The Truth on Useless vs. Useful Parenting Products

When you become a parent, you enter into an entirely new world of products. It seems like everywhere you turn, someone at some point is trying to sell you something. Bottles, blankets, animals, toys, breast pumps, bras, playpens, baby monitors — it can feel like the list never ends. 

But what do you actually need as a parent and what is well, a waste of your hard-earned money? Let's take a look at some of the top parenting products and put them to the test. 

{ MORE: Baby Product Recalls – March 2017 }

Smart Thermometers

Image via

There are many different versions of smart thermometers on the market, but one mom in particular recommended the Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer. The thermometer syncs with an app on your phone, so you can track you child's fever, symptoms, and medication dosages so you know when the next dose is due. “I love the Kinsa thermometer and that when my kid is sick, it helps me keep track of their temperature and I can also put in when I give meds,” Olivia H says. “I used to jot these notes everywhere.”

Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer, Target, $24.99

Verdict: Useful!

The Gizmo Watch

Image via Verizon

If your kids are begging for technology, but you're not ready to jump on the smartphone bandwagon yet (and honestly, who is?), the Gizmo Watch is one to consider. As Lea Grover explains:  “It's sort of like a smartwatch, but all it does is a few games, GPS location, and making calls to only as many as six phone numbers. Let's me be as free-range with my kids as it's possible to be in this part of the country.”

Gizmo Watch, Verizon, $179 with 2-year contract


Verdict: Useful!

Wipes Warmer

Sorry to anyone who is currently pregnant and pining over a wet wipes warmer, but many, many people will tell you that the wet wipe warmer is just not a useful or practical product for parenting. “What if you're out and about and don't have a wipes warmer?” pointed out one mom. “Your kid just freaks because you're wiping their bottom with a cold wipe for the first time?”

Verdict: Useless!

White Noise Machines

Several moms voted that white noise machines are a useful parenting product, with one mom voting them “best by a mile” and another noting that white noise machines make travel and visiting family possible, even in tight-knit quarters. I myself use regular box fans as white noise machines for all of my kids, and myself and I have to say, I couldn't imagine life without them! They even make versions that sync to your phone and are small enough to fit an outlet these days, so they are really handy! 

LectroFan, $59, Amazon 

Verdict: Useful! 

Bumbo Chairs

I have mixed feelings about this one, because I have used a Bumbo chair for at least two of my babies, but I have to say that I see some validity for this one, because for most of the time my kids were babies, their darn thighs were just too chubby to fit in the chairs. I did use them and loved them when they fit in them, but I could see how they would only work for certain babies. “The Bumbo chair was a bust for us,” one mom of twins noted. “I had preemie twins and by the time they were big enough to fit in them, they could sit up on their own (plus they'd just try to knock each other over).”

Verdict: Useless for some babies, so proceed with caution

Kindle Twist Breastfeeding Starter Kit

For some reason, I had no idea this system was for breastmilk, but now that my eyes have been opened, I can see how useful it would be. The system allows moms to literally pump directly into the Kindle pouches (they attach to all types of pumps), then freeze the pouches, and then feed the baby with the same pouch. You never have to transfer milk, which means you don't have to dump milk from a bottle to a bag, decreasing the risk of spilling your liquid gold, or getting it contaminated. 

Amazon, $24

Verdict: Useful


Pee-pee Teepees

A good idea in theory, especially for parents who are having sons for the first time, but in practical application, they are not as helpful. You waste crucial time trying to put the darn things on, they don't stay on, and honestly, you can change a boy's diaper in less time than it would take to put the teepee on. And at least one parent has reported to me that even when used correctly, the product does not exactly work as promised. 

Amazon, $10

Verdict: Useless, just go with a wet wipe, friends. 

And there you have it, everyone–a good look at some of the modern-day parenting products that you'll actually put to good use, and a few you might want to skip. What are some parenting products that you consider a must-have? 

What do you think?

The Truth on Useless vs. Useful Parenting Products

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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