#6: Patent Envy

#6: Patent Envy
3 minutes to read

I’ve been in this parenting game for just over three years and by Christ, it’s a limitless industry. You make it, and mums will generally throw money at it in the hope that something will eventually stick and solve a problem that may or may not exist. Hold a photo competition on your product’s Facebook page and you’re basically home and dry.

I’ve bought a lot of stuff in the vain hope of making life easier as a mum (top and tail bowls serve NO USE in my opinion). But there are some amazing things out there that I wish wish wish I’d thought of – if I did, I reckon I’d be a legit adult by now and own my four walls and drive an Audi TT. Here are my faves, in no particular order. 

1. Sock-ons. These little gems literally exist to keep socks on your baby’s tiny feet by sitting over the sock to hold it in place. Once you’ve mastered the cutaway design (don’t mock, they’re fiddly to a newcomer!), you will go forth and prosper without so much as a bare heel. They will get lost in the wash, so I suggest tucking them inside the socks and tucking the socks inside something else. Still, get a few pairs.

2. Bumbo seats. I’ve had two very petite bambinos (both hovering around the upper 5lb region at birth). High chairs are therefore ridiculously impractical for me until the age of at least 12 months. The Bumbo gives your baby an excellent vantage point from which to nose while you race around keeping the house together before people visit. (I prefer to go out. Just saying.) Whack the tray on and you’ve got yourself a low highchair. A lowchair, if you will. Less distance for the food to fall, you see. You can mop up your laminate floor while maintaining eye contact with your baby at their level, which is so key to social relationship development.

3. Pretty drinks cups with silicon lids (for you, not the baby). So this is a new thing that has come onto the baby group circuit between the arrival of Mouse and Moo. It’s all about health and safety, innit – 10 regular mugs could wreak havoc on carpets, playmats and baby skin. These beauties keep your drink hotter for longer, always a nicety, and make you feel like you’ve just been to Starbucks (if Starbucks did Nescafé). The most hallowed kind of groups dedicate the second half to the act of drinking coffee and chatting. You can always spot a first time mum because they’ll almost always go for decaf, whereas us hardened 2+ kids folk mainline caffeine from 5am onwards.

4. Lamaze toys. Any of them. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I can name 90% of the product range. Lulu in a Tutu? Her knickers are great for monochrome sensory perception. Freddie Firefly? He’s lived in my car attached to the driver’s headrest since the day we brought Mouse home from hospital. Octotunes is on a whole different level for parent / child bonding. Did you see the video clip of that guy perfecting “Insomnia” by Faithless on the tentacles? And, when you squeeze Octo, he emanates gentle whiffs of vanilla. Who could ask for more?

5. Ewan the Dream Sheep. This guy is the marmite of the baby merch world. I’m in the love camp. The poor sod hasn’t had a day off since May 2013 (or a wash…). His four feet each play a sound with the gentle backdrop of a calming thud-thud heartbeat, supposedly to emulate the sounds your baby may have heard in the womb. Mouse liked the straight up, old fashioned heartbeat. Moo likes the vacuum cleaner. I took a stealthy power nap recently while Moo was downstairs with her father and I chose to put Ewan on purely for my own relaxation. At almost 32, I’ve forgotten how to self-soothe. Anyway, long after we’ve car booted all the baby tat from our house, Ewan will remain. The grandchildren will love him.

6. Birth control. Nah, just kidding!

-SJW June 2016


Rhyming with Wine
Diary of an imperfect mum


  1. June 6, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Hahaha! #6 made me laugh out loud!

    Bumbo was a hit with one child and a fail with the other because he was too fat to get in or out of it.

    Sock ons were a hit with the child that had normal feet and a flop with the child whose feet were so fat the sockon looked as thought it was cutting off his blood supply.

    These were evidently not issued with the product but with their super sized user… #fartglitter

    • June 6, 2016 / 2:13 pm

      Oh I love a really really fat child!! I find them both hilarious and edible. I just have runty kids. Probably shouldn’t say that…

  2. June 6, 2016 / 8:04 pm

    We used to feel anxious if we had a night away from home and thought wed forgotten Ewan – that sheep was a lifesaver here! he is just about now going out of fashion 🙂

    • June 6, 2016 / 8:41 pm

      Oh I know – if we forget him we’re both downloading white noise like our lives depend on it! I wonder if it’s a placebo thing though…but I’m not risking it while the going’s good! Thank you for reading ????

      • June 6, 2016 / 9:23 pm

        We are just finding now he isn’t so fussed with us putting him on. Think of the money we will save haha! X

        • June 6, 2016 / 9:27 pm

          I could never part with him – maybe a rusty old filthy relic for the grandchildren to enjoy ???? x

          • June 6, 2016 / 9:28 pm

            Me neither:) did u find your little one started to take the batter pack out and set Ewan to demo mode? We had that for a while lol x

          • June 6, 2016 / 10:21 pm

            Never got to that stage with the eldest, which I’m quite pleased about as generally demo modes are bloody awful! Haha.

          • June 6, 2016 / 10:45 pm

            It was awful as it plays for five minutes and kept cutting out! I’m just about to hit send on my raging email to Amazon haha when we find out little man has switched it over!! He used to pull it out and then go ballistic that Ewan’s “tummy” had fallen out. Sigh ????

          • June 6, 2016 / 10:48 pm

            Little buggers – they should be soothed to sleep, not hell bent on dissecting it!

  3. June 7, 2016 / 4:59 am

    Just googled them – initial reaction was that I must have one, quickly followed by the shame that I basically want an ‘anyway up sippy cup’ for adults! I see they do bar ware though which is a brilliant idea…

  4. June 9, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    Never heard of Ewan the sheep my kids must be too old but agree with the Lamaze toys and as a teacher I swear but the adult soppy cups – health & safety! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ????

    • June 9, 2016 / 1:09 pm

      Thank you for reading ???? went to a group this morning with oodles of babies, not much floor space, and normal mugs. Things almost got interesting!

  5. June 10, 2016 / 4:25 pm

    Haha when I read patent envy I thought you meant patent shoe envy ahaha. I like Lamaze toys, think we only have a few though. Nearly all our toys are gifts or hand-me-downs so I don’t really know! I think my list would include Nuby teething toys, a sling or carrier (but they’ve been around for forever!) and sleeping bags for babies. Although if we’d invented Sophie the giraffe we’d be rich…!

    • June 10, 2016 / 4:33 pm

      I do enjoy a nice patent shoe but they’re buggers for showing up scuffs! I’d agree with everything on your list too. Slings are a godsend in the early days. Sophie isn’t *that* great IMO but babies go nuts for them and we seem to have amassed two, plus a teething ring, which is a bit of a con as I thought actual Sophie was a teether anyway? Sophie la consumerism whore…

  6. June 12, 2016 / 10:52 am

    Cups with silicone lids is my jam! Love it! The inventors of this prods are so amazing isnt it! I wish I can do something like this someday, a design that helps and well loved =) #ablogginggoodtime

  7. June 15, 2016 / 10:29 pm

    Haha – my partner is terrible for patent envy. He always reckons he could have & should have invented everything! I also love sock-ons & lamaze toys. & my two were very small too – we also used bumbo in place of a highchair until they were big enough not to vanish! #ablogginggoodtime

    • June 15, 2016 / 10:39 pm

      Dusting off the Bumbo in this house soon I hope, save my arms a bit! I saw a great thing recently but I don’t even know if it’s a real product or a joke – it was a wide band that goes around yours and baby’s waist, so they can sit on your lap facing outwards and you don’t need to hold them. Might fashion one myself from a scarf! Thanks for reading ????

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