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They make WHAT for babies?

Before I became a dad, I was pretty naive to just how much baby-related 'stuff' there was out there. One of the challenges on those first few pre-baby shopping trips is trying to separate the necessary items from the frivolous crap, especially when you are assaulted with new products that you never even knew existed. Here are 10 items (some helpful, others absurd) that I've learned about over the past couple years that I was surprised to discover.

1) Newborn mittens

Previously unbeknownst to me, newborns apparently come out of the womb like rabid wolverines, prepared to claw their own faces raw. To remedy the situation, someone invented these miniature little mittens that slip over a baby's hands. I understand the functional purpose, but these things are still kind of weird. And they never stay on, so you end up spending half of your day securing mittens to your child. And I still can't understand why nobody has designed newborn mittens that look like boxing gloves (note to self, patent this idea IMMEDIATELY).

Given their tendency to claw, hospitals should issue this costume to all newborns upon birth.

2) Diaper booster pads

When my daughter started having constant issues with wetting the bed, even in 'night diapers', I had to find a solution other than taping sponges to her body and having her sleep in the bathtub. After some Internet research (God bless you, Google) I found out about diaper booster pads. These things are essentially baby maxi pads that absorb pee. Very bizarre, but strangely effective.

3) Crib rail guards

When babies are teething, they are like little gophers. My daughter was no exception, and her crib's paint job has the damage to prove it. I was pretty surprised when I found out that they make rail guards for cribs, specifically to protect against the gnashing teeth of babies. Between the scratching and chewing, you'd think we were dealing with puppies here..

4) Potty training targets

Obviously, since I have a daughter, I won't be able to use these, but I pray that I have a son someday so I can experience the joy of buying these little colorful toilet targets for practicing aim. And let's be honest, I really want to get them for myself so I can have fun shooting my pee stream at these and pretending I'm blasting spaceships with a laser (yes, these are the things that go through my head).

5) Pee pee teepees

Another boy-related item, but I was still in awe when I first saw these at the store. I mean, just read this description: "This tent-like device…is used to cover your baby’s penis during the action-packed diaper changes to prevent you from getting sprayed by his pee." I love that the changes are described as "action-packed". I just imagine parents dressed in Hurt Locker-esque bomb disposal suits, slowly unfastening a diaper, then rushing in like "QUICK, THE TEEPEE, NOW NOW NOW!"

6) Sleep positioners

I know that babies are supposed to sleep on their backs, and these positioners reduce the risk of SIDS and yadda yadda, but good lord these things look uncomfortable. Every time I see a picture of these positioners online, the baby "model" is staring off in the distance angrily, probably thinking "Somebody get me the hell out of here or I'm going to start scratching some faces."

This baby is already plotting how he'll get revenge on his parents for putting him in this thing.

7) Shopping cart cover

I had never heard of these, but I'm glad they exist after reading that 72% of shopping carts have fecal matter on them. Seriously people? Is it that much work to wash your hands between pooping and going to the grocery store? Anyway, these covers are pretty cool, although they are a huge pain in the ass to get secured to the cart. As if taking a baby shopping wasn't involved enough, these things kind of add insult to injury.

8) Baby wraps

I had heard of baby backpacks/baby carriers, but never these bizarre-looking wraps. When a parent is wearing one, it looks like their shirt came alive and snatched the baby up in order to eat it. Supposedly these provide better support and comfort for the parent, but I think I'd be willing to accept a little back soreness if it meant I didn't have to look like a goon in a baby-snatching sari.

Don't even try to tell me that this guy is wearing this thing voluntarily.

9) Wipes warmer

Give me a break. I'm convinced that babies whose parents use wipes warmers are destined to grow up and be on 'My Super Sweet 16', demanding that they get a Mercedes for their birthday. Newsflash parents, you were born with two built-in wipes warmers: your hands. And if your baby is already prissy about getting their butt cleaned with a cool/room temperature wipe, you are in for a long, long ride. Might as well start filling out the application for boarding school now.

10) Nursing covers

I guess for some reason, I always assumed that nursing mothers just whipped their boob out in public with no sense of shame or modesty. Quite frankly, I think nursing covers kind of look like reversed superhero capes. Somebody should make a red nursing cover with the big yellow Superman 'S', that way when a mom is done nursing, she can just flip it around to her back and look totally badass.


These reviews were both helpful and hilarious. I'm picking up some of these piss targets this weekend!

'Piddlers' are the ones I've seen at Babies R Us (, but it looks like there are a bunch of different kinds out there. Some made to actually look like targets!

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