Once upon a time, new parents got away with a crib, a bottle or two and a soft blanket to keep their newborns warm, fed and contented.
But these days, there are so many baby products marketing themselves as must-haves that it can be difficult to tell what you’ll be using every day and what will be relegated to a dusty cupboard for evermore.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most bizarre – and clearly genius – baby bits on the market.
Only question is, will you be buying them? Let us know in the comments below.
Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer POP (£27.99)
We’re not going to lie: an unwarmed baby wipe applied to your little one’s bum won’t emotionally scar them for life, but if you want to make sure nappy changing time goes as smoothly as possible, a wipe-warmer like the Prince Lionheart might be a good investment.
Annabel Karmel Food Masher and Bowl (£3.59)
Annabel Karmel Food Masher and Bowl (£3.59)
Yes, you could use a normal potato masher and a standard bowl – but why would you, when your little one could have his or her very own special set?
Tommee Tippee Explora Soft Tip Weaning Spoons (£3 for pack of five)
With their soft tips that are perfect for teething gums and their long handles to get right into jars, these brightly coloured children’s spoons are ideal for kids starting to wean.
Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder (£4.80)
It might look a little like something you’d hang in the garden to feed the birds, but this net and plastic contraption is a great time-saver for busy mums who just want to get as much nutrition inside their child without all the stress and mess of normal snack time.
Hauck Beta Grow with You Wooden Highchair (£50)
What a clever idea! This highchair can be used from the age of six months and higher, and the adjustable seat and foot plate means it can be fitted around your child as he grows. It can even take up to 90kg of weight.
Petite Creations Baby Cubes Food Portioners (£8.99)
Fed up of finding your raison-encrusted diary at the bottom of your bag because the snacks you packed for your pre-schooler made a bid for freedom? Make sure they stay in one place with these snap-lid portioners. They’re also great for freezing purees and finger foods if you’re at the weaning stage.
Medela Breastmilk Collection Shells (£9.99)
Experiencing some awkward leakage in between breastfeeding sessions? Pop one of these shells in your maternity bra to collect the excess breast milk, then use the built-in spout to drain it out. No more telltale wet patches on your work shirt!
Do your teats and bottle caps have a tendency to go missing for days on end? Keep them all in one place with this cute drying rack, which has a tray underneath to catch all the run-off after you’ve finished washing them.
Nuby Imonster Snack Keeper (£3)
A fun design and soft silicone lid makes this a favourite for carrying toddler snacks around.
Little Wigwam World Map Placemat (£5)
OK, confession time: we really want a place mat like this and we’re going to buy it anyway even if our youngsters have no sense of their own hands, let alone the countries of the world.
My Brest Friend Breastfeeding Pillow (£49.99)
You might not want to take this out in public, but look how comfortable it is to feed your baby with! It won Gold in the Best Breastfeeding Product category in the 2007/8 Mother & Baby Awards, so you know it’s a good investment.
Hippychick Bumkins Sleeved Bib (£8.99)
For those of us who've cursed bib manufacturers whenever our child manages to smoosh her breakfast all down her entire outfit. Actually, why doesn't this come in adult sizes too?
Again, probably not something you'd want to wear in public - but how useful is this maternity bra? Created by four sisters and their mother, its aim is to save mums time by allowing them to express milk without using their hands. It can also be adjusted by unzipping the band from the bottom up, which allows for hand access if you need to massage your breast.
Nappi Nippas (£6.99 for pack of four)
Using cloth nappies? You might have struggled with pins, but these Nappi Nippas are a great alternative. Their T-shaped design means you can stretch the fastener over the front of the nappy and hold it snugly in place.
Compressed Magic Coin Towels (£2.99 for pack of 10)
Ever been on a picnic with the little ones when you've run dangerously near the end of your wet wipes supplies? Next time, grab a bag of these compacted towels - you just need to splash some water over them and watch them 'bloom'. They're made of 100% natural fibres and are biodegradable too, with no added chemicals.
The First Years Fold & Go Changing Kit (£9.99)
Pitched as a ‘streamlined alternative’ to a nappy bag, this clever object is about the size of a clutch when folded, but can accommodate your baby for on-the-go nappy changes when there are no public facilities.
With pockets for your keys, purse, wipes and creams, the changing kit can be hung on your stroller instead of a bulky bag.
Concept4u Pressure Relief Original Memory Foam Ring Cushion (£24.99)
Trust us on this one - you're going to want something like this to sit on once you've returned home from delivering your baby. The soft foam padding keeps all your sore bits elevated, to ease discomfort - particularly useful if you've got the dreaded post-baby piles.
Boon Frog Pod Bath Toy Scoop (£29.99)
Fed up of always sharing your bathtub with little plastic toys thanks to your dear children's insistence on emptying all their possessions into the water? This cute froggy scoop collects them all together in one fell swoop and can even be suckered to the wall to store them.
Babyway Inflatable Bath (£12.99)
Need a space-saving alternative to the family shower to help keep your baby clean? This inflatable bathtub can be assembled within minutes, drained and stored away nice and easily. It also has a safety bar that goes across the base, which can be removed when your little one outgrows it.
Jackson Reece herbal wipes (£3.99)
Taking Gold in the Best Baby Wipe category of the 2010/11 Mother&Baby Awards, these natural hypoallergenic wipes contain tea tree and lavender essential oils and can soothe agitated skin.
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