When a woman becomes a mother, this switch goes off in her brain, and everything she does revolves around her new little sweet pea. She worries about whether they're eating enough, breathing as they sleep, and saying enough words.
With today's technology, and the way companies seem to really be listening to the worries mothers have for their child's safety, baby products have come a long way and can be really helpful in easing those tensions mothers have. There are so many useful and innovative products to choose from to help improve her child's life, and her ability to parent with a sound mind.
However, there are some products that should never have passed the idea board. Because there's a difference between making a mother's life easier, and removing the want to actually parent.
These are the items mothers see in the store that they shake their head at and refuse to buy, and want to be recalled this year! Whether it's for safety reasons or plain stupidity, these baby products have got to go this year.
Despite the convenience these products might advertise, the potential for making things easier just doesn't outweigh the risk.
15 Bumbo Seat
The Bumbo seat is known as a seat positioner and was created to help babies learn to sit up by themselves and develop good posture. However, physical therapists hate the Bumbo because it does the exact opposite. Babies actually learn to lean forward, curving their backs. This seat also discourages natural movement.
Moms should instead try to encourage natural play and movement, perhaps placing the baby in between her legs as she sits on the floor with the baby so they can gently lean against their mother and attempt to lean forward and reach for their favorite toy. Keep toys or a favorite token (lovey, blanket, stuffed animal) in front of them so they can experiment with moving their body and strengthen themselves to successfully sit up in their own time.
14 Doorway Jumpers
Many parents have enjoyed putting their children in these Doorway Jumpers for years - but the truth is, they can't be trusted with the spontaneous and sudden movement that a baby of the correct age might place on its parts. If you're curious as to way these jumpers are so dangerous...the springs have been known to break, the clamps that sit over top of the door frame have broken the frame off the wall, the hard plastic from the clamps has snapped, and the straps have come unsewn while babies are jumping. This poses a serious risk to the baby when they are jumping should the door frame fall on their head (especially with the nail or screw attached!), or the baby should fall when the strap breaks and hits the side of the door frame.
Instead of a Doorway Jumper, moms can use a stationary floor jumper, or gently bounce their babies up and down on the floor while encouraging them to walk or dance.
13 Sleep Positioners
Sleep positioners pose a great risk to infants, as there is a greater chance of SIDS if there is anything physically in the crib with the baby once they are sleeping. SIDS occurs mostly in infants 6 months and younger, peaking between 2-4 months of age. The DockATot is the seemingly popular choice amongst moms for sleep positioners, and are available in a lot of colors and prints. There are even claims (that are impossible to prove) that the material of some sleep positioners is breathable and safe should an infant's mouth/nose be pressed against it for some time. However, they can possibly contribute to the dangers sleeping babies already face. As stylish as they might seem, they are unsafe and not worth the life of a human.
To prevent SIDS, babies should be placed to sleep on their back on their mattress. Besides a crib sheet, there should be no other blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or soft toys in the crib.
12 Bath Seats
Bath seats are supposed to help suspend or secure babies while they are in the bathtub splashing around. Varieties include seats that can be placed in the kitchen sink or the bathtub. But these also can be dangerous in the wrong situation. This is one of those products that encourage independence in the water, and a parent's lack of supervision or want to look at a funny cat video on their phone for more than two seconds can lead to submersion. Babies have unfortunately drowned or needed immediate medical care from almost drowning because of gadgets like these!
Instead of buying a baby seat, moms should be using the correct size tub for their baby's age. Filling the tub with water, and gently pouring it over their infant's body while scrubbing is best. Always start with the head/face, and end up the parts that would be covered in a diaper. If the baby is older and can sit up successfully for the duration of their bath, fill the tub with water up to the top of their knee as they are sitting and pay close attention. Babies should always be watched with the most careful eye around any body of water.
11 Baby Walkers
People have used baby walkers as early as the 15th century. These products feature a seat surrounded by plastic and set on wheels so the baby can roll around as they 'learn to walk' while supporting their own weight. The problem with these walkers is safety - many babies have fallen down stairs and sustained far worse injuries than if they had fallen down the stairs without the walker. Walkers are also known to actually delay the very thing they were created to help with - walking.
Alternatives to walkers are stand-up walkers (where the baby can stand behind the walker without being placed in a seat, and push the toy around), and a mother's encouragement! As a mother places toys in front of her child to entice them to crawl towards an object for the first time, she can also place a toy or wanted object on a higher place for the child to walk to and reach. Think about placing the TV remote on the TV stand in the living room, or their favorite puffs on the kitchen table (assuming they can reach the edge).
10 Crib Tents
Crib Tents were designed to help keep older babies from crawling out of their crib. Aimed at the mother with an escape artist for a child, they are meant to help prevent the escape from happening.
Honestly, if an older baby or child is crawling out of their crib, they are most likely ready for a toddler bed. Some cribs offer convertible features and will actually turn into a toddler bed and then a twin/full-size bed later. Moms can clear the floor or shelves of their little one's room so that if their child climbs out of their new toddler bed, they are still in a safe space. Moms with an adventurous child should invest in a video monitor that can alert her when noise is made or her child cries, so she is aware that they have woken up. Most often, when children wake in the morning, they are either hungry or want to play. Creating a safe space for them in their room for them to wake up to and play in can be a better environment, and much safer.
Co-sleepers are either cribs or travel bassinets that parents use so they can sleep with their child while still being 'safe'. With a travel bassinet, parents can put their infant to sleep, and snuggle with a bassinet between them both. And with a co-sleeper crib, the crib slides up so that the edge of the baby's mattress touches the edge of the mother's mattress. She can place her arm on the baby to soothe him as he wakes, or slide him across the mattresses that are lined up to breastfeed or cuddle. Co-sleeping is often chosen in opposition to the idea of placing the baby in the cold, harsh (but safe) crib to snooze.
