Dos and don’ts of your baby shower registry
Before you register, consider how safe those products are for baby.
Katie Mcpherson Published: 12/11/2018
Registering for products, clothing and toys for your new baby is an exciting part of being pregnant — and choosing what comes into the nursery helps make it feel all the more real! And who better to make suggestions than Kathleen Hugo, RN, IBCLC, women’s resource coordinator at Baptist Health. She works directly with expectant and brand new moms in addition to organizing classes that help them prepare for their new arrival.
Must-have or forget about it?
For starters, what do the nurses on the hospital’s maternity/newborn floor recommend for babies once they are home?
“One of the biggest things we suggest is a white noise machine, said Hugo. “We find that if you purchase an actual white noise machine as opposed to using an app, it has a more effective frequency. You can use it for years to help your children go to sleep and cancel out other noises in the house.”
And what’s the most overhyped product that usually ends up collecting dust?
“Warmers for the baby wipes!” she said. “Parents often say that wasn’t really something they needed or used.”
Safety + supervision = happy mom and baby
But more importantly than lists of best and worst, new parents should be concerned about the safety of the products they purchase or register for. Hugo says ensuring products are reputable and always supervising your baby while using them is key to preventing injuries.
“You can go out and buy lots of products, but you need a watchful and attentive adult at all times. Many products work beautifully, but that’s the key to using all of them safely. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association certifies over 2,000 baby products. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also describes the types of toys that are recommended for each stage of development,” Hugo explained. “The AAP and Safe Kids USA are our two places we like to get our information. We live in a world where everyone feels they can consult Dr. Google or poll their Facebook friends and get lots of answers, but rely on people who are trained, updated and educated for best practices.”
New parents should also keep a close eye on recalls in case one of their baby’s favorite rockers or play mats shows up on the list.
“Check recall lists as they become available to make sure products deemed safe in the past haven’t started showing defects over time. Parents have a tendency to throw out those registration cards that come with products when you get them, but the main purpose of filling them out is so the company can notify you of recalls. It’s something parents should always do,” Hugo said.
Safe sleep is a major concern for new parents. Hugo said keeping your baby safe is not about buying the fanciest products.
“Many parents will go out and buy sleep apnea monitors to put on the beds themselves, and those are not recommended,” explained Hugo. “There are products out there like this that give parents a false sense of security. Physicians can order these monitors, but those products are not the same. Any device with a medical purpose should be prescribed and installed by medical professional.”
Hugo says many moms spend time choosing the right baby carrier for them depending on their needs and lifestyle.
“There are many different types of baby carriers. We explain to moms that they do have benefits and disadvantages, and they need to be used properly or they can be dangerous to a baby in terms of suffocation or hip issues if they’re in them for extended times,” she said.
Aside from checking for certified baby products, inspect each product you want for the recommended age of use.
“When you’re purchasing anything for your baby, the age range listed on a toy is a guideline for purchasers taking into consideration safety, development and interest level — it’s about both their physiology and their mental age,” said Hugo. “For example, if it’s not appropriate for your three-month-old, don’t purchase a play mat for a child who is six months to a year old thinking it’ll last longer.”
To access expert information about pregnancy and planning for your baby, sign up for a course at baptistjax.com/classes.
“If you want to know how to map out your pregnancy timeline, including everything you need to get done — getting insurance, planning a shower, how to eat healthy, what your dos and don’ts are — we can answer all of these questions and much more in our Early Pregnancy Class. It helps to get advice from one reliable source.”
For more information about safe toys, visit wolfsonchildrens.com/safekids or jpma.org/builtforbaby.