What's the most bizarre parenting product or children's toy you've seen or heard of?
The "Toddler Helmet" - for crawling infants and toddlers to prevent injury while crawling around the house. I think this is a solution for which there did not exist any problem.
Most bizarre parenting product/children’s toy? Three words: Placenta Teddy Bear. Yes, that’s right, folks. A woman’s placenta…cured with sea salt, tanned into a pliable medium, cut into pieces following a pattern, and hand-stitched together into the world’s most horrifying teddy bear. And the designer actually sells kits so YOU can do the same thing with your after-birth in the privacy of your own home…most likely following a meal that includes fava beans and a nice Chianti. (Ft-ft-ft-ft-ft!)
For more placenta-related fun and a link to a picture of a placenta teddy bear, see: http://www.thebeardediris.com/2011/07/22/placenta-crafts-and-more/
I think bottle sterilizers are pretty strange. Way to prey on new moms' nervousness over everything. Until women start sterilizing their breasts, I think soap and water will suffice for bottles too.
The i-pod holder marketed with an 18-month-old in mind. Who wouldn't want to drop 29.99 on a product to protect the $600 investment...especially when it is in the hands of your toddler. Organic baby food. The new "squeezable" stuff. Moms trip over each other at Target to fill their baskets with the "organic" stuff that has a shelf-life of July 2015. The veggies might be organic, but the preservatives are going to make Junior glow in the dark.
The Baby Snuggie (http://thelaughingstork.com/blog/2009/03/27/sure-fire-embarrassment-for-you-and-your-little-one-the-baby-snuggie/#1) is up there, for sure. I'm pretty sure that's what you wear to the park if you want the other moms and kids to stay far, far away from you (which could come in handy if you want to snag a swing on a busy day).
Right now there is a game for kids out on the market where you feed a dog bones made of play dough and then "take it for a walk", wait for it to poop, and then be the first to scoop it up! Who thinks of these things?? I will be saving my 25 bucks on that one!
I have to go with The Wiggles here. Again, WHHHHHYYYY?
A rubber toy knife called "The Party Weapon"
first, there’s the stripper pole for little girls. what genius thought of that one? am i supposed to get that for lulu so she can unleash her inner sex kitten? ridiculous.
then there’s the poop plush toy. ummm, that’s exactly what i wanna teach my kid: to play with sh*t. it’s bad enough that lu wants to crap on the floor instead of the potty, but the last thing i need is for her to pick it up and play with it. jesus.
and finally, there are “baby bangs: created for baby girls who have little or no hair, to enhance their natural beauty.” really, people? lulu’s almost 2 and only has about 17 hairs on her head, but i’m still not gonna make the poor kid wear a wig. plus, what would that do to her self-esteem? it’s just nuts. now if she’s 3 and still bald, well...then it’s wig time.
I still think wipe warmers are a little weird. Kids these days and their pampered booties...
This is a tough one. There are so many ridiculous and asinine products out there that parents insist on buying from the Pee Pee Tee Pee to those leashes for kids (although my daughter LOVES being on a leash - see weirdest habit question). I think the worst product out there is the helmet you can buy for your kid so he won't bang his head on anything when he's learning to crawl and/or walk. I didn't realize that so many children were permanently scarred or injured from bonking their heads on the floor when they're learning to walk.
The best part about this product is the comments section on Amazon from the people who are dumb enough to buy this thing. One person actually says she's trying to figure out how to fashion a visor or shield for the front, because her kid keeps hitting his face. Of course he does! You would face plant too if you had a ten pound helmet on your head.
Now, I *think* this person was joking, but I can't be sure. There are a lot of idiot parents suffering from sleep deprivation out there who are making some silly purchases.
I have a passion for finding bizarre products, many of which I feature on my site's "bad gift guides." There are a couple equally mind blowing items that come to mind like the hand stitched birthing doll which, in my opinion, would create more questions than answers, is generally terrifying and retails for over $200. There's also the potty chair on wheels that is fashioned like a ride-on toy. A toddler rolling a portable toilet around seems like a recipe for disaster if you ask me!
Definitely The Breast Feeding Doll. I wrote an entire post about it called “Role Playing Toys.” Don’t get me wrong, I am all about some breast feeding for all of those who can do it. I did it with all 4 of my kids. But this doll, with it’s little bra-like-thingy that gives you daughter (or son, I guess) fake nipples is a little extreme.
I've never understood the Diaper Genie. How is a bag full of 20 shitty diapers less gross than just a single shitty diaper? I just don't get it.
Any doll that poops and pees is on the top of this list. There's a lot of things I need more of, faux excrement isn't one of them.
That's a toss-up between a few of these choice items (one of which I've actually ordered... can you guess which?):
BabyComfyNose (http://babycomfynose.com/) -- Hey, I think I'll suck some snot out of my kid's nose directly into my MOUTH. HA!
Zaky Infant Pillow (http://www.pregnancystore.com/zaky.html) -- Creepy...looks like dismembered hands.
Baby Bangs (http://baby-bangs.com/index2.php) -- are you f'ing kidding me???
