1 Dummies

Dummies are very Marmite. The decision to use them is very personal - there are plenty of reasons why they work, including evidence that they can reduce the risk of cot death. But there are also concerns that long use can hamper your child's speech development, and may become a sleeping crutch without which your child can't nod off. And while some parents see them as useful soothers, others see them more as silencers. Interesting that in the UK we call them dummies, whereas in the US they're called the softer-sounding soothers or pacifiers.


Where do you sit in the dummies debate?

Do you do the Pull Test every time you use a dummy?

Baby dummies - 7 safety checks every parent needs to know

2 Instant Bottle Makers

As we know, anything to do with formula milk feeding is likely to be emotive and have its critics. But the new breed of instant bottle makers throw in the added element of 'does the world really need this?'. Sales of the first model to market Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep suggest there's a big appetite. Now we also have Baby Brezza Formula Pro, Diluo Infant Formula Brewer and Beaba Bib Expresso to help parents make a ready-to-drink baby’s bottle in seconds.

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Many MFMers describe them as “Godsends”, while others find them a “complete waste of money” when compared to a kettle and a bowl of hot water.

3 Home Doppler Devices

While these monitoring machines used to be tools for professional use only, there’s a growing range of electronic devices that help you hear your unborn baby’s heart beat at home during pregnancy.

Plus there are more and more mobile apps offering you the chance to hear, record and share your baby’s heartbeat.

Midwives and health professionals aren't keen. The Royal College of Midwives advises mums-to-be not to use them, as they can stress you out if you struggle to find a heartbeat, but may also falsely reassure you that things are fine, even if they’re not. Instead, the RCM suggests it's better to get to know your baby’s behaviour through following your baby's movements and kicks.

4 Nappy Bins

This is a massive love it/hate it product. Nappy bins give you a non-stinky place to store all your daily dirty disposable nappies before you take them out to the big bin. But others don't want pooey nappies stacking up in a room - odourless or not. If you ask on our forum, you’ll see words like "life saver" and "very handy", but you’ll also see "waste of money" and "just don't see the point".

5 Baby Nasal Aspirator

A baby with a blocked up nose is not a happy bunny. And that's why a market has sprung up for a plastic device called an aspirator that enables you to suck out your baby's snot. So popular, in fact, that there are now hi-tech battery operated ones. For some, aspirators bring peace and a good night's sleep, while for others it's just a no.


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Hazelann WilliamsFormer Reviews Editor

Having been a journalist for 15 years – and Reviews Editor at MadeForMums for five of those – Hazelann has accrued a lot of experience testing and reviewing every baby product imaginable.