Some assembly required: Wrap rage

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.

Parenting quotes - wrap rage

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.

Cable ties

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.

Spillage-prone porridge

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!



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  1. August 21, 2017 / 8:09 am

    I love this post ! I always think what lies when o see statements like that !

    • August 21, 2017 / 8:33 am

      Haha, yeah “some” is another word for “three of the worst hours of your life”

  2. August 21, 2017 / 8:11 am

    Packaging on kids toys are the bane of my life.

    Obviously package in a factory be childless people!

  3. August 21, 2017 / 9:18 am

    It is the addition of screws that give me rage! Why the actual f would you screw a plastic toy into it’s cardboard packaging. WHY!!!! I wish people would unwrap (and build) everything before giving it to us

  4. August 21, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    Nodding as reading this. The kid is waiting and then unwraps their gift to find NO ONE can get into the toy =literally! Its soooo frustrating isnt it! Fun post! #BigPinkLink

    • August 21, 2017 / 8:46 pm

      Such a nightmare. I’m sure as my kids get older this issue is only going to get worse!

  5. August 21, 2017 / 6:30 pm

    Haha, anything in a box goes straight over to hubs in this house! xx

  6. August 21, 2017 / 9:09 pm

    Oh I hate packaging, the worst has to be when your child has picked a toy at the shops, you promise they can open it in the car to be greeted with screws. Who screws toys to plastic and cardboard! Cue tears the whole way home! FML!

    • August 22, 2017 / 6:53 am

      Haha, yes so true! Leads to the worst meltdown imaginesble x

  7. August 21, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    This made me giggle! I think our worst packaging moment was finding a toy was screwed in with the tiniest screws I might have ever seen and there were loads of them. Not only did it take an age to find the right screwdriver (ironically one that probably came out of a Christmas cracker) but they were so tiny we had to count them up to make sure that the toy (aimed at a toddler) didn’t inadvertently sprout screws when passed over!

    • August 22, 2017 / 6:53 am

      Nightmare! Why do they put multiple tiny parts in kids toys?? Not what you need with an exciteable kid jumping around x

  8. August 22, 2017 / 10:00 am

    Great post and they should recruit mums in every marketing department seeing as we make most of the purchasing decisions and know what winds us up most. You will have so many fans for this post when Christmas rolls round

  9. August 23, 2017 / 10:26 am

    My husband, like most men, I think, goes into a rage at the very sight of anything flat packed then the dog runs upstairs and hides in the wardrobe! #mudpiefridays@_karendennis

    • August 23, 2017 / 5:59 pm

      Haha! That’s hilarious, poor dog knows what’s coming. It’s the instructions that really annoy me with flatpack, they’ve always got impossible to understand diagrams. X

  10. August 23, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Amen! Interestingly a few things are starting to become available with “Frustration Free Packaging”. It was a revelation when my husband selected this for razor blades from Amazon. Instead of that ridiculous plastic packaging they just came in a plain, cardboard box. Let’s hope it catches on! #BloggerClubUK

    • August 23, 2017 / 5:59 pm

      Not heard of this but it sounds amazing! Let’s start a campaign to get it rolled out everywhere! X

  11. August 24, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    I love this!! These are all things that drive me crazy! Why make packaging so difficult?! #bigpinklink

  12. randommusings29
    August 25, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    Agree with all of these – the tight plastic one is the worst for me!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  13. August 26, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    Hahah I love this!! I get immense wrap rage, especially the ones that are physically screwed into the box and you need a screwdriver to get them out – it always ends up in the kids screaming that I’m not doing it fast enough! I’ve started getting prepared with wire cutters and a tool kit every Christmas morning! Thank you for joining us at #bigpinklink

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