Whether it’s your new baby or not, you’ll want the best for them, to not only keep them safe, but to make them as comfortable as you can. From the best cribs and crib mattresses , to baby monitors and changing stations, there are many items to make your life with your new baby a whole lot easier.
The following guide will not only cover key points of each type of product that can make it easier, but also potential dangers linked with certain products. Recent government regulations to further increase product safety for all baby products are constantly changing to keep unsafe products from the market.
It is important to keep this in mind when looking for things to buy for your new baby’s nursery. This guide will hopefully offer some extra insight to what to look for when going shopping….
When you’re out looking for baby cribs, you’re going to want not only the best, but the safest and easiest to use, to make it easier for you and your new baby. Whether it’s a stationary crib, portable, or one with drop down sides, it’s important to keep in mind safety regulations of each.
The safe distance between crib slats should be 2 3/8 inches apart, to prevent any part of your baby from getting stuck, and causing harm. Currently, drop side cribs have been banned in the US, but if you still have one, you can easily immobilize it using either the included kit, or calling the manufacturer for one.
However, if the crib is more than 10 years old, then it is highly recommended to not use it, as numerous changes in safety regulations have been made in the past decade. When it comes to considering a portable crib, they can make it easier if you need to quickly move it to another room. Maybe to the living room so they can sleep and you can relax for a bit while still being close by. Or if you’re planning on taking a trip somewhere, so they have a place to sleep. However, with portable cribs being smaller to increase portability, it also means that they’ll outgrow one much faster.
With government standards constantly updating to provide stricter regulations to keep your baby safer, it’s not recommended to use old or used cribs without at least checking the manufacturers website to ensure that the crib is in compliance with current safety standards. Before using the crib, you should also make sure that there is no loose or chipped paint; babies tend to suck on things close by. The same precautions should be taken if you’re considering hand painting the crib.
2) Choosing The Best Crib Mattress
Mattress sizes and materials can sometimes be a hassle, as you not only want your baby to be comfortable, but also don’t want to empty your bank account doing so! Cribs must conform to a predetermined interior size, so as long as it’s not a very old crib you should be safe buying just about any mattress for it. When it comes to the mattress material itself, there are quite a few options, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. For each type of mattress, you should ensure that it is not too soft, which can be dangerous, and cause suffocation during sleep.
Foam mattresses are most popular, as they’re cheaper than both organic and innerspring mattresses. They are also lighter in comparison to the other two, which can really come in handy when changing sheets or cleaning the mattress itself. Foam mattresses come in various depths, with the most common being anywhere from 3 to 6 inches deep.
Innerspring or Coil Mattresses
The second common material used for mattresses is an innerspring, which is more expensive but still popular. Due to the springs, the mattress is firmer, which is safer for babies. Innerspring mattresses are popular among parents because they are familiar with innersprings, and often turn to what they know and have experience in. To measure the support and comfort factor, look for the amount of, and thickness of coils used; the lower the coil’s gauge is, the stronger and firmer the mattress, while the more coils inside also offer more firmness and comfort.
Organic mattresses are more expensive than both innerspring and foam mattresses. And, their popularity is increasing as parents become aware of the health risks of the chemical content in their baby’s crib. This is especially important, as for the first year a baby spends a lot of her time asleep. Many parents choose to go organic because of they offer the healthiest option available, with the 100% organic materials eliminating known allergens and chemicals. With your child being in the crib so much in the first year, they’re going to be in very close contact with the mattress, so an organic mattress might be best if your baby is more susceptible to allergies.
3) To Use Crib Bumpers Or Not
While they make the inside of your baby’s crib softer with padding, bumper pads are somewhat controversial. Many parents, as well as doctors, argue against using of them, due to related crib deaths. While breathability may make them a little safer, numerous stores, have begun to prohibit the sale of bumper pads due to the overwhelming concern regarding them. Some parents may use bumper pads to prevent their baby from getting stuck between the slats on the crib, or hurting themselves on the hard surfaces.
Of course, there are bumper pads of all types available to buy. Perhaps the best option as a new parent is to read reviews and do your research as there are some very good crib bumper pads available such as breathable mesh liners or those that encase each slat. Some say the best prevention for this is simply keeping an eye on your baby, whether in person, or using a video baby monitor for safety.
4) Crib Mattress Sheets: Fitted Or Loose?
When choosing sheets for your baby’s mattress, it’s always best to use a fitted sheet. If possible, choose one that goes all the way around to prevent it from popping off due to your baby moving about. It is highly recommended to not have loose sheets in the crib at all. They can pose various potential hazards ranging from your baby simply getting tangled up, to suffocation. As with the mattresses themselves, sheets come in varying sizes, fabric prints and materials, allowing you to choose the best for you.
Cotton sheets are a comfortable and breathable fabric, which is easy to wash. Cotton is quite durable, and suitable for warmer to cooler temperatures. If your baby is susceptible to skin irritation or allergies, some companies offer pure cotton, or if you so desire, some even offer pure 100% organic cotton. While cotton sheets don’t pill, they do wrinkle fairly easily, and may also shrink a little in the wash.
While once uncomfortable and low quality, polyester sheets are now not only cheaper than cotton, but can be quite comfortable and durable. Polyester sheets are available in various textures, are resistant to tearing, and don’t easily shrink in the wash, but sheets aren’t consistent between brands. Some are much softer and more durable than others, and can be prone to pilling, which can be uncomfortable for your baby.
