Wouldn't it be easy if motherhood came with a set of guidelines or rules. Of course, there is no one way to be a mom or right way to parent. But sometimes, things are just a little bit confusing.
When it comes to buying products for your babies and kids, whether it be for things that are used around the house or when going for a walk, factors such as price, online reviews and opinions from family and friends are taken into account. Maybe a bunch of baby gear was given by family and friends, and the purchasing decisions were not personal. Either way, generally, there isn't a lot of thought that goes into whether or not these items are being properly used. Baby products are pretty straightforward, right?
Well, maybe not. As it turns out, there are a lot of things that moms might not be using properly. Car seats are only one of them. Read on to find out about why car seats are tricky and 19 other products that moms might be using improperly.
21 Buckle Up: Car Seats
Using a car seat seems easy: you simply buckle your little one in and that's it. What could go wrong?
Well, actually, there are a lot of ways that moms might not be using a car seat properly, so it's good to learn the truth here.
There is a lot to know about car seats. According to Parenting magazine, moms need to make sure that the car seat isn't too big or small for their kid, and you can actually buy one based on their mass and how tall they are, along with how old they are. When you put the car seat in the car, make sure you're securing it and that the seatbelts are locked.
20 Yeah Right: 12 Hour Diapers
Daddy Mind Tricks says that no baby would actually have the same diaper on for 12 hours, and we can agree with that. This dad calls it "the biggest joke."
If moms are using a 12-hour diaper, they're not really using it properly because the truth is that babies would absolutely have to be changed before that... and probably several times.
Diapers are absolutely meant to be switched out on a very frequent basis. That's the only way to use diapers.
19 Getting Cozy: Baby Blankets
What could go wrong with baby blankets? This is the best way to ensure that our little one is cozy and comfortable and warm, isn't it?
According to the Government of Canada website, "Blankets can [pose a risk] if a baby's head gets covered when he or she sleeps[...]. Instead of a blanket, consider dressing your baby in light sleep clothing, like a one-piece sleeper. If a blanket is needed, infants are safest with a thin, lightweight, and breathable blanket."
It's easy to see why moms wouldn't even think about this because baby blankets seem so innocent. But it's a really important thing to know.
18 Don't Do This: Bath Time
Bath time is one of those amazing moments that we get to spend with our baby. We love to see them so happy and it's just a really beautiful bonding time. It also seems very innocent and we're excited to buy toys for the bath along with bath books (those are so cute and sweet).
It turns out that parents use too many baby bath products, and Parents magazine says to just use a few.
It doesn't sound like your baby needs a million products, which is good news since those can add up quickly.
17 Parents Don't Know This: Baby/ Nursery Water
Did you know that you have to boil water that is called baby or nursery water? Many parents don't know about this.
Daddy Mind Tricks says, "You may or may not ever notice this but on the gallon bottles of baby water it actually states you should boil it. The reason is that it’s not sterile but most parents buy it, use it, and never even realize they’re meant to sterilize it themselves first."
Of all the things that moms have to know about bringing up babies, this doesn't seem like something that people ever talk about, but it's smart to find out as much as you can about the products that your baby needs.
16 Put The Brakes On
Isn't using a stroller as simple as putting your sweet kid into it, making sure that they're comfy and warm enough and then going for a stroll?
Not so. There is one thing that moms should know about using the stroller properly and it's something that might be kind of a surprise since it might not seem necessary. But it turns out that it is.
Parents magazine says that you need to use the brakes that are on strollers. Many moms don't actually use this.
15 This Makes Sense: Pacifiers
How can pacifiers be used wrong? In the case, it's more about when a mom might use this baby product that can cause some issues.
It seems that some moms are giving pacifiers to the baby so they have it all night, which may be problematic.
As the Mayo Clinic says, "If your baby uses a pacifier to sleep, you might face frequent middle-of-the-night crying spells when the pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth." That's definitely something that parents want to know about and be aware of so they can stop doing this at night.
14 Sleepy Time: Crib Bumpers
Crib bumpers may seem like another thing on the list of baby products to buy for the nursery. Parents might wonder if they're necessary to buy.
They are actually a bad idea because of some safety stats that will make moms pause.
The publication says, "Yes, those padded pieces of fabric cushion the slats a little. And they make the crib look cozy and coordinate nicely with the rest of the nursery décor. But seriously, who cares?"
13 Drink Up: Juice Boxes
No doubt about it, kids love juice boxes. They absolutely adore them. While there's nothing wrong with pouring them a glass of orange juice, any mom knows that's not much fun at all, and kids want things to be fun. Enter the juice box.
Did you know that you're not opening it up properly? Yes, there is information about this out there.
Buzzfeed gives great advice for using juice boxes properly: "Pull the sides out so your child has something to grasp onto, stopping them from spilling."
12 Swinging Around: The Baby Swing
It's surprising to see how much your baby absolutely loves being in a swing. It's like they have never experienced such pure happiness before. (Well, maybe they haven't since, of course, they are so young...) We love to see this so much.
But what if we're letting our baby sleep in the swing? It turns out that's not a good idea.
Parents magazine says that it's not safe for your baby to sleep in the swing because the baby's "head can fall forward." The publication says, "The same thing applies if he falls asleep in the bouncer, swing, sling, or stroller. Relocate him to the safety of the crib."
