I remember being a mom-to-be, walking up and down the aisles of the baby store and scanning all of the items that I thought would be required to keep my baby safe.
Unfortunately, just because a company has a product and labels it as a “safety” item, doesn’t mean it will help keep baby protected.
There are many items on the “Top Registry Items” lists that parents shouldn’t be registering for, and I’ll explain why. I’ve also given some suggestions of what you should do, and I end with a nice list of the items that are good to have!
What not to register or buy
These are the protectors that you can put in your car under the child car seat. They are supposed to protect your car from the indents that can happen from the child car seat or from spills and crumbs. Since this device was not crash tested with the child car seat that you own, you do not know how it will react in a collision.
NOTE: Car seat manufacturers will state is if any third party accessory can be used with or under the seat. Some do not even allow for the use of pool noodles or towels.
Suggested item – Nothing. It is best not to use them and install the car seat as it is described in the car seat owner’s guide.
Roll up Car Shade
These are the cute window blinds, that roll up into a metal holder at the top. They are supposed to protect your child from the sun. Unfortunately, the suction cups that come with them don’t stick forever. This could lead to the shade coming off of the window and falling directly on your child. During a collision, if the window was to break, the metal holder then becomes a projectile flying through your car causing further damage to your child or yourself.
Suggested item – The shades that come as a plastic sheet that clings to the window. If this was to fall off of the window, it won’t cause further damage to the occupants of the vehicle.
These are the bags that are designed to go inside the car seat and then zip up and over your child to protect them from the cold. These are not recommended because they come between your child and the car seat. The added fabric will be compressed during a collision and will cause the harness straps to be loose. This means that your child will not be held firmly in the seat and there is potential for injury to occur.
Suggested item – You want the cover that goes over the entire car seat. There is a window in the top so that you can see the baby’s face. This type does not interfere at all with the harness straps and your child can be secured properly.
Bunting Bags and Baby snowsuits should also not be used in a car seat for the same reason; you will not get the harness straps tight enough and the bulky fabric will compress.
Please read my post “A winter coat is for playing in the snow, not in a car seat!” to see more info on winter coats and car seats.
Suggested item – put your child in a warm, but not bulky outfit, put them in their car seat properly and tighten the straps, then place a warm blanket over the top.
NOTE: Cuddle bags and snowsuits are great for use in a stroller; just not in a car seat.
The cute mirrors that allow a parent to use the rear view mirror to see their rear-facing child are not recommended.
Not only could they come loose and become a projectile object in a collision, their sole purpose is to distract the driver. The driver of the car should be watching the road and vehicles around them when driving. If they are taking the time to look at the baby in the back seat, they are distracted.
Suggested item – Nothing. If you need to tend to a crying baby in the back seat, pull off the road to a safe location and then do what is required for the child.
Bumper Pads (baby bedding)
Bumper Pads are not suggested because if a child gets caught in them, they could suffocate.
Suggestion item: Nothing.
The only thing that should be on the mattress is a good fitted sheet and nothing else should be in the crib.
“Baby on Board” signs
For the same reason that roll up shades are not recommended, hard plastic baby on board signs should not be used as the suction cups detach and then it is a potential projectile in the car.
Suggested item: If you truly feel that you need a sign, get a magnet for the back bumper of your car. It is outside and can’t hurt the passengers inside the vehicle.
3rd Party Protective Padding that goes around the harness straps
The basic rules is: “If it didn’t come with the car seat, don’t use it.” Reason being is that everything that comes with the car seat has been crash tested with that seat and is safe to use. Many car seat manufacturers have started including these pads with the car seats so it’s not as much of an issue. Do not add anything to the harness straps of your child’s car seat.
Suggested item: If the harness should be too close to the child’s neck and the seat didn’t come with the protective pads, try to pull the child’s shirt collar up a bit so that the harness doesn’t rub.
Safety Items that are good for new parents:
- new mattresses for the crib
- baby sound monitors
- door knob covers (prevents the door from being opened)
- cupboard and drawer locks
- plug covers
- fridge/oven locks
- blind cord winders (to prevent strangulation)
See more great car seat info on my Pinterest board!
Other car seat info:
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