Babies are born with a basic need to be loved and cherished. Having a baby is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. Moms love their bundles of joy and want to give him or her the best of everything.
The market is flooded with so many baby products that most parents get extremely confused. Many of them are lifesavers while others are a sheer waste. Some of these baby products can also be harmful to your little one. Some may be only mild irritants while some others may be toxic or even downright deadly. So, you need an intelligent perspective on what you need and what to avoid completely.
Fret not! I have solved your problem here. Moms eventually learn what's best for their babies but it's difficult not to get lured by all the beautiful looking baby products. After all you are a new mom with hormone-highs and mood swings, so let me help you choose the best for your infant. Here's a list of the 10 best and the 10 worst products for your newborn.
20 The Best: Feeding Bottles
Feeding bottles definitely rank high on this list. Even if you choose to exclusively breastfeed your baby and not give him formula milk, you will still need some feeding bottles. Breast milk can be pumped into a feeding bottle and anyone can help you feed the baby if you need to go to work or simply step out for some grocery shopping.
You can choose either glass bottles or even plastic ones. Glass bottles are difficult to handle. They need to be supported properly while the baby is feeding as they are heavier and your baby can’t handle them on his own. Since the FDA has banned BPA in the baby bottles and sippers, plastic feeding bottles are considered as safe as the glass ones. While purchasing feeding bottles, remember to buy some extra set of nipples and bottle cleaning brushes too.
19 The Best: Diapers and Diaper Bags
Whether they are disposable or not, diapers are a boon for moms with babies that are peeing or pottying every now and then. According to BabyCenter.com, the disposable diapers have the advantage of more absorption and keep your baby’s skin dry. But if you can manage with cloth diapers for your baby, that's a much more nature-friendly option.
You need the diaper bags as well. They come in very handy when you go outside. They can also be used to store diapers and related knick-knacks in one place. The diaper bag should be ready at all times with a pack of wet-wipes, fresh sets of baby dresses, some hand towels, a diaper rash-cream and obviously, the most important thing, diapers!
Wait, what’s that smell! Good thing the diaper bag is kept ready.
18 The Best: Breast Pumps
Breast pumps can be the ultimate solution for a mother who is either returning to work or feeding a set of twins. Breast pumps are available in electrical as well as manual models. According to BabyCenter.com, if you are returning to work, then the electrical ones are the best choice, as the manual ones take more time to express milk. But obviously, the manual one will be a cheaper option.
Breast pumps are a must buy if you wish to exclusively breastfeed your baby and avoid formula feeding, especially if you are a mom who feels uncomfortable while breastfeeding the baby in public places. Keep in mind that breast pumps cannot express the same amount of milk from the breast the way your baby can. The pumped breastmilk can be stored in the freezer until needed. Thaw in the fridge and warm up lightly when needed.
17 The Best: Baby Monitors
Baby Monitors are something that will save you hundreds of anxious visits to your baby’s room. If the crib of the baby is in another room then it is a must-have. You will be able to sleep comfortably without worrying that your little one may be up or crying. The basic versions help monitor the baby by providing a steady video stream, while more advanced models beep every time the baby moves.
Lightweight and portable monitors allow you to work anywhere in the house while keeping an eye on the sleeping baby in the nursery. They can be a costly addition to your baby budget, so consider whether you want to invest in it or not. If you are a worried mum, then a video monitor will be the best choice as you will come to know the exact position and even the facial expressions of your pumpkin, the Spruce reminds.
16 The Best: Infant Car Seats
This one is a must-have if you guys go out frequently. In some countries, it's mandatory to use an infant car seat if the baby is traveling with you in the car. Make sure the car seat has a nice padding and a headrest too. It must be traffic and safety rules approved to avoid any mishaps, BabyCenter warns.
Most infant car seats come with a base that is snugly fit into your car. There are many models available and many of them are multipurpose. You can pick the seat and attach it with the base and secure the belts. You can also take the seat out and use it as a handy carrier for your child. Some models can be fitted into a stroller. You can switch from an infant-only car seat to a convertible car seat as your baby grows older.
