We’ve all bought products and gadgets we found we didn’t need, but the baby market can be particularly hard to fathom. We asked parents what they’ve found most – and least – useful. Do you agree with what they said?
As a mum of a two year old with another baby on the way, I was very keen to hear the results of our survey into which baby products parents think are most – and least – useful. And I was very surprised to read the results.
Some I’d definitely agree with. For example, not only will your little one look cute in a baby sleeping bag (the second-most useful product listed), but unlike blankets they can’t kick the bag off so won’t wake you up because they feel cold.
And I’ve no idea why you’d need a nappy stacker, the second in our list of products parents could live without, or even how it works.
‘Marmite’ baby products
But others were more controversial. Some mums I knew swore by their fabric baby slings (number one product parents didn’t need) – whereas others swore at them as they found them to be uncomfortable.
And the Bumbo, a plastic seat that helps younger babies to sit up, used to get me five minutes of peace a day, yet it came fifth in the least useful category. Five minutes may not sound like much, but if you have a very demanding baby then every second counts towards keeping you sane.
Some results I simply disagree with. Who on earth thinks you can do without a nightlight? If you’re getting up several times a night to feed the baby, not only does it stop you stubbing your toe on the cot, but it saves you turning on the main light – which will instantly make your little one think it’s morning and time to get up.
What baby purchases could you live without?
One thing was clear though – for every item that made it on to the ‘didn’t need’ list there are likely to be hoards of aggrieved parents who think they’ve wasted their money. Having a baby isn’t cheap so every penny counts, but there’s a whole market of stuff out there that we’re being told we can’t live without. How do we decide what’s worth splashing our cash on?
The most useless things I’ve seen are baby changing tables (surely the floor, a chest of drawers or a table will do?) and a device that heats up babywipes. Unless you’re storing your wipes in the freezer, then I hardly think your baby will complain if its wipes aren’t toasty warm.
Do you think there are any baby products that seem to exist just to make money? And do you agree with what the parents in our survey have told us?
Don’t miss the chance to chat with our baby product experts LIVE on 14 April – we’re offering Which? members advice and recommendations on essential baby items. Visit which.co.uk/babylive to sign up for an event email reminder – and send us your questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.