Pacifiers that close when they're dropped and other crazy baby stuff you might actually want

Updated Oct 12 2015

I haven't had an infant in years so it's easy to forget that the world of baby stuff keeps on expanding. While looking up something or other on Amazon the other night I stumbled upon the Keep it Kleen Pacifier — aka the pacifier that closes up when it's dropped. My feelings were divided: is this genius or is it too much? Our son ditched his pacifier around the time he was three months old so we never had to deal with them for very long, but even when we did we would just casually brush it off on our legs after it was dropped (which is probably pretty disgusting) and pop it back in his mouth. No muss, no fuss… right?

Despite having that attitude, I can't help but think this thing is kind of brilliant. It turns out there's a whole bevy of probably unnecessary but simultaneously fascinating baby-related things you can buy:

Like this: the Culla Belly Co-Sleeper. This thing retails at $600, which blows my mind. No matter: this co-sleeper is special because it can be a crib (with the sides folded up) or attach to an adult bed. You can also buy a stand to keep the sleeper in during the day, and wheel your baby around your home. Dude.

The Flyebaby Infant Seat ($60) doesn't seem that far-fetched to me: having flown with my son a few times during his infancy (you can read some great tips for flying with your baby here), it would have been pretty awesome to have an extra seat for him to hang in. The seat can be used while in the air (not during taxiing, take off, or landing). It's apparently pretty small, and has a head line to indicate when the baby is in a safe position — so you're fine even if the person in front of you moves his or her seat. The only snag I've read is that not all airlines will let you use it, so it's a good idea to check in with yours first.

Taga bikes come up every time we talk about bicycle safety and kids on the site, but I had never checked them out in depth until recently. The Taga is a safe, fully functional bicycle that turns into a stroller when you want it to be — and then back into a bike you and your kid can safely ride around town on. At around $1500 the bike isn't ideal for everyone, but if you're intentionally car-free and having a baby it could totally be your jam.

Sippy Sure The Medicine Dispensing Sippy Cup is another baby item I'm a little iffy on — I think the premise (hide your baby's gross-tasting meds so he or she will drink it without fuss!) is a good one, but I have only one question: why not just pour the medicine into the drink itself? We've successfully hidden everything from liquid iron vitamins to pain meds in our son's drinks by just pouring the amount he was prescribed in — all without a special cup to help.

I saved the Infantino Hoodie Universal All Season Carrier Cover for last because it's my faaaavorite: sure, you can just wear mittens while you're wearing your kid in cold temperatures, but this sucker also covers your baby's feet, has special pockets for you to tuck your hands into, and keeps your kiddo protected from cold and/or boisterous winds.

What possibly unnecessary baby stuff did you guys get and love — and what do you wish you had picked up?

  1. Those stupid pacifiers were beyond useless. We got one as a gift, and it was so reactive to snapping closed that actually having it open long enough to pop in my son's mouth was almost impossible. It was like "open it… okay, don't breath… move verrrrrry slowly… his mouth is open…. okay GO" and hope it didn't pop shut. The other stuff looks cool, but don't waste your money on those silly pacifiers. Seriously.

  2. I think the benefit of the medicine sippy cup is that it keeps the medicine separate from the juice so you can see how much they've actually drank if they don't finish the whole drink.

  3. The boon spoon! I took that thing everywhere. I put home made baby food inside so it was half lazy, half super mom (right?). I also liked the little spoon tips that attached to the store-bought baby food pouches ­čÖé

  4. My thoughts on the medicine sippy cup: If a kid doesn't finish the drink, they don't get the full dose. However, I still have my doubts about this cup because a kid/toddler knows when they are being fed medicine. Most kids probably will not fall for the contents in the hidden cup within the sippy cup. My 2.5yo son is a veteran medicine taker (complex medical needs) and he would never fall for this.

    • TOTALLY THIS. Our son has to take an iron vitamin every day that tastes rank and has had his fair share of medicines in his four years — at this point, we just tell him it has to happen, ask him to open his mouth, and then use a dropper to get the meds in. I can't try to come up with a song and dance or hide it every time he needs something.

