Here are five baby products that are both fun and help you save time.
1. Baby Wipes
We all know that the older the child, the more cloth diapers he wears, but we don’t always realize that babies can go through a pack of wipes in just ten minutes. That’s because wipes are meant to take off dirt and grime, not to wipe away tears at the end of a screamingly bad day. They do a good job at one of those functions, but they’re not very efficient at doing both.
Baby wipes are expensive and wasteful – most contain at least 40% water, which you therefore use twice as many for the same function – but they’re great for travel when you need to do something on the go. They aren’t so great for daytime care or cleaning up after an accident, though.
I discovered baby wipes when my daughter was born (she was tiny). I still use them every day, even though she’s now almost three months old and has outgrown them. I’ve tried other disposable wipes – ones with saline solution to keep it moist – but they are messy and get soaked with urine within minutes of being opened; I have also tried cloth wipes that stayed wet forever if used in the bathtub. That’s
A lot of the products listed here are available in the United States, but you can find them even easier in Europe.
1. Baby carrier
a. The best is a baby wrap. You can get one at Target for about $10. It will adapt to your body and be easy to wear for short periods, but it’s not so comfortable that you’ll want to wear it all day.
b. The next best carrier is an Ergo baby carrier. It’s pretty comfortable and easy to use, but it costs at least $50 new and $70 used, so I wouldn’t buy it if I saw one on sale for less than $50.
2. Portable high chair
a. A good portable high chair costs around $40 and works well with the baby carriers described above. You can also buy a cheap one for around $20 that will work with a regular seat cover instead of the nicer ones that attach to the high chair straps (which cost over $5).
3. Diaper bag
a. A good diaper bag costs between $30 and $45 and has several compartments, including one big one big enough to hold the diaper bag itself plus an extra change of clothes. The best bags have lots of pockets for the stuff
If you take a baby product, like nappies or bottles or bottles with sterilizing gel, and wrap it up in itself, then put that inside something else—say a box to hold all the things—you can create an infinite number of new products.
This is not just a toy for grown-ups. It is a way to make very cheap toys for children who can’t afford anything else.
When I was growing up, we had a brand new plastic box that would hold four bottles of formula. It cost more than two years’ worth of school fees. When you took the lid off and saw all the bottles, you said “Wow this is great” and promptly forgot to buy any more because it cost so much. Now’s your chance.
What are the things that you do when you’ve got a toddler in tow? You buy some products and you talk to your friends and you take care of your family and, if you’re really lucky, you get some writing done. That’s what Winnie the Pooh suggests.
Winnie the Pooh is an icon in our culture. His stories have been an important part of the American childhood for almost a hundred years, right up there with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and Curious George. But his real power lies not in his books but in his merchandise: Babies love him, and so do parents.
When my daughter was small, we played a game called “Baby’s First Books.” The idea was to find six books a kid could read independently, starting with Winnie the Pooh and moving on to something like counting (or “how many animals are there in the zoo?”) or shapes or colors that he could memorize. It’s a good idea for kids because it lets them move through books at their own pace; no one has to worry about schoolwork coming first. And it works out fine for parents because it allows them to take turns reading aloud from the new books while they look after the baby or are out grocery shopping or whatever it
Some people think that a mother who buys a Winnie the Pooh costume for her baby is an uncaring, clueless parent. The child will be wearing a costume. That’s the end of it.
But let us look at the other side: the baby’s mother is spending $50 on an article of clothing in order to give her child some comfort and happiness, not simply because she doesn’t want to take the trouble to make a choice.
Maybe she will find out that she was wrong; maybe her child will grow up and buy something else, or perhaps there is some meaning in buying this particular thing, and she will understand it when she looks back on it years later. But what if she finds out that she was right? The mere fact that she knew about something before anyone else does not mean that she is wrong about it.
Paying for a Winnie the Pooh costume for the baby’s first birthday is a good reason to be selling software, not toys. It’s not just that he can’t have it; it’s that the mom who buys it will almost certainly buy something else from you, and probably lots of other things too. A toy that can’t be used as a more expensive gift might well be cheaper to buy in total than one that can be used as a gift of higher value.
A toy can also be made cheaper than a gift by using the toy itself as its own component in something else.
“Oh, dear,” said the mother, “I didn’t know Mother’s Day was on a different day of the week than Father’s Day.”
“And I didn’t know Father’s Day was on a different day of the week than Christmas,” said Pooh.
“And I didn’t know that it was a different day of the week than Easter.”
“And I didn’t know that it was a different day of the week than Crystal Pepsi Day.”
“You see, you’re always forgetting things,” said Piglet. “And you never remember them when they matter.”