Babies are constantly hungry, sleepy, dirty or terrifyingly vulnerable. It's what they do. As a new parent, you'll encounter a dazzling array of products to help you face these challenges. The trouble is, you don't know what you'll need until you need it.
Do little Torquil's onesies really need the optional $9.99 PoopStopper neck seal? Is it even physically possible for poop to come out the neck of a onesie? (Answer: yes. Someone invent this). Here are 10 real products you probably don't need. Fingers crossed.
Of all the compositions history has to offer, which piece of music do you think would be the universal soother, the lullaby to render all other lullabies obsolete? You're correct, it is Get Lucky by Daft Punk. It's currently one of the most popular melodies to be stuffed into corduroy cloud mobiles and bleak faux-artisanal cloth rabbits. Not the original version, which has lyrics that are all too poignant in relation to babies: "she's up all night 'til the sun". No, this is the tinkly tiny xylophone version. You may notice you subscribe to exactly zero tinkly xylophone playlists on Spotify. Daft, but in no way punk.
Burberry, Hello Kitty and Dolce & Gabbana have all entered the cut-throat world of infant fragrance. This is nonsense water. Babies smell like babies, except at certain intervals, when they smell like poop. Cologne does not improve the smell of either.
On the go and have to go? You need a portable urinal. Basically a bottle, but to make sure you spend money they come in toddler-friendly designs such as a cute yellow ducky whose beak opens to receive something else yellow. You can read all the parenting books in the world, but nothing quite prepares you for helping a child urinate into a duck's mouth. Good luck explaining yourself to the other parents at the duck pond when the inevitable happens.
Ritmo Pregnancy Audio Belt
Wrap your baby in music from the very beginning with the Ritmo Pregnancy sound system. A belt studded with speakers, it simulates for your foetus the experience of being stuck in someone else's car with the stereo on.
Babykeeper Over-Door Bathroom Hook
A device to hang your baby from a door so you can use the toilet. While your baby resembles an adorable paratrooper stuck in a tree, there's no dignity in being suspended from a toilet door. Leave this one to the Year 9 bullies; your child will grow up with enough hang-ups without this to blame you for.
Cocobelt Handsfree Carseat Carrier
Ignore the fancy name, it's a strap. A strap that turns your capsule carseat into the world's most cumbersome handbag. Toss your baby casually over your shoulder, pause briefly to have a medical professional reset your dislocated shoulder, and strut casually around the shops, chucking your purchases into your baby's waiting arms.
WhyCry Cry Analyser
Why is your baby crying? The same reason you mumble the second line of Blinded By The Light: it doesn't know the words. Babies cry when they need something. What they don't need is an electronic device to determine if they're tired, hungry or bored. Parents in the third hour of a colic cry may enjoy some relief by smashing the WhyCry against a hard surface.
Goes in the nappy and goes off loudly when your baby poops. It's impossible to see any downside to this. Well, except you have to get it back out of the nappy. And if your baby poops in a quiet, solemn place like church or the Tank queue, it could be awkward. And you already knew the baby pooped anyway because of the grunting and the smell, but now you have a high-pitched alarm screaming while it buries itself in fresh poop. So maybe one or two downsides, at most.
In America a fringe is called bangs. Attached to a headband, you can cure your newborn of unattractive baldness and make her the Uma Thurman of her daycare, if that's a thing you aspire to.
Placenta Teddy Bear Kit
Once considered medical waste, we now know the placenta is a precious keepsake. But how to keep it? You could plant it under a commemorative tree, only you rent and that would be weird when you move. You could eat it in a smoothie, but you're not sure if that counts as cannibalism. Some people wear it as jewellery but Pandora doesn't do a placenta bead. Yet. More often than not it goes into the freezer until the first, deeply regretted powercut. No longer! With the placenta teddy kit, you can tan your placenta and stitch it into a terrifying flayed-skin frankenbear. The perfect accessory for your Silence of the Lambkins-themed nursery.