Parenting expert reveals five popular buys you don’t actually need – and one that’s actually a fire hazard

Surrey-based Kirsty Ketley debunks motherhood myths

Ria Newman
Jam Press
Thursday 18 May 2023 11:08 BST

A parenting expert has revealed the top five most common ‘must have’ baby products that we don’t actually need.

Parenting specialist Kirsty Ketley, 42, has previously made headlines for revealing the worst parenting tips and myths that we should avoid.

Now, Surrey-based Kirsty, who is mum to Ella, 10, and Leo, six , has shared her top picks for popular buys to avoid – and they’re surprisingly common.

“With almost 25 years of working with families and being a mum myself, I've had experience of using all these things,” Kirsty, who offers her services under the name Auntie K, told

“I think a lot of things get marketed at new parents because as a new parent, you want to make sure that you have everything you need.

“You can also be totally clueless as to what you do or do not need, so you see something as a 'must have' and buy because you think you should.”

Kirsty is on hand to dispel any non-essentials – and one is even potentially dangerous.

Plug socket covers

Kirsty said: “Commonly sold as safety accessories, socket covers are unregulated and they come in all shapes and sizes – therefore rarely fitting sockets correctly.

“Using covers actually makes the sockets unsafe because they open up the protective shutters already on plug sockets, exposing electrical contacts.

“The covers often come loose and are easily removed by children, which then poses a huge risk of electrocution.

“Covers can also damage the socket, which can make them overheat and become a fire risk.”

Changing table

The parenting expert said: “These often come with drawers, like a chest of drawers, but you could just pick up a set of drawers on their own for a lot less and skip the changing mat top.

“Changing tables also pose a safety risk once babies start to roll, so many parents end up not using them after their baby has turned four-five months old, and the changing table just becomes a bit of a dumping ground.

“It’s best to just buy a nappy mat to use on the floor.”

Follow on milk

Kirsty said: “Unless you are told by a health visitor or doctor, you don’t need to change to a follow on milk at six months.

“First stage formula is totally fine until babies reach one year, where they can switch to full fat regular milk instead.”

Changing bag

The parenting specialist said: “There are more and more bags marketed for parents on the go, but they are often an added expense you don’t need, and a regular rucksack would suffice.

“I’d recommend one that has side pockets for bottles and is weather-proof – one you would take hiking, for instance.

“I've used countless changing bags that are either super expensive or totally not practical and I used a regular backpack for mine in the end.”

Baby bath

Kirsty said: “A bath seat, such as The Angel Care one, is a much better option [than a baby bath].

“It means that, although you should never leave your baby unattended at bath time, if you are alone, it is easier to wash your baby singlehandedly.”

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