Nowadays there is so much baby equipment available to parents that you’d think that it’s essential to get one of every item, even the more far-fetched things that were just not available a generation ago. It used to be that couples expecting a baby would buy the very basics – a cot, a pram, a high chair and a bath, along with enough clothes in the newborn size to get baby off to a good start. However, these days you need to buy carriers, slings, car seats, night lights, a baby monitor, etc. You can buy an array of different types of feeding bottles (along with a sterilizer) and then a wide variety of cups, bowls and spoons for when baby starts feeding himself. You could be forgiven for thinking you need to win the lottery to be able to afford a baby but, rest assured, much of the equipment available is not necessary and may well have been designed to appeal to parents rather than babies. We’re taking a look today at some of the weirder (and totally unnecessary) products that parents of young babies can find on offer.
First up is a Baby Bum Fan – what on earth is it for? It’s a battery operated hand held fan (much like the ones marketed in pound shops that are advertised as a handbag fan). We all know that if a little one has a touch of nappy rash then fresh air on the bum is one of the best treatments, but this is taking it a bit too far. Just leave the nappy off, mop up any accidents and save yourself a fair few pounds.
Next is the Thudguard Infant Safety Helmet – a protective high-impact foam hat that’s designed to protect a toddler’s head from the knocks and bumps of everyday life. This retails at $42 (£25) and comes in blue and lilac – the helmet has a pair of Mickey Mouse style ears just to make sure your baby looks as ridiculous as possible as he learns to walk, safe from all the hazards that have plagued toddlers since time began.
When you order your baby’s safety helmet, you might want to take advantage of the opportunity to save on P&P by ordering a pair of knee pads at the same time. These have been designed to save wear and tear on baby’s delicate knees whilst learning to crawl – heaven forbid that the rough carpet should damage baby’s knees. How babies crawled safely before these knee pads were invented is one of the mysteries of life on this planet.
For the little boy who has everything you can buy a toddler urinal so he can be just like Daddy when he wees. It’s a plastic urinal on a stand that you can place in the bathroom right next to the toilet so that you can prepare your little boy for the days when he needs to use public loos.
For expectant mums who just can’t wait for baby’s arrival, comfort yourself with a fetus necklace. It’s a small glass bottle with a cork lid and trapped inside is what looks like a tiny fetus in red liquid. Or once baby has arrived, why not proudly wear a felt ‘placenta brooch’ – it’s red with blue stitching to represent the mixing of Mother and Baby’s blood.
Then there is the handkerchief bracelet, the Snozzie, for those times when you don’t have a tissue to hand (in my experience, most parents with little ones carry a large bag full of nappies, tissues, wet wipes, bottles, bum cream and various other baby paraphernalia that you just can’t leave the house without). When your little darling needs his nose wiped, you just wipe away the snot with the hanky tied round your wrist (and carry on wearing it proudly all day – yuck).
For those who aren’t breast feeding, why not try the next best thing – the Nurse Me Tender? This is a wearable baby bottle designed to recreate the joys of breastfeeding. The strap on harness resembles a gun holster and holds a baby feeding teat, with attached flat bottle, at breast height, leaving the parent (yes, men can use these too) with both hands free to attend to baby.
If your baby smells a bit, well too much like a baby, then why not try dousing him in baby perfume? At $25 (£15) per bottle, you can avoid smelling all the natural and beautiful smells that come with your baby.
One of the most useful looking items of baby equipment is a bathroom baby harness. If you need the loo while you’re out and about this harness is designed to let you hang your baby on the loo door while you go about your business. However, whether any parent would hang their baby in such an uncomfortable and undignified looking way on the door of a public convenience remains to be seen. Popping the baby into a pram or buggy is probably a much safer and more hygienic option.