July 9, 2020

Gear for the first year

It takes a lot of things to raise a baby; especially in the first year. Some baby gear is essential, while other items may be considered more of a luxury or an extra item. This article discusses baby gear that is needed for the baby’s first year.

Feeding

Bottles, nipples, and burp clothes are all pieces of baby feeding gear that can be considered essential in the first year. It is also important to have a bottle and nipple brush to clean out the bottles and nipples thoroughly.

Some mothers choose to exclusively breastfeed. But if they are planning to ever leave their baby with someone else, they will need to pump their milk and have it fed to their baby using a bottle with nipples. Mothers who nurse will also need a nursing bra, breast pads, nipple cream, a breast pump, and they may want a nursing pillow.

A highchair, bibs, rubber tipped spoons, plastic bowls, and sippy cups are also important pieces of feeding gear to have as the baby gets older and begins to eat solid foods. Some parents also like to have a plastic mat to put under the high chair to make clean up and easier job.

Clothing

Clothing is essential pieces of baby gear for the first year. An infant will need an outfit right when he or she leaves the hospital. It is a good idea for parents to have several outfits on hand for the first several weeks after the baby is born. These weeks are not an easy time to get away and go shopping for essential baby items.

Of course the amount and exact type of clothing is a personal choice but many parents like to have one-piece outfits, one-piece pajamas that are easy to take on and off, socks, sweaters and or fleece outfits if it is winter, mittens, a hat, and later when they begin to walk, shoes.

Bath time

There are many different things needed for a baby’s bath time. Many people like to purchase an infant/toddler bath tub instead of using their own full sized tub. This can be a good idea since babies can get very slippery when they are wet, but small tubs are not essential.

Other items that are important during baby’s bath time can include: washcloths, baby shampoo, baby body wash, baby lotion, and bath toys.

Potty

Diapers, wipes, and a changing pad are necessary baby gear for the infant’s first year of life. There are disposable diapers or cloth diapers, either will work very well. A person can either buy wipes or they could make their own if they prefer. There are many different types of changing pads, but having one can protect carpet, bedding, and other surfaces from accidents that could happen when a baby’s diaper is off.

Diaper rash ointment and a sealable trash can, are other types of baby gear that can make diaper changing time a better experience for all involved.

Nursery

Whether a baby sleeps in his or her parent’s room, or sleeps in their own room, it is important that the infant has a bed. A cradle, play yard, bassinet, or crib can serve as a bed for an infant. Many parents choose to start their baby sleeping in a cradle or a bassinet and then transition to the crib once the baby gets older.

It is important to cover the mattress with a waterproof crib or mattress liner, as well as with fitted sheets. Receiving blankets and other types of blankets are also important to keep the infant warm.

Out and about

A good car seat is essential. There are many different types of car seats. An infant will first need a rear facing car seat and then later on will need a toddler seat. Some people choose to purchase these car seats separately, while others choose to purchase a car seat that is convertible. Either type will work.

A good stroller is a great piece of gear to have, especially in the first year. Strollers are a great way to transport a baby when running errands etc. There are many different types of strollers available. Travel systems allow the car seat to be taken directly from the car and hooked into the stroller. This can be great when the baby is sleeping or during anytime in the first few months of life to make traveling easier on the infant. Later on these strollers can be used for a baby who can sit up on their own without the car seat.

If a person does not choose to buy a travel system, they should make sure to get a stroller that can fully recline until their baby is able to hold up and support his or her own head.

Toys

Swings, bouncers, and saucers are all great things that can keep the baby occupied and safe. Rattles, books, car seat toys, and stroller toys can all be used to teach and occupy a baby on a car trip, in the house, or anywhere. Playing is a big part of a child’s development and toys help them to play.

Safety etc

A first aid kit, smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in the baby’s room, a rectal thermometer, baby nail clippers, nasal aspirator, and a baby monitor are all important pieces of safety gear that a parent should have to help keep their baby safe and healthy.

Once a baby starts to get around on his or her own it is very important that the house has been baby proofed. Outlet covers, toilet seat latches, oven and stove guards, latches for drawers and cabinets, and bumpers to protect sharp edges and corners can all help to protect a baby.

Baby gear you can’t live without

The amount of baby gear and the varieties of them available to parents today can be mind blowing. While babies likely seem to need every type of equipment, there are however several kinds of baby gear that parents particularly are sure to be grateful to have. If you are expecting a baby and you can’t decide what you or your baby need, then check out the following list of baby gear you can’t live without.

