10 Baby Supplies That Look Scary If You’re Not A Parent


As I frequently mention, I’m years away from parenting, should everything go according to my slapped together life plan. As I’ve demonstrated by my weekly Are You There Moms? It’s Me, Idiot column, I’m a big giant dummy when it comes to most of what goes into raising human beings. Sure, I’ve spent a good deal of time around kids in various capacities–being an older sibling, cousin, tutor, and nanny–but there’s obviously a great deal of separation between the occasional changed diaper and actual childrearing. When things get dirty, I can hand off to a parent, and escape any real ramifications of interacting with kids.

I feel completely unprepared for any aspect of parenting, and like any person with half a grain of common sense, I’m utterly terrified by the possibility of fertility issues, pregnancy, giving birth, and altering my life completely because I’d be responsible for human life that I’d love more than anything else on Earth. It seems like my fears aren’t completely unfounded–there’s countless products made to keep parents feeling like they’ve got the uncontrollable under control.

To a non-parent, looking at parents interacting with their children can be fairly confusing. The unbelievable amount of accoutrements that kids come with makes me think that kids are just poorly built machines ill equipped to function, and need a barrage of tools used to fix or facilitate their every action. It seems like every single human activity requires a special accessory for babies, and some of them are scary as all hell. Straight up terrifying. Help me.

1. This breast pump, available here

scary breast pumpPumping is super normal and enables women to carry on their normal days in ways that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. But if you’re telling me I’m supposed to be enthused to be hooked up to those milking machines, then there’s a lot we’ll disagree on in the future.

2. This manual breast pump available here 

manual breast pump

It turns out that things actually get worse, breast pump-wise. This one looks like an air horn, so I’m now picturing that to be the sound effect that goes with each usage. I’d imagine it’d be great for someone who’s REALLY HAPPY THEY’RE PUMPING. Save it for your kid’s high school graduation and make a real scene when he gets his diploma.

3. Bulk Nipples available here

disposable nipples

Of course, rubber nipples are necessary for bottle feeding, and giggle factor aside (I double as a bar mitzvah attendee), there’s something deeply upsetting about the “bulk” aspect. I’m not sure how I’d handle finding a giant box full of nipples in somebody’s house, because this looks like something out of a serial killer’s supply closet. You don’t want to know what he uses the nipples for. Okay I’ll tell you. He puts them in his victims’ ears.

4. This kid toilet available here

toddler potty

Where do I even begin? To say I find this creepy would be a significant understatement, but hey, I’ve never tried to potty train a human who’s used to shitting his pants before, so let’s just say I haven’t really lived. I suppose the worst part is that excrement bucket, but I’m finding the portrait to be a bit off-putting. I won’t pretend to understand, and I suppose this throne restores the dignity and power to toilet time. Throne toilets for everyone.

5. Nipple Butter available here


I don’t want to live in an eventuality where I’ll have to butter my nipples. I know it’s coming, but, just let me live with my unbuttered nipples a little bit longer.

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  • Crusty Socks

    They all look sexual to me…

    That’s normal, right?

    • Julia Sonenshein

      same page.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Julia + Crusty 4 ever. PS: #mariaisdumb

    • Julia Sonenshein


    • Crusty Socks

      Wow, today, I am finding out just how mean bullies you moms are.

      Beth with her sadistic enjoyment of watching toddlers suffer and now everyone is picking on Maria (I HATE GUNS) Guido
      :( I am sad

    • Valerie

      Awwww, Crusty! You seem to have a heart. And here I thought you were all sarcasm and witty quips. You really do care.

    • Valerie

      Kind of curious what sexual things you would do with a nose frida. Or maybe I’m not. Let me think on that for a bit.

    • Crusty Socks

      I’ll demonstrate. Meet you at 6?

    • Valerie

      Make it 8. Gotta put the kids to bed.

    • Valerie

      It’s 8:15! Wtf!?

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      I had a thought that also involves the rectal thermometer, though minus the thermometer part.

      The fact that I automatically have these sorts of thoughts probably explains why I run screaming from any men who look like they have libidos.

    • LiberalGilt

      or why you’re so unhappy

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      Yay! I got trolled! I must be doing something right! :D

    • LiberalGilt

      OIC manic depressive with visions of grandeur that don’t exist

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      I know you are, but what am I?

      Man, being in kindergarten again is so much fun! Is it time for coloring yet?!?