During the colder seasons, flannel sheets will definitely come in handy, as they trap heat, and keep your baby nice and warm, allowing them to sleep better as temperatures drop outside. While they are lightweight while being able to retain heat, lower quality flannel is known to excessively pill, which can make the fabric fairly uncomfortable after a while, and is more coarse than other materials. Make sure you choose a good brand.
One thing to keep in mind, regardless of what type of material you use for a sheet, the weave, and the thickness of the mattress it will go on should all be considered before you purchase a sheet set. You should also avoid “bulk” sets, where multiple pieces are included, as they are often made with inferior materials, which can possibly be unsuitable.
5) Best Baby Monitor
Baby monitors can play a very big role when you want to be able to either relax or do some chores around the house while your baby sleeps in their room. Now, rather than having to constantly go and check up on them, and risk waking them up, you can simply check a monitor. Depending on the model, you can hear if they’re awake or still sleeping soundly, and can help you see if something is ever wrong.
Nowadays, most baby monitors not only have sound and video, but some even go so far as having smartphone capabilities. These models are typically more expensive, but allow more peace of mind, being able to not only hear, but see what your baby is doing while also not carrying around a large monitor is a blessing. With most people are practically attached to their smartphone these days, these types of baby monitors are very well designed.
Baby monitors, especially ones with video are being used more and more by parents who are busy all day, and are cautious about taking a peek into the baby’s room. There are also some models that not only allow you to see and hear one sided, but have a walkie-talkie mode, where you can speak to them through the monitor. If you want to know more about how to keep your baby safe and secure in the crib, check out our detailed review of the Top 10 Best Baby Monitors.
6) Sleeping Nest / Bag
Using a baby sleeping bag can help your baby feel cozy and warm, helping them sleep more peacefully, but the wrong size can be dangerous for them. If the sleeping bag is too small, it restricts all movement, which will be frustrating for them, causing them to cry. However, if the sleeping bag is too large, your baby can slip down into it, and possibly suffocate.
If it fits perfectly though, then your baby will be happier, and sleep longer which gives you some peace of mind, and allows you to either sit back and relax as they sleep, or take care of some chores around the house. or take the opportunity to sleep yourself.
When it comes to materials used in the sleeping bag, natural fibers are best, but can be more expensive than cotton, flannel, or fleece for the inside. For outside materials, two of the best types are either cotton or satin, as they are both smooth and comfortable. Be sure that the material you choose is breathable, and also protects your baby’s skin, as it’s more sensitive at such a young age.
While using a sleeping bag without sleeves can keep your baby more snug, it also prevents them from rolling away from a possibly dangerous position, as their arm movement is greatly restricted. In this case, a sleeveless sleeping bag can help, as it keeps them warm, yet allows them use of their arms.
7) Change Pads For Baby
Changing pads not only help keeping your baby off possibly dirty surfaces, they keep them in one place which is especially useful if they are wriggly babies! The best baby change pads are vinyl covered which helps in cleaning up just in case a leak happens while changing them; which may happen a lot more than wanted….
Changing pads come in many styles, from the standard, almost mattresses-like style, contoured pads, to traveling pads which fold up to go in the diaper bag. Some styles of best baby change pads even offer a safety belt, in cases where your baby simply refuses to lie still while being changed.
And with the almost definite guarantee of spills happening while you change them, a waterproof pad should definitely be considered. The waterproof factor not only makes the cleanup afterwards easier, but also prevents spills from soaking into the pad which can cause odor.
It also helps to have a changing pad with a non-slip back, to prevent the pad, and your baby, from sliding around while you’re changing them, possibly causing not only further messes, but also the hazard of them falling off the surface used.
8) Best Crib Toys For the Crib
Sometimes you might want to give your baby toys in their crib, but there are some inherent dangers associated with it. While some are comforting, such as a stuffed animal that plays music, others simply serve to add color, or something for them to hold onto while in their crib.
Mobiles, as long as they are out of reach, are relatively safe to have. A brightly colored mobile makes crib time more interesting when she is awake and some even play lullabies to soothe them into sleep. Provided they are safe and have no parts that can fall off into the crib, the best crib toys should be safe to use at any age.
You can get educational toys, tactile crib toys, toys with lights and there are so many to choose from. The important point here is to chose and age relevant crib toy.
Blankets, on the other hand, some people disagree on, but at approximately 6 months of age is when most people seem to give their infant either larger stuffed animals or a blanket. Due to the risk of possible choking on, or suffocation from rolling on top of the stuffed animals, many parents choose to wait until at least 6 months to add in toys for the crib.
Choose The 8 Items You Need And Life With Your New baby Will Be Easier
Whether you’re new to parenting, or have had one or more before, safety regulations regarding everything from cribs and mattresses to sheets, blankets, baby monitors, and more are constantly changing to keep your baby safe.
All of the above products, when chosen correctly and used properly, not only make your baby’s early life easier as well as yours. From safe cribs and comfortable mattresses and sheets for them to sleep to baby monitors with video and even smartphone capabilities, there are many ways you can give them the best start in life.
You can rest comfortably by ensuring that they’re safe sleeping, or just spending some time in their crib. Most of the above listed items are easy to use and safe. Before simply going out and purchasing something, ensure that you are not only aware of the specific product’s safety warnings, but keep in mind recent government regulations and even manufacturer warnings, in case of recalls.
If you want to know more about how to keep your baby safe and secure in the crib, check out our detailed review of the Top 10 best Baby Monitors.