There is so much to do to before the baby arrives. First, you must have a car seat for your baby’s first road trip from the hospital to home. Car seats are required by law and are an absolute necessity for safety. Car seats are essential to keep your baby safe while traveling from one place to another in the car. You want a car seat that is easy to take out of the car without disturbing your baby’s comfort too much. For this reason, you may want to consider buying a car seat stroller combo. This type of car seat stroller combo allows you to detach the baby carrier from the base leaving the base in the car and simply attach the baby carrier to the stroller without moving and waking up your little one. In this way, you can ensure your baby’s comfort from the car to the stroller as well as from the stroller back into the car without too much work and commotion. Avoid buying a car seat from a second hand store if you truly care about the safety of your precious new born.

Next, you want a stroller that’s very easy to use. You want to make sure you can open, close and store the stroller easily without frustration. Also, you may want to consider looking for a stroller with a seat cover that is removable for easy clean up, a wide basket to store all your baby items, that is lightweight for easy travel and has a large sun shade to protect your little one from the hot summer sun.

Babies have lots of energy and need constant attention. Any safe activity related baby gear such as a baby walker, a battery operated baby swing with different speed levels, a baby bouncer and much more will certainly be very appreciated by you as new parents and will definitely get plenty of use. These baby toys are sure to help the baby stay entertained, occupied and improve his motor skills as well as give you a well deserved break.

As parents, you are always concerned about the safety of your infant and will do whatever to make sure your little one is protected. Nursery monitors are very useful. They allow you to move around the house and still be able to hear your baby. The monitor unit helps to alert you to your crying baby or a baby that seriously needs your help right away. A safety gate for stairs will also help prevent unnecessary accidents allowing you to relax more and help your baby to stay safe.

The baby nursery needs to be furnished as well, so therefore you will need to buy a crib, a dresser, and a changing table. These are very essential for your baby to have a bed to sleep in, to have a place to store all his clothes and to have an easy way for you to change your baby.

Baby gear that you can’t live without includes everything that will help you as parents to relax more and allow your baby to be comfortable and content.

Baby gear for transportation

There is a lot more to baby gear for transportation then just strollers and car seats. This does not mean there is a ton of gear you need beyond that, just that you need to put some thought into the gear you do choose. Let’s take a look at this:

First let’s talk about strollers:

You will probably need a couple of strollers, or at least a stroller that can do a few things. For example, for a newborn, you’ll want a stroller that reclines to almost flat. This means you can buy a stroller that reclines for when they are newborn, and another that does not recline as much for later. Babies shouldn’t be propped upright for long, until they’re about 3 months old or until they’ve developed stronger neck muscles.

Another thing you want to consider is the wheels. If you’re shopping for a new stroller, look for wide wheels. This makes steering easier, and usually means the wheels are going to last longer.

With strollers, as a newborn you may not be strapping your baby in, but any mother with a toddler knows that if you do not strap in, they do not stay in. However, kids change sizes, so be sure to look for a stroller with adjustable straps.

Beyond all the extras, like cup holders, and canopies, it is most important to find a stroller that is easy to steer. Easy steering is going to be key in your life. If your stroller is hard to push and steer, or takes a lot of energy to keep on course, to take turns with, or to maneuver through the mall or wherever it is that you are going, you won’t use it. Not using means wasted money. So, stick your child in the stroller and go for a roll around the store, and make sure that it works right for you. Test before you buy so that you are not unhappy later.

Now let’s look at car seats:

U.S. law requires that your child sit in a car seat while riding in any car. Your nurse at the hospital will make sure your baby is strapped in right and tight before they will let you leave the hospital. Obviously, you start out with an infant car seat, but at some point, your baby will grow out of it. So, what to think about when buying car seats includes the following.

How many times do you want to buy a car seat? You can get one of two different types of car seats when you have an infant. You can get an infant seat that works up until 20 pounds and is rear facing, or you can buy a convertible seat, which can face rear or front, designed to be used by both babies and older children.

With car seats consider having a base it locks into that can stay in the car so that you do not have to do up the seat belt each time. If you drive more than one car, look for one that has additional bases available.

Consider the straps. You can either get 3-point or 5-point straps with a car seat. The 5-point are safer, but many find the 3-point to be easier.

Other transportation gear is unnecessary unless your lifestyle deems it needed. You can get backpacks that carry babies if you are going to be outdoors a lot in areas unfit for strollers, such as hiking. You can get jogging strollers that come with larger wheels for running. There are a lot of options out there, but the basics needed are a good car seat, and a good stroller.