15 The Best: Swaddling Blankets
A sleeping baby swaddled up like a burrito is probably one of the cutest things you'll ever see. But swaddling blankets are not just decorative wrapping. Swaddling is one of the oldest tricks to make the baby feel safe and cozy during his sleep. The baby feels almost as secure as he is while in his mother’s arms, so he sleeps peacefully without fidgeting or getting startled awake.
Swaddling blankets can actually make your little one sleep for longer a duration. Do make sure that you learn the technique of swaddling from the nurses in the hospital before discharge. There are many swaddling blankets that come with leg and arm pockets etc for a perfect swaddle sleep. It is recommended to switch to normal blankets after the baby becomes 3 months old, theBump reveals.
14 The Best: Baby Carriers
Baby carriers are one of the best inventions of mankind for the ease of the parents. They equip you to carry and travel with your baby in comfort. Baby carriers are a must have in the crowded places like airports, shopping malls, and other public places. According to childsafetyexperts.com, a good baby carrier provides support to the legs and not just the parent's back.
They come in various models and budgets. Some types of carriers allow you to carry your baby in a sling like a wrap, so your hands are free to do the chores. The mom can work while keeping the baby with her. It is the perfect thing to build those mom-baby bonding moments, even on the busy days. The best thing about the baby carriers is that even the father can carry the baby comfortably.
13 The Best: Baby Prams and Strollers
Carrying around a baby for long durations can get quite tiresome for the parents. Using a stroller gives you the liberty of going out for an evening walk or just a trip to the park with your baby without making your arm and back muscles sore.
A baby pram is designed to carry newborns and younger babies who are lying down. Prams are usually quite sturdy and can't be folded flat. In contrast, baby strollers ideal for older babies who can sit upright. Strollers are more lightweight and most models are collapsible. Choose strollers with quality wheels, comfortable seats, brakes, and a sturdy seat belt lock. Do check the seat belt lock before starting the ride.
12 The Best: Pacifiers
Sucking is not just a feeding activity, it is a reflex activity that calms the babies too. That is why these cute creatures love to suck their thumbs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends offering your baby a pacifier only after he/she is 3-4 weeks old. Otherwise, it may be difficult to settle into a healthy feeding routine.
Pacifier is also of great help when the baby has trouble sleeping. Make sure, you use the pacifier in balance and don’t make it a ritual. Prolonged pacifier use can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth, so you need to wean the baby off the pacifier while he grows up. According to the Mayo Clinic, pacifiers can help reduce the risk of SIDS.
11 Avoid: Crib Bumpers
Crib bumpers are padded cushions placed inside a crib to prevent the baby from banging on the hard sides of the crib, and also to protect a baby's limbs from getting stuck between the slats.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents against using crib bumpers, though they seem like a sensible and comfortable baby product. Even the breathable mesh ones are considered by pediatricians as questionable baby accessories. So any kind of soft bedding including the bumpers is not advised by the doctors.
10 Avoid: Chemical Sunscreens
We all know that sunscreen is an important thing, but is it necessary for babies? The little ones can easily be provided with a shade and the use of these chemical based sunscreens can be avoided altogether. It's best to keep your baby in the shade than out in the hot sun. Do dress up your baby in sun-protective clothing if you are taking him out on a sunny day. Lightweight, long-sleeved shirt and pants are a wise choice.
As per choice.com, the Australasian College of Dermatology says that no sunscreen is recommended for babies under the age of 6 months, as their body absorbs chemicals more easily than an adult’s body. When you do start using a sunscreen for your baby, make sure you read the labels first, to check what the ingredients are. No chemical-based sunscreens for the little fella – a veil will look lovely, though!
9 Avoid: Scented Body Wash
Babies are born with a natural baby scent that smells just amazing! Don’t ruin it with the paraben-based, artificially scented body wash. A baby’s skin is super soft and they can get allergies in a jiffy from the artificial ingredients in scented body lotions. Infants are more prone to eczema and other skin issues as well.
You do need to wash the baby on a regular basis, but its best to stick with baby soaps made with natural ingredients. If using a body wash, stick with products that have organic additives like coconut oil, honey, aloe vera and so on as these are safer for babies than the chemically scented products. Choose baby skin products carefully to clean and moisturize their skin and just enjoy that natural baby fragrance!