    • LiberalGilt

      OK since you’ve revealed your level of intellect, let me put this in a way your tiny mind will understand: I’m rubber. You’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me, and sticks to you.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      Just trying to speak to you on your level! Although I must say, your spelling and punctuation have improved considerably since your previous comments…did you finally wise up enough to let Mommy and Daddy look over your homework?

    • LiberalGilt

      took you 24 hours to come up with that poor response? must be lonely on the short bus

  • JLH1986

    Not sucking the snot out of my kids nose via mouth…ever. Also Christina Applegate stated that she used an electronic snot sucker on herself and it made her throat dry. So after sucking snot…give the kid a drink.

  • SA

    There is ZERO reason you should ever need to suck snot out of your child’s nose with your mouth. Take the one they give you at the hospital…hide it and ask for another one too and act like you lost it. If it is so bad you would consider sucking it out with your mouth – go.to.the.doctor.

    On another note, butt paste is the best thing EVER.

    • SusannahJoy

      Man, we so should’ve done that. We keep losing the damn thing, and then we bought another one, and it sucks. Er, doesn’t suck. Whatever.

    • KarenMS

      No no, the nose frida is amazing. The blue bulb does nothing!

  • Lee

    Say what you want about nipple cream but that stuff is freaking amazing. I haven’t nursed in nearly 2 years and I just bought more a couple weeks ago. It it awesome for dry, cracked skin. It is quite amusing when the guys I work with come and ask for some. They avoid saying nipple at all cost.

  • Kay_Sue

    Nipple cream and butt paste are amazing. Yes, pumps make you feel like a cow. Maybe some people don’t, but I did. A lot! And the nose to mouth sucky thing…yeah, fuck that. Fuck that. That’s not just terrifying to the non-parents among us. That should be terrifying to ANY person in their right mind….

    • Valerie

      I def used a little cream but butter? Butter makes me want pancakes. Which is sort of appropos seeing as my nipples were approximately that size for a little while after being pregnant.

    • Crusty Socks

      You might need butter for pancake nipples

    • Kay_Sue

      I think mine was called butter? I don’t really even remember because I was so euphoric to have something that soothed them.

    • LiberalGilt

      sperm works wonders

    • Kay_Sue

      Have you been talking to my husband? *sideeyes*

    • Natasha B

      I love my kids, but that love stops at sucking snot out of their nose with a tube. I will demonstrate my affection by holding them down and removing the snot with a good old fashioned blue rubber bulb syringe.
      The hubs made moo-ing sounds at me *once* when I pumped. Once.

    • Kay_Sue

      I don’t advocate domestic violence, but I really hope you smacked him…..

    • Natasha B

      I may have thrown part of the apparatus at him.

    • Kay_Sue

      Totally appropriate response.

  • Megan Zander

    Bulk nipples ROCK! They are single use and the nurses gave them out like candy in the NICU bc they fit on the formula nursers bottles that are prefilled and don’t need to be refrigerated. 2 am feeding without having to go down to the fridge and getting to chuck the whole thing afterwards without having to wash it out? Really helpful.

  • NotTakenNotAvailable

    My tits just fell off and ran screaming into the corner to join my uterus, which was already rocking and whimpering quietly.

    • Valerie

      Omg I love you.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      I love you too! :D

  • NotTakenNotAvailable

    Oh, and between the bulk nipples, the snot sucker, and the repeated references to rectal anything, I now have new inspiration for my horror movie script! Thanks, Julia–I’ll be sure to give you co-writer credit!

    • Julia Sonenshein

      i am SO DOWN for this collaboration!

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      It’s gonna be amazeballs!

  • elle

    When I potty trained my son I refused to use one of those kid toilets. He sat on the real toilet with an insert. I was NOT emptying out a container of feces and urine, I thought diapers were gross enough. And the suck on aspirated made me vomit in my mouth.

    • Jayamama

      I agree with you about the little potty chairs. I mean, first we train the kid to potty in a diaper, then we train him to potty in his chair, and then we have to make the transfer to the real toilet? Makes no sense. And there’s no way I’m dumping and cleaning that thing out. My daughter had a skin reaction to the plastic seat we put on top of the potty, so we bought a toilet seat that has a built-in child seat between the seat and the lid. It’s amazing.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      I really wish I had never messed with the potty chair. It was disgusting. I do not think I ever cried harder than when she tipped it over. It was a beautiful day when I threw that awful thing away.

