up in the trash, but we use more biodegradable diapers (Nature Babycare) and the thought of bringing home dirty diapers and wipes in my luggage just doesn’t appeal. We also use the mesh feeder, although a different brand. It definitely does NOT contain any vinyl and the mesh is cloth but my son LOVES it and putting frozen fruit or ice chips soothes his gums while teething and he can manipulate it very easily due to the handle. I have also used the Bumbo and another infant seat on occasion when my son was younger. He seemed to enjoy the novelty of his position and it allowed me to have my arms free on those occasions when it was necessary, while he watched me i.e cooking when I was alone at home or taking a shower. By no means have these items replaced actual parenting however.

    And the big taboo…we use a crib. Before my son was born we had every intention of co-sleeping and all was well for the first month. After that, no one was getting any sleep. My husband was falling asleep at work and I was going through my days like a zombie, and my son had become very fussy. We persisted but by four months gave in out of pure exhaustion and moved him to a crib. From the first night he slept better and seemed to have zero issues adjusting. I no longer feel guilty about this. We are all better rested and as such are able to enjoy each other’s company better.

    Since becoming a parent I have learned be open to whatever works. People get very judgmental when it comes to raising children, but when it comes down to differences in the details rather than the overall quality, I don’t think it does anyone any good.

  17. […] if it’s available. He may be a prime candidate for a helmet like the one I wrote about in my first post. I’m not sure how the silly little ears on top of the helmet are of any purpose but who am I […]

  18. ruralmamma says:

    Wow wow wow is all I can say. Michelle B–In my not so humble opinion.. not one of these baby products has any place. The only place that any of them have is a place of convenience. The inconvenience being the child. But in your words you have just prooved Annies points– Alot of pee equals killing our Earth and exposing your child to chemicals and well Annie already has explained this all.. Im just..wow.
    and the bucket works for traveling or if your on a plane etc. you can use a wet bag. No these are not “convenient” but they are a better way. Better for our dear planet and better for you and your child as far as connecting the bridge that seems by your post to need some connecting and at 4 mos you gave up co sleeping because you were tired.. oh my goodness Annie I am biting my tongue and will not even go there, but Mammas if we are having kiddos we need to be committed.. isnt all this crap about committment and how far we are willing to go. I am committed and wow so many other amazing Mammas are committed, and thank goodness for a place like this that Annie has given us to go for support that we need in our journey. I hope that Annie and the rest of us can lend a better way to you Michelle and that you come to the realization of a better way. You can cosleep and meet your childs needs and your needs and happiness in your home without all the crap.
    XXO

  19. Lotty says:

    Simply felt I HAD to comment on the crib. Although I agree the majority of products are not needed, I have to say that in some circumstances (such as mine) we are not given the choice of where my daughter sleeps. My partner has uncontrolled epilepsy and has been known to suffer grandmal seizures in bed at night! So as much as we would love to co-sleep with our daughter it is simply NOT an option for her safety. I really think you need to think about such things before you judge people and label them as being ‘disconnected’ from their children. Sorry if I have come across as being harsh but as a mother who see’s a father want to be as close as possible with his daughter but being unable to it is difficult. We have had an incident when he has suffered a seizure and landed on our daughter (10 weeks old at the time) and although I was there to get her from under him it still resulted in 2 nights in hospital for my little girl and a very distressing time for us all. So for us a crib is very necessary as I’m sure you can appreciate x

  20. Annie says:

    Thanks Lotty for the comment.

    I’ll maintain my opinion that cribs are useless/unnecessary, even in circumstances such as yours. You could co sleep with your daughter and your partner could sleep in a separate bed if it’s not safe for him to be in the bed with your child. He could always sleep on a trundle type bed so he’s in the same room. Regardless, there are still other options than using a crib if you wanted to look for one. The benefits of co sleeping for the child would be worth one parent sleeping elsewhere temporarily, imo. How terrible for him to need to be so careful around his little loved one!

    I’ve written about more useless baby products here with more comments: http://annie.paxye.com/?p=2231

    I’ve also written a post touching on reactions labelling me as “judgemental”. http://annie.paxye.com/?p=2326

    While you are judging me as being judgmental, I’m not taking it personally. You simply have an opinion too. I appreciate your sharing yours in a mostly productive way. I hope that if you decide to co sleep with your current child or with a future child you find a way that can happen. The benefits for both mother and child (especially the child) are so worth it!