Pee Pee Teepee (http://www.bebabean.com/pee-pee-teepee-wiener-dog-blue-gif-set/) -- in a fitting WEINER dog design, no less. WOW.
(If you guessed the manual snot sucker, you would be right! Figured it'd be handy for my dwarves when they get colds... hopefully I'll not hock one of their loogies up directly into my mouth.)
I would have to say that the "bag o' broken glass" was a bizarre children's toy. In hindsight I may have had a lapse of judgment with that one. The lesson there is that you should never buy your children's products out of the back of some guy's truck. Seafood, yes. Children's toys, no.
Now, the "Fisher Price Wine Bottle Opener" was a good one. Nothing like training your toddlers early, so that you can be served a glass of your favorite Merlot without having to get off the couch.
I can't recall any others, as my kids are getting older now and only talk about ipods, iphones, ipads, imacs and whatever else starts with "i". All I know is with all of these "i" purchases...ibroke.
No particular product rates at bizarre for me, but I will say that my kids never seem to use any toy the way the manufacturer intended. They want to upend the bikes to spin the wheels, dump all the sand OUT of the sandbox, and use the water table to build piles of dirt and rocks. You just never know what will work! I've learned to be flexible and not to pass judgment.
The bad news is sometimes it is hard to keep track of children. The good news is people make products to help out with this. An interesting product I’ve stumbled across is the child leash. My first instinct would tell me to get the children off the leashes and hold their hands, but then again I have never had rambunctious twins running in opposite directions at the same time. If I were their mom, I would probably panic if they darted off when I least expected it. Or I might scream from the sheer shock of the situation. Screaming is always a close second to panicking.
With a leash all of my wildest dreams might come true. Just think of all of the benefits. With a handy dandy leash, I could simply give a little tug and no matter how far the energetic twins have strayed they would boom-a-rang right back to me. With a leash I could ensure that my children would stay in bed at night. Simply attach the leash to the bed post to keep them from sneaking out for a midnight snack.
Just picture how peaceful it would be to take a toddler for a walk through the back yard or down your neighborhood street. With a leash it would be a piece of cake. Just picture a teenager asking for the car keys, you could willingly toss them to him because you know he wouldn’t be unharnessed yet. The child leash is a bizarre parenting product that I’m sure many love and many hate.
The Car Shopping Carts at grocery stores. You know the regular shopping carts with a 2-seater plastic car attached to the front of them? Yeah. Those things.
In theory? They’re a cute idea (almost).
But they are ENORMOUS. I’m tall bordering on Amazonianesque, and they make me look like an Albino Smurf trying to shove a chicken-nugget-filled military tank around.
They weight approximately one ton, before you even get the kids in them.
They are designed not only to not drive, they are NOT designed to help the cart move at all. They – cars – make it harder to steer – drive – the shopping cart.
They befuddle me. They are filthy. They cause battles of epic proportions between my kids.
I avoid them like the plague. Which is smart, since they quite likely have samplings of the plague caked into the non-functioning seat belts inside them.
See my post on these monstrosities here: http://wp.me/p29eCx-3H
There are so, so many strange parenting products/ideas out there. I saw a mat that you put on the floor and then you are supposed to put your toddler on it, tell them to 'stay' and then smack him/her with a little switch thing when they leave the mat. I'm not entirely sure that somewhere along the line a parent got the idea for this at a puppy training school. To clarify - this was not for time-outs - just to train them to 'stay'.
I'd have to say the Time Out pad. It turns Time out into a fun game. Really? I think we've missed the point here people! :)
I really wanted to invent a glow in the dark pacifier so I could find them in the middle of the night - but I think the things that make a baby's pacifier glow would end up poisoning them. So there went that dream.
When I saw the commercial for the Baby Alive Whoopsie Doo doll, I thought I was watching Saturday Night Live. Then I remembered that it was 7:30 in the morning. This is a doll that pees and poops. To me, that’s the sort of thing you’d distribute to teenagers in a high school health class as an exercise in birth control. Do little kids really want to change poopie diapers? Mine sure won’t stay still when I’m changing hers. What’s next, a toy dog pooper scooper? Oh wait, that exists. It’s called Doggie Doo. Ick. For me, that’s a mommy don’t.
Poop toys. Truly, enough said.
Have you seen those alcohol breast feeding strips that you can squirt your breast milk on? It will tell you if you have booze in your breast milk. Huh, what? I have never used them, but they sound genius.
That bottle holder for infant carriers where you prop the bottle up... insane.
I've always thought baby perfume was pretty odd. And there are loads of other things I think are jokes but people apparently buy them by the truckloads. So probably I'm the bizarre one.
And toys? Well, I've already shared my feelings about the Fisher-Price® Dog here: http://crappypictures.com/2011/12/thank-you-for-the-fisher-price-dog.html Although I would hesitate to call him bizarre. Annoying, yes. Maybe we can pretend I misread the question. That could've happened.
The weird, semi-pornographic Mickey Mouse doll shown in this post. It's disturbing:
Toupes for babies. Baby Bangs, in fact. I'm not making this up. I'm really not.