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Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Life, Reviews | 10 comments

Three unnecessary purchases

Three unnecessary purchases

Photo source: Public Domain Photos

When you first become a parent, it seems like there’s so much you have to learn – and an infinite amount of things you have to buy. A crib, a cot, a buggy, clothes, nappies, bottles, sterilisers… the list goes on and on. So I guess it’s no surprise when you’re trying to ensure you’ve got everything you could need for your little one, that you end up with a few things you never needed. At least that was the case for us. So here’s my list of the top three things we bought that we shouldn’t have.

1. Cot top changing unit
When we were buying our cot, we bought a beautiful cot top changing unit to match. You see we don’t have a lot of space in our house, so we figured this was the ideal solution, rather than buying a regular changing unit. Wrong. It didn’t work for us at all. When Little Man was newborn, changing a nappy was a production – at least the way we did it! We had to have all of the pieces laid out – nappies, water, cotton wool, change of clothes, Sudocrem, Vaseline… But with the cot top changing unit, there’s nowhere to put that stuff. Also, I was terrified that he would roll off and fall into the cot. I was just never comfortable with using it, so it ended up being a complete waste for us.

Even when Little Man got older, and we had nappy changes down to a fine art, leaving the changing unit on top of the cot wasn’t an option because when he started crawling and standing he would bang his head on it, and later still he would have climbed on it. Considering it cost a small fortune, this is definitely top of my list of things I wish we’d never bought.

2. Gina Ford’s The Contented Little Baby book
Don’t get me wrong – The Contented Little Baby Book has its place, and plenty of people find it fantastic. But I definitely have a perfectionist side, and this book sets a high bar for “the proper way to do things”, even going so far as to tell you what to eat and when to eat it during your day. If you have a baby who thrives on strictly scheduled routines in the early days, then this book is ideal. But Little Man wasn’t like that. And he was breastfed. And one of the most important things you can do to ensure an adequate milk supply in the early days is to breastfeed on demand, which means ignoring the clock and just listening to your baby.

Looking back now, I can see how much I stressed myself out in the early days trying to establish the strict routines that are prescribed in this book. I would have been much better off had I never seen it until Little Man was ready to start solid food. At that stage, he was much more settled and was ready for a Gina-style routine. And I was comfortable with myself as a parent and was better able to see which pieces of advice in the book would suit us and which wouldn’t. So this is definitely high on my list of things I wish we hadn’t bought.

3. The Baba Sling
I’m a big fan of slings and I think that if you have a baby who loves to be held or up in your arms or to sleep on you in the early months, a good sling is a life saver. However, the first sling we bought did’t fit that bill for us. The BabaSling just didn’t work very well for me. It has to be worn over one shoulder, which means that it’s difficult to distribute the weight evenly across your body, and if you are wearing it for a while, it can get very uncomfortable.

Also, I found it difficult to position Little Man comfortably in it without worrying about his head tilting too far forward onto his chest when he was very small. (If the baby’s head is resting on his or her chest when being carried in this sling, it can restrict their breathing, which is very dangerous.) After about six weeks, I replaced this sling with a Moby Wrap, which I found absolutely fantastic. (I also wrote about this before, if you’d like to read my review.)

So those are my top three things I wish we hadn’t bought – I’m sure there are many more purchases I could add to that list.ย  Expensive sippy cups, complicated newborn outfits, and the Safe T Sleep wrap are just three that spring to mind. Maybe I’ll write about those another day!


  1. I agree 100% about the Gina Ford book. I read it just before Miss M was born and it made me a nervous wreck. I gave it away when she was about a month old and never wanted to see it again.
    I would say that the bottle warmer I bought was pretty useless – the microwave works just fine and is faster – as was the first sling I bought for him. I don’t remember the brand now – I got it in the US – but Master E was way too big for it way too fast!

    • How did I forget the bottle warmer? What an absolute waste. 7 minutes to heat the bottle. And I was terrified of using the microwave because of the dreaded “hotspots” that all the books and leaflets warned about. Little Man was definitely at least six months old if not older when we finally gave in and started using the microwave. All that wasted time with the bottle warmer and large cups of hot water.

  2. For me it was the breast pump. $200 and I never got more than an ounce or so at a time. For lots of women, they work great. For me – not so much. I probably also wasted money on a couple of newborn outfits. My not so little guy was born too big to wear them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Just goes to show how what’s vital for one person is a waste for another. I owned three breast pumps – two manual and one electric – and they all got used EVERY DAY for six weeks early on, and they continued to be used regularly for months.

  3. Oh I hear ya! Great post, have often thought of doing a similar one myself. Let me think…for me it was a pair of expensive red Converse (I thought he’d be teeny forever), the second of my slings, the Lodger Shelter…oh and the cot! Yes the entire cot! Waste!

    • The Lodger Shelter – really? I’ve always looked at those with a little bit of longing. Thought they looked really cosy. And the cot? We couldn’t have done without ours. Only recently has Little Man fallen asleep in the bed with one of us. Until he was about 16 months old, he would never go to sleep in our bed. NEVER. And I was willing for us to cosleep if it meant we’d get more sleep – but no joy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. For me it was the baby bath (never used) and the sling (used once but it was a gift). I read Gina Ford lots when pregnant but my little lady didn’t follow her schedule until about 6 months (except she hardly sleeps during the day at all and never ever in her cot unless it’s night time). Her solid feeding schedule really works for us. Recently I bought the contented little toddler book and I think it’s great so far.

    • At six months, Little Man followed the Gina Ford routine for that age range exactly. Except at night when he still woke…
      I think that toddlers and older babies are much better suited to routines. I just don’t think they suit many young babies or newborns.

  5. I’m so glad I didn’t pay full price for a Jumperoo (thanks for the second-hand one Lisa!), cos frankly, missy never stayed in it for more than about 5 minutes! She’s a free spirit and doesn’t like being hemmed in! Which is the reason why the mothercare swaddle blanket was also a waste of money. Oh, and the nasal aspirator that my hubby insisted we needed…..totally useless…

    • When we had that Jumperoo, we had to work to limit Little Man’s time in it, he just loved it so much!! The nasal aspirator was a total waste for us too! He hated it, so we never used it.

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