    • elle

      I can’t even imagine the horror you felt when that happened.

  • Kelly

    I have only ever used the bulb aspirator that they give you (i.e. you steal) when you are in the hospital. But then once the internet showed me a picture of one of those cut open and the things growing inside of it were horrifying. I have only ever heard “ew gross” comments from people who haven’t used the snot sucker thingy, because everyone I know who has it loves it. My baby is old enough to at least try to blow her own nose now so i hope to delay making a decision on this for several years, until i have another baby. And then I will be too tired to worry about what is growing inside the bulb thingy.

    • SA

      We boil water and suck it into the sucker periodically. Swish it around for a while and it cleans it out (repeat a few times). Just be careful, the bulb can get a little warm during this process!

    • Lilly

      ours came apart — the tube separated from the bulb so it was pretty easy to clean — yeah the hospital I gave birth at.

      that being said — I didn’t really use many of these, had a pump — worth it for your sanity (aka leaving the house alone). Currently loosely potty training with a seat on the main thing because i have no desire to clean a bucket. Use an ear thermometer, I found mostly I am just confirming what I already know, kid has a fever, am not too concerned about exact temperature mostly go by other symptoms regarding when to go to doctor.
      I have also found that since I am lazy and didn’t make a lot of effort not to get water in kid’s eyes he is a total water baby and loves swimming so laziness for a win there.

    • Kay_Sue

      It’s not stealing if they don’t know you took it…right?

  • Valerie

    I am a parent but have never used most of these items. Although now I am kind of curious about the nipple butter. Would if be weird if I bought some now even though I have not nursed in almost 3 years? Just wondering about its consistency.

    • elle

      If you have super dry, cracked skin it works so well! My feet get so dry in my cold, no humidity state but using nipple butter cleared it up so well. Kay that sounds kind of infomercially but it’s true.

    • Mystik Spiral

      Now I want to try nipple butter on my feet. Same problems – dry climate, poor feet… :(

    • Valerie

      Totes. I’m in the frozen snowbelt of ny and my feet are downright hobbit-like. I need a pedicure like the desert needs the rain.

    • Linzon

      I slather that kind of stuff (although not that specific brand) on my hands and it’s magical!

    • C.J.

      I didn’t find it did anything to help my nipples but it worked great on the rash my older one got on her face when she was cutting a molar.

  • ChelseaBFH

    I know it seems gross, but the snot sucker is the most amazing thing ever invented – it’s all about the continuous suction. There are enough filters between you and the snot that even though I literally gag at the thought of snot in my mouth, I use it almost every day.

  • Jayamama

    I have number 2! It’s a great pump when you only need to pump once or twice a week to have a small stash of milk for when you leave baby with a sitter. But yes, it does look creepy.

    Oh, and after fighting with two kids at bathtime, that umbrella hat looks amazing. I wish I had known about it.

  • Amanda

    Funny story, once my 18 month old daughter ate butt paste and smeared it all over her bedroom wall. I didn’t know what to do, so I called poison control for the first time ever (sadly, not the last) and the lady on the other end could barely contain her amusement. Then I had to post about it on facebook (duh), not thinking that more than half of my friends AREN’T parents and have no idea what butt paste was and much confusion and hilarity ensued. Moral of the story: keep the butt paste on the other side of the room from your baby’s crib. The end.

    • ShanLea

      I made the same call 10 years ago, only it was desitin instead of butt paste! After the guy stopped laughing, he informed me the only side effect was going to be “um, he won’t have problems, um, going, for a week or so”. I also rushed him to the pediatrician when I thought he had worms in his poop, only to find out he was swallowing white rice without chewing and it wasn’t digesting. I spent the first two years of my oldest son’s life feeling like the biggest idiot, although now I can look back and say they were pretty legit worries at the time!

  • Alicia Kiner

    the only snot sucking thing I used was an aspirator. I got one that opened so I could run it through the dishwasher. kept the one the hospital gave me in the diaper bag. Since I never actually produced milk, pumps and nipple butter were never a necessity. The butt paste was the only thing that worked for my daughter though. The shower cap looks awesome. Wish they had that when my daughter was little.

  • val97

    The bulb they give you at the hospital is the best snot remover. No adult mouths needed and it probably costs $5 to replace. I was terrible at pumping. While I would breastfeed anywhere and anytime, I needed to hide from everyone, including my husband, in order to pump. So whatever works for mothers as far as pumping goes – go for it. Butt cream and nipple paste – both good. The rest, I have no clue about.

