9 useless baby items I wasted my money on - Mind The Baby

9 utterly useless baby products I wasted my money on

The anticipation of the pending arrival of a first baby gives most of us a terrible dose of consumeritis. New baby on the way? Get the stuff in. ALL OF THE STUFF. When you haven’t got a clue what to expect and websites, magazines and work colleagues have a “list” that they want to share with you, it can be very hard to tell the wheat from the chaff when it comes to getting ready for a baby. I was no exception to this rule and bought plenty of tat that we had to have that just never got used. I thought I might share with you today the 9 most useless things that I bought when I was pregnant or in the first couple of weeks with a tiny baby.  Without much further ado and in no particular order:

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Image courtesy of www.bio-oil.com. Sorry dudes.

1. Bio oil

Ah I’m being a bit unfair singling Bio Oil out when I probably mean all stretch mark prevention thingies but this is the one that I used – twice a day – from my first trimester. I harbour very bitter feelings towards it. I bought into the hype, massaged my growing bump morning and night, even though I thought it felt gross – with a smugness reserved for the unprepared. In the back of my mind, I really knew that stretch marks are largely influenced by genetics and my own lovely mother had given birth to four fine sized babies without a mark to be seen anywhere on her belly so I thought I was on the pig’s back.

Turned out I probably have my father’s genes when it comes to stretch marks because they’re still effing there! They’re contained to a small area under my belly button but laughing their holes off at me all the same. The really annoying bit is that I think they only really appeared once I went over the 40 weeks’ mark so I nearly escaped them.

But here’s the punchline! After the birth, I spurned the useless Bio oil and its false promises but – rather than realising the pointlessness of some products – I replaced it with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for stretch marks to undo some of the damage for months afterwards. Don’t think that worked either but it sure did smell nice. The power of advertising is alive and well people!

Now don’t come on here commenting saying that such and such is amazeballs and you don’t have a mark on your body! I’m bitter and I don’t want to hear it!
(Almond oil however, he’s my friend. Read more here. 😉 )

2. Newborn hats

I bought loads of these. I was given loads of these. I’d heard women had been given out to in the maternity hospitals for not bringing in a hat to put on their baby’s head whilst in the sweltering, subtropical communal post-natal wards. Pip was born in June. I had all the winter, fleece-lined insert thingys in the buggy and he was wrapped in a blanket most of the time. The last thing the child needed was a hat. When we were at home, he spent most of the time in my arms or on my chest. No need for the hat there either.

3. Mittens

Not a million miles from hats, we have mittens. I think I had over 20 pairs of these. People seemed to lash a pair of mittens in with every present. But seriously, WHY? Yes, yes , I know, so they don’t scratch their little face but come on! They’re not talons. Newborns naturally lift their hands to their little gorgeous faces when they’re sleeping or for comfort. It almost seems cruel to lash a pair of mittens on them. So I didn’t. Hundreds of mittens anyone?

Mind the Baby, www.mindthebaby.ie, 9 useless baby products
Image courtesy of www.tummytub.com. Again, sorry dudes.

4. The tummy tub

This seemed like a revolutionary natural parenting concept to me, me fella and my bump when we were out shopping for baby stuff. A lovely bath that replicates the closeness of being in the womb. Ah! We spent 30 quid on one. We didn’t buy the stand for another €35 though, TG.

It was one of the midwives who pointed out to me that it was in fact a bucket. A big old expensive bucket with a picture of a baby on it, but a bucket nonetheless. The thing scared the SHITE out of me. Bathing was a two man job at the start. I think I tried to wash the baby in it twice on my own but stopped after that because I thought a) I’d drown him and b) he was slippery like an eel in the thing. Setting it all up was like a military operation in itself. My husband loved it though. He was very good at it mind.

Mind the Baby, www.mindthebaby.ie, 9 useless pregnancy products
Image courtesy of www.vaseline.co.uk. You guys don’t need an apology from me. You’re raking it in.

5. Vaseline

Along with an industrial sized tub of sudocreme, I bought a big jar of vaseline. As a “barrier” apparently, even though I didn’t actually know what a barrier was. I’m still a little unclear actually when I think about it, but I think it’s to provide a layer of protection over the baby’s bum after they have peed so they don’t get nappy rash.

