5 Baby Items to Avoid

There are lots of great baby products out there but you should definitely AVOID these ones.
I usually share the baby products I love but today I’m going to talk about five baby items you should avoid.

1. Used Car Seats

I know that using a hand-me-down car seat can be tempting especially because a new one can be expensive.  However, Baby Center cautions parents with the following:

Not only are used seats unlikely to come with the manufacturer’s instructions (vital for correct installation), but they could be missing important parts, have been involved in an accident (even unseen damage can affect the seat’s functioning), fall short of current safety standards, or have been recalled due to faulty design. Moreover, plastic gets brittle as it gets older, so a seat that’s too old could break in a crash. (More here)

What to get instead:

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  • Skip the infant car seat and go straight to the convertible car seat if you’re on a budget. (Tips for choosing a convertible car seat for a newborn)
  • Purchase a more affordable infant car seat or watch for a hot deal. The Britax B-Safe and the Graco SnugRide 30 are both affordable choices, especially when there has been a price drop, and Amazon constantly has baby gear lightning deals.
  • If you ARE going to use a used car seat, read this article from The Car Seat Lady and follow all the instructions for ensuring the car seat is safe.

2. Bumpers

Crib bumpers might look cute and cozy, but the AAP recommends against them and they can “reduce the flow of fresh air to your baby’s crib, which is considered a contributing factor in SIDS”. (Link) Bumpers are also the known cause of 27 infant deaths.

According to the AAP, there is no evidence that bumpers protect against injury, but they do carry a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment because infants lack the motor skills or strength to turn their heads should they roll into something that obstructs their breathing. (More here)

What to get instead:

  • Save your money and just purchase a firm crib mattress and crib sheet. It might sound bare bones, but it’s the safest route and neither of my babies ever complained.
  • Skip Hop has bumper free bedding sets that are adorable and genius. The side of the sheet has a print that makes the crib look like it has a bumper.

3. Baby Products Full of Harmful Chemicals

A few years ago, I read an article about Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo containing formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. They’ve since removed it, but I learned there are many ingredients I don’t want my baby to come in contact with. Since I am not an expert by any means, here are some helpful links.

  • Baby Sunscreen: The Smart Mama’s Guidebook
  • 6 Toxins to Avoid in Mama and Baby Lotion
  • Baby Personal Care: Common Chemical Avoid List
  • 8 Toxins to Avoid in Shampoo and Body Wash

What to get instead:

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My current favorite brand for baby care items is Earth Mama Angel Baby because they are so dedicated to toxin-free, organic, and non-GMO products. I got their A Little Something for Baby Kit and fell in love with everything. It is truly the best out of everything I’ve tried. I also like Burt’s Bees Baby Bee and California Baby.

I use EWG’s Skin Deep Database to help me choose the best products for my family. They have a database of 69,000 products and assign each one a score. You can also see a list of the ingredients, the score for each ingredient, and any concerns associated with them.

4. Sleep Positioners

Infant sleep positioners are also an unnecessary item as well as a suffocation hazard.

What to get instead:Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 9.22.00 PM

If you’re considering using a positioner because of infant acid reflux, it is better to go with the Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play which is one of the most popular baby gear items on the market. If you’re worried about the flat head syndrome, just focus on giving your baby lots of great tummy time.

5.  Bath Toys That Squirt Water

Okay now this one isn’t such a big deal but I think it is still better to avoid bath toys that squirt water. Why? Mold. If I don’t have time to be bleaching and cleaning the inside of bath toys (like these) then you probably don’t either. They’re cute, but there are better choices out there.

What to get instead:

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Here are some fun bath toys that won’t give you a headache.

  • Munchkin Bath Turtles (we have these, lots of fun!)
  • Nuby Splish Splash Stacking Bath Cups
  • Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles
  • Nuby Animal Character Bath Tub Foams
  • Boon Water Bugs Floating Bath Toys with Net

Are there any baby items you recommend avoiding?

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