    • aliceblue

      Why is it called “paste?” Butt cream I could understand but “paste” sounds like you are trying to hold the diaper up or glue their cheeks together – shudder.

    • ElleJai

      Paste refers to consistency. I think it’s a cultural thing that it’s often used to refer to glue in the US, because here in Australia that connection seems strange :)

  • Kat

    Okay, so Nose Frida APPEARS horrifying on the surface. It does. The first time I heard about it, I audibly gagged.

    BUT BUT BUT!!! It’s so freaking effective! And there’s a filter in there. You never get any baby snot in your mouth. I pinky promise. My kid screams bloody murder when the nose bulb comes around, but he only screams a little bit when we use the Frida. The other day, I finished clearing out the boogers and I SWEAR TO GOD he smiled at me, like “thanks, ma.”

    • Kay_Sue

      I really want to upvote this, because I admire your balls. Filter or no, I’d never be able to do it. My psyche is screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

      But…I don’t know if I can…maybe? Yeah, I think I can. :-P

  • Elisa Probert

    That baby in the shower hat! I’m dying here…stop making me laugh so much today, Mommyish! First I read the pregnant ladies love milk post, then this! Stahp!!!

    Unbuttered nipples should be either a cocktail or a band. Maybe both.

    • Julia Sonenshein

      i seriously might print out that baby picture and start using it for birthday cards.

  • Snarktopus

    Damn, I could have used the motorized snot sucker….And the breast pump thing where it holds those damn horns up for you.

  • Jallun-Keatres

    Butt Paste smells like bacon. In a gross way.

    • Andrew Cole

      Bacon does not have a “gross way”, thank you very much.

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Ogden

      Clearly someone has never sample Baconnaise.

    • Jallun-Keatres

      It smells meaty!
      Yes, bacon is yummy all around.

  • Helen Hyde

    No mention of perineum oil? To prevent tearing? No?

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      And yet again, out comes my favorite piece of artwork EVAR:

    • Valerie

      There are moments where I’m very happy to have had c-sections. Mention of anything to do with stretching my gooch is def one of them.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      The very thought of gooch-stretching is a large part of the reason my uterus is curled up in a fetal position in the corner.

    • ElleJai

      It’s designed to stretch… And come back. Apparently I’m tighter post baby, so don’t believe all the stories. Everyone is different, and in France the state even pays for your vagina to have “re-education” lessons to ensure you tighten back up on schedule.

    • Valerie

      Whelp, I don’t need convincing seeing as the reason for my sections was entirely medical, not remotely my choice, very scary and not exactly how I envisioned it all going down. So an unharmed goochular area is a tiny bright spot in the whole PTSD episode, I suppose. And my babies, duh.

    • ElleJai


      It is scary and awful when suddenly you’ve lost all control over your body as doctors run around frantically though so I’m sad you had to experience that. I hope you got the support you needed afterwards xx

      I just dislike this particular myth. It was so often women telling me about it too! Ugh.

      ETA: Also props on use of the phrase “goochular area”, which for some reason made me giggle ;)

    • Valerie

      It’s cool- I mostly responded that way so no one thinks I decided to have a c-section solely to preserve my lady parts. ;-)
      And yeah, I had good support. Thank you.

  • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Ogden

    Ha, I got to the nasal aspirator and thought, “She must not have ever seen a NoseFrida!”

    I will be dead and buried before my children ever have toilet seats (or ANYTHING ELSE, for that matter) proclaiming them His or Her Majesty. NOPE.

    • Kay_Sue

      That’s actually the only one I’d want, so that whenever our kid used it, I could roll my eyes and say, “Well, his majesty is full of shit.” It’d tickle my funny bone.

  • Jell

    BRB gluing a photo of myself to the toliet

    • Julia Sonenshein

      lemme know if you want it doctored up with a crown

  • quinn

    The nose Frida is super efficient, but I can’t use it without gagging every single time.

  • jmuns79

    I was actually just wondering how to keep the water out of my kid’s eyes while I shampoo his hair. This article helpfully provided a link! Thanks for being so helpful in your terror!

    • Julia Sonenshein

      thrilled to be of service!

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    Instead of aspirators, I use HydraSense baby capsules. Flushes everything right out without having to do anything weird.
    I just want to get a smaller seat to go on top of the regular toilet seat. I reallllly don’t want to have to clean a potty, like, ever.

