Creepy, Crazy & Quirky Baby Products {would you buy them?}

Advice to 1st time moms-to-be: be weary of the baby industry.

Baby stores + expos will try to convince you to buy lots of STUFF - stuff that will collect dust and that you will sell on Craigslist later.

To help prove my point, I've been compiling a list of crazy baby products that I thought you might get a kick out of. If you've used or bought any of these products, please forgive my skepticism and please do enlighten me about their usefulness.

Let's begin with pregnancy:

Creepy, Crazy & Quirky Baby Products {would you buy them?} 1Pregnancy Piercings offers flexible pregnancy belly button rings for $15.99. I may be a little biased here because I'm not really a piercings kind of girl in general, BUT...it seems hard for me to believe that a mama would want to show off her expanding belly by touting a sparkling ring with a crop top (but maybe that's just me). Not to mention the potential for infections. Or the fact that burgeoning bellies housing babies tend to be itchy and uncomfortable as is.

Creepy, Crazy & Quirky Baby Products {would you buy them?} 2Then, there's the Lullabelly Prenatal Music Belt ($55). Simply wrap the fabric around your waist, plug in your iPhone or MP3 player, and let your baby jive to tunes in the womb. I'm all for starting music appreciation early, but I think it's probably sufficient to listen to music yourself or to...sing to your baby. After all, "Who needs lullabies when you have a Lullabelly?" [Note: Sarcasm]

Also: the makers of Lullabelly recommend that you start using it at the beginning of your 3rd trimester. Not a lot of bang for your buck.

Creepy, Crazy & Quirky Baby Products {would you buy them?} 3If you just can't wait for the big 20-week sonogram, you can opt to buy an early gender prediction test by IntelliGender (82-90% accuracy rate; $34.95) or pink or blue (95% accurate; $265-$330). You can find out your baby's gender with a simple urine (IntelliGender) or blood (pink or blue) test at as early as 7 weeks post-conception.

I understand the appeal of this product, but - seriously - can our culture get any more impatient? Tomorrow people will be requesting that they're babies arrive like 3 weeks early or something (oh, wait...that already happens).

Creepy, Crazy & Quirky Baby Products {would you buy them?} 4Your baby finally makes his/her arrival and now of course you HAVE to have a Why Cry Baby Analyzer ($69.99) by ThinkGeek or at the very least a Cry Translator App ($9.99) for your iPhone by Biloop Technologic.

Yes, it's true. The crying analyzer detects why your child is crying (i.e. Stressed, Sleepy, Annoyed, Bored or Hungry) via advanced frequency analysis technology. The makers of the iPhone app even boast that, "Clinical studies have shown the Cry Translator can decipher the broad meaning of a baby’s cry with 96 percent accuracy." Uh-huh. I'd like to know how exactly they conducted those trials. Did they, by chance, interview the babies afterward?

Creepy, Crazy & Quirky Baby Products {would you buy them?} 5Next up is LENA (the Language Environment Analysis System; $699). Here's how it works: You dress your child in LENA Clothing, slide the LENA Digital Language Processor into the pocket, and press go. At the end of the day, you plug the DLP into your computer and view your reports. The system is designed to help you see exactly how much you (or your baby's caregivers) are talking to your baby and what "level" of words are being used.

I'm a total word nerd so I have to admit that I am absolutely fascinated by this product. Not $699 fascinated though. Also, I'm a bit skeptical about sticking the device into special clothing. I betcha my baby would pull that device out lickety split...or spill her lunch all over it...or something.

Creepy, Crazy & Quirky Baby Products {would you buy them?} 6As your kids get older, they're guaranteed to get colds and coughs. Why not hook them up with a pair of Sniffle Buddies ($9.99)? They're cloth wristbands that are designed for small children to - ahem, there's no pleasant way to say this - wipe their boogers on. Hands-free!

Um. Eeew. I sort of don't understand how these are particularly sanitary. After one swipe of snot, aren't they pretty much out of commission...or are you supposed to let it dry and then use again? Maybe I don't want to know the answer to that. Oh, and FYI - there are adult versions too in case you want to wear a pair on your next...date night?!?

