35 Ridiculous Baby Products We Hope You Never Bought
Every year, dozens of baby products are released with the intention of being useful, enjoyable and versatile. Some products live up to their guarantees, while others — well, others wildly fail.
Here are 35 baby product fails from the past and present that definitely missed the mark.
Potty Trainer iPad Holder
This potty trainer has a specific attachment for an iPad or tablet with the intention of extending your child’s stay on the toilet — ummm, what? Talk about breaking every screen-time rule imaginable!
We have to argue that sending your child into the blank void of distraction we all know and love is not the most efficient way to keep them focused on using the toilet.
Baby Perfume or Cologne
For the baby who has everything. From florals to citrus and herbs, there are several brands of baby perfumes that come in a variety of scents. However, these scents can be overwhelming for babies, causing uncomfortable swelling, eczema and hives.
Regardless of the customer audience that exists for such a product, isn’t it a universal fact that babies already smell great as is?
Baby Cages or ‘Baby Baskets’
Designed to give infants living in city apartments fresh air, baby cages were used by many a mom throughout the first half of the 20th century. What’s important to realize is that these cages were treated as basically window extensions, being installed on even the highest floors of skyscrapers.
So, why would we call this a fail? Well, it passes the critical test simply through the anxiety-inducing appearance of the thing. Take your baby out for a stroll instead — ya know, in a stroller … on the ground.
The Why Cry
Supposedly, this device alerts the parent of the reason their baby is crying. Different colors indicate a different reason.
Regardless of our admiration for this attempt at color-coded crisis management, we might as well call it what it is: wishful thinking.
1960s Baby Car Seat
Before the advent of seatbelts, car seats for babies briefly existed and were originally designed to boost children up so they could see outside car windows. In the early ’60s, though, car seats became targeted as a way to “safely” transport your baby.
However, despite good intentions, just looking at these early designs would let anyone know they were virtually useless and ineffective. One wrong move, and your baby’s out the windshield.
Heelarious Baby Heels
Baby heels, for your fashionista infant. These plush crib shoes are meant for 0- to 6-month-old children. They come in six different styles, including bright neons and animal prints.
Sure, a baby’s fashion style almost always takes after their parents, but bringing these plush, ineffective heels into the picture has the same aura as putting a tiara on your purse pooch. Just, no...
Drop-side cribs were designed as a way for parents to have easy access to their children by sliding at least one side of the crib either up or down. Despite the drop-side crib being considered useful, it wound up having a much more costly effect on the infants themselves.
Broken and defective hardware caused the drop-side to detach from both ends of the crib, potentially causing the infant to become trapped between the drop-side and the mattress. Today, drop-side cribs have been banned in multiple countries, including the United States, due to various infant deaths and injuries.
Baby walkers have existed for centuries and have been primarily used to help infants move and “stand up” independently. They’ve also been advertised as a hands-free alternative for busy moms. While baby walkers still exist today, it is mostly walkers with crossed-support legs that are banned in places such as Canada and the U.S., due to their tendency to pinch babies as they move in it.
However, other issues have been brought up with all walkers, specifying that not only do they potentially trap babies in the event of falling over, but they also take away the development time needed to form fundamental sensory and motor skills.
Water-Proof Diaper Covers
Before disposable diapers, babies wore cloth diapers, which meant tons of laundry for both the diapers and the simultaneously drenched clothes worn by baby and parent. Enter rubber pants as a great solution to leaks and ensuring dry sheets and less hassle.
However, the trend didn’t last long, as it was soon discovered that, just like adults, babies were not coming out of their stylish rubber bottoms without some painful chafe marks and rashes to show for it. This realization concluded the fascination with diaper covers and, instead, eventually reigned in the invention of the disposable diaper.
Baby Knee Pads
Baby knee pads are worn specifically for crawling or as something soft for babies to fall on should they tumble while walking. You can find these in various corners of the internet for purchase as well as mentioned on many overprotective mom blogs.
Babies are adorable and babies with knee pads … well, even more adorable. But evolution has already thought about baby’s knees for us. That’s right, babies are born without kneecaps and, instead, have cartilage in place of that bone until they’re about the age of two. This is to give them more flexibility in the early years when they’re first starting to crawl and walk.
The Automatic Baby Feeder
Automatic baby feeders were made for a hands-free, no-mess, bottle-feeding situation for your baby. All you needed to do was set up a harness for the bottle on the crib and you’re set!
OK, none of us believed that idealistic setup for one second. The truth is, no baby is so finessed as to stay put in one spot while feeding. Inevitably, using this invention would lead to a bigger mess than simply manually bottle feeding your child. That’s not to mention that there’s no real way of controlling the rate at which the milk flows from the nipple.
