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healthy babies Baby’s Essential 6 BY AWHONN EDITORIAL STAFF

Tere’s nothing like a positive pregnancy test to get the credit card warmed up and ready for the registry. After all, baby can’t even leave the hospital without being strapped into his first car seat— likely an infant car seat that’s part of a larger travel system to help you tote and roll him around.

Ten he needs a place to sleep—a crib or bassinet. Co-sleeping is a no- no based on the continued piling up of research that shows the increased

risks to baby when sharing a soft, squishy surface with sleepy parents. Bath time will be easier with a tub made just for his little, wiggly body and of course you’ll need a monitor and safety gates once all of that scooting and rolling becomes crawling and walking. With an ever-increasing number of recalls on baby products,

though, how can a skeptical parent buy products with both safety and function in mind? We’ve assembled the best advice from leading experts on what we call “Baby’s Essential 6”—the 6 (but not all!)—products you’re likely to need and use the most in baby’s first few years of life. Tis certainly isn’t all that you should consider but it’s a good healthy start.

Shop with

safety in mind for baby’s top gear.

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Research shows that a crib is the safest place for your baby to sleep. Have baby sleep in a crib in your room during her first year of life to provide bonding, attachment, nursing and nighttime care. If you’re looking for a drop-side crib, you should know that they’ve been banned since 2011. Buy the safest crib possible with these tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Consumer Reports:

�Buy a crib—there are no federal standards on other types of infant sleepers; the CPSC released the first federal standards in September 2013 to make bassinets safer

�Buy a basic crib with straight rails and finishes, without fancy woodwork or cutouts, which increase baby’s entrapment risks

�Buy new—the CPSC greatly revamped crib standards in 2011 and 2012; used cribs are likely to be dangerous cribs by today’s standards

�Buy a crib certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) �Buy a mattress the exact size specified by the manufacturer for the crib purchased; the mattress should fit tightly into the crib

�Buy sheets the same way as the mattress; they should fit tightly and tuck evenly down around all sides. Toss the bumpers, pillows and other decorative items that may come with the sheets. The only safe sleep surface for baby is a proper crib, mattress, fitted sheet and nothing else

The biggest change in recent advice is to keep your baby/toddler in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. All infants should ride rear-facing for at least 1 year, and now the AAP is recommending through age 2+. Infant car seats are made to be rear-facing but won’t likely fit your child through his or her second birthday. A convertible car seat typically has a heavier weight limit and your child can continue to ride rear-facing as long as his body and weight are appropriate for the seat. The CDC estimates that keeping babies and toddlers rear-facing would eliminate as many as half of infant and toddler deaths in car crashes. Find the right seat and size for your child at Buy a car seat that:

�Fits your child’s appropriate age, weight, height �Fits your car—test it in your car before buying or save the receipt for a return if testing isn’t an option

�Passes inspection. Get your installed seat inspected at a certified car seat inspection station; find one near you at

ISSUE 12 / Fall 2013 Healthy Mom&Baby 53

Car Seat Crib or Bassinet

Baby can sleep safely with a proper crib,

fitted mattress and sheet, and nothing else.

Keep baby rear-facing through age 2+.

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