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Monday 2 October 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# newborn and baby
11 new parents on the 'must-have' items that weren't worth the money - from nappy bins to parasols
‘Our co-sleeper now functions as a really useful snack holder.’

WHEN IT COMES to being pregnant, or parenting a newborn, everyone’s just figuring things out as they go. That’s why it can be so helpful to hear how other people are getting through the mess of it all, from the first nappy change to the countless sleepless nights.

Our Newborn and Baby Parents Panel is made up of parents and parents-to-be, all raising little ones aged up to 24 months.

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This week, we’re asking new parents to share the must-have baby items they purchased… and ended up never using.

The list of items you ‘need’ as a new parent is alarmingly long, and so this week we thought we’d try to offer some perspective to other new or expectant mums and dads out there. So, parents panel: what one newborn/baby item turned out to be a total waste of money for you?

The parasol I wanted to fling in the canal: The one thing I constantly harp back to is a parasol that we bought for our buggy. It was supposed to be compatible with all buggies, but I came close numerous times to flinging the stupid thing in the canal on our ‘many’ sunny walks during the summer. For €20, it didn’t break the bank, but it just really broke my heart. My blood is starting to boil thinking about it again 

- Niamh Roche 

A sleeping pad he refused to sleep on: We were having trouble getting our little man to sleep in his cot, so a late night internet dive led me to purchase back-supporting ‘baby sleep aid’. I thought it was the answer to my prayers having read wonderful reviews online, and couldn’t wait to put him to sleep in it – but he had other plans. He has not slept in it once and I purchased it 6 months ago. I put it back in the packet within a couple weeks of buying, and haven’t looked at it since. 

- Martha Mernagh

The nappy bin that was a total cash-drain: Our nappy bin turned out so expensive as you had to buy the cartridges. I end up just going straight out to the bin with the bad nappies. Yes, it might be a good idea to have one if you lived in an apartment and couldn’t just pop to the big bins but it didn’t work for us.

- Valerie Murray 

A sling I was too nervous to use: I did all my research, but I never felt comfortable enough to trust it to hold my baby safely! I constantly feared the thing would unravel and the baby would fall out. I tried it twice and then it went to the charity shop! 

- Brianan Nolan 

The co-sleeper that now doubles as a snack holder: I bought a Chicco Next to Me sleeper second hand. Our first son arrived, spent roughly one glorious hour it, followed by 2.5 years in the same bed as us. I should have known – the woman I bought it from mentioned that her son never slept a night in it… 

- Jess Mushanski

All those swaddle blankets: I bought loads of beautiful blankets before my son was born, after much research. But it turned out my newborn loved to sleep with his arms over his head, so confining him in a swaddle blanket wasn’t a goer. I still have them in their boxes, maybe the next baby will want to be swaddled…

- Paula Lynch 

Several breast pumps: For me it was electric breast pumps. I bought one that was expensive, but I didn’t think it was very good so I bought another version. Also not very good. The penny eventually dropped that it was my subconscious dislike for electric pumping rather than the pumps was the problem! 

- Orlaith Hogan 

A Gummee Glove that she used for around 20 seconds: While not expensive, our teething glove was a total waste of money – my daughter immediately shook it off and it went on the floor! I could never keep it on her. 

- Amy Molyneaux

The playpen that was far too big for our living room: I did my measurements before we bought it but when it arrived it was so bulky and big you could fit a small horse into it. The whole room was taken up by the playpen, so it ended up in the attic! In hindsight I don’t know why we bought one.

- Valerie Murray

I bought a load of baby bottles that were never used: I ended up breastfeeding Timothy for over 18 months, and Frankie is still at it and is 15 months old. We gave the bottles away in the end.

- Marta Lisiecka

A rocking chair for all those night feeds: The biggest waste for us was a rocking chair. I had this notion I’d be blissfully breastfeeding in the rocking chair in the baby’s bedroom… The breastfeeding didn’t work out, any attempts to breastfeed were done in bed (obviously!) and I’m still tripping over the thing 4 years later! 

- Aisling Drake

More: ‘The ukulele is still in its box’: 11 parents on the most impractical gifts they bought for new babies>

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