Bringing home a newborn baby is an exciting time for new parents, but it can also be overwhelming with all the baby products on the market. While many items are essential for a newborn’s care, it’s important to be aware of certain baby products that can be dangerous. To help parents make informed choices, here are five baby products and gadgets to avoid for the safety of your little one:
1. Baby soaps containing phthalates
Phthalates are chemicals that are often used to make plastic more flexible. They have been linked to various health problems, including congenital disabilities, reproductive problems, and cancer in children. When used in baby soaps, these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, putting your baby at risk. To avoid phthalates, look for baby soaps labeled as “phthalate-free.”
2. Memory foam baby mattresses or mattress toppers
These products, which may look like an excellent way to help keep your baby’s body temperature regulated, are dangerous because they contain chemicals that can cause respiratory problems and skin rashes. Some of the chemicals used in these products have been found in the blood of people who were occupationally exposed to them, so there is concern about babies getting these harmful chemicals by breathing on their pillows or ingesting their foam padding. To avoid memory foam products, choosing natural, hypoallergenic bedding made from cotton, wool, wood, or organic materials like cotton or yak down is best.
3. Baby cribs made from manufactured wood
There are no regulations in the United States regarding baby cribs made from wood, so manufacturers can make any claim they want. Even though many of these cribs may look like they are made of wood, they usually contain synthetic or composite materials. Some of these materials have been found to contain harmful chemicals that can damage the immune system of children and cause hormonal problems. To avoid cribs built with unregulated or unknown woods, you should choose a wooden crib made in the U.S. or Canada that is certified organic and designed specifically for babies.
4. Infant walkers
Baby walkers are similar to baby rockers—they provide an infant with sensory stimulation and help strengthen their motor skills. But walkers are dangerous because they offer a flat, unstable surface for babies to scoot around. When babies begin to stand and walk, their muscles aren’t strong enough to lift their legs or keep them steady when they take their first steps. Unfortunately, many parents are unaware of how unsafe these products are because the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has not banned them or set safety standards for them. However, they are linked to accidental falls down stairs and baby fractures.
5. Crib tents
While many parents think these pieces of cloth are a cute way to keep babies from climbing out of their cribs, they’re dangerous and have been linked to suffocation. Baby mattresses are unsafe when exposed to any opening, so you should never allow your baby to sleep in a crib with a crib tent or covering—no matter how cute!
Bringing a new baby home is an exciting and overwhelming time for parents. It is essential to be aware of the potential dangers associated with certain baby products, such as baby soaps containing phthalates, memory foam baby mattresses or mattress toppers, baby cribs made from manufactured wood, infant walkers, and crib tents. Always do your research before purchasing any baby products to ensure the safety of your little one.