Friday, 24 February 2012

The Most Bizarre Baby Shower Gifts

We all know the primary goal of a baby shower is to accumulate as much free stuff as possible, and to eat copious amounts of cake. So I have scoured the dark corners of the internet for genuine commercial products that no self-respecting breeder can do without.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that these little cone numbers are dessert holders or party hats for dwarfs. In fact they are a protective ‘cup’ marketed to rectify the age-old drama of baby boy’s projectile pee. Also aptly known as 'tinkle toppers', they are designed to be placed over your boy’s little fireman to absorb his spray during nappy changes. 100% cotton, they’re washable and reusable and come in packs of ten. One drawback however is that a particularly violent spray has been known to send these fellas flying.

Staying with the piss theme, this product is designed to protect children from bacterial infections and to help reinforce good potty training habits. It acts as a little porta-potty for when you’re out and about. The instructions read: “Parent places the top of My Pee Pee Bottle very close to the vagina or penis, as close as possible without touching the child and ask the child to release.” Maybe I’m missing something but this really doesn’t seem more hygienic than a toilet. The website speaks of scary rotavirus bacterium inhabiting toilet seats and peados lurking in public restrooms. However do we really need a brand new colour-coded product and website for what is essentially a bottle to piss in?

This is a set of fake hands that lays against your newborn to trick her into thinking that it's you. Darn, if only this was around before I chopped my hands off for my baby's pillow. I've got to hand it to them. They know how to palm off a crap idea. It's almost too creepy for words. And wrong. So very wrong. “Babies are used to the warm comfort and protection of their mother's womb and the Zaky can help imitate that” chirps the manufacturer.... erm yeah, imitate the womb by using a pair of disembodied limbs? On the other hand (so to speak), it’s a good way to ensure your child becomes a serial killer that keeps hands as trophies. It’s also blatantly a prop from a Monty Python sketch and a SIDS risk.

The Baby Keeper

The Baby Keeper is a contraption that hangs your baby on the back of a public bathroom door so you are "free to go." The picture says it all. Convenient? Perhaps. Sanitary? No way. Trusting a single hook will hold my baby safely over the hard bathroom floor? Not a chance in hell. 

Potty Mitts

"Potty Mitts are a new approach to protecting your child from germs in public bathrooms because kids touch everything...Each mitt is decorated with playful bears so kids love to wear them!" These are basically paper oven gloves with faux care bears all over them. This OCD-inducing product protects your child’s hands from all the nasties lurking in public bogs. I prefer to teach my child good hygiene by WASHING THEIR HANDS, but perhaps I’m just oldskool.

Nosefrida is a BPA-Free nasal aspirator that is designed to remove mucus from your baby’s airways without damaging delicate mucous membranes. The baby's mother (or some other unfortunate soul) places the rubber hose up the baby’s nose and then sucks on the other end (keeping track of which end is used for what). The resulting vacuum removes the snots, crusties, gunk and germs from the baby’s precious nasal cavity. I know what you’re thinking and fear not, there’s a filter (aka snot blocker) that keeps the snot and germs away from you. 

From the makers of NoseFrida (the company that appears to specialise in the insertion of tubes into babies’ orifices), the Windi is a single-use catheter that is inserted in the rectum to relieve gas and reduce colic. Though it looks eerily like a tampon, it apparently does work. One Amazon reviewer wrote: “The Windi works pretty much like a thermometer and relief is quick, the air flies out, ... be prepared for other "stuff" to come out as well!”

These tiny “Heelarious” baby heels (that’s the company name) are sized to fit infants up to 6 months old and are available in leopard and zebra prints, hot pink, baby pink and black. They are packaged in a purse shaped bag with a huge rhinestone clasp and retail for about £30. The marketing slogan is “her first high heels”. This product has caused spats over at UK newspapers: The Telegraph  and The Daily Fail, as well as pissing off feminists at The F-Word blog. There’s something just a little bit off about the idea of a baby in stilettos. Perhaps it’s because the purpose of high heels is: “to give the optical illusion of a longer, slimmer leg, a smaller foot, and a greater overall height. They are also designed to alter the wearer's posture and gait, flexing the calf muscles, and making the bust and buttocks more prominent” (Wikipedia). In defence of the product, the seller has commented that: “'If you think about it - some mums think it's pretty to get their baby's ears pierced and that can be painful”. Who am I to argue with that?

Phallic Baby Announcement Cards

Everyone knows that newborn boys have huge genitals due to hormones surges. Now proud parents can capitalise on this using specially designed announcement cards. Just insert finger and open. It’s a boy!

Placenta Teddy Bear

Honour the life-sustaining organ by turning it into a teddy bear. The Placenta Teddy Bear by Alex Green was one of the toy designs showcased at the ‘Doing it for the Kids’ exhibition, which aims to display the latest innovative and sustainable toy concepts. How can you get your hands on one of these bad boys? Well ‘simply’ give birth, cut your placenta in half, rub it with sea salt to cure it. When it dries out, treat it with tannin and egg yoke, an emulsifying mixture that makes it soft and pliable. Then, shape it into a teddy bear! Dragon’s Den would be proud.

This thing has "years of therapy" written all over it. No more needs to be said. It’s a baby vest with nipple tassels in sizes 0-6 months up to 3-4 years.

