WHEN you look around, there seems to be a product to solve every problem that might come with motherhood. And naturally, especially for new moms, this can be quite overwhelming because you'll feel like you need to procure all these products that you see on generic baby registries.
But it's when you actually get into the nitty-gritty of diaper changes and rashes and squirming babies that you'll see what you really need and what you didn't, and regret can feel like the sting of a thousand bees. For moms-to-be who are now shopping around, or for those who are still wading through the process of dealing with a new baby, below some experienced mommas who said they gave in to the pressure and bought a tonne of baby products explain what's really necessary and what's not. Some things, they say, are not only overrated, but they have now come to regret spending money that could have been used for other things.
Antonia, 32, entrepreneur:
I wanted a good quality car seat, but I later decided to get a nice travel system. My husband thought a stroller wasn't necessary and I thought maybe I didn't really need one, but I still went ahead and bought both items for about US$800. Now I must say that I regret having bought the set. I should have just bought the car seat which I have to use every time with my baby. The stroller I have used maybe twice because we don't do much walking and I most certainly don't feel safe walking around. I should have just bought two car seats, which I later had to do so we didn't have to keep switching between cars.
April-Ann, 37, insurance agent:
I wanted to have a nursery that would not only keep my baby calm and relaxed, but that was safe as well. I failed on the latter because I also got consumed with the idea of a perfect, well-adorned nursery. Among the splurges I now wish I hadn't made was the $29,000 crib bedding. It came with four pieces, including a quilt that fell over on my baby, but thankfully I heard her crying and went in right away to check on her. My daughter was struggling to get from beneath it. These days I just use cute cotton sheets and a dust ruffle and it still is really beautiful. She never used the quilt anyway.
Sanique, 27, hairstylist:
The one I got was a waste of nearly $6,000. Before I could get the wipes out of the water it would lose its warmth and I would still have a crying baby.
Marla, 34, educator:
I was sure that I needed a changing table. I insisted that my husband source one to match our nursery. I can count on my hands the number of times I have used it. I have been wanting to remove it from the nursery so I can get the space, but I am too ashamed to ask my husband to do it. I use my $2,000 portable changing pad almost always.
Avagaye, 36, marketing specialist:
I realised that the expensive rockers do the same thing as the little cheap rockers. I bought one for close to US$400 and my baby still took the same five or so minutes to slip into sleep like she does with the little battery-operated low-vibration $8,000 one we bought in a store downtown for outdoor and travel purposes. She also seemed to prefer it more, so that was disappointing.
Samantha, 29, customer service rep:
My breasts were sore, I was on day two of breastfeeding and I had left my nipple balm at home. I used some petroleum jelly and it worked like magic. I went home and tried the balm and I was not half as impressed as I was when I had used the Vaseline.
Lilleth, 34, paralegal:
This really is just another bin. In the end, it was unnecessary and it took up a chunk of space in my bathroom. Next time, I'm using a regular bin with Febreeze scented bin bags — it's not like I am keeping the diapers in my house for a whole week anyway.
Baby formula mixer
Georgette, 31, artist:
I was just too excited about everything; now I'm looking at this thing on my kitchen counter and wondering what exactly I was thinking when I bought it. It doesn't take rocket science to add some formula to a bottle with water and shake it. To make it worse, this thing cost close to $18,000. I guess I just went too far with this baby registry thing. I would also say the food processor was also not the best buy. Most times I just use the regular food crusher to make my baby's dinner. So again, poor financial decision.
Expensive breast pump
Sheila, 37, marketing executive:
I was going back to work and I wanted to keep up my milk supply and ensure my son always had a good supply of breast milk. I thought I needed an expensive electrical breast pump system to get the job done — I couldn't have been more wrong; first, it was bulky and not easy to travel with. I also thought it would help me to express more milk — I was wrong; it worked slowly and it made noise, so it was not ideal. When I bought a much cheaper version online it worked like magic. I didn't feel like a cow, I controlled the pumping so I got through much quicker, it was not as bulky so it was much easier to slip into my handbag, and surprisingly enough, each time I pumped I got a much higher volume of milk than I did with my “luxury” pump.
Nicky, 40, lawyer:
I made a big fuss about getting this chunky bottle steriliser because it sounded safe and I wanted to have all the supplies possible for my baby. However, I was using it to clean my bottles and my baby got thrush. The paediatrician said based on the type, it was caused by the bottle, even though I sterilised them every other day. When I threw it out and started boiling the bottles in a regular pot, it never happened. A set of twins later and I will say boiling bottles the old fashioned way is best.