Car seat safety: How to choose and use a car seat

car seatChoosing the right car seat and using a car seat correctly are two of the most important things that a person can do for their infant and toddler. This article will discuss how to choose and use a car seat.

Choosing the best car seat

When choosing the best car seat, a person has several things they need to think about. For instance, they need to consider the age of the child they are purchasing the car seat for, the weight of the child, what car seat is going to fit best in their car, etc. There is at least one thing that a person does not have to worry about when they purchase a new car seat. If a car seat is purchased new, it has to meet certain United States government standards for crash and fire-safety.

It is best for a person to purchase a new car seat. If a car seat is purchased second-hand, the car seat may be too old and only meet outdated safety standards, it could have been recalled for safety concerns in previous years, or it could have been damaged in a car accident.

Types of car seats

There are three main types of car seats available. There is the infant-only or baby car seat, the infant-toddler or convertible car seat, and the booster seat. The infant-only car seat is specifically made for infants who weight less than 20 pounds. These car seats are also made to only face to the rear. Infants need to face the rear of the vehicle at least until they weigh 20 pounds and are one year old.

The infant-toddler car seat is able to be used both as a rear-facing car seat and as a forward-facing car seat. It converts as the child grows and can usually hold a baby that weighs up to 30 or 35 pounds. The booster car seats are for children who are older. To use a booster seat a child needs to weigh at least 40 pounds and be at least three years old.

Choosing an infant car seat

Many experts recommend that infants that weigh less than 20 pounds ride in an infant car seat. These seats are made specifically for infants and therefore they contour more to an infant compared to an infant-toddler car seat. When choosing an infant car seat a person should look for a car seat that offers easy installation, which can be washed, has a five-point safety harness, belt adjustments, and of course comfort.

Choosing an infant-toddler car seat

It is recommended that a person put their infant in an infant only car seat until they weigh at least 20 pounds, but infant-toddler car seats can accommodate infants who weigh less than 20 pounds and are the type of car seats that a baby and toddler will need once they weigh more than 20 pounds. When choosing an infant-toddler car seat, a person will want to look for many of the same things that a person looking for an infant car seat is looking for: comfort, tethers, a five-point safety harness, belts that can be adjusted from the front, and easy installation.

Using a car seat

There are a couple important facts to proper car seat use. First, the car seat must be installed properly. Most car seats include at least two sets of written instructions; a separate piece of paper as well as instructions on the car seat itself. It is important that people installing a car seat follow these directions exactly. The car seat should not be able to move more than one inch forward or one inch right or left when installed properly. Second, when a child is in the car seat, they need to be buckled in the car seat. And the buckles need to be tight enough that the child cannot slide around in the car seat.

Getting help with car seat installation

There are many hospitals and health departments that have people who can help a person install a car seat for their infant or toddler. They can both show and teach a parent how to correctly install the car seat. Or they can check to see if the car seat that has been installed in a car was installed correctly.

Car seat safety: Air bags

 carseatAirbags are able to save many lives during car crashes. But the lives that are saved are usually those of adults. Though they are meant to save lives, airbags can be a large danger to infants and children; they can even kill them. It is important for parents to know the danger that air bags pose to their children. This article will discuss more about car seat and air bag safety.

Why aren’t air bags safe for children?

It almost doesn’t even make sense to think that air bags could be unsafe. Their entire purpose is to make a car safer, right? That is their purpose, but the way air bags are set up to work during a crash is not safe for little children.  An air bag explodes from the dashboard or steering wheel very, very fast; usually around 200 miles an hour. Even adults that are sitting to close to an exploding airbag can become injured.

Infants need to be in a rear-facing car seat until they are one year old and weigh at least 20 pounds. If the car seat is in the front seat of a car with an air bag that is active, the car seat positions the infant’s head in a direct line with the air bag. This makes it extremely dangerous for an infant to be in the front seat of the car.

The reason that air bags are dangerous for little children is because toddlers have a larger head in respect to the rest of their body, plus they have weaker muscles in their neck, back, and stomach compared to adults. During a car crash, if a toddler is sitting in the front seat, their body will most likely head toward the direction of the exploding air bag. The force of the airbag can cause a lot of harm, even death, to small children.

Safest seat in the car for kids in a car seat

The safest seat in a car for an infant or a toddler in a car seat is in the middle back seat. But in most states, children need to stay in their car seat or in a booster seat for several years and more than one child in a car seat can not sit in the back middle seat. If there is more than one child riding in the car, they should always sit somewhere in the back of the car, buckled into their car or booster seat.

