Checklists – how bloody organised. Unfortunately, you’ll have to make loads of them when your baby is born. Between mumsnet, midwives, your parents and the NHS website, you’ll have a list as long as your arm of essential items you have to buy. Some will be invaluable, others will be as useful as Captain Hook at a gynecologists’ convention.
Here are five that I just don’t get; and I expect this list to grow with each passing month:
1. Dr Brown’s Natural Flow bottles
Dr Sh*t more like
An IKEA wardrobe is easier to assemble. This is a bottle with an ‘intelligent teat’ (i.e. has a completely pointless tube down the middle of it) that supposedly removes air bubbles and helps with colic. I followed the instructions and even watched YouTube tutorial videos and I still couldn’t work out (a) how to put it together and (b) how to stop it leaking all over my daughter’s face and neck – I went through two cardigans and one babygrow in a single feed. Stick to Tommee Tippee or Avent by Philips.
2. Expensive babygrows
Stella McCartney – best if never worn
Unless these are gifts your partner gets at her baby shower, avoid spending £20 on pretty, colourful babygrows from Jojo Maman Bebe and the like. I accept that they’re really cute (and as a dandy dad I obviously approve of looking stylish at all times) but in reality they’re a complete waste of your money because (a) your baby is growing quicker than you can possibly imagine, so within six weeks they’ll no longer fit and (b) shit stains are incredibly hard to get rid of, even if you dowse with Vanish and bung them in the washing machine immediately. So as pretty as these posh babygrows look, a multi-pack of plain Mothercare sleepsuits will suffice.
3. Tens machine
Use as a sex toy only
As useful as licking a 9V battery. Deploying this ‘machine’ is the equivalent of punching your partner in the mouth every time she has a contraction, “Would you like more discomfort to distract you from the main source of discomfort?” Could be useful as a sadomasochistic sexual aid if you’re that way inclined.
4. Video baby monitor
If you live in a house big enough for one of these then get your servant to check on your baby
Unless you live in a mansion with an extremely long hallway, I see no point in this expensive folly. Your baby’s wailing is designed to let you know that they’re awake and need feeding/changing/attention – this is purely for obsessives only. And in this dystopian hell we live in, your baby could soon end up suing you for invasion of privacy too.
5. Steriliser tablets
Microwave sterilizer – for best results don’t use the grill setting
Milton? Is this the 1940s? Is there a widespread outbreak of gastroenteritis? Believe me, when it’s 3.25am and it’s time for your lazy arse to wake the hell up and do a feed, are you seriously going to wait 20 minutes before you can even make a bottle? Also, you have to rinse each item in boiling water after you’ve soaked it anyway, so expect first-degree burns due to tiredness. Two words for people who recommend Milton – microwave sterilisers.
What else have you been recommended to buy for your baby but has since proved to be useless? Or how about stuff you should have been told about but weren’t?