  • SusannahJoy

    Yeah, I’m a parent and most of those terrify me too…

  • AP

    The baby shower cap looks like a Baby Cone of Shame. I’m fairly certain I saw one at Petsmart that looked just like that.

    And as a swim instructor, I hate those things. It means a few years in the future, your preschooler is going to spend swim lessons screaming because “water sprinkled on my cheek.” No.

    • neighbor57

      Yes, it worked much better when I just pinned my kids down in the tub, shouting, “You’ll thank me later!” Now they both swim.

  • QAs Mom

    NoseFrieda is actually pretty awesome and supposedly less irratating to their nose which is important when they are that stuffy. I would add glycerine suppositories and acetaminophen suppositories to the list. Really necessary sometimes but definitely gag worthy. Especially the glycerine because then you have to wait 10 -25 minutes knowing that something really unpleasant is going to happen any second that you then get to clean up.

    • Kay_Sue

      God I hate suppositories. I don’t know what I am doing wrong–I swear, I feed them fiber–but both of my kids have struggled with constipation over the years.

      That moment of waiting is both the most terrifying and most elating ever, because on the one hand, yes, there’s going to be on the other end of catastrophic proportions, but on the flip side, that’s almost preferable to the screaming they do when they get backed up and can’t go. At least then I know there is an ending point.

      And then there’s the creepy feeling that goes along with actually looking forward to the mess. It’s complicated, okay? :-p

  • Andrew Cole

    My son hates it, but the snot sucker works, unlike that crappy bulb they send you home from the hospital with. God that thing is useless.

    • Lackadaisical

      I honestly never used any kind of snot sucking / snot removal device and never saw any of my parent friends use one. I don’t even remember it in the shops. I just let the kids be snotty and occasionally wiped a nose. My youngest is only 5, I would have thought that was recent enough to be in touch with baby equipment currently used. Do you know if desnotting is a new thing or has it always been done in the US and my missing it comes from being a foreigner?

    • Andrew Cole

      I had never heard of it when our son was born (19months). We only use it when he is sick and the snot is keeping him from breathing right or sleeping. He is pretty traumatized by it, so we reserve it for only when absolutely necessary.

  • TwinsC

    OMG!! Can someone tell me where to buy those single-use bulk nipples??? I mean this in all seriousness. I have newborn twins who are exclusively formula fed (medical reasons all the way, baby) and we use ready-to-serve when we leave the house (because it can be stored at room temperature, and the hospital is almost two hours drive one way), and those little single-use nipples are the only kind that attach right to the ready-to-serve bottles. So if anyone knows, please help a mother out! I’ve only found them in hospitals so far.

    • Not Me

      Check the link by the picture, it looks like they are available through Amazon. Congratulations on the new babies!

  • Lackadaisical

    I honestly had no contact with most of those things when my kids were babies. Yes, I had a little hand pump but it wasn’t the big drama it seemed before kids. Obviously we did use a potty, but it was a boring and purely functional thing. Actually we potty trained two of my three kids fairly late so we mostly just used a toddler sized seat that fitted under the adult sized seat. Potty training and nappies are the kind of thing that seem appalling before kids but when you come to it, while not fun and frolics, do not seem as bad as you thought. As for devices for clearing snot from baby noses or rectal thermometers … what on earth? Never met anyone who admits to doing either. We just used a thermometer that goes in the ear and let the kid be snotty like everyone else. We used an aural thermometer for our eldest as you tend to worry more for your first kid but didn’t really bother with the other two. Baby equipment is often scary but also often an unnecessary con.

  • tk88

    Am I the only one that thinks you shouldn’t be teaching a child to relieve themselves on a fancy custom chair?

    • Julia Sonenshein

      with you.

  • Kitsune

    We have that exact rectal thermometer. Rectal is the most accurate and really not that bad. My son reacts more to the bulb aspirator. I made my own hands free pump out of a sports bra that works great. Nipple butter is also fantastic. I looked at the nose frieda while I was pregnant and it had great reviews but I couldn’t get my head around the snot sucking with my own mouth. Basically most of the stuff on this least is weird but actually very useful.

    • Julia Sonenshein

      I would imagine it all serves a purpose!

  • HS Senior

    oh god the toilet…a bowl of pee and poo that you have to manually throw away.

  • LiberalGilt

    This should be titles “Crap you can waste your money on”

  • martyhuntery

    Super baby products available here.