Baby Alice Thumb Guard
When you’re trying to prevent your child from developing the habit of sucking their thumb, the inventors of the thumb guard knew there was no better way to do it than to strap on a wire and leather combination bracelet and ring, right?
The thumb guard was popular throughout the 1920s and ’30s, stopping kids from sucking their thumb and inevitably breaking some thumbs in the process. It’s torture-esque appearance and real-life consequences were some of the main reasons the guard eventually fell out of public favor.
The Baby Butt Fan
Diaper rash is a common issue for any baby, but the baby butt fan aims to eliminate the issue before it even starts. A cool breeze from the fan effectively dries your baby’s bum in a timely fashion, supposedly curing diaper rash altogether.
So, what’s the difference between this one and other hand-held fans? We’re not exactly sure. Plus, can we talk about how long your baby’s butt might have to be out of a diaper to get a proper dry?
Saggy diapers no more! Perhaps seen as a safer alternative to the sharp diaper pin, early designs for diapers suspenders were advertised as a way to prevent the diaper from sagging down and essentially being ineffective as well as taking the pressure off children’s hips.
Early designs, however, did not take the sides of the diaper into enough consideration. Consequently, this often left kids with a wedgie up the center and sagging at the sides. Needless to say, the words wedgie and baby make for a very, very fussy combo.
Crib Cover Clips
How do you get your baby to stay tucked in at night? The answer is crib cover clips! These clips were intended to attach the blanket to either side of the bed to ensure that your baby stayed snuggly in place.
As surprising as it may sound, cover clips were a nursery staple, but by modern standards, we have a bit more perspective on what is and isn’t the equivalent of a baby prison and a choking hazard.
Snake Oil Remedies
Before the FDA was created in 1906, there were dozens of remedies on the market for pregnant mothers and newborns that claimed to provide an “instant cure” to practically any issue. So-called doctors advertised cures with ingredients that would definitely be illegal at any dosage and especially not recommended for children today.
Substances such as heroin and cocaine were used and usually had zero scientific research to back up the product’s claims. Unfortunately, these medicines were readily used, leaving hundreds of drug-induced infants in their wake.
Generation after generation, parents have one common priority: to keep their child as safe as possible. In comes the Wuinometer, which was a common staple present at many baby showers. The Quinometer was usually sold with a holder, and once detached, it could be used to check the temperature of bathwater, the baby’s temperature and formula.
While nothing seems inherently wrong with this thermometer product, it also happened to be practically covered in glass and full of mercury. Needless to say, all it took was one crack of the glass, and bam your baby’s got a bad case of neurotoxic poisoning.
Diaper Cream Applicators
Have you ever wondered how exactly to get diaper cream onto a diaper without using your hands? Fear not, you can easily purchase diaper cream applicators in an assortment of colors for use. Diaper cream applicators are used for exactly what it sounds like … being the middleman between your own hand and diaper cream.
Honestly, though, you already have 10 applicators on your own hands. Don’t waste your money on what will certainly become colorful knick-knacks in your bathroom cabinet.
Trying to get your baby to sleep soundly without spending hours next to the crib, only to wake them up again when you put them in bed is one of the biggest issues for many parents. Both modern and vintage cribs are equipped for installing castor wheels, but as a way to solve the issue of confidently getting your infant to sleep, the Rock-A-Crib springs were intended to change out with castors.
This simple switch allowed parents to rock their children to sleep while they were still in the crib. Aside from the company that created them letting the trademark expire, thus having the product fall out of popularity, the obvious issue would be the finger traps created by the Rock-A-Crib springs themselves.
Baby Gas Masks
During World War II, gas attacks and threats of invasion lurked in the minds of all Europeans. Thus, as a solution, gas masks for babies were created. The design of the gas mask encapsulated the entire baby, and developers even went as far as to manufacture them in bright colors, thinking they would seem more welcoming to infants. Parents were able to pump fresh air into the gas mask with an included air pump.
While they seemed logical in theory, these gas mask pods typically didn’t go further than testing in hospitals, where nurses reported that babies became eerily silent while inside, as if the air pumped into them quickly leaked out.
A kangaroo pouch for your child or a snuggy with a giant hole in the chest — whatever you want to call it. The Peekaru is a mommy-and-me clothing product that has a pouch inside for your baby to relax. It seems entirely fine until you actually see the photos of babies inside them.
We can’t necessarily tell if the creators wanted all the babies in the Peekaru to look like Teletubbies or if they simply didn’t account for enough head space, but multiple reviews seem to point to the latter.
It’s universally agreed that babies have unexpected bathroom patterns. We usually learn to deal with them as best we can, but if you need help realizing that your child has placed a No. 2 in his briefs (as if the smell isn’t enough), the poop alarm is perfect for you.
The poop alarm not only sets off a melody to alert you, but it also includes LED lights! While the alarm itself might be useful in theory, we doubt a diaper rave would be much help for the indisposed baby.