Here’s the bit I never got though: if your baby’s bum is already beautifully perfect, soft and irritant-free, why would you slather a product down on top of them if they don’t need it? If he had a sore bum, which happened rarely, I put sudocreme on it and it went away. Never touched the vaseline. Hardly a bank-breaking expense I know but it took up valuable real estate in a baby drawer squished in with a whole bunch of other unused products for a long time. I think the seal is still on it actually.


6. Cotton buds

Why? Because they’re small and cute? What do you do with them? Now, cotton balls – there’s a product I wish I’d taken out shares in.

This yoke. Image courtesy of www.ikea.ie

7. This yoke

So we thought this looked cool when we were in Ikea. It was a lovely colour and fitted in well with the other nice colourful Ikea things we had bought to decorate the nursery. We thought we could store baby items in it like muslins and mittens, socks etc. We lost count of the amount of times the yoke fell out of the ceiling. Sometimes it just lay on the floor for weeks and we plucked things out of it until himself decided to give it another lash and drilled yet another hole in the ceiling. It all got a bit serious towards the end and he resorted to some hardcore ceiling hook bored into the frame of the house thing and now I reckon it’ll hang there forever. It’s completely empty now. Just hanging there. As I said, useless.

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Image courtesy of www.bebeaulait.com. You make beautiful looking products folks!

8. Nursing cover

This was a very pretty item that I picked up in the first few weeks of breastfeeding when I was still finding my feet with that initial latch and was having some serious spray problems that I was trying to get under control. It wasn’t cheap – maybe €25? It turned out to be a huge hindrance instead of a help. Pulling it out, fitting it on, trying to get the baby underneath it and not freak out at being covered up made it quite the cumbersome accessory. I ditched it after about three outings I think. Now I see how it could probably be really handy for someone who was super-uncomfortable with feeding in public and it was this way or not at all, but really it wasn’t for me. Very, very pretty though.

www.mindthebaby.ie, Mind the Baby, 9 useless baby items
Image courtesy of Donghua Umbrella Company.

9. Buggy umbrella

Have you ever used a parasol on a buggy? Did you find yourself stopping every 30 seconds to readjust it to keep the sun off the baby? Did you quickly realise you were wasting your freaking time? Me too. Of course I HAD to have the special one that matched my buggy. Dropped 50 squids I didn’t have on that one. I think there was no meat for a while. Might as well have shoved it up my arse.


Did I get any of them wrong? What’s on your list of useless pregnancy and baby items?


30 thoughts on “9 utterly useless baby products I wasted my money on”

  1. Brilliant post. I do use Vaseline for desperate sore bums and use cotton buds for cleaning ears. The Ikea yoke has cuddly toys in it in the boys’ room.
    Couldn’t agree more about buggy umbrella, nursing cover (anyone want to buy mine?) Also you’re on the ball on the hats and mittens, one hat is adequate and none of mine ever wore the dozens of mittens.
    I’m nostalgic about bio oil, the smell reminds me of my first pregnancy and I’m not that stripey. Great post.

    1. Maybe one woman’s sudocreme (mine) is another woman’s (you) vaseline Sinead! 😉 I probably just didn’t need both!

      Ah I agree with you on the buds for ears but not when he was a tiny baby. Still had a drawer full of them 🙂

  2. Yes! To most of those.

    I smugly thought I had no stretch marks all the way through my first pregnancy – because they were all hiding under my bump where I couldn’t see them. But then, that was probably because I didn’t use any bio oil.

    I liked the sleeves with attached fold-over bits for the hands for my second baby, because my first had scratched his face up. However, she was a winter baby, so it made sense. He was born in Spring in Texas, so that wouldn’t have worked. I didn’t put mittens on him very often, though.

    I like your blue yoke. You could keep the smaller stuffed toys in it, maybe…

    1. The blue yoke will definitely find a use in the future I’m sure. But for four tiny euro it sure caused a lot of plaster dust for not much payback!

  3. Ha!Loved this!I have never heard of that tummy tub thing-it is just a glorified bucket!With you on the giant tub of Vaseline!the cotton buds I use to clean ears too.Bought a good few slings that never really suited and so never used,would like to try the ergo-from what people in the group have been saying it’s the way to go.

    1. I have only heard wonderful things about the ergo. I think I’d invest in one myself if there was a next time. I do like the soft structured carriers.

