There is a lot that a new baby needs. (Let’s be honest, some things we want more than the baby needs, but that’s a whole other article!)
In amongst all of the decisions that you will be making when you are choosing products for baby there are three things that I believe are the most important:
- The car seat
- The mattress
- The skin care
These are three product choices that deserve the most attention and time spent on researching. And they are probably the most overlooked.
A car seat keeps your baby safe in the worst possible moment
The major issue with choosing a car seat is that it is confusing to know what really matters.
What makes one car seat different from the other? And is paying more for one over another really worth it?
So the answer is it’s not always worth paying more, and frankly the vast majority of car seats are the same. Trust your gut.
The biggest differentiators in the market today are the newly launched ISOFIX seats and the seats with added side impact protection.
Simply, the additional side impact protection around the head and torso is to provide an additional buffer in an impact.
You may have heard about the introduction of ISOFIX. It has been widely available globally for many years and has finally been legalised in Australia. It is an incredibly important step in keeping our babies safer in cars.
The “old standard” car seats are held in place by seat belts wrapped around the seat ISOFIX car seats clip directly into the brackets which are mounted within the frame of the car.
Even with a professionally fitted standard car seat there is movement and there is also a lot of room for error. With an ISOFIX car seat it is firmly fixed to the car.
Your baby will sleep 14+ hours every day. Make a good mattress choice.
You know how important it is to make the right mattress choice for your own bed, but ironically, we seem to get side-tracked when it comes to the baby mattress. And it’s remarkable really given that baby’s spine and bones are developing and they spend a lot more time in their bed than we do in ours.
The key mattress choices you have are Mainstream and Natural. Mainstream or standard mattresses tend to be made of inner springs and synthetic materials with chemical flame retardants. Natural can be made from natural latex, coconut coir or tea tree or a combination; usually but not always covered in wool as a natural flame retardant.
Aside from eco benefits and chemical exposure concerns, the main difference between the two types is breathability.
Simply, synthetic materials are not breathable like natural materials. There is also a lot of research coming through in the last year about the danger of chemical fire retardants and synthetic crib mattresses. Make an informed decision about the mattress you choose for your baby.
In addition to the constitution of the mattress make sure that whatever you choose:
- It is firm.
- It is new – bacteria, mites and mould are a danger with old mainstream mattresses.
- Fits snug to the cots edges – product safety Australia regulates (maximum 20 mm from any cot side or end when centred on the mattress base).
- Has sturdy edges so the baby can’t trapped between bed and mattress.
- Has a protective cover, ideally organic if you can, which means it will be water resistant not water proof.
Skin is the largest organ and what you put on goes directly into the body, so make skin care products a priority purchase
Skin care options are dominated by chemical based products with very cute ads or bold claims. Simple, natural or organic is best.
Baby really does not need a lot – wipes, a bubble bath or oil, body and hair wash, massage oil or lotion and a nappy cream. Find a reputable store that specialises in eco or organic products that can explain the different ranges and what may work for your baby.
As with anything, you don’t always find the right product first time, but there are more and more options coming to our stores.
I know that there are a lot of other things to consider i.e. furniture, linens, clothing, and pram… And then of course there is your budget. But if you focus on getting the most important things right, the rest will fall into place.
Do you have anything you think should be on this list? Add it below in the comments.