I recently attended my first ever baby shower for one of my coworkers. It was a quaint affair, hosted by the department and held in the break room during lunch. As both the youngest person in the room by ten years and the only male, it was very evident I was the odd one out. While everyone else ooh-ed and aww-ed at the display of baby clothing and toys, all I could think about was how useless 90% of the shit was. As someone who once successfully cared for a Beta Fish for almost six months before he died (RIP Horatio), I am clearly the most qualified to review the top 20 most popular baby shower gifts, as compiled by Buzzfeed.
20. KidCo Universal White Outlet Cover ($10)
We’re off to a much better start than I expected. This is a practical gift for any parent that doesn’t want their baby to electrocute themselves, which I hope would be all of them. The only downside is that they are obnoxious as fuck to plug things into. My childhood home is still covered with these, either due to my parents laziness, or their (correct) belief that I am still a child who would jam a fork in an outlet without this protective cover.
19. Stokke Xplory Rider Sibling Board ($120)
For just over a C-note you can now attach a skateboard to the back of your stroller! This is perfect for parents with two children who want to give the older one the means to easily push themselves AND their siblings into a busy street! This is the dumbest product ever invented. Children are actively trying to exterminate themselves on a daily basis, and all this does is make it easier for them to get a double-kill. And for $120? That’s more expensive than an actual skateboard.
18. Inoo Tech Stroller Phone Mount ($9)
Now this is a stroller attachment that makes sense. I regularly crash my shopping cart into the aisle displays while attempting to steer one handed and text with the other. As much judgment as I receive for that, I can only imagine it would be tenfold if you crash your child while trying to refresh Instagram. This is a smart product for a modern parent, and a steal for the price.
17. The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer ($25)
I was not aware of this, but apparently babies need their food and drink warmed up before they can eat it? Are they just cold all the time from being so small? The only thing I can think of that would make mashed carrots and peas worse is to warm it up, but I guess that’s their thing. I’m not sure why a microwave couldn’t do this job, but I’m going to chalk it up to lack of knowledge on my part and assume this is a solid gift.
16. Multipurpose Diaper Bag and Portable Change Station ($75)
This is awesome. As someone who has worked in many retail jobs in the past, one of the grossest things I’ve seen is the aftermath when a parent decides to change their baby’s diaper in the changing rooms or restrooms. It’s disgusting for everyone else, and it’s got to be unsanitary for the baby. I’ve seen people change their babies on airline tray tables, on park benches, and once on the actual dining table of a buffet (you stay classy, Gary, Indiana). I’m a fan of any product that reduces the amount of poop I have to see in my life, so this bag gets an A+ from me.
15. The Bibby Mat ($20)
This is a long bib that extends into a tablecloth to keep food from being spilled both on the table, and en route to the baby’s mouth. I’m not going to lie: I want one in an adult size. I eat like a starving animal, and I’m constantly having to wipe food off the table/the floor/my face/my hair/the wall behind me…it’s an issue. I’m assuming my baby will inherit his father’s lack of food etiquette, so this is going to be my #1 requested item on my baby shower registry. Just great innovation all around.
14. Stroller Storage ($25)
For the price of an extra-large pizza, you can add a couple of pockets to your stroller. Honestly, for how much strollers cost nowadays, if yours doesn’t have all the pockets you need on it, that was a consumer error on your part. I know babies need a ton of toys and shit at all times, but come on. You’re going to have a diaper bag with you anyway, just toss more stuff in there. You don’t want your baby to grow up to be a spoiled brat.
13. Gyroscopic Bowl ($10)
I actually remember seeing the infomercials for this thing a few years back, and it baffles me just as much today as it did then. It’s essentially a bowl attached to a gyroscope, which uses gravity or physics or something to make sure it always stays level and can’t be spilled. I don’t buy it for a second. I’m sure all the science and shit is sound, but there has never existed a thing on this earth that a child could not break, spill, or otherwise ruin. Even if the only way for this bowl to spill is to rip a hole in the space-time continuum and rewrite physics as we know it, a three-year-old would be able to do it with an adorable smile on its face.
12. Baby Safe Feeder ($9)
I guess this is a pacifier-sized drawstring bag that you put fruit into for your toothless baby to enjoy? This is another “as seen on TV” product, and somehow even less believable than the last. I have never fed a baby in my life, but there has got to be a better way then making him or her suck an apple slice through a mesh bag. The website, which claims “your baby can make fresh apple sauce from an apple,” is drastically overestimating the sucking power of an eight-month-old human. I’m quite sure no one (possibly excluding my college girlfriend) could suck with enough force to strain an apple slice into applesauce. How about instead of this gift, you just buy the parents a bunch of applesauce? Easy fix.
11. HTML For Babies Cardboard Book ($10)
Are you fucking kidding me? Cardboard books are for babies who can’t even read yet. They’re literally just five pages filled with bright pictures to stimulate tiny humans who most likely are just using them as a chew toy. Some Silicon Valley douchebag decided that he was going to fill those pages with HTML text, and help babies learn how to code before they can walk. Let your kid want to be a cowboy or an astronaut for a bit. The real world will crush their dreams soon enough, you don’t have to do it yourself with this bullshit book.
