Gadgets for Parents, Do You Really “Need” Them? – Part 1

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Recently, Buzzfeed posted an article “These Are The Items Parents Say You Do And Don’t Need For A Baby“.  I linked to the article, because I think it’s a great look at some of the more “controversial” items parents are faced with buying, and I think it gives them a great look at other parent’s thoughts on the item.  Buzzfeed claims to have polled 130,000 parents on whether or not the items were needed, but never really goes into any detail on whether parents have actually purchased and used the items, or if they’re just using formed opinions to answer the survey.

I tend to fancy myself as an early adopter, and generally find that I’m more likely to purchase “gadgets for parents” based on its uniqueness and general “gadgetness”, rather than the results of a survey, so I thought I would provide my take on the items listed on Buzzfeed’s list!  I’m going to break the list up into a few parts, because there are 21 items, and that’s just too many for a single post.

  1. Bath Thermometer – This will be one of those items that provides piece of mind.  Right now, NPP is getting a bath in a tub like this, so we don’t really have much need for it. We have one, but it was a gift.  Chances we would have actually bought one?  I’m on the fence.  Our water swings rather quickly, and this will be nice to ease concerns.  For $13, it’s a “maybe”
  2. Pee-Pee TeePee – Buzzfeed says to just lay down a wipe and be done with it.  Have you ever had a cold baby wipe on your junk?  Let’s also not forget that wipes tend to leave moisture behind, and then you’re worrying about rashes.  Spend the $15 and get a pack of these.  In fact, put a few on your registry and get more.  I know people scoff at these, but these little guys have saved me from getting a face full of tinkle on at least a dozen occasions.
  3. Bottle Warmer – This is the first item whose Buzzfeed results were in agreement with my own feelings.  If you ask MOMPC, she’ll tell you that I wanted one of these, and I did.  That being said, not having one was a God-send.  We were able to prevent NPP from getting hooked on warm bottles by just giving him colder liquids, saving us time and money (ever try to get hot water from a coffee shop?) any time NPP has to feed.
  4. Boogie Wipes – Tough to say, because we’ve been lucky enough to not have too many boogies to wipe!
  5. Diaper Stacker – I don’t even know what this thing is.  The “Internet” tells me that it’s diaper storage.  Last I checked, a few hundred dollars were spent on a diaper changing dresser that also stores diapers, so I think we’re covered.  Save yourself the money and don’t bother with this if you also have adequate drawer space to store the diapers.  We do, on the other hand, have three diaper changing organizers that are super convenient to leave lying around the house.
  6. Food Maker – While we didn’t get the actual unit that makes the food, we did get plenty of the items for storing food.  Things like the Squeeze Station (which is significantly cheaper).  We have a blender.  In fact, we have two Magic Bullet Blenders (gifts) which are about $40 cheaper and way more versatile.  You can probably skip this item if you have a nice blender, and maybe just get the Squeeze Station and refill bags, and call it a day.
  7. Special Laundry Detergent – Most folks know the name “Dreft” and that’s what most people think of when they think “Special Baby Laundry Detergent”.  What they’ll also think of is “twice the price of normal detergent”.  We got this as a gift, and that was the last time we had it in our house.  “All Free and Clear” is about $10 cheaper, and safe to use on everyone’s clothing.  Someone is going to buy you Dreft.  Use it to wash all of the clothing you’re going to get at your shower, and when it runs out, replace it with the All.

A lot of gadgets are never going to be something that you “need”, but sometimes having a kid doesn’t have to be about what you need.  Sometimes you just want things to be easier or more convenient, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Saving a few minutes, for example, on making a bottle of formula, are precious minutes you’re going to get to use later to do fun things, like watching your child smile while he poops his pants.  It’s those precious memories that deserve your time, not the few extra minutes it takes to warm up water, pour in the powder, mix it up, and then go about feeding.  As a father, you’re more likely to go back to work earlier than your baby mama, so your time becomes even more precious.  Why not utilize the time you have and spend it with your child (or blog about the time you could be spending with him), rather than wasting time on the mundane?

Buzzfeed lists a few more things out, so future posts will include the following:

  • Diaper Genie
  • Wipe Warmer
  • Pacifier Wipes
  • Nursing Pillow
  • Formula Maker
  • Baby Carrier
  • Baby Shoes
  • Video Monitor
  • Sophie The Giraffe
  • High Chair
  • Baby Care Timer
  • Swing
  • Changing Table
  • Car Mirror 

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