I quite often think about going into the baby product business because how can you not make money?! Not only do I found baby products overpriced, but they try to sell you different types that all have the same purpose or function. And if you don’t buy it for your baby, a family member or friend eventually will.
After my baby shower and my son Luca’s christening, I found myself sitting in a pool of baby products that I probably would never use. I ended up giving away half the toys we received to friends who had kids, while the extra bottles and other feeding products were donated to orphanages.
I admit that some of this surplus of baby gear is probably due to the fact that my husband and I got a tad bit overexcited when compiling our registries. But also one of the reasons most of the products went unused is I didn’t really need the products to begin with! Below I’ve gathered a list of eight products that I never got to use at all.
1 Crib We bought the Stokke Sleepi Mini because the size was perfect for our studio condo unit. But it was just tiring during the first few months to get up and walk all the way over to the crib every few hours, not to mention my back started to really kill me from picking Luca up and out the crib.
I’ve now decided that for next baby I will probably buy a co-sleeper, which I feel suits my lifestyle better. Luca now sleeps with us on the bed on my side, and I think he sleeps a whole lot better. I also found that most of my friends in Asia bed-share, compared to some friends I know in the United States who would never do it because of the risk of Sudden Death Infant Syndrome (SIDS). I just think we should take the proper precautions to make sure we are doing the bed sharing as safely as possible.
2 Bottle warmer My husband and I were really excited about this "travel friendly" bottle warmer because we travel often for work and pleasure. It would be inevitable that we would need a bottle warmer on the go, right? No. My son never drank warm milk; he was fine with room temperature.
3 Reusable breast pads I was never in shortage of breast milk; in fact, I leaked like crazy. Milk was everywhere-- it soaked the bed, the sheets, the floor, my clothing, Luca's clothing, his hair, heck, probably even my husband’s hair! It made going out in public a total nightmare, and mentally I was a mess about it.
I bought every single type of reusable breast pad available, even the pretty lace ones to boost my self-esteem, and nothing worked! Not to mention that when you’re out of the house and your breast pad is soaked, you have to bring a little water-proof bag with you to store it in until you get home. Although I wanted to go eco-friendly and work with the reusable breast pads, they just didn’t work. I did find one brand of breast pads that are organic and disposable, which is Organyc Nursing Pads. They hold an okay amount of leakage, and if you live in the Philippines, you can buy them at Healthy Options.
In my opinion though, the best in the absorption department would have to be Philips Avent Night Breast Pads. I give it 5 stars! You can buy these at Baby Company or Mothercare.
4 Milk containers I feel so bad for putting milk containers on this list because there were so many people who gifted them to us after they saw that we carry the small tin of formula around with us in our baby bag. I know it sounds terrible, lugging something so heavy, but honestly it is the exact opposite.
It's these milk containers that I found the most inconvenient (and I tried three different brands!). I can’t tell you how many times it pops open in the baby bag, or the formula measurements get mixed up because the container isn’t made to seal properly, or how many times we’ve run out of milk because a bottle spoiled, and you can only pack so many servings with these containers. I have friends who have great success with these things, but call me the lady with the milk container bad luck. Carrying the small tin of formula works so much better for us because it suits our lifestyle. We are out all day doing business meetings, and most of our time is spent in unpredictable traffic. We don’t want to risk a shortage of formula just because the milk containers carry only three bottle servings. And there’s no way in I’m carrying a million little milk containers just so they can pop open in my bag when I’m digging violently for a toy.
5 Baby wrap I love baby wearing just as much as the next momma, but I enjoy it so much more when I’m not in Manila. The heat is unbearable here and when hubby is off at work, I’m left to commute most of the time by myself. So standing in the heat with a baby attached to me, who is also over-heating at this point, is a no-go for me.
It’s dangerous because (1) a baby should never over heat, if you live in a hot climate area; (2) it’s hard to carry other bags if you are alone; (3) when the heck am I going to have time to sit down and enjoy a meal?; (4) it’ll kill your back, eventually; and (5) they say it’s easy to put on, but it’s not. I do, howeverm enjoy baby wearing in the first month while at home because it leaves my arms free to read a book, have a snack, and put makeup on. But after that first month, I threw the baby wrap in the closet. Nowadays, since Luca is too heavy for me to walk around with all the time, my husband uses the IAngel carrier, which they both LOVE! You can purchase this at Mothercare.
6 Socks It is so hot in the Philippines that it makes me sad to see some people dressing their babies in hats, sweaters, socks, and mittens with a blanket in their stroller! A baby over heating can increase the risk of SIDS; I wasn’t taking any chances with my son, The Sweating Luca. He honestly gets hot so quickly it scares me sometimes. I also joke that the Philippines is the hottest and coldest country because the air conditioner in the malls can rival the worst winter day in the United States. Luca owns a couple of pairs that he wears in the mall if it's on the freezing side. 7 Teether Before my son even started teething, I went out and bought a bucket load of teethers. I bought ones with water in them, colorful, textured, even ones that sang. But my son didn't put anything in his mouth unless it was his hands. He already got his first tooth, and we still haven’t gotten around to using any of them. My advice would be to make sure that your baby is interested in using a teether (like he’s putting objects in his mouth to bite and relieve gum pain) before you go out to buy one.
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A former beauty queen, Rene Rose Rodrigo is a US-certified holistic nutrition coach who is now living and working in the Philippines. Mom to 10-month-old Luca, she shares her lifestyle while discovering her roots at her blog Eurasian Rose.