10. MamaRoo Bouncing Cradle ($239)
This has a hefty price tag attached to it, but for a new parent, can you really put a price on a full goddamn night of sleep? This thing has five settings of various rocking and bouncing motions and can soothe your fussy baby to sleep while you do the same. The thing that scares me most about being a parent (hopefully in the distant, distant future) is the lack of sleep that accompanies it. Hearing horror stories about parents who haven’t slept more than four hours a night for the first three years of their child’s life is almost enough to scare me off kids for good. When Nick Jr. comes along, his ass is going to be planted in one of these things from the first second he cries until he can sleep through the night.
9. Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer ($15)
Again, not sure why babies need their meals warmed for them at all times, but this bottle shaped thermos would probably do the trick on the go. If you buy this gift you are boring, but practical.
8. Blooming Bath Baby Bath ($40)
I can’t imagine spending forty of my hard earned bucks on a flower-shaped pillow that my baby can lie on in the bath. Is my baby a queen in ancient Egypt? What, their too good for a normal pillow, or like, a couple folded towels? Both would be cheaper and easier to clean. This is definitely a gift that the mother requested so she could take some cute-ass ‘grams of her baby and then put it in a drawer and never use it again. I’m pretty sure my mom just put my brothers and I in the kitchen sink and hosed us down. We didn’t get any spa treatment and we turned out (somewhat) fine.
7. The Baby Bullet ($60)
It’s just a magic bullet, but smaller and less effective. If you have a blender, you don’t need this. If you don’t have a blender because I roasted them when discussing the Top Wedding Registry Gifts, you made the right choice. If you’re the kind of parent who is blending your baby’s food for him instead of just buying those baby mush jars, you’re probably on your way to raising a free-range dickhead. Just buy the jars that everyone buys, and stop thinking you (or your kid) is special. I double-down on my previous statement: blenders are useless.
6. Portable Baby Food Mill ($20)
Just when I thought the parent blending personalized baby food was an insufferable twat, you put this shit on the list? It achieves the same results (mashed vegetables and a child who will be bullied), but with the added bonus of making you grind the food with nothing but your elbow grease. What is this, the dark ages? I wouldn’t even put this much work into making my own food, let alone food for a baby who would eat Lego pieces if someone wasn’t there to stop them. If you buy someone this gift, you don’t deserve friendship.
5. Baby Trend Stroller and Car Seat ($200)
Solid gift. It’s a stroller with a detachable seat that can be used as a car seat as well. Two things for the price of one, and it comes with cup holders, so you can take your road beer for a walk with your baby. Or maybe those cup holders are supposed to be for a baby bottle or something? Your choice.
4. Baby Shusher ($30)
I need this in my life. Not for a baby of course, even I know there’s no way a little speaker that makes a shushing noise every few minutes is actually going to put your baby to sleep. I would just hide this around the house when we have people over and watch it ruin conversations with a gentle “shhhhh” every five minutes. There’s nothing more aggravating than being shushed as an adult, and I think this would be a fantastic practical joke machine.
3. Dancing Shoes (105 Euros?)
The website linked to this gift is entirely in German, but as far as I can tell these are goofy looking shoes for parents that have small, child-sized shoes attached to the top. Their only use is that you can do that dad thing where you dance while your kid stands on your feet. Did I mention they also cost about 117 dollars US and are made of bright red felt? I could literally learn how to sew and make these for half the price and twice the quality. Parents, is this a gift that anyone would want? Do y’all just have daily, hour-long dance sessions with your kids on your feet that are ruining your normal shoes? Are you afraid your kid will somehow slip off your feet and tear their ACL without their feet being physically attached to yours? I’m calling it- this is the dumbest baby product ever made.
2. Bobalong Baby Vest ($30)
With the claim of “the battle of the dropped baby bottle is over,” posted on their website, this product wins “most unnecessarily dramatic invention ever.” If you think affixing your child’s bottle to his vest is going to be the end of you picking shit up after your kid, you’ve got a long eighteen years ahead of you. Your kid is going to throw food, toys, tantrums, and parties over the next two decades, and you’re going to have to clean most of that up. Don’t strap a vest to your child and make him look like Andre from “The League.” The eventual therapy is not worth a few minutes of picking things up. Just accept that your little angel is going to drive you insane, and get ready to be a full-time housemaid.
1. BayB Brand Baby Bean Bag ($60)
Right off the bat, I’m going to give this company props for picking a great photo to showcase their product. The baby on this beanbag is passed. the fuck. out. This isn’t a cute, gently sleeping baby. This child is in the midst of a drooling, mouth open, fantastic nap. That’s just good advertising. However, I’m going to say this product is ultimately useless. Your kid is going to out grow this thing in like six months, and it will never be used again. Instead, spend a couple extra bones and buy a full sized beanbag. The baby can sleep on it just as well, and it can also be used for mom or dad when they are too tired to make it to the bedroom because their new child has taken every ounce of energy from them.
Enjoy all these amazing gifts that your child will outgrow or break within six months, new parents. I’m sure your friends don’t all secretly hate you for having to shell out money to the tyrants at Babies-R-Us, knowing full well your kid will probably just end up playing with the box the toy came in..