  4. absolutely brilliant. we also have an Ikea yokimabob and it too hangs sadly in the room, empty. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

    I also seriously considered the tummy tub as it looks quite practical and ahem, sensible. My partner said it would be waaay cheaper to buy a bucket, which snapped me out of my buying frenzy.

  5. Ah! I have the Ikea yoke too! And there is nothing in it. And yes, buggy umbrellas are just plain impossible to attach and also pointless. And bio-oil reminds me of morning sickness.

  6. Some of the useless (or rather, never used) items I recall buying are a Moses basket, steriliser, lansinoh cream, baby grobags, a sort of a basin thing for ‘topping and tailing’, breast pads (I just wasn’t leaky), and a cot. And never used the Ralph Lauren burping bibs I was given.

    1. Oh oh Caoimhe, you just reminded me of LOADS of things! We borrowed a Moses basket and were secretly delighted we didn’t pay for it. Same here on the purelan and the steriliser – barely used. I actually regretted not buying one of those top-and-tail bowls but now you have me thinking it might have been number 10 on this list 😉

  7. A JPMBB sling. Everyone online swore by them so I paid my 80€ & for the life of me, I couldnt fit the bump in it to practice making it & hadn’t the mental capacity to figure it out with a newborn… the only value I got out of it was comic – getting my sister to read the French instructions & give it a go…

    1. That’s gas – I had one of those too Arlene with exactly the same outcome! But I’m hanging on to it because I’m determined to crack it if there’s a next time. Too many good reports 🙂 But yes, blankly watching French YouTube videos and wrapping ourselves in knots definitely happened!

  8. I’m feeling pretty smug because my useless buys were all for very little monetary outlay. The vaseline and the sudocreme for sure, but i’m not really sure at the end of the day those things go to waste in a household.

    Most of my fails were prevented by having 2 older sisters. So I borrowed a top and tail bowl, and was donated all the hats and mittens they didn’t use, and I didn’t use.

    I was always suspicious of the tummy tub, but my colleague raved about it. It’s a slightly sparkly bucket, I thought in my head.

    I never bought a parasol, but on the other end of the scale it took til my fourth summer of parenting to do something, anything about the poor child in the buggy (and it was the 2nd child at this stage). I got a universal snooze shade pullover thingy, which is akin to making the child look like it’s in mourning, but works, and I would say was a must have seeing as we finally got ‘a good summer’

    1. Oh go on Smuggy McSmuggerson 😉 Thank God for the big sisters.

      Okay, help me out here with the vaseline uses. Ours really only gets used for the very rare and necessary occasions where the passage of a paralink suppository is gently aided.

      I’m guessing also to lubricate things that get stuck on fingers etc. All pointers gratefully received 🙂

  9. Ha, we’ve had the ikea yoke for 9 years now and it’s never been hung up!! Occasionally it has been draped over a bed with stuff in it, never made it to ceiling. Then someone bought me a second one:-).

  10. So true on so many levels, fell for most of these items too, including the bloody Tummytub…it became the mop bucket after 2 uses tho’!! The only one I’d disagree with is the nursing cover, had that exact one, same colour and all, and loved it, really helped me get used to B’feeding in public, had ginormous boobs when feeding (they are a distannt memory now!!) and it helped me be a bit more discreet.

    1. I thought the nursing cover would be useful to some alright Elizabeth. Glad it helped you out.

      Mop bucket! Fantastic idea 🙂

  11. Bought all of these for my first. Gave up after that. My best buy of all was a small box for toys about 18″. I used to put my not quite sitting baby in it with toys. They couldn’t fall over and the toys didn’t go out of their reach when they dropped them every 2 seconds. Cost me about €2
    Great fun post.

  12. As a Aussie mum with an Irish husband the umbrella just makes me giggle. Whole covering sun shades are a necessity for us all year round.
    Bibs were useless for us. When bub started solids plastic bibs were the bomb.
    If I wasn’t sure if bub would like something I bought it second hand. Buying everything brand new isn’t necessary.

  13. With you on the bio oil! It really is down to genes, but like yours my mother hadn’t a mark on her after 5 kids and I thought I would be grand but I started getting them before I even had a bump and continued to get them after she was born, have them from my boobs to my knees, bio oil every day twice a day and I even added it to the bath, then palmers after the birth and I was still destroyed!!

  14. I’m sorry, but the Tummy Tub is the best bucket you will ever own…baby bath, toddler climbing toy or helmet and now a bucket for toy blocks. With fondness…

What do you think?