New Moms: The “Really?” List

Last week, my Wednesday post was about the items that I found most helpful in the first year with my sons. I got some FANTASTIC feedback from our readers about other amazing, helpful items (I am still kicking myself for not getting that ring sling!). This week, I thought I’d toss out some items I’ve seen but never really understood. The “huh?” items of baby care. Feel free to add your own to the list!

Itzbeen Baby Timer

Ok…I can see how this could be extremely helpful in some situations: if you have twins, if you have a preemie on a strict schedule, if you have a child with medical needs…but in most cases, this seems nuts. I don’t know about your babies, but both of my boys came with pretty loud, built-in alarms, for no extra charge, that let me know when to feed them, change them, and put them in for a nap. I think carrying this around and logging feedings, changing and sleep would just stress me out- the last thing I needed when I had a newborn!

“Your Baby Can Read”

I recently saw an awesome sea lion performance at our local aquarium. The sea lions in the show were able to identify certain shapes when the trainer asked them to do so. They scooted right over to the wall and pointed with their little noses, right on cue. Amazing! But do they really “know” what a square is? Can they figure it out in another context? Nope. And so it goes in “Your Baby Can Read”, or as I like to think of it, “Your Baby Can Be Trained Like A Sea Lion”.  There is a ton of research about when kids are ripe for reading instruction, as well as when “whole-word reading” can have value (hint: there’s a reason many countries with highly successful educational systems don’t even begin until age 7!).  After kids have a handle on basic phonics, whole word reading instruction (such as you might see in sight words cards or on classroom word walls) has its place in conjunction with phonics instruction, but starting sight words with a 6 month old? Don’t waste your time. This set does not teach true reading. Save your money (this set costs some big bucks!) and buy some classic children’s board books instead…and relax.

Bath Safety Alarm

I figure at this point, I’ve given at least 500 baths to my sons. Each time, I’ve checked the water with one of the 10 “bath temperature safety testers” I have…my fingers. And each time, I’ve avoided both scalding and freezing them as a result of this test. Really? An audible alarm if the water gets too chilly? If you’re giving a baby a bath, your hands never leave the water anyway, and you’d know it was chilly. For me this comes down to which is worse for a baby…mildly chilly water or an alarm in your tub?

Designer Diaper Stacker

I’ve met a lot of moms in the past few years of motherhood, and I’ve yet to find a mommy with a child over 2 months old who still finds time to put the diapers in that little, cute hanging diaper stacker that often comes with a nursery decor package. In my opinion, they’re all a little silly. This one, however, pictured here, is one of a frightening number of diaper stackers that sells for EIGHTY DOLLARS. Yes. $80. Holy smokes.

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