The arrival of a new baby means lots of joy, happiness and anticipation for parents. It also means spending money on baby items. Companies selling baby items know this and use marketing strategies aimed at creating desire for their products. Parents may become unsure of which items they will really need.
There are items you will need such as: a crib, a mattress, a bureau and maybe a car seat. Despite what the advertisement and retailer want you to believe, your baby can do without many other items. Infants stay little for such a short period of time, it’s useless to buy all that’s available. Be a cautious buyer.
Items You Don’t Need
- Changing Table: They take up room and although it can provide storage, older children will have fun emptying out the storage area. If you decide to use a changing table check if it is equipped with sturdy straps to securely hold the baby on the table while you change the diaper. Never leave the baby on the table unattended. You can change your baby on a counter or in the crib. It’s even safer on a changing mat on the floor.
- Car Seat Head Rest: Those babies look so cuddly on the advertisement. A rolled up hand towel will do the same job.
- Bath: Infants are sponge bathed and then they progress into baths. Carrying the water-filled bath is neither easy or safe for you or your baby. Wash your baby in the sink or in the bathtub. Never leave the baby unattended. Babies can drown in less that one inch of water.
- Baby Scale: Scale are usually good up to 12 Kilos (or 25 lb.). They are not an absolute item unless your child suffers from an eating disorder and your pediatrician recommends a daily record. Otherwise rely on your pediatrician to weigh your baby at each visit.
- Baby Lamps: Baby lamps are cute and expensive. Before you buy a lamp, check out everyday table lamps you can decorate yourself at a fraction of the cost. You’ll be able to decorate it in a fashion attractive to an older child as well. That way you’ll get more mileage out of your lamp.
- Toys: Your baby will not need big and elaborate toys right away. Babies are content with observing their feet, toes and hands. One rattle or two and a few squeeze toys are fine. Leave the toy purchase for when your child is mobile.
- Toy Box: Your new child will probably receive some toys from family and friends. Resist investing in a toy box. Some children have been hurt with lids or by climbing inside. When they want something, they’ll empty the whole box, but then forget what they were searching for. Secure a small shelf to the wall to store your child’s toys. Your child will see what toy he or she wants and chances are the messes will be smaller.
- Pillow: Until your child is one year old, doctors discourage the use of pillows. Babies can’t lift their heads and can suffocate.
- Swings and Playpens: Parents usually use these to keep baby put. During the first three months of life or so you can use them. When your baby starts to move around he or she will feel confined and frustrated not being able to explore their surroundings. If you want to use these, use them wisely.
- Walkers and Jolly Jumpers: By lacking leg control, they’ll probably get hurt faster. If you really want to the jolly jumper-no more than 10 minutes a day. Let your child get comfortable on the floor and explore.
For more information about what is safe and how any baby items should be used you can contact the U.S. CPSC Consumer Product Safety Commission at . You can get the information by search in products and by recalls. Office of Consumer Affairs Canada is found at . They have information about child safety and some product recall.
Baby Items You Should Consider Buying
Here are a few suggestions that you can suggest to your loved ones as useful baby gifts.
- A disposable camera, film, photo album and picture frames.
- A package of disposable diapers with a package of cloth diapers for emergencies.
- Mom or Dad might appreciate taking a class. A break away from the baby for a few hours. Money saving ideas can be found in home repair, scrap-booking, ceramic, sewing classes. They could also give you baby-sitting coupons to allow you to attend the classes.
- A First-Aid course including baby CPR.
- If there are other children in the family, take them out to leave mommy and baby to rest for a while.
- A gift-certificate from a local restaurant that offers delivery.
- Parenting resource books, or a subscription to your favorite parenting magazine.
- Start a book collection for the baby. At two to three books a year, that’s a beginner reader library well begun.
- A basket filled with essentials such as: a thermometer, a nail clipper, a pacifier, bibs, safety electrical plugs, door and drawer stoppers, and/or baby basics such as shampoo, soap, zinc based cream, and diapers.