Gearing-up for your baby’s arrival can be an exciting experience but also a challenging one with the wide range of products available in the market today. Disposable diapers, washable napkins, feeding bottles, bottle cleaning brush, detergents, bath and grooming essentials, baby wipes, diaper-changing mats and baby carriers are among some of the essential items you will need from the get go. With so many varieties to choose from, selecting the right product from an array of different makes, prices and functionalities can be a confusing process, so here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Safety Standards
The most important consideration is safety. This should never be compromised and should be the first thing you look out for in a product, whether you’re buying, borrowing, or accepting hand-me-downs. A safe product is one that has been tested and conforms to international health and safety standards, which ensures:
- Feeding utensils and accessories are made of BPA-free plastic
- Bath and skin products are made using mild ingredients that are gentle and do not irritate babies’ sensitive skin
- Products are non-toxic as babies tend to put things into their mouth
- Products do not have small detachable parts that children may swallow by mistake
2. Age Appropriateness
Check the packaging for the manufacturer’s age recommendations as baby products including accessories, toys, disposables etc., have all been designed with different developmental stages in mind. More than just a safety concern, providing children with products appropriate to their age allows them to gain the most out of it. For example, rattles help with babies’ hand-eye coordination from 3 months, squeeze toys help with tactile sensory and motor skills from 6 months, babies learn cause and effect from musical instruments like shakers, drums etc.
Baby products should essentially help to make your life as a new parent easier. It is easy to get overwhelmed by fancy features and the latest gimmicks, but ask yourself basic questions like “when will I need this the most?”, “does this product serve its intended purpose?”, “do I really need the extra features?”. Consider your day-to-day activities and whether it suits your lifestyle. Think about how you’ll be moving about with your baby (choose lightweight, compact products for travel or commuting on public transportation), frequency of use and how long you will need it before your baby outgrows it.
4. Real Reviews and Advice
As first-time parents, there is a tendency to overbuy. But before you spend on what might not be necessary, get first-hand feedback from experienced parents who will be able to give you a better idea of how practical or essential a product really is. Seek input from several parents who lead a similar lifestyle to yours and you will soon find that you know exactly what you need in moving forward with this exciting journey.