I recently had dinner with a group of old friends that consisted of mostly moms. Naturally, the conversation seemed to often come back to babies. Topics ranged from breast pumps to schooling. We even got into a debate on whether or not new moms really need to purchase a diaper genie. My vote: NO! Just get a trash can with a lid and you're set. Saves you the money and aggravation of having to buy liner refills. All bets are off whenever anything entails refills.
This got me thinking about other least useful baby products the baby industry claims are must-haves:
1. Burp Cloths: Ha! Such comedy... your bare shoulder will be your burp cloth. Okay, not really, but you don't actually need a set of cloths dedicated to when a baby burps. For me, I never actually remembered to use a burp cloth (a.k.a tiny receiving blanket). If moms are luckily enough to time burps and spit-ups just right they can always reach for a more practical and handy baby item like a baby bib, receiving blanket or wash cloth. Those you'll need and usually have more than enough of them lying around.
2. Diaper Sack/Stacker: I never actually used this functionally. It's just another decorative piece for the baby's room that doesn't get much use. Like most room decor it can be costly. I say spend the money on a decorative piece with long term value (i.e. personalized photo frames). That's a decor piece and a memento you'll actually keep for many years to come. Besides, diapers usually end up arranged in or around a changing table shelf or living in one or more diaper bags.
3. Baby Detergent and/or Water: Any water or detergent will do, really it will. Sure, clever marketing makes it seem as though these are better for your baby when they're not. For me, it just didn't make sense to buy two sets of water and detergent. Save money and time and go with what you're already using in your household, no need to switch to the supposed "baby-brand" which is usually more expensive.
4. Swaddling Blankets: These aren't worth the money either. You'll never use swaddling blankets after the first few months and you'll likely be gifted a ton of the usual receiving blankets. Babies are swaddled by the 1000's in hospitals using plain receiving blankets. If nurses swaddle to perfection without swaddling blankets, I'm sure you can too.
5. Pacifier Wipes: Run that bad boy under water and use your overstock of receiving blankets to wipe. That overstock could also be turned in burp cloths if you must have them! There's no need for specialty pacifier wipes. That's just another unessential item so feel free to skip listing it on your registry.
These are my top five LEAST useful baby products. What are yours?