8 Avoid: Baby Powder
Baby powder is another controversial baby product. The American Academy of Pediatrics quotes that the baby powder can cause breathing problems if the particles are inhaled by the baby.
If the baby is premature or has some heart or lung conditions, then it is strictly advised not to use any baby powder. Also, the powder tends to remain within the folds of the baby's skin and can cause irritation and rashes if not cleaned up properly. If you choose to use baby powder sparingly, then make sure you keep the powder away from baby’s nose. It's important to clean up previous powder deposits every time you change diapers.
7 Avoid: Bubble Baths
A bubble bath sure seems like fun for all ages. But bubble baths are for the grown-ups or the toddlers, your infant will not be able to really enjoy it. Also, the infant needs very less water to take a bath and the quantity of the shampoo needed to create the bubbles can be harmful to such a tiny body.
As per the ClevelandClinic, the bubble bath can cause irritation to the skin. According to studies, there is also a relationship between bubble baths and UTIs in children. So, it's better to avoid those bubbles as they are not bringing any happiness around, at least until your baby is old enough to actually enjoy it.
6 Avoid: Neosporin Creams
Whatever works for you, won’t work for the baby. So whenever the baby seems to have a scratch or a diaper rash, applying Neosporin mindlessly is not the best solution. Nowadays, pediatricians recommend Aquaphor for babies as it is more beneficial and ‘light’ on their skin.
You must ask your pediatrician before applying any over-the-counter ointments on your baby’s skin. Also, be extra careful while applying it to the areas from where they can take it to their mouth. Keep in mind that babies are extra flexible – after all, not everyone can put their toes in their mouth!
5 Avoid: Sleep Positioners
Sleep positioners are the small bed like positioners with the wedges for the positioning of head and arms. Infant sleep positioners may seem helpful to keep the baby on his or her back,. The purpose of sleep positioners is to allow the baby to sleep comfortably in an upright position and thus preventing SIDS.
The FDA website makes it clear that their organization has never cleared an infant sleep positioner that claims to prevent or reduce the chance of SIDS. Remember to put your baby on his back while sleeping to reduce the risk.
4 Avoid: Essential Oils
Essential oils are quite strong in not just their scents, they have powerful mental and physical effects on the human body. Different oils have different effects and not all of them are beneficial. Some of them can cause adverse reactions too. These oils, though derived from plants, can cause problems when consumed.
As far as babies are concerned, even small doses can affect the baby adversely. Overexposure to certain essential oils can cause unpleasant symptoms. Essential oils are mixed with the carrier oils which may cause allergic reactions even for an adult, so there is no question of using them on a baby.
3 The Best: Breastfeeding Pillows
Breastfeeding pillows can be a big help while feeding your baby. Such breastfeeding pillows come with or without the back support. They come in various sizes as well. You need to choose the right one for you and your baby. Don’t worry if the height doesn't seem perfect, you can increase its height by adding ordinary pillows under it.
According to MomJunction, breastfeeding pillows not only provide a better platform for your baby to lie down they can also help the baby latch on better. Another advantage is that this pillow erases your need to lean forward while breastfeeding, thus easing the sore muscles and the associated back pain.
2 Avoid: Changing Tables With Less than Four Sides
What's wrong with the picture above? Do you think a baby can roll off and fall down from this changing table? The answer is yes! And that's what makes this a bad choice. Changing tables make diaper changing a much more comfortable task to do. But it is important to ensure that the table is secure from all four sides.
To ensure the child's safety, changing tables must have four sides raised and secured with guardrails. If you are thinking about buying a table that with fewer sides due to budget constraints, it is better not to buy this for your loved one.
1 Avoid: Fragrant Detergents
For washing and cleaning, your baby's clothes need something that is free of artificial fragrances and is specially made for their delicate clothes. There are detergents on the market which can be safely used to wash baby clothes. Go for them but not for the harsh chemical based, highly fragrant detergents.
Choose the ones that are hypoallergenic and sulfate free as the sulfates can cause scalp and skin irritation to the sensitive skin of the newborn. Avoid all detergents that use dyes or perfumes as these can irritate baby's skin and cause rashes. It is best to wash your baby's clothes at 30 to 40 degrees C using a detergent that's specially formulated for your baby's sensitive skin.