It’s become clear that the people charged with making shit for babies have a big problem. This problem, is that they’ve never seen a baby. Or if they have, they’ve seen them exclusively in those creepy renaissance paintings where babies are just ugly, quite small adults. There’s no other explanation for the number of items which actually hinder the already fraught process of keeping a baby alive.
I like lists, so here are a few of the most egregious examples:
1) The Lamaze Octotunes Octopus and other baby toys.
Now, I love the Octopus. I do. He is impregnated with the scent of vanilla, you can play chopsticks on him, and his rainbow colours delight M. Also, his tentacles are delightfully phallic. So much so that we call them ‘cocktacles’ and have named him ‘cocktopus’. The only problem is that what M really wants to do is honk his cocktacles for herself. But she can’t, because they are formed from some kind of steel/plastic composite. Seriously. You need the strength of ten creepy renaissance babies just to illicit the tiniest squeak. It’s cool, because M is happy enough just squeezing and biting him, but still. If you’re creating a noise-making toy for babies, consider creating one babies would not need to triple their bodyweight to have a hope of making noise with.
2) Bath seats
I’m pretty sure the bath seat was actually designed by a baby which wanted to make it easier to consume its fill of bathwater and bubbles. Sure, the bathseat frees your hands to clean your child without having to hold it with one hand and shampoo it with the other (a process much like I imagine applying body butter to an eel would be). But it also gives the baby added freedom, which doesn’t seem such a good thing when it is vomiting soapy water down its clean onesie and you have to put it right back in the bathseat and start the whole cycle again.
3) High chairs
Have you ever looked at a chair designed to hold a child with the hand-eye coordination of a drunk chimp and thought ‘wow. It would be so great if this thing had loads of creases and folds in the seat so that little morsels of food could get trapped and even when you’ve cleaned them out 9,000 times, somehow food remains. Also, add webbing straps, because they are fun to clean’? You probably haven’t. Well the people who make highchairs have.
4) Snow suits
If you ever wanted to experience handling limbs which are simultaneously alarmingly fragile and overwhelmingly strong, try cramming a writing six-month-old into a snowsuit. For added fun, do it in front of an audience of strangers in somewhere like a coffee shop. They will enjoy discussing how you are probably going to accidentally kill your child for a long time after you leave.
5) The grocery basket on prams
Or my pram anyway. Seriously, what is this, a grocery basket for ants? Unless you are Victoria Beckham, this basket is not large enough to carry your groceries. I tried to fit a sandwich and a can of coke in it one time and it basically exploded.
6) Anything with buttons
Initially, your child will be too floppy for buttons. They will be on the back of all its adorable little clothes and your child will scream when you lie it face down so you can do them up. Eventually, it will become strong enough to support itself while its buttons are fastened. At which point it will begin wildly rolling, squirming and thrashing around as though you were trying to light it on fire the second you try to clothe it in anything at all.
Mittens perform one function: getting lost. Hypothetically, they are capable of keeping your infant’s hands warm, but nobody has ever kept a pair long enough to confirm this.
‘Oh wow, this is so useful for keeping my newborn’s really long hair off its face’, said nobody ever. The one advantage to these things is that they are slightly more tasteful than drawing a vagina on your baby to remind everyone its a girl.