The front seat

Sometimes a person has to put an infant or toddler who is in a car seat in the front seat. For example, if they are riding in the pick up truck, or if for some reason the car is full and that is the only seat left. There are a few tips for making the front seat as safe as possible. The front seat should be slid as far back as it can go. The child should definitely be buckled in their car seat or booster seat. If the air back has a switch that can turn it on and off, it should be turned off.

It is very important for people to remember that if the air bag is not able to be turned off, then they should never, ever put an infant in their rear-facing car seat in the front seat. This is much too dangerous. And, if a person has to put a child in the front seat of their car on a regular basis, and their car does not have a switch that turns the air bag on and off, they could get a switch put in.

Avoiding making the big car seat mistakes

carseatUnfortunately there are many big mistakes that parents, guardians, or other caretakers, make with car seats. When a car seat is used improperly or not used at all the results can be disastrous. Even if the mistake only happens once, that one time is all it takes for a child to be seriously injured or killed. This article discusses the big car seat mistakes that people make and how to avoid them.

Front seat

One of the biggest car seat mistakes is putting the car seat in the front seat of the car. This is very unsafe for several reasons. The main reason that it is unsafe for a car seat to be in the front seat of a car is the air bag. A rear-facing car seat sticks out very far and is just about perfectly aligned with the air bag. If the air bag were to inflate it would hit into the car seat and the infant’s neck and head can be severely injured.

Even if the child is in a forward-facing car seat, it is still not safe to put them in the front seat.  The safest place in a car for a child in a car seat is in the middle back seat. In this position, the child is protected best from side collisions. Since only one child can occupy the middle back seat, the other back seats are also much safer than the front seat of the car.

Not installed correctly

It is very important that a car seat be installed correctly. If the car seat is not installed correctly it will not matter that the baby or toddler is buckled into the car seat. There are instructions included with each car seat explaining how to install the car seat correctly. A correctly installed car seat should not be able to move to the left, right, or forward more than one inch.

Most hospitals and Health Departments also have education departments that have someone who can look at the car seat to make sure that it installed correctly. They can also teach a person how to correctly install a car seat.

Sometimes, because they have moved a car seat to another car, or they have misunderstood the directions, a person does not buckle the car seat in the car. Buckling a car seat into the car, or using the LATCH system to secure the car seat in the car is part of installing the car seat correctly.

Not buckled correctly

Sometimes children are not buckled correctly in their car seat. It is very important that the straps of the car seat are pulled snugly enough so that they would hold the infant or toddler in firmly if there was a car accident. The buckles should not be twisted, the straps should be pulled tight after they are buckled, and the retainer clip, which is plastic and used to hold the straps together, should be slid up to the level of the child’s armpits.

Wrong size of car seat

It is important for an infant and/or a toddler to ride in car seat that is appropriate for their height and weight. If an infant is in a car seat that is too big for them, and they are not able to fit snugly in the harness straps, they could slide out of the straps because of the force of a collision. Adversely, if a toddler is too big for a car seat, it may not be able to provide the protection that he or she would need if there was an accident.

Facing the wrong way

An infant who is under 20 pounds and is less than one year of age need to be in a rear-facing car seat. In fact, experts suggest that a child stay in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. This is the safest position for a child since their neck muscles are not very strong and their head is big in relation to the rest of their body.

Using an old car seat

It is best to buy a new car seat. There are many reasons why using a secondhand car seat may not be safe. Old car seats may not come with their instructions, they may have been in an accident and been damaged, they may be missing parts, they may have been recalled, or they may not be up to the current safety standards.

Not using car seat at all

An infant or toddler should never ride in a car without being in their car seat. And, no matter how much they protest, a child should not be taken out of their car seat while the car is moving, be held on a lap, or be buckled into an adult seat belt without their car seat.

Installing a car seat

Installing a car seat seems like a fairly simple thing to do.  After all, most people have watched car seats being installed many times in their life.  Nevertheless, as many as eighty-five percent of all car seats are installed incorrectly.  This stems from a number of reasons.  People often don’t read the directions, incorrectly follow the directions, or simply allow convenience to take precedent.  Here are a few tips for properly installing a car seat.

Location

Many people make the mistake of placing their child’s car seat on one of the rear side seats, or even worse, in the front seat.  The proper, and safest, location for a car seat is in the rear middle.  Never place a car seat in a front seat where there is an airbag.  Because the center seat belt in most cars must be adjusted, make sure to pull it tight in order to avoid having the car seat move around too much.