11 Where To Put Them: Medications
Moms put medications in their purse, which seems like a good idea since they can get them if anything happens, but that's not actually safe for children and moms are using these things improperly if they're doing this. Kids can, unfortunately, find them, and we have to make sure that we're keeping safety in mind.
According to Rdasia.com, moms should make sure to hide these medications: "Reconsider where you store vitamins, diaper rash creams, eye drops and even hand sanitiser, which can affect children if they get into them."
10 Not The Right Combo: Baby Formula
Dad Fixes Everything knows how dealing with baby formula can go wrong and be used improperly. This dad says, "But it’s ridiculously easy to get distracted and lose track during the counting or mixing process. Even if you’re just making enough formula for one bottle (so only a few scoops of dry powder!), you’d be surprised how easily you can just simply forget whether you’ve dropped in one scoop or two. (Especially when wrangling a potentially fussy baby)."
Who hasn't had this experience? Exactly. Every mom most likely has.
It's good to know that you should read the directions very carefully and make sure you're measuring everything properly.
9 Good Night: Baby Monitor Cords
Have you ever thought about the cords on your baby monitor?
Probably not. After all, this isn't a very exciting topic, and baby monitors are kind of dull products that you know that you have to buy.
Well, it might be a good idea to think about these a bit more. According to The Asian Parent, these cords aren't great if a baby gets close to them. This is information that is absolutely good for moms to know.
8 Where To Put This: Diaper Cream
Diaper cream is another baby product that isn't exactly thrilling but is extremely necessary. It's also a product that we hope that we don't have to use very often because that means that our sweet little one is dealing with a diaper rash.
Mom Loves Best says that moms use this diaper cream in extra areas and that's not using it properly. The publication says, "Some parents apply cream to the creases of the thighs or where the diaper meets the legs to reduce chafing. While completely safe, this is not recommended as it can come into contact with your child’s clothes and diaper creams tend to stain fabrics."
7 Stroller Research
There is a lot to know about buying a stroller to take your kid out on walks besides your budget or the color and design of the product. There is a lot more, actually, and it has to do with safety.
The Mayo Clinic says, "Most umbrella strollers, however, don't provide adequate head and back support for young babies. Also, most jogging strollers aren't designed to recline. As a result, they aren't appropriate for babies until about age 6 months."
It's important to know that moms should buy jogging strollers after their baby is out of the newborn stage, and that umbrella strollers aren't good for babies, either.
6 Rethink This: Toys
Having small toys all over the house before the age of five is not the best idea, according to Parents magazine. The publication says, "Round, cylindrical, or oval objects that are smaller than 1 inch in diameter can [pose a risk to the child]."
We all know that toys are a big thing when we have kids, and that our house is never going to be 100 percent clean because of them. It's cool and we definitely make our peace with it, but now we know that we should be careful about what tiny toys are around.
5 Check That This Is Safe: Baby Food
Buying baby food seems simple enough: moms can go to their nearest grocery store and buy some. What else is there to know, besides which brands are the healthiest and perhaps the most affordable?
It turns out that there is a lot to know about buying baby food. Food Safety.gov gives lots of good advice. The publication says that when you buy baby food in a jar, "Make sure that the safety button on the lid is down. Discard any jars that don’t “pop” when opened or that have chipped glass or rusty lids." And if you get baby food in a pouch, make sure that there is no "swelling or leaking."
And we thought that buying baby food was all about whether our little one will eat it or not...
4 Active Little Ones: Baby Gates
This mom, writing on The Asian Parent.com, said that baby gates can be used improperly.
She writes, "Personally, I used safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs in our home, and also to block off the kitchen area, which can [pose a risk to] little ones [when exploring]." She continues that the kind of gates that are "pressure mounted safety gates (press onto the wall)" aren't the best kind to get because young children can try to walk on the bars.
This is a good reminder to do tons of research before buying baby gates.
3 Sweet Dreams: Baby Mobiles
Baby mobiles are pretty adorable. They seem so lovely and beautiful and fun that it's impossible to imagine that moms could be using them wrong. After all, what could go wrong? Don't you just fasten them above your baby's crib and call it a day?
Caring For Kids points out that baby mobiles aren't the best idea when your little one is drifting into dreamland: they advise that moms, "Remove crib gyms and mobiles when the baby is sleeping." It's easy to see why we wouldn't even think about that, but now that we know, we can make sure to follow this advice.
2 Time To Grocery Shop: Shopping Carts
Grocery shopping with kids can be a really enjoyable experience since moms get to teach them about healthy eating and they can help pick out some food and groceries. Many moms believe that if kids are involved in shopping, they might stop being so picky and try new foods (or at least that's the mom dream).
Mayo Clinic gives great advice about how to use shopping carts properly. The publication says that kids sitting in carts can be a bad idea. Their advice is, "Only put a child in the designated seat and use the safety belt. Don't let your child sit in the basket, stand in the cart or hang from the sides of the cart. An adult should push a cart when a child is in the seat."
1 A Window Outside: Cords
The Government of Canada website advises parents to be careful about the cords that are on curtains, blinds, and shades of windows.
This is another example of something that we might not be using properly that we might not even realize. Thankfully, the website gives advice for using cords properly: "Tie the cords out of your child's reach or install a tension device for looped cords. Whether the blind is up or down, make sure your child cannot reach the cords."
Phew. Now that we know the correct ways to use these 20 products, we feel better, don't we?!