      • we've had tantrums over disgusting meds before, but honestly telling them they need it usually gets them to choke it own (my six year old is very dramatic) or having a juice chaser (or chocolate milk) helps ­čÖé

        • My oldest still deeply hates some of the medicine she has to take rather frequently, which is in liquid form, so now we have a deal — she will swig without complaint if I sing a German drinking song for her to drink it to. ( In M├╝nchen steht ein Hofbr├Ąuhaus) and she drinks at the line that basically translates to "one, two, guzzle it"

          Hiding never worked for us.

  5. The pacifier is only $5…so why not? If it were more expensive than a regular one, that'd be silly. They are cute too, but babies can be picky about their binkies…
    The medicine sippy cup is AWESOME. Hiding it in a drink could mean they are getting the dose over a long period of time…when my kids are sick, it is harder to get them to drink a whole cup at once, and I have found half full ones…which means they only got a fraction of a dose. Sometimes it is the medicine cup itself that makes them not wanna take it too.

  6. I remember vividly how much less clothing my daughter (born during a warm Chicago April) needed vs. what I thought she'd need: our Little spent her first two months in kimono-style t-shirts and swaddles, with little else. Objects our family essential during the first few months: Aden + Anais muslin swaddles (the bamboo fabric version deteriorated quickly), the Boppy infant lounger, a Moby wrap, diaper shells with velcro (while less aesthetically pleasing to me than shells with snaps, I found the snaps near impossible with my Queen of Wiggles), the Renee & Jeremy kid's album "It's A Big World" (the ultimate sleepy music), and Cloud b satin-trimmed burp cloths that comes with a plush rattle toy (their durability and absorption strength was dang near shocking, and my daughter adored her soft giraffe rattle). My husband picked up a Brica travel bassinet that he found invaluable for trips to the park or coffee shop.

    • YES to the clothing thing: our then three-month-old son spent his first summer in Alabama in basically a diaper only, unless we were going to be outside, and then we put a shirt on him. He slept in onesies or just a diaper, and was totally happy the entire time. I was astounded by how little clothing we needed the first few months!

  7. We never used pacifiers, bottles, hardly ever our stroller, etc. But the things I would never have survived without are my Moby wrap, and a well working infant swing.

    • I would have thrown myself out a WINDOW without my infant swing! That is the only thing that let me get a break those first few months.

  8. While those snot bulbs sort of work, the Nose Frida snot sucker is much more effective. A worth it baby gadget.

  9. My favorite baby stuff has been:
    -My ergo carrier (we used the infant insert until he was big enough to go without). Baby is 8 months old now and the ergo is still my preferred way to have him out and about (we don't even own a stroller). As we approach summer though, I am wondering how uncomfortable baby and I will be if I am wearing him out and about…
    -Summer Infant Swaddlers-The swaddle blankets with the Velcro! When he was first born (and until 5 or so months), he slept better while swaddled and these were the only way I could get a secure swaddle that he wouldn't squirm out of.

    That being said, we generally have tried to avoid excess baby crap, yet there are so many toys and other random things (gifts) in a box that baby has never even seen/used.

  10. We're about to have our second, in a small living space with two adults and a toddler, so we're trying to be super conservative about "stuff." Must haves for us have been a good swing with music, a large car mirror (with music), a baby seat with a screen (so my toddler and cat cannot get to the baby) and my New Native sling. I have a back injury and this is the only carrier or sling I've been able to use. I carried my daughter in it comfortably until she was almost 2. Best. Ever.

  11. ergo
    nosefrida
    gripe water
    swaddler

    if nothing else, those four things have saved our butts time and time again…

    that co-sleeper is rad though – i wish i could justify it!

  12. Yes to the Ergo carrier, but we also loves our homemade ring sling (for little kiddos; once my son passed the 10/11 pound mark it wasn't really practical anymore), and cannot recommend seriously enough a few good pacifier leashes. Having a few on hand was invaluable, both for pacifiers in the beginning and later on for toys so that there was always something on-hand, and favorite things to chew on didn't hit the floor every two minutes. My husband has jokingly used them a few times for his own cell phone and sunglasses, but I'm not really sure he's joking anymore; they are brilliant! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dbaby-products&field-keywords=pacifier%20leash&sprefix=pacifier+l%2Cbaby-products&rh=i%3Ababy-products%2Ck%3Apacifier%20leash

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