Sterling-Silver Teething Rings
Back in the Victorian days, status was all the rage. Wooden teething rings and rattles were quite common among poor and middle-class households, but the wealthy always had their sights on something that would make their babies stand out. Where there’s a need, there will be a rather ridiculous product that follows suit.
Teething rings made of sterling silver and mother of pearl were only for the best. However, at least a baby’s incoming teeth might sink into wood. If we’re being realistic here, the only use a wealthy baby is getting out of a show-and-tell silver teething ring is painful toothaches and a pension for chewing on utensils later on.
The Thudguard is targeted towards infants and toddlers and is designed to keep your child’s head safe while they’re learning to walk. Described as “revolutionary,” the helmet is said to protect babies from even the most dangerous of accidental brush-ins with nasty corners or, well, the floor itself.
In truth, the Thudguard is highly effective, but if this doesn’t scream helicopter parent to you, we don’t know what does.
Much akin to the baby heels, baby bangs are purely decorative. They are headbands with monofibre hair attached — essentially baby wigs. They’re typically advertised for photoshoots or special events.
However, while you might feel the need to complete your baby’s camera-ready look with a full head of hair, just be mindful that your baby looks fine with a ribbon tied to the only three strands of hair they already have. Because they’re a baby!
It’s like those swiffer slippers for your feet except with a small human in them. The baby mop is a onesie with microfiber tentacles attached, so that as your baby crawls, they can also do some chores. Maybe some people take the saying “You’re never too young to start doing your part” rather seriously.
Just to be safe, though, if you’re going to turn your baby into a vacuum for potentially infectious bacteria, maybe add a mask onto that onesie.
The name of this product is actually a bit misleading. The baby lasso is designed for easy and fast diaper-changing. Two small loops on each end of the product go around the baby’s feet, while the parent has the mid-section of the strap around their neck. Voila, easy diaper changing!
Or so we’d like to think. We assume way too often that babies will simply stay put. One flip around from the baby, and this product might literally lasso the parent’s neck.
The mesh feeder is supposed to reduce teething pain as well as the risk of choking. Simply place fruit or baby food in the mesh net, and let your baby enjoy!
Not so fast … without a doubt, after one use, this teething/feeding bag, would turn into a bacteria bag. Not even the most advanced dishwashers could get the remaining food out from those tiny mesh holes.
For the most luxurious of nursery accessories comes the wipe warmer. That’s right, a heating tray for diaper wipes.
This is quite a popular baby registry item, but it’s also completely unnecessary.
Some kids love the calming feeling of having their parents rock them up and down on their knees. In comes the Po-Knee, which is a physical plush horse that parents can attach to their knee in an effort to give their child equestrian lessons from the comfort of their lap.
Frankly, it looks too hot for us.
Prenatal MP3 Player
Mozart, Chopin, Debussy! All the classics for your unborn child! It has been a theory throughout generations that listening to classical music while pregnant will make your child smarter. Thus, the speaker for pregnant bellies was created, where soon-to-be moms can place speakers directly on their stomachs for the fetus to hear.
Maybe listening to classical music is beneficial for your baby, but is it worth buying an entirely different speaker for your stomach? We think not. Place a bluetooth earphone in your belly button or just play it for the whole home to hear, anything else will work!
If you have a baby boy, you sure know by now how far his projectile pee can go. The PeePee TeePee was created as a soft cone to cover him while changing diapers, and the “crisis” is averted.
The thing is, while this product may very well be useful, it’s just another pee-drenched thing you’ll have to wash.
Ankle bells or just plain baby anklets have been advertised as a way to keep your baby within earshot. The design usually consists of several small bells on a metal chain.
Granted, we respect anyone who wears these for being the chicest baby in the room, but who’s going to take responsibility when she thinks that shiny metal ball on her ankle looks tasty?
Babies need to spend key developmental time by immersing themselves in sensory experiences. Such designs for parent’s clothing have been created to let babies continue to explore their senses while in the arms of their own parents. While not to say that designs such as these aren’t a good idea for a baby’s development, the placement definitely needs consideration.
If the whole point is to let your baby “immerse” itself through touch and visuals on your clothing, they’ll wind up being very immersed in your chest and probably at the most inconvenient time to be doing it.
Bacon Baby Bacon-Flavored Formula
Bacon Baby was meant as a nutritious, yet fun formula. This product was made for bacon-lovin’ babes, who want to enjoy the crispy and porky treat as much as their parents. However, what the manufacturers didn’t give away was that this formula wasn’t just “flavored.” There were FOUR servings of bacon for every single serving of formula.
Eventually, the formula was said to be a hoax, but that didn't stop major news outlets from reporting about it and parents from believing it was real.