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Wednesday 7 June 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# parents panel
Parents Panel: Which 'must-have' parenting purchase turned out to be a waste of money?
Fancy high chairs, environmentally-friendly nappies, and all those ballet classes…


AS PART OF’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. With that in mind, we’ve launched Parents Panel.

This week, we’re asking our panel: What one ‘must-have’ purchase turned out to be a waste of money?

Parents Panel All 7

Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Strickland, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly.

An expensive Scandinavian high chair
We inherited lots of baby gear from family so at the time I felt like the chair was a justified purchase. I recently realised that the €15 IKEA model does the exact same job!

- Kait Strickland

A changing mat
I used it for about a month, until I learnt to change her on my knees. Three more kids later and I’ve never looked at it again. I can’t even begin to add up the money I’ve wasted on gimmicks over the years.

- Susannah O’Brien

shutterstock_480725320 Shutterstock / Zuzule Shutterstock / Zuzule / Zuzule

Reusable nappies
We spent a year of our lives washing and drying nappies every other day. They were an expensive investment – and I’d wager they didn’t save us (or the environment) much. Suffice to say we gave them up for babies two and three.

- Alan Dooley

A buggy bike attachment
It cost €120, but my wife thought would be a great idea for our eldest. After a bit of an argument I conceded defeat. Annoyingly, the thing ended up broken before we even got our money’s worth from it.

- Ken Hyland

The clothes I thought she’d grow into
At the end of last summer, Penneys had loads of kids’ tops reduced to €1. I came out with nearly 25 of them, and put them all away for this year. It’s July and she’s barely worn half of them. We call my toddler the ‘Discount Baby’ as everything she wears has been bought in the sales!

- Denise Cumiskey

shutterstock_489077683 Shutterstock / Shutterstock / /

Ballet classes

Like nearly every little girl, ours wanted to do ballet. We booked her in for a term, but she’d had enough after a couple of weeks. Not to mention the new Brownie uniform that was only used twice…

- Ross Boxshall

Swaddling blankets
I invested in two of them, after reading up on the benefits of swaddling your baby. But from day one my little one had a mind of her own. She wanted her hands and arms to be free. It was the same story with crib blankets, which I got ten of as presents.

- Ríona Flood

shutterstock_257752951 Shutterstock / monika3steps Shutterstock / monika3steps / monika3steps

Far too many newborn clothes
I went crazy at the sales buying before Timothy was born. He didn’t have a chance to wear everything before he grew out of it, and in the end I gave three bags of clothes away to friends. I still have a huge bag of outgrown stuff left.

- Marta Liesicka

A baby floor seat
Our little guy’s legs were too chunky – by the time he was old enough to be in it, his thighs didn’t fit in!

- Olly Keegan

Expensive trainers for tiny feet
Buying expensive clothes and footwear before my boys were old enough to even be able to walk was a total waste. The majority of the time they ended up barefoot in babygros or stretchy pants, and they were just as happy like that.

- Suzie Kelly

Want to know a bit more about this week’s featured panel members? You’ll find a bio on each member here.

More from our Parents Panel: What’s one thing you tried to get your little one off to sleep?

And even more: What’s the one thing you wish you’d been told before having kids?>

Want to win a two-night pampering break at The Kingsley in Cork? Simply enter your email address below. Full competition details here

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