4 Parenting Products I Wish I Hadn’t Bothered Buying

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When you’re expecting your first child, it’s perfectly understandable to want to be kitted out with everything you need to make their life – and therefore your life – more comfortable.

But it can mean we end up overdoing it as far as spending is involved. A study from Ergobaby UK found parents in the UK spend an average of £10,000 on baby preparation and first year of life costs.

A staggering 90% of parents surveyed admitted they’d overspent on baby goods, with an average £5,567 wasted in total.

From the pushchairs, car seats and cots, to clothes, baby monitors and nappies, bringing a child into the world doesn’t come cheap. As a first-time mum, I definitely fell into the trap of buying things I didn’t necessarily need when our daughter was born.

I thought they’d improve our lives – but honestly, they didn’t. And I ended up wasting money in the process. So whether you’re a parent-to-be who’s currently kitting out your nursery, or a parent who’s currently harbouring some new-baby-purchase-regret too, here are some of the things I wish I hadn’t bothered buying – and what I wish I’d bought instead.

Regret #1: cot mobile

I don’t know what possessed me to buy a mobile for our baby’s cot. Maybe it was because it’s one of the things you typically associate with a tiny tot’s nursery, or maybe it’s because I’d seen lots of pretty ones on Instagram.

Anyway, we bought one – it was wooden with cute little sea creatures on and probably cost us about £50 – and we barely used it. Our little one, who was about 2-3 months old when we got it (I can’t quite remember because that period was a sleep-deprived blur), was absolutely delighted with the mobile.

But rather than soothing her, like I thought it would, it got her properly fired up. Every time she was placed in her cot, even if a little bit drowsy, she’d clock it and would ferociously kick her legs about like an Irish dancer (which is exactly what you want when you’re desperately hoping for your child to drift off).

There wouldn’t be a point where she’d get bored or tire of it – it was *the* most stimulating item in the world – so in the end I had to remove it from sight. I know, I’m the worst.

Oscar Wong via Getty Images

What I should’ve bought instead: blackout blinds

My biggest regret – and I still haven’t bought them (what is actually wrong with me?) – is that I didn’t get some blackout blinds fitted in our daughter’s room.

I genuinely believe it would’ve saved me hours trying to get her to sleep on those long summer nights, in addition to getting her back down on those early mornings when it was light outside at 5am. It would’ve also done me a solid favour during those many daytime naps when I’d shut the curtains but the afternoon sun would be so strong that the room remained piercingly bright.

I know it would’ve made a difference because we’ve since been on holiday to Croatia and the hotel had amazing blackout curtains. And guess what? She slept until 9am some mornings.

If you’re in the market for blackout blinds, these ones from Argos (from £8) were rated by Expert Reviews as being the best value roller blinds, while Mumsnet recommends the Gro Anywhere blackout blinds (£19.26) from John Lewis for a more temporary (not to mention travel-friendly) solution.

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