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IRL Roadtest of Our Most WTF (But Wow) Products

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When it comes to shopping for your new baby, there are wants, and there are needs. And then there are the products that, until you are in the throes of breastfeeding, sleep deprivation and nappy explosions, firmly belong in the WTF? basket.

Sure, no one needs a wipe warmer, or a dedicated nappy bin that wraps said stink grenades in their own dedicated cocoon (I’m guilty of buying that one!) but when it comes to motherhood, if it isn’t hurting anyone, and it doesn’t send you broke, then you do you, mama!

So, with that spirit in mind, the team at The Memo asked me and bub to road test some of their more unconventional items. And after swearing I’d be a minimalist mum, free of superfluous gadgets and gizmos, a couple of weeks with these babies has left me somewhat converted.

Baby Bum Shower, $39.95

The promise: A bidet for your baby’s bot, the BBS promises to cut down wipe use by up to six a day, or 2000 a year. That’s a lot of wipes staying out of landfill.

The experience: The cute box containing the BBS makes me almost forget this is about poo. The hand-held pump is made from food-grade silicone and feels great in the hand (my partner jokes that it looks like something from an adult store). I pop in a squirt of bub’s bath gel, fill with warm water and shake. The instructions are clear: use with no wipes for a wee; use, then clean up with one wipe for a poo. I’m sceptical but once you get the order right (open nappy, squirt, close dirty nappy, use wipe, dispose of the lot), it actually works. Best of all, it has a lock function to prevent leakage, and is great for travelling. And, like its aim, I find I am using fewer wipes now I’ve got the hang of it.

Haaka Baby Nail Set, $34.95

The promise: The interchangeable heads, with growing coarseness, grow with your baby to let you safely file down your little one’s nails, without the need for sharp scissors or clippers.

The experience: Let’s be real: babies scratch. Their faces, your face, your boobs. And, if a trip to emergency doesn’t sound like a fun time, then this cutie patootie set could be for you. The case contains the base motor, which easily fits in your palm, plus five coloured pads of increasing coarseness (pink is for the littlest bubs) and a drilly bit, which I haven’t worked out how to use. Now, baby nail products can make all the promises in the world but the biggest challenge remains keeping bub still. I load the motor with the pink attachment and, waiting for a docile moment, flick the switch to the lowest speed (there are symbols for left and right hands). The pad catches more finger than nail but at least it doesn’t cause any harm. It takes some practice but I can eventually file down those claws in a manner of minutes.

Snotty Boss Nasal Aspirator Kit, $79.95

The promise: Endorsed by both the Therapeutic Goods Association and lactation consultants, this is the suck-free solution to blocked baby noses.

The experience: If you’d asked me before becoming a mum to name the job I most dreaded, it would be cleaning the snot out of my bub’s nose. Not only are babies squirmy worms but I had heard horror stories about manual aspirators that require mum or dad to literally suck the boogers out going horribly wrong. But not Snotty Boss, which looks not unlike my Soda Stream but won’t make you a cocktail. Still, in just a few seconds it will gently vacuum all manner of goobers out of your child’s nose. An $80 booger-sucker was definitely not on my baby registry but now I am telling all my pregnant friends that it’s a product they can’t afford to live without.

Phillips Avent Electric Bottle Warmer, $89.95

The promise: The Rolls Royce of bottle warmers, this baby heats bottles in three minutes, with none of the “hot spots” associated with other methods. And it works on baby food jars, too.

The experience: My partner is king of the dream feed bottle in our house, so take it from him when this device is so simple to use, even a tired man can master it. We had tried another brand of bottle warmer but it frequently resulted in milk that was way too hot that it had to be cooled down - something you do not want to do with a hungry, grizzling baby at 11pm. The only thing we wished it had was a self-timer, or cut-off function. But, hey, Siri easily sorts that.

Rockit Portable Pram Rocker, $69.95

The promise: Like a babysitter for tired arms, the rocket-shaped rocker will fit almost any pram and keep it jiggling so your baby can rest when you need your hands free.

The experience: Our beast of a pram is one of the larger ones on the market, so I was skeptical about how effective this device would be for jiggling my baby on cafe dates. But, like a SNOO for when you’re out and about, the emphasis is on small, frequent vibrations over grandiose swings and sways. Simply clip the bracket to the frame of your pram, and slot the Rockit on, push the button and sip that latte without having to roll your pram back and forth. I found it particularly useful at pedestrian crossings on a nearby busy road when bub had just nodded off but would often wake while we waited for the lights to change. Is it necessary? No, but a definite one for the nice-to-have basket.

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