Creepy, Crazy & Quirky Baby Products {would you buy them?} 7Needless to say, I think we'll stick with using tissues and washing our hands frequently. Speaking of which, have you seen this handsoap set by Foliage? Is there something just a mite creepy about that set? I mean baby hands are cute and all, but I wouldn't exactly put that up in the guest bathroom - if you catch my drift.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Would you or did you use any of these products? Have you seen any other wacky baby products on the market?

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44 comments on “Creepy, Crazy & Quirky Baby Products {would you buy them?}”

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  2. HI to all,

    Gives me a giggle to see Sniffle Buddies included in your article :). It is creepy, crazy, and quirky...no fib there! But please note - Sniffle Buddies are NEVER for blowing your nose into...yuck is right! "Sniffles" is the key word.

    They were, indeed, invented by someone with a child, me. I'm a mom and when my child was 2 years old he had a non-stop itchy-drippy nose in the spring. Later found out he was allergic to trees, mold, dust, grass, pollen, weeds of all kinds, feathers... and on and on.

    You can tell a 2 year old to use the potty, but they don't typically comply. They use whatever they're wearing and we clean it up. Hence, we have diapers to assist as they learn.

    Telling a 2 year old to use a tissue, put it in the trash, and wash their hands each time they have a sniffle is a beautiful vision, but good luck. And, it's a little cruel when the sniffles are non-stop.

    There are only so many answers here. Hen peck the child with a tissue and interrupt play constantly (did that), give them the tissues to use on their own and watch the trail of germs fall and fly everywhere but the trash, drug them up (did that some too, unfortunately), live with the drippy face look, let them use their sleeves and then change the shirt (we don't like it, but it's real and has been happening for years before Sniffle Buddies), live in denial as we do when we continue to wipe our own noses with our hands everytime there's a tickle, or give a few little ones who are particularly challenged with drippy noses some Sniffle Buddies for playtime and "just let them play"...then toss 'em in the wash.

    The adult versions were developed out of buyer request, believe it or not. I'm a skier and I can tell you what we wipe it on...that soft patch they build into our gloves made just for wiping. Back to "yuck" again. I now wear Sniffle Buddies when skiing and then wash after each use. Ask your ski buddies how often they're washing their gloves :)?

    Special Needs children are also using them for drool and I'm thrilled to know they're helping! :)

    Yucky problem? No doubt!!! Please don't wear them on a date...unless you're skiing or hiking perhaps...and keep telling folks about that crazy idea some wacky Mom had...it spreads the word to those who might have a need.

    Thanks & Cheers! Kelly
    http://www.snifflebuddies.com

  3. Eeew. Yeah, "creepy" would be the right word. I don't understand the market for these things.

    Oh and, psst, I think you meant "be wary of the baby industry," though I think one gets so bombarded by 'must-haves' that one can "be weary" too! :D

  4. Uh, I am definitely in the minority here... I would totally buy those snot-wrist thingies! Because sometimes, it seem no matter how many times I wipe my kiddo's noses when they are sick, it just keeps flowing like a waterfall! And I can't spend my whole day chasing them with a kleenex. Ergo, I become the kleenex. Or their sleeves end up with it all over anyway. Obviously, my first choice is a kleenex if I can catch it! And it makes me SO ill when I see a little kid with snoogy running our of their nose, and their tongue is stuck to their top lip, licking it. GROSS! I know, I know, I am sorry I even brought it up, but ya'll know what I am talking about, :)! So considering all that, I would use the snotty wrist thing. However, only until they are old enough to KNOW to use a kleenex, and not me, or their arm, or a tongue, or my couch, or the dog.... :)

  5. OH MY GOODNESS! Uhhh, what do I even say. If those people are making money off of that stuff, well then there's hope for us all. The sniffle buddies is absolutely disgusting and the soap????? CREEP-O! "Hmmm, let's make soap that looks like chopped off baby limbs!" Yikes.

  6. So, the Lullaby belt....yeah, they don't need that. My hubby and I appreciate heavy music, especially in the car, so when my babies got fussy, I thought,
    "I'll put in some Enya, that's quiet and soothing..." Nope. Screamed louder. So then I stuck in Evanescence (my favorite band) and they conked right out. I figure they're happy with whatever they heard in utero. (they are also chocoholics from the womb, but I digress...)

  7. So someone out there WANTS their child to develop the habit of wiping their nose on their wrist? What about etiquette?!? What about those times they aren't going to be wearing their "snot bracelets"?

