At Mummy Guru, we’re all about bringing the best baby gear to fellow mums, so we understand the many considerations you have when seeking items for your little one. One of these considerations, of course, is safety.
When selecting baby gear for our own giveaways or reviews, we put that first in our checklist. Is the item safe? What are the odds of it being a hazard to baby or mum? What components are in it and do they pose risks to users? These are just some of the things we ask.
If you want to learn more about how to choose the safest and best baby gear yourself, we’ve listed tips based on our selection process below. These should help you find the safest options for your little bundle of joy!
1. Check ratings and reviews from other parents
Given what we do at Mummy Guru, it’s clear how important we think other parents’ testimonials are for vetting baby items!
After all, parents can give you more insightful, practical notes on a product than most. Many will have the same concerns, uses, and even circumstances as you. This means much of their experience with a product will apply to you too.
2. Look for relevant certifications
Certifications are useful for determining whether or not baby equipment actually meets baseline standards. As such, you should try checking whether or not an item has certifications from key bodies.
Examples of certifications to look for are ASTM (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials), JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association), and UL GREENGUARD. All of these give you a better idea of what quality checks went into the manufacture of the item.
Of course, lacking such certifications doesn’t mean an item is a bad one. Different manufacturers and localities also prioritise different certifying bodies. Nonetheless, these certifications are useful in adding an extra level of assurance for you, as the buyer.
3. Sort priorities when grading your options
The simplest way to put this tip is this: is it more important for you that an item is safe for your baby or that it’s appealing to the eye?
It’s all too tempting to choose the better-looking stroller over the safer or more practical one, for instance. However, remember that it’s not worth the risk or worry. Plus, if you looka round, you can usually still get a great-looking item that also satisfies your requirements for safety!
Sorting priorities ahead of time helps you make smarter buying decisions like this. It also stops you from doing things like buying baby safety products that are designed less to be safe than to be marketable to new parents!
4. Check the lifespan or durability of items
Before buying baby gear, ask yourself how long you plan to use it and how long the manufacturer estimates lifespan (as well as how long actual users have observed it lasting, because manufacturers can lie!).
Why does this matter? Because gear degradation is one of the biggest hazards to babies, who love to pick at and nibble things. You don’t want an item that’s already begun falling apart to give your little one something like choking or toxicity hazards.
5. Follow the accepted recommendations
There are some generally accepted recommendations when it comes to baby gear that are worth following. For example, it’s known that you should size mattresses to fit in a crib perfectly to avoid hazardous gaps, and that you need to seat babies in rear-facing car seats until they’re 2 years old.
In general, observe these. Remember to observe manufacturers’ recommendations too, by the way! This applies to virtually all baby products, from pillows to toys, so read the warnings on packaging.
Find more of the best baby safety products and more tips
The guide above should get you started on finding the best baby gear for your little one, safety-wise. If you want to get started on recommendations, why not check our community reviews and forums for insights from other parents?
You can also get more parenting tips from the other articles on our blog. Try a few of them to get even more actionable ideas to help you care for your bundle of joy!