Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The 5 Worst Baby/Toddler Items

   If you read many of my reviews you will notice I rarely do a bad review. I try very hard to look for the positives in things and I try to remember to be subjective and point out the good and bad points and let you, the reader, decide for yourself if you think it is a product that would be good in your household.
       However, every once in a while I cannot bite my tongue when I see parents putting their hard earned money on something that completely sucks and is going to break and cause you more headache then it is worth.
         So I decided that in my almost two years of being a mom my husband and I both have come up with The 5 Worst Baby/Toddler Items. So bad that if we saw you holding it in your hand in the store we would stop you and say, "Wait! Don't buy that it sucks because...". I hope you appreciate this. Of course this is our opinion so after reading what I have to say about these items you can decide if they are something you want in your household. Though be wary we test A LOT of products and I do not always post reviews of them. Also, if you want some great things to buy check out My Top 5 Most Needed Baby Items and their reviews, as well as the Top 5 Most Unnecessary Baby Items so you can be sure you have money for the things you need. Also, all products on my review page I stand by and do give my honest opinion all the time. Feel free to check them out here.

The 5 WORST Baby/Toddler Items

1) Safety 1st Sound Moments Audio Monitor

- These monitors come as a set of three. They have a base and two other units. They take batteries as well as plug in. The have a constant buzzing, the wiring is bad in all of them. You will either lose the power supply or they will die a slow death with the switch. They will randomly just stop working even though the green light is on. They pick up interference on the slightest thing.
-Why did we get them? Honestly, no one got us a nice monitor for our shower so it was an expense that we had to spend on our own that we could not afford much at the time. We already had a security video camera in the room so we only needed sound. We figured that a cheap set of monitors would work fine for sound in a small 1200 square foot house.
-How we know they are bad- We have been exchanging them for almost two years. We cannot get our money back on them, but we can replace a unit if it is broken. However, that is a pain in the neck when it breaks about once a month. We finally just stopped replacing them and have a cheap intercom system in there now.
- What's an alternative? I have yet to find a good baby monitoring system that I like. I like long range, little interference, three units and prefer at least one unit video, yet at an affordable price. I cannot find that if you find that get it, it is probably a great monitoring system.

2) Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Drum set

- This is a drum set from Disney with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters. It is adorable in that it has a stool, foot pedal, bass drum, two side drums, a cymbal and two drumsticks. It is for ages 3 and up. These drums your child will love but you will hate, and I mean this has absolutely NOTHING to do with listening to my kid bang on the drum. If you have a toddler, you may be like me.  I love hearing him bang the drums because then I know where he is.
        My husband and I both hate these drums, because they are very poorly made. Both side drums fell off, the foot pedal broke, the cymbal bar broke and that was just the first three sets of drums that we exchanged at three different stores! 
Why Did We Get Them? Unfortunately, they were a very fun and happy Christmas present from my sister and her family. However, she knows they suck at how they are made. The first couple exchanges we thought of just getting Xavier another toy, but he loves the drums. He actually sits down and plays them and even uses the foot pedal. He even insists they are out in the living room for all to hear. Needless to say we have put screws in the plastic to help keep the parts on. Talk about a child hazard!
How Do We Know They Are Bad? I consider going through three or four (it's hard to remember now) sets of them at different stores makes you pretty sure they break way too easily and then going so far as to screw them just so your son can play with them properly like he always had is ridiculous in my opinion.
What Is The Alternative? 

 We bought this drum set for Xavier last Christmas and he has always loved it. Although it is small it still has the cymbal feature and it has a lot of games in it that he loves to play. I recommend the Vtech Kidibeats Learning Drum Set! It is a drum set that is durable, easy to store, the batteries last a long time in it and it has tons of fun games in it for all ages! It starts at $24.99 and is a great deal in my opinion!

