This is a guest post.
As a parent, you want to make sure that the products you buy for your children are safe. This is especially true when it comes to baby products. But how can you know if your baby products are safe? Further, how can you know if baby products are safe for your baby?
All babies are different and have different needs. As new parents, we get advice from many different sources, and there are so many decisions to make. Here are some ways that you can make sure you are using the best, safest products for your baby.
Talk to Your Pediatrician
Every baby has different health needs. Talk to your pediatrician about your baby’s health to make sure the products you buy and use are safe. Consider talking to your pediatrician about products including:
- Baby soaps and lotions
- Laundry detergents or dryer sheets
- Surface cleaning products
- Clothing ingredients
- Baby bottle/nipple ingredients
If you are concerned about food allergies, including lactose intolerance or allergic reactions, your pediatrician can also make recommendations for food products based on your child’s health.
Find Sources You Can Trust
There is an unbelievable amount of information on the internet. When it comes to researching baby products, find resources that you can trust. For example, if you are concerned about toxins in baby products, consult the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. If you are concerned about which car seat to buy, consult the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For recall information, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers detailed listings for products designed for children.
You can gain a lot of valuable information from parents who host blogs and post in forums. Look for resources that contain valuable and helpful information that is supported by legitimate sources. The old saying that “it takes a village” translates to modern parents because networking and communicating with other parents is a great way to learn from experiences, get advice, and find out reviews about certain products.
Use Baby Products for Babies
When you are in a pinch, it can be tempting to use your shampoo or soap for your baby. This is not recommended, however. Products designed for babies are more gentle, and often contain less chemicals or ingredients that could be damaging to your baby’s skin. Whenever possible, stick to baby products for your baby to ensure that he or she is safe and healthy.
As your baby ages, even in weeks or months, check the label of toys and food products to see if it is age-appropriate. Manufacturers label products like this to help parents understand risks, such as choking hazards.
Use Products that Meet Safety Standards
All manufactured products must meet certain manufacturing and safety standards. The CPSC has specific guidelines for baby products, with strict standards for:
- Car seats
- Changing tables
- Baby gates
- Baby bathtubs/accessories
- Baby carriers – including wraps and slings
- Play yards (playpen)
Whether you are passing down an item from one child to the next, or are looking for new baby products, check to make sure that all products meet CPSC safety standards. Products that do not meet safety standards cannot be guaranteed as safe, and depending on when and where they were manufactured, may not be subject to a recall.
Be Aware of Potential Problems
The best way to tell if they products your baby is currently exposed to are safe is to keep a close eye on him or her. Be aware of potential problems, such as skin irritation from changing detergents or soap. Also, keep an eye on toys for signs of pulls, tears, or peeling. Baby’s put most everything in their mouths, so it is important to make sure that they are not exposed to choking hazards or dangerous substances.
What about Used Baby Products?
In a time when DIY, recycling, and upcycling is trendy, many parents are choosing to purchase used baby gear. Purchasing pre-loved items can help save money and reduce your environmental footprint. But how can you know if pre-loved baby products are safe? Consider the following tips:
- Clothing: When buying pre-loved clothing, inspect items for damage to buttons, zippers, or decorations that may pose a choking hazard. For sleepwear, check the label to make sure it isn’t flammable.
- Books: Buying used books is a great way to save money. Before you buy, check that the binding and pages are not moldy or ripped. Before passing them to little ones, spray them with disinfectant.
- Toys: New toys are required to meet safety standards. Some used toys are manufactured recently enough to not be a hazard. However, older toys (vintage), may have a risk of containing lead. Any used toys you buy should be washed and disinfected before being passed along to children.
- Furniture: Used furniture is a great way to DIY or upcycle. When buying used baby furniture, check for signs of mold or water damage, splinters, or choking hazards.
- Car Seats: While it is mostly recommended to buy a car seat new, sometimes it is okay to buy a used one. What you need to check for is the expiration date, and whether that seat has been recalled. If it is expired or recalled, don’t buy it! If it has been used by someone you trust, is not expired, and is not recalled, then it is probably safe.
Buying used baby products can be budget-friendly and fun. But make sure you check any used baby products thoroughly for safety alerts or recalls before buying.
Intuition – A Parents Best Friend
As you consider buying or using baby products, use your intuition and judgment. If you feel uncomfortable or unsure about the product, do your homework. Research whether the product is safe, and make sure it is not recalled. If you are still unsure, talk to your pediatrician. Ultimately, no one knows your baby like you do, so trust your instincts.
If you are interested in full size or jogging strollers without flame retardant chemicals, please read my previous post, ‘Non Toxic Strollers Without Flame Retardant Chemicals‘.
If you are interested in the best umbrella stroller, please read my post ‘Best Umbrella Stroller – Which Umbrella Stroller Is The Best?‘.
If you are interested in non-toxic car seats, please read my post ‘Non Toxic Car Seats Without Flame Retardant Chemicals‘.
If you are interested in non toxic cribs, please read my post ‘Non Toxic Crib Buying Guide – Buying A Truly Non Toxic Crib’.
If you are interested in Non Toxic Toys, please read my post, ‘Best Non Toxic Toys – What Are The Best Non Toxic Toy Brands?‘