  8. Wow. I think they are all weird and most are probably a hoax. But I also think that a lot of POPULAR baby items are weird...and maybe a hoax. That's just me though. I like to stick to tried and true products for the most part. Whatever happened to being resourceful or creative? Now there's a product for every tiny need!

  9. I think the cry analyzing is interesting, but having technology to analyze it for you is scary to me. It makes me sad that parents are staring at their phone to find out what their baby needs, instead of actually listening. That app is not going to translate forever.

  10. I think part of what makes the hands so creepy is the display. One on its own would be slightly less creepy. A whole bunch all waiting to grab you is the sort of thing that Steven King might write about.

    The cry analyzer sounds like a variant of the Dunstant videos to me as well. We also found them pretty interesting - Elizabeth was particularly fascinated watching all the example babies crying. The idea is that the way your baby cries changes, so if your baby is hungry she tends to put her tongue in a different place than if she had gas and then makes a different sound. I probably would fork out for something like this because I find it interesting (but not $70 interesting. The iphone app would be my upper limit.)

    The word analyser is interesting too, but too pricey for something that I suspect probably doesn't work all that well (voice analysis has made leaps and bounds in the last decade but I don't think it's THAT good yet).

  11. How funny! That snot sleeve thing was gross. But then I saw the baby hands! Creepy! I imagine there are little baby doll soaps with hands chopped off... :(

  12. I purchased the intelligender test...for $30ish dollars at Walgreens, we did it for fun...it told us we were having a girl...a third girl...we didnt want to believe it, but guess what?... it was 100% CORRECT!

  13. Oh My Gosh...I have never heard of most of these products. They are crazy & those soaps look very scary! The gender thing was the only thing I could possibly see. Although, I really wanted to know if our baby was a boy or girl it was also part of the fun of waiting until that big 20 week ultrasound & is it really that accurate. I would have a hard time believing it until I saw a picture.

    These really gave me a good laugh and total bewilderment...so unnecessary. I wonder if there is anyone who has used these.

  14. The soaps look super creepy. I could see using the belly button ring, though. I had my belly button pierced in college. I decided to take it out for pregnancy and never put it back in, but I know some people would want to keep a piercing there (not necessarily to show it off during pregnancy, but just to not lose the hole). The other stuff? Weird. :)

  15. This post had me laughing. Who thinks of some of these things I would like to know? The wrist tissue buddies are awful--isn't that like teaching your child to use their sleeves/arms/body parts to blow their nose? I mean, if the child does not have their sniffle buddy on them and needs to wipe their nose, they are going to just use their bare arm since their Mommy taught them already to use the sniffle buddy, right? YUCK. I bet the person who invented that did not have a child, lol.
    And that music belt? I once had an OB tell me that there is a theory that when you expose music to a baby in utero too much, it can lead to other problems b/c the baby's "energy" is not spent doing the productive development-type things the baby needs to be doing in there. Just think its an interesting theory but I never forgot it. I think the belt idea is a bit excessive personally. Occasional music seems more appropriate.

    In any event, thanks for making me laugh with these great finds. Jessie
    http://lifeofjunecleaver.blogspot.com/

  16. I agree with you about the LENA system, my baby will get it out of her pocket immediately, push all the buttons possible and talk in it like it is a phone :) and finally throw it on the floor as hard as she can :)

  17. OMG - great post! I haven't seen any of these products, nor would I have purchased any of them. The hands creeped me out, but we're always on the look out for good gag gifts for my husbands work...maybe we'll end up getting the soap hands after all.

  18. Ha ha ha! These are hilarious! Although, I do admit, in the middle of one of those looonnnggg colic spells, I would have given ANYTHING for a magical device that would make it stop.

  19. Those are some really crazy useless products. Others that I've seen are baby wigs (I really hope this one was just for fun) and a sort of cute outfit that you put on your crawler that has a soft fuzzy cloth belly so your baby cleans the floor as she crawls.

  20. I didn't use any of these, nor do I plan to. I do know quite a bit of people that used intelli-gender, but it was kind of pricey for in my opinion just a "guess".

  21. These items are CRAZY! The Sniffle Buddies sound so gross..how 'bout going back to the basics.. good old Kleenix:)

    I might have used the Pregnancy Piercings though. I had my belly button pierced, but when I found out I was preggers with my daughter, I took it out. The hole completely stretched! Many of my friends and family kept their rings in while being pregnant and the hole didn't stretch.