  21. Kelly Harrington says:

    Love the list you complied, it’s hilarious. Can you add the Zaky pillow to that list? It is not only scary, well, down right frightening if you want to be honest, but useless. Fake hands to comfort a baby because, why?, real ones are too busy….. Oh my.

  22. liza camacho says:

    i rather hear about over loving parents buying silly little things in the hopes that it will ease the baby rather than parents that just dont care and abuse their babies…

  23. Annie says:

    I would too, Liza.

  24. Joanna says:

    Hi,
    i came on your blog through the one of your best friend paxye. I love this post and have long been thinking about such a list for my blog, now i won’t have to do it anymore! just put the link to yours! :o)
    i just wanted to say that although i agree with all your list of useless products, i found the comment of michelle B very interesting and the response of rural mama very harsh.
    I think it’s important for us to not become sectarian and only preach to the converted who do EVERYTHING exactly the same way we do. In my partner’s family i am also seen like a crazy person (ECing, cosleeping, breastfeeding a 2.5 year old etc) and i find raising kids is such a “touchy” issue.
    I think it’s not efficient to say “if you’re not cosleeping (even if this doesn’t work for your family) then you are a “bad” mother”. which is what i understand from this comment list. I DO believe in cosleeping and think Michelle B did too but as docter sears says it “if you resent it, change it”. Nothing has to become a religion or a dogma. Feelings of guilt are not usefull and kill us. We do our best. Everyone does his best. Each family has to find what works best for THEM and their child.

    For example, we travelled for 4 months in asia with our baby and i took the washable diapers with me but had to realise it was just impossible (with the humidity to make them dry fast enough etc) so i had to leave them in a locker in bangkok and use throwaway diapers (which i hated… but that’s life, what can you do) so we EC’d as much as possible and sometimes used only 1 diaper in 24hrs. But feeling guilty about it wouldn’t change a think.

    I will be reading your blog, i find it realy interesting!
    Take care,
    Joanna

  25. crystalsaldana90@yahoo.com says:

    all of you who say a crib isnt necessary and you shouldnt put a baby in a bumbo are psycho and its kids with parents like you who end up pregnant teenagers

  26. crystalsaldana90@yahoo.com says:

    this has to be the most rediculous page i have ever seen in my life

  27. Kim says:

    Reading through the archives and had to comment on this. My, do people ever get defensive over the choices they make! I read this as YOUR list of what YOU consider to be useless. Not a “if you use disposable wipes then you’re a shite mum”, which seems to be how some people took it.

    Anyways, I’m pregnant with #4 and my list of baby things gets smaller and smaller with each baby. My must haves are cloth diapers and wipes, baby carriers, car seat, potty and clothes. I am buying conveniences such as a hand me down arm’s reach cosleeper to extend the size of our bed (still bed sharing) as we have two others that climb into our getting-too-small bed. But I fully realise that’s not a necessity (is anything other than mom a necessity?), it’s a convenience and I’m okay with that. :)

  28. Henley says:

    I completely agree with all of these except that baby helmet. And before you jump on me, let me say that having been a fairly avid reader of your blog, I understand that it was not needed in the case of your child and I do get your perspective. I do not recommend it under normal circumstances and don’t really agree with the way that it is marketed or used by overprotective parents. But as a parent of a child with special needs, this product has been useful at times. My child has seizures (infantile spasms) and also (medically unrelated) happens to bruise pretty easily. The helmet (definitely NOT worn at all times) has saved me many abuse allegations. That is all. Also I agree with the baby knee pads being so useless but how funny would it be to market bigger ones so that parents can actually get down on the floor to play with the kiddos and get back up without feeling more like a grandparent than a parent?

  29. Annie says:

    I hope I’m not jumping on anyone! I think we agree about the helmet and the various other products that DO have a use but not to the general public! Marketing it to everyone is just so crazy. It’s hard enough when you are a new parent to have confidence enough to see past what the baby industry is telling you you NEED. I wrote a bit more on this here: http://annie.paxye.com/?p=2326

    I’m surprised there aren’t already knee pads marketed out there to parents! Ha! It’s so true that we can get sore knees playing with the kids- or leaning over while holding little’s hands we should have an arm extender! Ha.

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