Parents pay good money for stuff that makes their life easier.
We fork out a fortune on products that promise to miraculously cure sleep problems and ones that vow to take the stress out of weaning.
Whatever we end up buying in the first year, we become experts at picking out what makes a decent children’s product.
We know what features we need, we know what’s value for money and we know when stuff needs to be more user friendly. When we find what we want, and there are plenty of products out there that are pretty good at helping us out, we buy it.
Why then, when we as parents have so much spending power, do manufacturers keep insisting on packaging stuff up in such bloody irritating ways.
We don’t have hours of free time in the day, or the night for that matter.
When wrap rage strikes, it can infect both parents and children. No one is safe from the fallout. The mess you have at the end is seriously ugly.
It is worst at Christmas but also comes on birthdays and when relatives decide to treat the kids to something new. We appreciate it, we do, but we would be forever grateful if you unwrapped the thing before you get our kid excited about it.
So I’m calling for an overhaul of product packaging, and I’ll give you some examples:
Tiny tags and stickers on clothes
We’re frequently reminded of the dangers of choking. Why then do baby clothes and toys come with those tiny tags? The ones that are just big enough to get stuck in the throat, but have been made in a clear plastic so they’re pretty much invisible once you drop them.
They’re often tucked away somewhere we don’t notice until after we’ve already given them to the baby. Then we have to hurriedly snatch the toy back so we can snip the little bugger off.
Otherwise we don’t have scissors to hand and the little bits of plastic go flying when you yank it off. Now they’re missing, somewhere on the floor, and you’re worried baby is going to find it and swallow it down.
Tight fitting plastic shell
These moulded plastic cases are a right faff to open. You need a large pair of kitchen scissors and the patience of a saint.
You will cut yourself on the sharp plastic edges while trying to cut free the holy grail, which in this case is a sippy cup.
You’ve got your kid the latest all-singing, all-dancing toy. They’re excited, you’re excited. But now you’re faced with a million of these heavy duty plastic cable ties attaching the toy to a piece of cardboard inside the box.
They’re a nightmare to snip off with scissors and take ages to unwind. It’s made harder by the impatient toddler tugging at your sleeve as you’re trying to sort them out. Oh, and these look like a choking hazard to me as well. Double nightmare.
Inside our baby’s box of porridge is a foil bag that you cut open with scissors. It’s then ready to pour and we reseal it with a kitchen clip.
The trouble is I’m often make porridge one-handed as the baby is crying out for breakfast. These bags cannot be poured from the bag while it’s inside the box – what’s inside just goes everywhere.
They also cannot be poured one-handed out of the bag without major spillage. Then when you need to put the bag down, the powder goes everywhere on the kitchen counter as it doesn’t stand upright. A bad start to the day.
Massive price stickers
Kids love stickers, they’re fun. What’s not fun is when their new book has come with a huge sticker covering half the front cover.
You try to pull it off, but it’s one of those stickers that disintegrates into a million little bits as you try to lift if off with your fingernail.
Some assembly required
No phrase strikes more fear into the hearts of parents on Christmas Day than this one.
The kids are already on a knife edge due to being massively hyped up about the occasion. Now though you’re telling them their new musical farm, featuring annoying jingles that will leave you wanting to burst your own eardrums, needs a bit of work.
By a bit we mean there’s a manual with 50 assembly stages and a book of 100 stickers that need to be placed in exact spots all over the farm for it to look like what’s on the box.
All you’ll want for Christmas, is a really big f***ing drink!
Got any packaging fails to highlight? I would love some more examples!