From a marketing perspective, there are few target population groups more vulnerable than pregnant women and new parents, and that makes marketing people very, very happy. If you’ve ever been along to one of those humungous pregnancy and baby expos, you will know firsthand how many unbelievably useless items are out there for pregnancy, breastfeeding and newborns. And yet, what amazes me is that fact that people are buying this stuff! (Why, people? WHY?!)
So in no particular order – here is our carefully curated Top Ten list of the Most Useless Pregnancy and Parenting Gadgets of ALL TIME!
“Momsense is the only Smart Breastfeeding Meter that tells you how much your baby has nursed.”
Because a happy, contented baby who is gaining weight and producing lots of wet nappies and a few good old poo-namis is not enough feedback. Oh well, I guess it was about time that another gadget was invented to further stress new mums out, undermine breastfeeding success and convince them that their boobs can’t produce enough milk. Oh, and Midwife Cath has endorsed it, so I guess it must be good.
2. HoldEze System
“Designed by doctors and endorsed by lactation consultants, the HoldEze™ system helps moms with latching and breastfeeding their babies by providing their babies with neck support. Each cotton romper is specially designed to secure the soft, yet sturdy sealed-foam, HoldEze™ neck cradle.”
I actually have nothing to say about this except product except, WHAT THE?
Can someone please explain to me what the hell this is for?
Forget singing to your unborn baby, or even placing a speaker on your belly to play music to your bub. That’s so passé. With BabyPod, you can now blast your growing baby’s delicate ears by sticking a speaker up your vagina. Ooh, yes please!
4. Fetal Doppler
“Hi Bebe BT200T 3Mhz Ultrasonic Fetal Doppler is a high performance, ultra –sensitive, no nonsense medical device recognised for its ease of use and reliability. You get more than simple ‘peace of mind ‘and everything you need comes as standard including Aquasonic 250ml gel, software, audio cable, batteries, tips and of course free shipping.
Recognised for its proven performance and used predominantly by doctors and midwives, the Hi Bebe 3Mhz Pro has also become incredibly popular with expecting parents thanks to its simplicity and affordability.”
I have HUUUUUGGGEEEE issues with this – in fact, with all the fetal dopplers that are now being sold or rented. As the company states in their own words, this is a MEDICAL DEVICE… used predominantly by DOCTORS AND MIDWIVES. It is not, and never was intended to be used by pregnant women and their partners for home use. It concerns me greatly that these devices are available to purchase and rent by anyone. These businesses have also got the law on their side and have made their terms and conditions very clear;
It is very important to note that while the Hi-Bebe Doppler is a medical grade instrument, Belly Beat do not intend for the Doppler to be used in any way for diagnostic or other medical purposes unless the purchase has been made by a licensed medical practitioner. The device should not be used as a substitute for or replacement of regular recommended antenatal care. Always seek professional, medical advice should you have any concerns during your pregnancy as just listening to your baby’s heartbeat doesn’t assure you of your baby’s wellbeing.
The terms and conditions cannot be modified in any way except by agreement and in writing.
By purchasing a Doppler from Belly Beat you agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless Belly Beat and all associated persons from all liability arising from or relating to the use of the Doppler and associated equipment purchased from Belly Beat.
This is a long-winded , legal jargon way of saying; “If your baby dies, you can’t sue us.
5. Nurse Me Tender
“The Nurse Me Tender is a wearable baby bottle with a wide neck silicone nipple to deliver either breastmilk or formula. Our polypropylene bottles are free of Bisphenol A, Phthalates, and PVC. Onced paired with the convenient, luxurious Satin Holster to hold the bottle, you’ll easily find a natural feeding position. Just like breastfeeding, bodyfeeding takes time to learn, we encourage product use for a period of 10 Days. Technique is required for optimal use.”
Ok, I have really tried to understand this product, but I just don’t. Does anyone else?
6. Shrinkx Hips
“Many women worry about having wider hips after childbirth. The Shrinkx Hips Ultra postnatal compression belt helps moms get back their pre-pregnancy hips after delivery.”
Hell, why don’t we just go back to wearing corsets?
7. Pee Pee Teepees
“Nappy changes with baby boys can result in unexpected surprises! Pee-Pee Teepees are cute ‘sprinkle protectors’ for baby boys that will help unsuspecting parents dry. A funny and unique baby boy gift (or give to dad….he’ll have no more excuses for nappy changes).”
A tissue people. OMG. Use a bloody tissue!!
“BabyPlus is a patented learning system shown to strengthen your baby’s cognitive development in many ways. With BabyPlus, your baby simply learns to differentiate between two natural sounds. It’s tailored to the prenatal developmental stages, leading to so many lifelong benefits!”
You. Have. Got. To. Be. Freaking. Kidding. Me.
9. Snuza Baby Movement Monitor
“Fact: when your (first) baby rolls over onto his tummy in his crib, you’re bound to freak out. Sure, your little one may finally be sleeping like a rock, but with all this talk about how “back is best,” how could you possibly catch any Zzzs? The Snuza Baby Movement Monitor does exactly what it says: monitors your baby’s movement, so you don’t have to. You simply clip the device onto your baby’s diaper near his tummy, and if there’s no movement for 15 seconds, an alarm will sound. A must for parents who feel the urge to constantly check on their sleeping baby. (You know you’ve put your finger under baby’s nose – to see if he’s breathing during an extra-long nap.)”
Who writes this crap? But more importantly, WHO BUYS IT???
10. Pee Wee Pumps
“Your little princess will be the belle of the ball with her first fashion statement in her Pee Wee Pumps High Heel Crib Shoes.”
THUMP. That’s the sound of my head hitting the wall.
11. Ok, I lied. There are 11 things. But a “Top 11” just sounds weird.
Ok, so this is not exactly a gadget, but this blog would not be complete without including these books;
People in my line of work simply refer to this book as “What to Expect When You Are Expecting Trouble”. A great book if you want to be scared shitless about having a baby.
Probably the worst book of all time ever to be written about newborns. If you are given this book by a well-meaning friend or relative try to exchange it for something actually worth reading. I have a pretty comprehensive list on my website here. If you can’t, do the next best thing and incinerate to a smouldering pile of ash.
The First Six Weeks by Midwife Cath
Ahhh, Australia’s very own celebrity midwife. I don’t know about you, but I’m a little concerned by the fact that a registered MIDWIFE is advising new parents not to breastfeed their baby at night, but instead to give their baby a small bottle of formula because a) they will sleep better and longer and b) when you are practising CRYING IT OUT oops, sorry “passive-settling” and your baby cries to the point of vomiting, you will only have a small mess to clean up.
Have you come across any other weird and wacky products? Comment below and share them with us!
Tanya Strusberg is the founder of birthwell birthright. She is a Melbourne-based Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, doula and a Fellow of the Association of Certified Childbirth Educators (FACCE). She is a passionate advocate for women’s maternity care and her articles have appeared in The Journal of Perinatal Education, Australian Midwifery News, Science & Sensibility, Interaction – the journal of the Childbirth and Parenting Educators Association of Australia (CAPEA), International Doula, Empowering Birth Magazine and Rockstar Birth Magazine. Through her internationally-accredited Lamaze Educator Training program, she is very excited to be training a new generation of Australian Lamaze educators. Last, but absolutely not least, she is also the mum of two beautiful children, her son Liev and daughter Amalia.