By Baby Blogger Kate Richards
A recent survey by Which? on the baby products parents find most useful has got me thinking.
The 1,005 parents rated stair gates the most useful item for their under-threes. Seeing as Ben's not crawling yet (although it looks like it won't be long), we haven't needed to use stair gates yet.
I'd agree with a couple of the others in the top ten: the baby monitor and changing mat have been pretty essential, but strangely I haven't needed any of the others. Ben still likes to be swaddled at night so we haven't needed a baby sleeping bag; I'm using my normal handbags instead of a designated baby change bag; we haven't given him a dummy; as he wouldn't take a bottle we didn't need an electric or microwave steam steriliser kit, we've only used our travel cot once, and never needed a digital ear thermometer.
Of those deemed least useful, I'd agree with the first - a fabric sling - as I never got the hang of it.
I'm so glad I saved my money and didn't invest in the others: a nappy stacker, top and tail bowls, a nappy disposal bin, a Bumbo seat, a door baby bouncer, a baby carrier, a ride-on toddler board for the pushchair (I have no toddler!), a night light, or baby reins.
I agree with Which? editor, Liz Edwards, when she says: "It's sometimes difficult to know which will be most useful for you, so it's a good idea to try before you buy."
Among my top products are the baby swaddle blanket with velcro, my breastfeeding cushion that allows me to read or type at the same time, and now my feeding spoons which change colour when the food's too hot.
I'd also give top marks to the activity centre which Ben sits in safely while I go and make a cup of tea!
Read more about the Which? survey here