A lot of baby items have come out in recent years. In the past, we only had muslin cloths and cotton blankets to wrap our little ones in. Then came diapers and plastic baby bottles we can sterilize and put formula in. Even the formula itself was a neat little invention in our rapid, ever-changing world. There are now nasal aspirators, baby food in jars, baby oil, diaper rash creams, and so much more! Truly, innovation in the baby industry is booming and alive. But, as scary as it sounds, not all of these new inventions are actually good for our little babies.
There may be items that are damaging to babies because of their inherent properties. There are also many items that are perfectly harmless on their own but can be pretty damaging to poor newborns because of how they are used. Which means that moms and dads have to be pretty knowledgeable about how to use any and all baby items in the house! And we have to make sure to read up on all baby items we buy, as well. It’s better to be safe than sorry! To help moms out there, we have made a list of fifteen baby items moms are using that are actually damaging to their newborns!
15 Diapers... Wait, What?
You may be gasping in surprise right now: diapers?! Are dangerous?! But aren’t diapers sanitary and safe? Because if they weren’t, we’d surely have come up with an alternative by now, right? Well, you’re correct, of course. Diapers are not that dangerous - at least not in the way you think. But rather, the way we use the diapers can cause damage to our little newborns.
Most parents change their baby’s soaked, dirty diaper by lifting the baby up by the ankles and sliding the diaper off, right? Well, according to Mom Talk, that move is really not that good for the baby’s spine. “This suspension creates a fulcrum against the changing surface and puts pressure on the middle region of the spine.” Instead, they recommend rolling the baby onto one side and then to the other so that no tension occurs in the spine and the natural alignment of the spine is kept A-OK.
14 Baby Carriers
Ah, carriers! They’re lovely inventions that help alleviate any inconveniences when carrying our babies. We only have two hands after all! And while all parents quickly become experts at doing everything one-handed, sometimes you just need two hands. Carriers are definitely great for freeing up hands, but if used improperly, they can actually be damaging to the baby. More parents use their carrier improperly than you would think!
While carriers are good at facilitating emotional and physical bonds between a mother or father and the child, they have to be used properly. Following directions to a T is a good start! Also, unstructured slings can pose a risk for slippage or suffocation. It is recommended that parents choose a carrier or a sling that helps support not only the baby’s crotch area but also the legs up to the knee. So remember: support the baby’s bum!
13 Bath Seats
Bath time is a nice bonding time for both parent and child. It’s a relaxing time, good not only for the baby’s physical health but also for both the parent and baby’s emotional bonds. And while newborn babies can’t be bathed for a short while (until their umbilical cord falls off completely), eventually a nice bath in a shallow basin or some shared bath time in the bathtub will be appreciated. Some parents even chose to use bath seats during bath time.
While these seats may create some sort of independence for the baby, they are not actually all that good for the baby. No one should ever think that leaving babies alone in the bathtub unsupervised is a good thing! Babies can easily fall over, trip, or slip while in the bathtub. An accident in the bath could result in baby hitting their head on the side of the tub, or worse - drowning. Always supervise the little ones in the tub!
You are afraid to leave the baby unattended in the crib while you and husband get some sleep. Though honestly, no parents of newborn children ever get any sleep, am I right? Suddenly you find yourself scrolling around an internet shopping site to find the perfect solution! Co-sleeping pads! Now the baby can be wedged in between mom and dad safe and sound at night. Or can it?
Co-sleeping pads carry as much risk as soft beddings, crib tents, or sleep positioners. The excess padding on the co-sleepers (also known as bedside sleepers) can cause the baby to suffocate if they roll over to their side or stomach. Even worse, since the sides are low, they can roll off of it and on to mom and dad’s squishy bed. The worst-case scenario may occur if mom or dad is also asleep. They may not notice that they have rolled on top of the thing and are accidentally suffocating their child.
Who doesn’t hate humidity? Humidity can be particularly horrendous on certain summer days when the air is heavy and it’s so darn hard to breathe! We do not want that for the little newborn infant, do we? And we don’t want the ghastly humid scent to be wafting around inside the house. Hence: the humidifier! But did you know even humidifiers can pose a terrible risk to babies?
Humidifiers can get super hot to the touch, so if left on the floor where babies can crawl or walk over to the humidifier and touch the mist (or the electrical cord), their skin can easily get burnt. An even more imminent risk is if the humidifier grows mold and spews moldy mist into the air. That can cause babies and adults alike to become sick. Leave a large plate filled with water in the room instead!
10 Car Seat Toys
We spend a lot of time in the car. It’s inevitable that babies will also spend a good amount of time in a car seat as parents go to the grocery store or on a road trip to a faraway place, but it does not mean that babies have to be bored during their travels! Earlier we tackled how parents have to be careful in choosing car seats. Now we will talk about how they should be careful when choosing car seat toys!
So while those dangly, colorful toys may be cute and entertaining, they can pose a risk. These toys can get in the child’s face during rides, which could be terrible, especially if the ride hits a bump or two. Instead, experts recommend only allowing car seat toys that come with the car seat itself. That way, the toys have been tested by the manufacturers, especially for safety during crashes.
9 Soft Blankets
Though blankets are brilliant, soft things that are amazing to have when sleeping, they are actually not as safe for babies as we tend to think they are. Soft blankets, bedding, and any other soft and squishy items that we put babies to sleep in can pose a serious risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). That goes for stuffed animals as well!
Soft blankets, bedding, and pillows can cause the baby to become tangled. In tossing and turning about in their sleep, babies can be smothered by the really soft bedding. Though the exact cause of all cases of SIDS can’t exactly be pinpointed, experts do say that avoiding soft bedding is one of the best ways to prevent it. So while color-coded, monogrammed blankies and pillows may be cute, don’t use them! They’re better off as decorations placed far away from the crib.