Rear Facing v. Front Facing

Children under one year of age should be placed in a rear facing car seat.  However, the longer a baby stays in a rear facing car seat, the safer he will be.  Front facing car seats are for children who are at least one year old.  If the rear facing car seat is uneven enough that the baby’s head flops around, adjust it so that it is more level.  Many more modern car seats have a gage which lets a person know if the car seat is level or not.  They also have different adjustments to allow for different types of back seats.  Once the baby has graduated to a front facing car seat, it is still better to place the seat in the rear middle seat.

Installing the Car Seat

Car Seats built after 2002 will have what is called an anchoring system, along with a seat belt system.  This allows the car seat to be compatible with both old and new cars.  The cars build before 2002 will generally not be compatible with the anchoring system, but the cars built after will have built in latches where the anchors on the car seat will connect.  For all of the rest, the rear middle seat belt will serve as an anchor.

Follow Directions

All car seats come with directions on how to install them properly.  The best way to ensure that the car seat is installed correctly is to follow those directions.  Sometimes, however, those directions can be unclear or even vague.  Parents still have a few options to ensure the car seat has been installed correctly.  Many hospitals will check a person’s car seat to ensure it has been installed correctly, especially when a person is first bringing home a baby.  But at any time, stopping by the hospital for expert advice is an option.

Common Problems

There are a few common problems that people run into when installing a car seat.  The first problem is often figuring out which slots to thread the seat belt through.  This problem is eliminated when the anchor system is used; however, when the anchor system is not an option, people should try to follow the pictures in the instructions and any wording or arrows molded directly into the car seat.

Another problem people face comes with front-facing car seats.  People should ensure that the back and base of the car seat fit snuggly against the back and bottom cushions of the car.  A good way to ensure that the car seat is snug against the seat of the car is to place a knee with lots of weight against the base of the car seat to push it down into the car cushion.  This will ensure that the air in the rear seat of the car is not preventing the car seat from sitting snuggly in place.

How to buy an infant-toddler car seat

It is very important for parents to learn about car seats so that they can choose the best car seat for them and their infant or toddler. There are a couple different types of car seats, many different brands, and a several important things to look for in a good car seat. This article contains a lot of information about infant-toddler car seats and how to buy them.

What is an infant-toddler car seat

Since there are a few different types of car seats, it is important that parents know the difference between the car seats so that they can choose the correct on for their child. An infant-only car seat is for infants who weigh less than 20 pounds and are less than one year old. An infant-toddler car seat, also known as a convertible car seat, is a car seat that can work for both an infant and an older child. These car seats can face backward (which is best for babies under one year of age and that weigh less than 20 pounds) or they can face forward and accommodate a child that weighs up to 40 pounds.

A great reason to buy an infant-toddler car seat

Since infant-only car seats can only accommodate a child that weighs less than about 20 to 22 pounds, an infant-toddler car seat can be a great alternative for parents that have a heavier baby. The infant-toddler car seat can accommodate a child that weighs more than 20 pounds while still keeping the child rear-facing. It is recommended by most experts to keep a child facing backward as long as possible when riding in a car. Usually infant-toddler car seats can comfortably seat a child rear-facing until they are around 30 pounds.

What to look for in an infant-toddler car seat

There are a few specific things that a parent should look for when they are purchasing an infant-toddler car seat. First, they should look for an infant-toddler car seat that has belt adjustments that can be made from the front instead of the back of the car seat. It is easier to make adjustments to the seat belt from the front, and there are some car seats that have automatic belt adjusters.

Second, a person should look for an infant-toddler car seat that has tethers. The majority of forward-facing infant-toddler car seats now have tether straps that are attached to the top of the seat. The tether is used to hook the car seat into a bolt that is in the car. This can make the car seat even more stable, thus keeping the child safer if they are in a car accident.

Third, it is important for a parent to look for an infant-toddler car seat that is washable. Though this is not for the safety of the child, it can be a great plus for the child’s parents. Infants and toddlers are very messy, and it is amazing how many infant-toddler car seats do not have a removable cover.

Fourth, a parent should look for an infant-toddler car seat that has a five-point safety harness for the restraints. These are much safer for an infant, especially if the infant will be using this car seat from the beginning.

Fifth, a person should buy an infant-toddler car seat that is easy for them to install. No matter how safe a car seat may look, if it is not installed correctly the car seat will not protect the child.

Sixth, comfort is another thing to take into consideration. It is important for a parent to look for an infant-toddler car seat that is padded really well and has a lot of support in the head and back area for their infant.