Tackling the baby goods industry, one everyday item at a time.

There are millions and millions of baby products on the market at the moment, and many of them are very stupid indeed. Take, for example, the special container to fill with water to rinse your baby’s hair. Guess what is special about it? It has a lip so that you can pour with precision and not get any water in your little one’s eyes. That’s right … it is, in fact, a jug. Except that it has a label on it with a baby and therefore costs three times the amount of a normal jug. So when Which? published their list of the 10 least useful baby products recently, I couldn’t help but wonder how they had whittled in down to just 10.

When Wills and Kate announced that they were having a baby, I heard a news item that said business analysts expected the baby industry to grow by millions of pounds. I wondered whether they meant that people will want to have more babies and therefore spend more money (and if so, it seemed to me to be a really silly reason to have a baby). In fact, they meant that people will just be flogging loads more stupid baby products.

In order to lend a bit of balance to all this consumerism, here is my top 5 list of everyday items that can be converted into perfect (and very cheap) baby products:

1) wooden spoons – perfect for sucking, biting, banging and generally just wreaking havoc.

2) vitamin tubs – either leave your pills in (if there is a safety cap) or use an old one with rice (quiet option) or lentils (if you are feeling hardy) in it.

3) silver blankets (the ones you get in first aid kits) – endless entertainment plus it doesn’t rip into little bits like tin foil.

4) face flannels – use the basic supermarket ones for protecting your carpet during nappy-free time or just for mopping up milk, sick, or whatever else takes your fancy – all for much cheaper than a muslin.

5) fleece blankets – they may not have bunnies sewn on the corner, but cut up adult fleece blankets do as good a job as the baby version for much less.

6) yoga ball – my personal saviour and the only thing that means can can get a bit of shut-eye, sometimes anyway. I’ll leave it to your imagination!

Please add your own suggestions below – it might save someone a few pennies!

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2 thoughts on “Tackling the baby goods industry, one everyday item at a time.

  1. A wipe clean tablecloth is a great play mat, especially for wiping up spills during messy play or no nappy time!
    A treasure basket keeps my little one entertained for hours. It’s a basket with a lid that contains lots of every day items for him to discover. I change the contents regularly to keep his interest but most popular items are: wooden spoon, old keys, old remote control, scarf, purse with zip and button.
    Old cardboard boxes; the old adage of the box being greater than the toy!!!
    Next time, I won’t buy big ticket toys new! They only suit babies for a couple of months developmentally speaking, so I’m nearly new/second hand purchasing in future. They all clean up just the same (jumperoo, bumbo etc)

    • I totally agree with buying things secondhand… after all, I would be impressed to meet a baby who could wear out a bumbo!
      Every baby I know prefers ‘real’ things to toys: it is a wonder the toy industry is still going really.
      Thanks for your ideas :)

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