1. Toys that make annoying noises. Steer clear of the firetruck with 50 flashing lights that screams "FIRE FIRE" and then belts out a 30-second siren whenever you slightly touch the button, because I promise, your kid will push that button repeatedly for two hours straight. There is a special place in hell for toy manufacturers of those toys. It's on the corner of Whatswrongwithyou & Needsaslap St.
2. Toys with sensors that go off when you walk by. This reaches beyond toys. ANYTHING that makes noises when you walk by will be regretted. You will never be able to sneak out of your child's room again thanks to it. I could have killed FTD when he managed to procure a HUGE BAG of Furbies (complete with batteries) at a yard sale. Those little monsters, with all their the nonsensical chirping, whistling and garbled chatter. It never fails that the cat walks by one the second Ollie falls asleep.
3. Toys that are part of a set or collection. Once you open the floodgates, you can kiss your nest egg goodbye.
4. Toys that require assembly of more than three parts and/or stickers to apply. Have you ever tried to assemble a toy that requires 22 steps with a toddler "helping"? Three pages into the instructions, nothing makes sense anymore and the stickers are stuck to the TV. You'd think that if a manufacturer has gone to all the trouble of assembling, marketing, and packaging the thing, why on earth wouldn't they have applied the damn stickers too?
5. Toys that can be easily disassembled into two hundred tiny pieces. This will inevitably happen in the back seat of your car, two minutes after pulling out of the store parking lot. With any and all accompanying stickers immediately stuck to the car window.
6. A toddler bed. I don't care if it looks like Dora the Explorer or a Race Car, your kid will not fall for it. It's a waste of time and money that will fail you. TIP: Transition from crib to a bed no smaller than a twin, so you have somewhere to sleep when your kid crawls into bed with you and takes over. Every night. Forever.
7. Toys that are really candy in disguise. Let's just go with sugar in general, because we all know what happens...
8. Toys on wheels your kid cannot operate alone. Make no mistake about it, if you buy a tricycle, scooter or bike before your kid is ready for it, your back will break from having to bend down to push it CONSTANTLY!
9. Annoying books. Before you purchase/accept a book, read through it first, then ask yourself if you could stand to read it at least ten times a day for two months straight. If not, drop the book and run like hell.
10. Tiny toys. The smaller the toy, the more pain it inflicts when you step on it. Think: Lego.