If you are embarking on the awesome journey of parenthood, prepare to spend some money. You’ve heard it before to the point where it sounds cliché now, but the truth is, kids DO cost…and quite a bit. Whether you are a brand new parent or you are approaching the “terrible twos” any conscientious mom or dad wants to be prepared. That eagerness for preparedness is precisely what the big media ad-machine preys on. Well, DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE.
Yes, you’ll need LOTS of stuff, but nowhere near the amount of things companies and websites will try to convince you that you need. Here is a SHORT list of some items that we were duped into buying that proved utterly useless.
Amber Teething Necklace
I know I am going to catch hell for this one, but I am afraid these things simply don’t work. Yes, amber contains something called succinic acid that was historically used as an analgesic. However, there is absolutely NO credible scientific source that shows it actually worked. Furthermore, even if it were true that succinic acid has analgesic properties, how would it get released from the beads? The stuff melts at really high temperatures and there is no indication that it would dissolve in sweat.
And even if it WAS an analgesic, and it COULD get released from the beads, the likelihood that it would be a strong enough dose to absorb through the skin, get into the blood stream and then make it all the way to the gums to soothe them in a baby is next to NIL.
Here is what you are REALLY getting when you buy amber teething necklaces. You are getting a beaded necklace to put around your baby’s neck. Doesn’t that sound like a GREAT idea (ahem…sarcasm). Your grabby infant will likely try to eat it, which is a downright safety hazard.
“But I have always used these and they work without fail” says many fans of homeopathic remedies. You put something foreign around a curious baby’s neck, they will probably stop crying. That is because they are wondering “ooh…what is that shiny thing mom just put around my neck…and how do I eat it?”
There…I just saved you $20. You’re welcome.
Here’s the thing, my wife insists that this thing was a lifesaver. She claims she recalls us using it constantly. My memory of it was much different. Here is MY memory of the diaper pail. I’d wake up in the middle of the night to change the baby, fold up the diaper nice and neat, go to the pail to shove it in, and it would be full. Every. Single. Time.
It is the middle of the night, so I certainly am not changing it out. So…the next morning I’d go in there and there’d be overflow. And the overflow would mount for a day or so until I finally took out the bag. This repeatedly happened. The thing was designed to keep the stench out, and it does. However, when you have diapers overflowing out of it onto the floor, that feature no longer matters.
When me and my wife finally got better about changing out the bag, it was never long before we’d run out of bags. Then we’d have to wait til grocery day, while diapers spilled like a volcano of baby refuse out of the pail. Finally we just got a little trash can. The problem is our daughter went through SO MANY DIAPERS, we really should have put a full 13 gallon kitchen trashcan in there.
So…do yourself a favor. Get a 13 gallon kitchen trashcan with a lid and some scented trash bags. Trust me.
Imagine everywhere you go, every time you get in the car, off come the socks, then off come the shoes. Imagine needing to go inside, but first you are hunched over the car seat putting socks and shoes back on a wiggly toddler. This will completely disallow you from ever dropping the wife and baby off in front of the store because it’s raining. The piling line of cars behind you will relentlessly honk and make you uncomfortable. Don’t even THINK about trying that at a Walmart.Ok…this is really for the older babies. See, baby booties are SO CUTE, and you will probably find at least an occasion or two to put them on (unless you are breastfeeding, then you might as well be on house arrest). However, once your little one gets old enough to take them off, there really is no need to EVER let her wear them. Seriously.
Just get some flip flops (or slippers if you are in a cold place). Anything that is super easy to just slip on, with or without socks; that will end up being all you ever put on your munchkin’s feet. We have these little bunny slippers that are SUPPOSED to be for bedtime. Yea…those are toddler shoes.
Pacifier That Closes When Dropped
I want to say that I really do think this thing is an awesome idea. I mean, it does get old sterilizing the binky every few minutes because it fell on the floor again. The problem is, these things are $5 a pop, and your baby is likely going to go through pacifiers like a sugar fiend through PEZ. You will lose pacifiers more than you lose left socks. At such a hefty price each, that could get expensive.
And yes, they make pacifier leashes, and we had those too. You will still lose your pacifiers. I don’t know how, but the car, swing, bouncy seat and everything else you put your kid in ALL have some secret abyss hidden from reality that pacifiers fall into never to return.
Your best bet is to stick with the super cheap 3 packs and wean your baby off of them as quickly as you can.
Pull Down Sunshade
Let’s get one thing clear, you NEED a sunshade. Your baby will wince and whine from the sunlight without one. However, once your grabby little monster is a toddler, the pull down shade is just a NO-GO.
Our little one would whip out her hand to loosen the suction from the bottom. Then, when it came free, she’d wait til we were making a turn and it would swing into hand’s reach. Then, she’d yank it and yank it until it tore off.
After the third one I decided she could wear sunglasses.
Now, there are countless things that you will absolutely want/need/love to have/can’t live without (like a baby carrier…but we may be biased), but you’ll learn all that along the way. You’ll certainly end up with plenty of stuff you never use and plenty more you’ll wear out entirely. Experience is the best teacher for these sorts of things.