The holiday anti-shopping list: Things parents do not need
© 2014 Roy Benaroch, MD
Have money to burn and nothing useful to spend it on? Perhaps you, or someone you know, has a baby. With the holidays looming, it’s time to spend some cash on this year’s anti-shopping list of things no one needs!
#2: Bottle sterilizers
Look: baby’s mouths aren’t sterile, mom’s boobs aren’t sterile. The world isn’t sterile. And that water in the sink? Heart surgeons wash their hands in it before they cut people open. Use tap water to wash your bottles or breasts—you don’t need to sterilize them.
#3: Nursery water
Hm. Water that’s virtually free, already fortified with fluoride, constantly monitored for safety and mineral content, and easily available in almost every room of your house; versus water that’s unregulated, contains whatever might be in there, and comes in environment-destroying plastic jugs you have to pay for and lug around. Just use tap water, please!
A cord around Junior’s neck that could strangle him. Made of little beans that could choke him. That either (a) slowly releases the unstudied and unregulated chemical succinic acid into his body constantly, or (b) releases absolutely nothing and is entirely a sham. Or you could just go with, you know, a chewie ring or an occasional dose of Tylenol for teething—which, most of the time, doesn’t seem to bother babies at all.
These little cup-shaped devices are supposed to be placed over a little boy’s weiner prior to diaper changes, so you don’t get whizzed upon. Seriously. It’s a real thing, and it comes in a bunch of colors, but oddly not in different sizes (no bragging, dads!) Some have little phrases on them like “lil’ sprinkler” or “tinkle tinkle little star” or “to pee or not to pee?” Ha! Shakespeare!
#6: Formula mixers
These come in handheld versions for six bucks, up through hyper-cool tabletop premium mixers for $160 (“Say goodbye to the time and hassle of manually preparing baby’s bottles, and say goodbye to 160 dollars!”) . Put formula into a K-cup, and then come talk to me.
OK, I admit violet is cool. So ultraviolet, that’s got to be ultracool. But you still don’t have to sterilize binkies, pacifiers, nipples, breasts, fingers, or anything else that goes into a baby’s mouth. Because, you see, it’s already not sterile in there. Clean, yes. Sterile? No.
#8: The Bumbo Floor Seat
If your baby’s too young to sit up on his own, he’s probably… too young to sit up on his own. Sure, you can make him do it, with the help of this thing—but it restricts movement and can hurt his motor development. Still, it does come in nice colors.
#10: Mr. Milker
The “#1 breast feeding device for men” – as you can see in the picture, you CAN be a cowboy, and breastfeed too! Still, hopalong, you might want to adjust the hold on that baby in your right hand. Giddyup!
OK, now, before you all get all mad at me in the comments for making fun—I know, you bought that amber teething thing for your child and it’s great and he hasn’t been strangled even once, and you like convenience of making infant formula from K-cups, and blah blah how insulting I’m never visiting this blog again… I apologize in advance to everyone for everything I’ve ever done. That should about cover it. Happy holidays!