3) Dr. Brown Bottles

- These bottles say they are the best for colic, spit up, and probably helping your kid sleep through the night, but they also constantly leak easily. All the nipple sizes are way too fast for your child not to mention you should not go through five different types of nipples throughout the growth of your child. If you breastfeed you may want to rethink that fast flow nipple. These bottles also have a ton of parts to each one and are very hard to clean. So hard in fact that Dr. Brown's makes their own special brushes for you to use. More money wasted on these bottles.
Why Did I get These Bottles? 
I had heard of the brand name before and it sounded good, plus they were a hand me down for an entire giant set of them.
How Do We Know They Are Bad? Even though I breastfed Xavier, I mainly used bottles (Read: No More Boobie Juice). We were given these and tested them numerous times. At all different stages with him and at different times in his life. They never worked I was very excited when we finally got rid of them.
What's The Alternative? Too many new moms especially get sucked into all the advertising frenzy of having a new baby and get the latest bottle that is supposed to help transition from breast or be like a breast. In no way is a bottle like a breast, so if you feed your baby with a bottle get a bottle that has the best air flow for the least amount of gas, reflux and colic. I recommend the Playtex Ventaire Bottles they have the semi upright holding position that helps to reduce ear infections. I know a ton of moms who love these bottles. They are easy to clean and only have a few parts. They run for about $26.99 and are easy to find in most drug stores and regular department stores.

4) Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy

- This puppy looks like a great toy, it sings, it talks, you have probably seen it advertised constantly on television. Forget it! You do not want it. It's buttons are extremely sensitive. So much so that the puppy is likely to shut off before finishing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider".  It is also liable to start singing, or talking at any moment. It costs way above the price mark of most toys similar to this one starting around $29.99. Plus it is giant and floppy and believe it or not too big for your baby or toddler that it advertises to be a toy for.
Why did we get it?  This unfortunatey, was a present gone wrong. Luckily we were able to exchange it for another toy that Xavier really loves and the gifter did not mind at all. 
How do you know it was not just yours? This is when my writing comes in handy. One thing I do is constantly check reviews of items online. My husband is good at circuitry and wiring things, if there was a lose circuit he could just fix it, but I said no worries we can get a new one. However, before getting a new one I looked up reviews for the puppy online and many people complained about the same problems we had with it and it got very bad reviews.
What is the alternative? If you are looking for a plush talking toy for your baby/toddler I highly recommend My Pal Scout/Violet, you can read my review of them here, Review: My Pal Scout. He is customizable and sells for only $19.99. Xavier loves Scout so much it has been a favorite pal of his since he got him. You can put your child's name and favorite, color, animal and food into it and it incorporates all that into songs and games it plays. Definitely, a much better pal!

5) Melissa and Doug Puzzles with Stickers

- I wrote a nice review of Melissa and Doug's Pound and Roll Tower in it I mention that we got Xavier his first puzzle and the stickers came off in a couple of weeks after he had it and he only ever used it supervised and properly. It was rated for 1 year olds. 
     What is bad about their puzzles is basically they make these beautiful wooden puzzles but some of the cheaper ones they skimp on and do not paint the puzzle instead the put stickers on the wood and the glue that they use never sticks very well. 
       Xavier loves puzzles! He can do puzzles up to 25 pieces on his own. We buy older puzzles but I am mindful to make sure he plays with them properly. All of the puzzles that we have gotten from Melissa and Doug that have stickers and were not painted came off, there is more then three puzzles and one magnet puzzle book. The magnet book is just even worse then the puzzles you cannot even tell what the pieces are anymore because the stickers flake off so easily.
Why Did We Get Them? After the first problem, Melissa and Doug offered us another toy but I did not get a puzzle. When Xavier got a little older I wanted to get him some more puzzles so I decided to give them another try. I tried to only get the wood painted ones, but some were so cute or I thought he would like (which he does) I got with the stickers. However, I am so sad that the boats and cars have no lakes or roads to go on because the stickers fall off. Plus, please be careful if your little one puts things in their mouths, these are a hazard waiting to happen.
How Do We Know They Are Bad? As stated above 4 puzzles in total from four different sources.
What's The Alternative? Be sure if you buy any Melissa and Doug puzzles that their puzzles are entirely painted and nothing is glued to the wood. Here is two of Xavier's favorites the Melissa and Doug Sea Creatures Chunky Puzzle, and he also enjoys this Owl Stackable puzzle from Melissa and Doug.

I hope you find these all helpful and informative and I hope I have helped at least one parent save their money and buy something better! Hope you all have a great day!


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