Now that my second child has passed his first birthday, I thought it was a good time to look back and see which bits of baby gear I've bought over the years that were a colossal waste of money. Most of these 'mistakes', admittedly were with my first son, but thinking about it there have been a few bits and bobs my second son has hardly used before they were discarded.
1. Baby bath. There is no need unless perhaps you only have a shower. It's easy to bathe them in a sink while they are still little and when they get too wriggly for that, the big bath with a baby support is perfect.
2. Changing table. I luckily never bought one of these. I have a chest of drawers which is fairly deep, but a few inches too low to be used as a comfortable changing table. I found a large underbed storage box which fitted on the dresser perfectly and raised my son up to just the right height to change him. He's so wriggly now that I change him on a changing mat on the floor of the bathroom or, more often than not, I attempt to get a clean nappy on him whilst he's running around.
3. Suction cup bowl. Stupid stupid stupid. All that seemed to happen was my son pulled and pulled at the thing which eventually came off with a pop and his food ended up in a much bigger mess than if I'd just put a bit of it on his tray for him.
4. Baby powder. I've got some Simple baby talc which I've used, maybe 3 times. I don't get it.
5. Nipple shields/protectors. I had problems early on with breastfeeding. At one point my nipples were bleeding and every time my son latched on it felt like glass was cutting my nipples. I tried nipple shields. Waste of time. My son didn't want some big plastic thing in his mouth. I tried them several times and all that happened was I got more and more flustered as my son screamed and screamed...
6. Play ring. Do not buy one of these new unless you've got more money than sense. Find one on eBay or get one from a friend. Your little one will use it for a few weeks at most, then it'll just become a depository for toys.
7. Steam steriliser. This was almost entirely useless for me when I had my first son. I was mainly breastfeeding and only supplementing occasionally with bottles. I soon moved on from a 'normal' bottle to a Playtex one. The latex nipple couldn't be steamed; the bottle used disposable liners... so after a few steams of the first normal bottles I used, it just took up space on my counter top. Soon he was eating food and I stopped sterilising anyway.
8. Crib/Moses basket. My first son had a Moses basket which he was in for 2 months tops before he was too big and moved into his own bed. My second son had a crib which he hardly used at all as we co-slept from the start.
9. Baby towels. If you are given them as a gift, lovely. Otherwise, don't waste your money. Get a soft and fluffy grown-up sized towel and you'll be able to use it for years.
10. Any buggy that doesn't recline. As your little one gets older you may be tempted to buy a cheapy buggy that doesn't lie back. Do not do it. You will see the value of spending a bit more on one that reclines when you are out for the first time with a tired baby or toddler who can't sleep and screams the whole time.
So what are the most useless things you've bought?