Readers Respond: 15 useless baby 'essentials'
These dads think that these useless essentials are pretty useful.

Check out our readers responses to an article published on Parent24 called "15 useless baby 'essentials'"

Good morning,

I couldn't help not to reply to this article. Your "moms" on Facebook are either highly paid woman with nannies, or just really bad mothers. I have made a couple of comments on your useless essentials:

1. High chair - Probably the best tool to learn your child eat. Do you want her to slouch on the ground eating with her hands? Or fall of a normal chair because she couldn't sit by herself?

2. Nappy bin - So you just throw the nappies in your normal bin? If you like the smell of baby poo as a constant aroma in your house then I am happy for you but the nappy bin makes sure the house doesn't smell and makes discharge of all the nappies very easy.

3. Feeding pillow - don't know this, probably useless

4. Bottle warmer - agree, useless

5. Changing table - if you like slouching over your bed and putting strain on your back (with the heavy load of your newly improved boobs) then I suppose you like being tortured. A baby changing table is the correct height, have all the nappy changing essentials in one place and makes it so much easier.

6. Baby bath - Note that the baby bath doesn't need to be in the bath. You can just use in on your changing table, otherwise yet again you will have to bend over backwards to keep your baby upright in the bath the whole time.

7. Baby monitor - There are just the eerie chance that your baby might roll over and cant breath during her sleep (in the first 3 months). Why not monitor it? Buy a second hand one, these are widely available.

8. Baby shoes. - agree - useless

9. Skin care products - So your baby has a nappy rash? Poor baby.

10. Bouncer - Our babies loved these, it keeps them busy, makes them tired for a good night sleep and learned them from early days to keep their balance. Both our children walked before the age of 1 year because they used a bouncer.

11. Play mats - If you like your baby to drool and throw up on your lovely living room rug or floor mat then don't buy one.

12. Electric steriliser - agree, we had a steam one for the microwave which worked like a charm

13. Carry cot - We always used ours when we were on holiday or camping. Dont let your baby sleep next to you in your bed, you might just roll over her!

14. Humidifier - during winter everybody has their warmers on, which dries out the air considerably. The humidifier is great for replacing the moisture in the air. Use it either in their rooms an hour before sleep or in the living room and you will notice that dry cough disappears.

15. Unsolicited advice - agree. the best is to just say thank you to all the advice. If you use it or not, its up to you.

- Anonymous Dad


I assume the author of this article is not a parent?

From the list of 15 useless essentials almost half are essential in my mind. Sure, you can get by without it if you so choose or if you simply cannot afford it, in which case I respect your decision fully.

But from my experience (2 girls) the following items made our lives as parents a whole lot easier – and why would you not make it easier on yourself

  1. High chair – a high chair or feeding chair really assists come feeding time, or just to use when mommy/daddy is busy in the kitchen and baby can sit with them and play with a couple of toys. It keeps baby in 1 place, keeps them from the dirty floor. Naturally it makes feeding time a lot easier
  2. Nappy bin – sure you can take the nappy to the outside bin every time a nappy change is done, but in the winter months and in the middle of the night it is the last thing you want to do. This is normally the first gift we think of getting a pregnant couple.  A nappy bin keeps those unwanted odours inside and 1 trip to the outside bin a week is a big plus!
  3. Changing table -  so where else do you want to change baby? On the bed. It can work but parents with back problems this becomes a real back-breaker! Also, it creates a nice settled routine to take baby to the changing table after a bath or when changing a nappy
  4. Baby bath – again, a normal bath is fine, but for the same reason as the changing table of a back-breaker spending the odd R300 for a baby bath is well worth it.
  5. Baby monitor – this one is not essential. It is very expensive and the question  came up some many times – “Our parents coped fine without one”. It really made our lives easier and gave us peace of mind. One bought, have it tested properly (we tested it and found that if the fan was on in the room it interfered with the movement monitor pad) and start enjoying your own time once baby sleeps. It also comes in really handy when visiting friends or family – take it along and put baby down to nap in a room not close to where everyone is – baby will sleep quicker without the noise from the braai, rugby game etc. Have the monitor in the room and you can quickly get up if baby awakes. It allows you to be part of conversations rather than spending most of your time away trying to get baby to bed. If you can afford it, get it!
  6. Play mats – yes you can let baby play on the carpet or a big blanket but they may get bored easily especially if baby cannot sit yet. Just how long will the ceiling fan or light be entertaining to baby? A play mat has all sort of noisy toys and colours for baby to enjoy while on their backs
  7. Carry cot – I guess you can get by with the car seat when going out? In our experience a small baby is a lot more comfortable in a carry cot than a baby car seat/pram seat.

I am not judging and everyone has their own opinion of what works and what does not – my opinion, a lot of your useless items are actual very useful and maybe this article was written and posted just to get reaction? Well congrats, you got mine

- Wessel Marais

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy

Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.