Baby Butt Fan

It would appear that treating nappy rash with plain old air and a touch of Sudocrem is outdated. Good job we now have the Baby Butt Fan. The instructions are simple: “Use at every diaper change! Eliminate wetness – the number one cause of diaper rash. Foamed sponge fan blades are absolutely safe for touch…Anti-microbial fragrance(such as lavender) protects your baby from skin ailments and it also sooths your baby from any agony. Contains soothing essences of lavender, sweet smells to bring sweet dreams. It is very good for a peaceful transition from little dynamo to sleeping angel.” Much of the trauma I've suffered in my life was caused by a lack of a Baby Butt Fan.

Having children is great and all, but it makes you fat. However fear not, gadget company Pure Austrian Design has created a buggy that converts into a scooter. “The transformation to a scooter occurs through a simple pull of the lower body, thus extending the buggy,” the company wrote. “The scooter opens up new possibilities to the common use of a baby carriage, meant for people with affinity to fast moving means of transportation with the child.” If you ask me it’s an accident waiting to happen.

Birthing cake

No shower is complete without cake, and no cake is complete without anatomical details, obviously. Check out the finishing touches. The mother has the face of a blow-up doll, is stark naked (is that a new trend in delivery rooms?), and is anatomically correct where you wouldn't expect her to be. However maybe it’s just me but there's something about marrying a vaginal birth and dessert that isn’t that appetizing. 

Also available in c-section version:

Because breastfeeding tears your nipples off, you'll need replacements. Also useful if you have to nurse sextuplets or if Dad wants to have a go. “Do not get them wet or your extra nipples could rust. They are not to be used for love making and you should always consult your doctor before using extra nipples.”

At last, EVERYBODY can have "one in the oven" with the Fetus Cookie Cutter. Baking time...9 months? “When they're done, your kitchen will be filled with the enchanting aroma of fresh baked fetuses”. Be sure to coat your cookies with pink icing. Maybe red licorice for an umbilical cord? Sugar crumbles for vernix? Okay I’m getting carried away now.

If you liked the cookie cutters then maybe the Gummy Fetus is right up your…uterus? Fancy chewing up a fetus? That's probably why this product is doomed to fail. The Gummy Fetus is available at, and comes with a serious warning: “Enjoy our candy in safety and stay far far away from hospitals, real feti, and people with no sense of humor.” It's true, life begins at confection.

Sigourney Weaver eat your heart out. The Peekaru is a kangaroo-like pouch for parents to carry baby around in. Looking at this, I just know I’d get my baby in there and he’d immediately take a crap and I’d have to undo it all and change him and by that time there’s no way I’d go for a walk so I’d just get fat sitting around on the couch and my husband would be all like “why do you waste money on this kind of thing?’ then I’d cry and eat more from the stress and get fatter.

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momto5 said...

oh my. what a serious waste of money. lol those hands are totally creepy. i mean if you have hands why not, oh i don't know, HOLD YOUR BABY! lol

ambiguity said...

actually I don't know what is so werid about frida. I've used it and it saved our lives as parents many times. Maybe you think it is not a proper gift but it's extremely useful. If it comes to other gifts, yeah they are freaky

Foogirl said...

Whilst I agree most of these are bizzare and in some cases horrific, the Zacky Pillow hands are used by many NNICUs for babies in incubators. They've been shown to be quite effective in helping to settle babies who cannot be cuddled.

Jo said...

This is hilarious, except, I have one major major issue - I first saw that cake on Cakewrecks, and there was the same comment about the insanity of being naked while birthing.

Well... you've had a baby, so ok, not everyone forgets about modesty while sweating and pushing a baby out of their vagina. But I am offended at the idea that there's anything wrong with being naked at this time. Lots of people use water baths. Lots of people get extremely hot in the final stages of labour. People want to be free to move, to feel the baby coming, to breastfeed straight away. No one should be made to feel ashamed of that, or criticised for it because some people choose a sanitised version of birth. I think there's something wrong with the perspective of people who think there's something wrong with it.

I think the cake is hilarious, but hate the cake if you wish - but I wish you'd remove that dismissive and misguided comment about being naked in labour.

Alpha Parent said...

Jo, I admit there was a point in my labours that I wanted to rip my clothes off. Not sure I'd commemorate the moment on a cake though?

Raisin4Cookies said...

I would totally use the roller buggy. But I have actually strapped roller skates to my feet and pushed a buggy around, so who am I to talk.

Sjosie231 said...

We LOVE the nosefrida! It works so much better than the bulbs suckers. The rest of it seems a bit crazy to me. Someone gave us the peepee teepee, as a hand me down. Neither one of us used them. They are absurdly small & would sit like a hat on the penis... ridiculous.

Aaron said...

We used the nose Frida all of the time and found it useful. Of course, there was the one time in which the filter inexplicably failed and I ended up with a mouthful of snot...

Mrs. Baruta said...

I actually have a peekaru and LOVE it. It is so warm and cozy for winter baby wearing (snowshoeing, hiking, long walks outside in the snow). It is really easy to zip and unzip and whip on and off... don't knock it till you try it.

Carrie said...

I haven't tried the Nosefreida, though I've heard it's actually great! The "hand pillows", I admit, DO look awfully creepy, but I could totally see it working for my daughter (and the previous commenter's post about its use in the NICU is fascinating!) Also, I want a Peekaru so badly! I babywear my kids all the time (though not forward facing as shown, which does look strange) and would LOVE something cozy like that. Funny how the rest are either strange but mildly interesting and/or useful (peepee teepee) or downright CRAZY (placenta teddy????)

Amanda Amanda Gilbert said...

I must be way crunchier than I thought, because I saw that placenta teddy bear and thought, "cool, maybe I'll do that with the next one!"

but then I wouldn't be able to encapsulate and ingest it like I did this time...

Oh boy, I'm a hippie.

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