Do all baby items carry the risk of causing harm? Well, if you think about it, anything and everything we own can cause us harm! It’s just that babies are humans that need more supervision and care because they can’t take care of themselves. Think about all those knives, blenders, and stones that are so helpful in our everyday lives but can also harm us. It’s the same for babies!
Though walkers may seem like a fine way to help babies learn how to walk, those walkers, especially the ones that surround the baby entirely, can cause serious injury. Not only do they have a risk of tipping over, they have a risk of falling down stairs too! In 2010 alone about 4,000 babies were injured because of these things. In fact, the walkers with surrounding trays on them have been banned in Canada since 2004!
7 Crib Bumpers
A lot of parents are afraid of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) happening to their babies. And rightly so! Many parents have begun to avoid putting soft blankets or bedding in cribs. And so they put on a viable alternative: crib bumpers! Except - no surprise - crib bumpers are not as safe as many think.
Some parents' fear is that their baby’s head may get bumped against the hard rails of the crib. But it turns out that while crib bumpers may look snug and fit, they can actually cause the baby to be smothered if they press their faces into it. A 2007 US study actually underlines how dangerous crib bumpers may be, and how many infant deaths can be attributed to them. Babies can also end up caught in the ties or (once they’re older) even use the crib bumpers to climb out of the crib and fall.
So many items related to cribs can cause so much harm to the baby. Sometimes this is because of the materials used. Sometimes it’s simply because unsupervised, restless - but very helpless - babies can roll around and get caught in things. So while many parents think that these items help protect their kids, those same items can actually cause twice as much harm!
Take for example crib tents, which, ideally, would prevent babies from getting out of their cribs. Or maybe they could even prevent mosquitoes getting in, or curious pets nuzzling the baby or jumping inside the crib. Unfortunately, crib tents can collapse and injure those cute little babies. Or worse, the babies can get caught in the mesh, tangled up, and suffocated. Or they could end up trapped between the railings. So, try to avoid using this item in cribs! And remember: supervise infants at all times!
5 Sleep Positioners
Remember how we told you that babies have the risk of dying due to sudden infant death syndrome? And how a lot of soft items and loose material can cause the baby to become tangled and smothered? Well, the solution isn’t only to get rid of soft beddings. It’s really to get rid of anything in the crib, including those seemingly handy sleep positioners!
Turns out these nasty things do the exact opposite of what they are supposed to do in the first place. Sleep positioners are flat or wedge pads that are supposed to keep the baby on their back while they sleep. But it turns out these pads can easily cause the suffocation parents are so afraid of!. The CPSC even charted at least thirteen positioner-related deaths over the last thirteen years. So the official recommendation is: don’t use anything! Babies develop neck strength in due time. In the meantime, just make sure you put them to sleep on their backs.
4 Car Seats
Wait a second, now car seats are dangerous? Is everything a potential source of damage to the baby? Well, in all fairness, babies are soft, helpless things, and they need as much, if not more, supervision as the next guy. Speaking of supervision, babies need to be supervised in their car seats, and choosing which car seat to buy is pretty important as well.
Car seats should have a wide seat to support their bums and legs, so as not to get their legs squished together and be harmful to the pelvis or the hips. Also, spending way too much time in car seats is also not optimal, as it hinders proper development of the spine. Not that going on road trips is bad! Just don’t leave the baby in the car seat too long! Strollers may also have a similar effect, so if possible, give them time to stretch out and explore the floor, like they should!
If adults had jumpers, I have a feeling that we wouldn’t want to get off them. We’d just jump up and down all day, ignoring any and all adult responsibilities. But alas, jumpers like this are only made for babies, who can’t stand or walk or move as well as we do. But while babies may be lucky that jumpers are being produced for them, those things can actually pose a hazard.
These jumpers should be securely fastened and assembled in the proper way, or else they carry the risk of falling apart - and taking the poor baby down with them. A very enthusiastic baby may also jump way too high and hit their heads on the doorway. In fact, in 2005 about 29,000 jumpers were recalled because of reports that the things caused many “fractures, lacerations, and bruises.”
2 Bumbo Seats
Those cute little seats sure are pretty darn useful. Not only do they keep babies upright, they have hip and cool designs as well. Our cute little babies can always lounge, play, or eat in style! But while they may look cool and may make great baby shower gifts, these seats are not as safe as we think they are.
Bumbo seats may cause the baby to tip over and fall, which is dangerous enough when on the floor but it’s even more dangerous if they were placed on raised surfaces. The original products were actually recalled in 2007 because of the falling hazard. Later on, straps were added to the Bumbo seats in case the baby trips. But regardless, experts recommend that parents supervise their babies at all times and keep them away from electric cords or sharp items if they choose to use these seats.
1 Drop-Side Cribs
We have already mentioned how crib bumpers may cause infant deaths, and how soft bedding in cribs may cause sudden infant death syndrome. But it’s not just the stuff in the cribs that can cause serious harm and risk to newborns. Even the cribs themselves can be a danger! Think about it, how many times have we all seen those crib recalls on the news?
Babies sleeping in the bed next to adults is never advisable, as they may get accidentally smothered by pillows or even by the adults themselves. So what’s a parent to do? Put them in a crib! But while most cribs are entirely safe, drop-side cribs are not! These cribs can cause strangling or suffocation and have apparently caused around 32 deaths since 2000. The baby may even get trapped if the railing comes loose. So while parents have an easier time getting the baby out of the crib, it can dangerous for the baby in the crib!