    We were very basic people when it came to baby products. Swing, stroller, baby carrier (Bjorn or sling) and don't forget Tupperware...the kids played for hours in the Tupperware cupboard:)

  22. Can't say I'd spend even one of our hard-earned dollars on any of it. Especially those soaps. Ew.

  23. I've bought both the pregnancy piercings and the little hand soaps.

    The pregnancy piercing wasn't for me to show off, but was more to preserve my piercing during my pregnancy. I wore it all through my first pregnancy, but it got too irritated this time so I took it out and have been using alternate methods of maintaining my piercing. My piercing is just for me and my husband, however, nobody else ever sees it.

    The hand soaps I thought were quirky and interesting, though not for a baby product. When someone showed them to me, I immediately said to my husband, "we need to buy these for someone for Christmas." So we bought a set for his godparents.

  24. WOW.

    WOW.

    How did you find these thing?! My favorite was the cry analyzer, until the sniffle buddy came up. Gross! At least kids wash their hands during the day... I would rather they just use their hands.

    And the hand soap? Completely creepy.

    Ugh.

  25. I DO have a belly button piercing and I would use a pregnancy piercing to maintain the integrity of my piercing during pregnancy (not that I am pregnant or will be getting pregnant any time soon, of course!). Until I saw this, I had actually heard of people using fishing line or something similar. It's not that I would want and/or need to show off my pregnant belly, but that I would want to maintain the piercing for after the pregnancy. I really like it - it makes me feel sexy and fun, so I would definitely want to keep it.

  26. Nope, I didn't use one of them... nor did I ever think about wanting to. They just seem like gimmics to make money, but I can see how an in-experienced first-time mom might fall into the trap with some of them.

  27. Some of these were funny and some just plain creepy. I am not a belly ring person either. Just the ears please. I am also mildly fascinated by the language one but not for that price.

    As far as the gender one, I do know that there are schools round these parts that are always looking for volunteer pregnant Mommies to offer up their bellies and time for the ultrasound tech. students to practice sonigrams.

    I know some people worry about that too though. I had an extra one to help out a school here after my doctor said it was ok and the bgest part, it was FREE. But, I also already knew the gender, so it wasn't like it was early either.

    I haven't seen any crazy products lately, but haven't really been paying attention either.

    Great post!! Hope all is well with you and your little family.
    ~Amy

  28. Hehe...I got a good laugh at those. Strange though too! Nope never used them nor would I. Kind of like one of those slings (I am not anti-sling) that looks like it it made to decapitate your baby...you know the ones that only the head is poking out but it seems WAY too tight around the neck...eeeek!

    K.

  29. Wow. Just wow. Those are some interesting products! We tend to be 'minimalists' when it comes to baby/kid stuff. We don't have a lot of space, therefore we don't fill our house with heaps of stuff. Thankfully we have a great community of friends in the same life stage, so we have been able to borrow things like swings (my #1 hated it, #2 loved it...had we purchased one, it would have been a lot of money and taken up a lot of space). It is nice to be able to lend our stuff out as well. We have lots of wooden toys, books -- only a few noisy things (which end up outside).

    I just looked over your list again...wow. The last thing I wanted people to see when I was pregnant was my stomach unclothed. The hand soap...I might have nightmares about little baby hands trying to grab me :-)

  30. Strange stuff you've gathered here!
    Although, I did perk up a little at the mention of the baby crying translator app. It reminded me of a video (http://www.amazon.com/Dunstan-Language-universal-language-newborn/dp/B000PDZ9SU) that helps parents decode their baby's cries. Hubby and I watched that video and found it surprisingly accurate for our own baby. I discovered, because of it, that a lot of the times I thought my baby was hungry, he was actually complaining of a buried burp. Once I started working harder at getting those pesky burps out, his crying decreased a lot, and I eventually developed an ear for what he was "telling" me when he cried. Made life much easier. And that was my 3rd baby- I definitely learned new information.

    But, back on topic - the app looks like it fails miserably. I wondered if it might use some of the techniques described in the video I linked. Seems like some sort of voice recognition software might be able to do that... and maybe there will be something successful like that in the future.

  31. Haven't used any of those! The handsoap set is quite weird! Yikes! I have heard that the itelligender thing works, but we always liked to be surprised here.

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