But co-sleepers are another dangerous risk to be had when it comes to SIDS. These, especially the travel bassinets designed for bed-sharing, should be recalled for safety reasons!
8 Baby Skiddies
'Skiddies' are what is to be imagined as the equivalent of panty liners for children. Much like a diaper, they shield clothing (in this case, underwear) from 'skid marks' that show up in a child's underwear when they haven't wiped their bum properly.
But Skiddies are not very sanitary (imagining moms would need to just keep replacing the underwear liners every time the child relieves himself). These are pretty gross, and defeats the purpose of potty training! When a 'big kid' gets their Big Kid underwear, they ought to be trained to care for themselves (i.e. wiping properly), and hopefully always have a responsible adult nearby to help the wipe to avoid the 'skid marks'. It's understandable that parenting can be an exhausting feat sometimes, even when potty training - but this is downright unsanitary and lazy!
7 Word Trackers
Word Trackers are clips that are placed on an older baby's shirt to monitor and determine how many words the baby can say. Isn't there enough pressure on mothers these days, with comparing our babies to everyone else's? Why is there even a want to start charting words? Instead of engaging in interactive play, interaction is made out to be a competition. Kids are more apt to want to learn or try something new (like forming new words!) when there is positive motivation - not pressure! This clip is more of a distraction than a helpful tool when it comes to helping a baby talk.
Instead of charting and monitoring her kids, moms can get down on the floor and play with them - pointing out and reiterating what each character or toy it is that they're playing with. Sooner or later, at their own pace, they will start talking. And then she'll have other things to worry about, like manners and politeness.
6 Amber Teeth Necklaces
Moms are flooded with information these days about how dangerous blankets can be in their baby's crib, the possibility of SIDS, and not to dress your young baby in scarves. But when it comes to putting something bumpy like an Amber necklace close to their child's neck, that logic of suffocation and SIDS seems to go right out the window!
Amber necklaces, and anything that gets remotely close to a baby's neck that possibly chokes or suffocates the baby should be recalled. There is also no proven scientific evidence that these dangerous necklaces even work. And the use of them would indicate that moms would need to be watching their baby every. single. second. they are wearing it. So these necklaces are just unsafe and cause more tension for the mom than the eventual release of pain the baby will have over time from gradually fully cutting the tooth.
5 Child Leashes
I understand wanting to keep your child close, especially in public. But let's be honest - these leashes aren't just used at Disney World. I've seen them just about everywhere from the park (where children are meant to run around and be able to slide down a slide or swing by themselves) to the neighborhood sidewalk. I have a neighbor that 'walks' her child.
Instead of the 'safety harness' (leashes), parents can carry young children in toddler carriers, strollers, and keep a very careful eye on them. But the whole backpack safety harness thing is ridiculous. Oftentimes, my husband and I will take our children to the zoo, and bring along our wagon so they can ride along when they are tired of walking and are safe going through larger crowds being pulled by Mommy and Daddy.
4 Baby Slings
Ring Slings or Baby Slings fit over one shoulder and are a popular way for parents to carry their infants. However, mostly for babies under the age of 4 months, they pose a great risk of suffocation. The reason for that is because their neck muscles are still too weak to support their head, or correct their own positioning should they feel unable to sufficiently breathe. And if a baby isn't able to breathe, they likely aren't able to cry to let you know something is wrong either. Being pressed against mom or dad for long periods of time can affect their breathing and increase the risk of accidental suffocation.
Alternatives to Ring Slings would be structured baby carriers (that fit over both shoulders, and fastened in the back across mom's shoulder blades), or an infant car seat and stroller in which they can be safely buckled and pushed around.
3 Diaper Genie
If parents want a quick whiff of what a landfill smells like, look no further!
While there should be a biohazard warning on every child's bum for the immense stench that comes forth when it's time to open that stinky diaper, nothing is worse than multiple diapers closed up in one spot for a long period of time. The Diaper Genie makes no sense. I know parents probably don't want to stink up their house with one dirty diaper, but the smell that comes from 20+ dirty diapers in this expensive portable landfill of a device is enough to knock the wind out of any tired mom or dad!
These diaper pails also harbor some pretty nasty critters should you fail to change the bag fast enough. I won't get into too much detail, but it's not something you even want to hear!
2 Baby Keeper
The Baby Keeper is basically designed to hold your baby/toddler while you are indisposed in the ladies room. Moms can place their babies or toddlers in the Keeper, and hang them up by two large metal hooks on the stall door or wall so you can take care of your...personal needs? This is sounding a bit medieval!
The Baby Keeper seems pretty dangerous (should it fail and the child falls), and the possible misuse of this product could be fatal. No one wants their baby crawling around on the floor of a public restroom, but this doesn't seem to be the best option! I could certainly see this product being used in more than just a bathroom stall, like when mom needs to mop the floor or fold the laundry, why not just put your fussy baby in the Baby Keeper and hook him to a door?!
1 Crib Hammocks
These hammocks - who came up with these? With so much attention on SIDS (I've named it so many times because it's that important!) and the risk of early suffocation for young babies, this design concept would seem to be one that would be knocked out of any possible product development meeting.
It sure is cute, isn't it? Unfortunately, it isn't very smart with how knowledgeable mothers are these days in realizing what is safe for their little one and what isn't. This might actually work for getting a baby comfortable and ready to sleep, but it isn't considered to be a safe sleep practice at all and can hinder sleep training. Once this baby is ready to move to a toddler bed, I can't see mom and dad installing a toddler hammock in their room (which poses its own risks).
Sources: Mom Junction, Mayo Clinic, and Science or Not