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healthy babies 3


With so many baby bathtub choices, it’s important to know what to buy—and not to buy. First the “don’ts”: Skip the inflatable tubs, say the CPSC. They’re associated with a significant number of infant deaths and accidents. Also avoid tubs with continuously running sprayers or hoses; your baby could be injured by a sudden change in water temperature or risk drowning in a stream of water. Do look for the following features, says Consumer Reports:


A sturdy tub that won’t slip around in your bath tub A sloped inner support for baby, similar in angle to her car seat Foam liners that keep baby from slipping around in the tub Mesh support (not rods) on any slings or hammocks that help hold newborns in the bath tub


Stability and non-slip features in portable or flexible tubs meant to be used in the kitchen or other large sinks


Storage pockets with drains to keep baby’s toys, cleansers and wash cloth at fingertip reach so that you never leave a baby unattended in a tub for even a moment


4


Safety gates are essential even in the first 6 months of baby’s life, and a must-have once baby starts to move around either rolling, scooting or crawling. Experts say it’s generally safer to “gate” a baby out of a room, such as a bathroom, rather than depend on childproofing devices, which can fail or break. To gate off stairs and other hazards, buy baby gates with these features:


Certification by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association Wall-mounting hardware, instead of pressure mounting. Never use pressure mounted gates at the tops of stairs


Straight slats and frame to prevent entanglement. Rails should be tightly fitted into the frame and close enough together to keep arms and legs out, but wide enough to keep fingers free


Fine mesh panels rather than wider mesh, which can actually provide toe and finger holds for little climbers


Through-bolted hardware out of baby’s reach 6


Babies can become entrapped, have fingers pinched or cut, or get injured when strollers topple over. For these reasons, the AAP recommends finding the following in any stroller you buy:


Wide wheelbase Easy-to-operate brakes, and without a brake release anywhere near baby’s reach


5


Front or parent-facing baby carriers are generally considered safer than slings as they don’t have the same suffocation risks of slings when used improperly. Some carriers come with infant inserts to help baby until she can hold her own head up, generally around 6 months. Most experts recommend:


Wait until baby is born and then “borrow” a carrier from other parents before you “buy” to determine the best kind of carrier for you and baby


Hinges and straps should be away from baby’s hands and legs to avoid pinching or entrapment


Wider straps to help distribute the weight load on your body If you opt for a sling, wait until baby is 4 months old to reduce suffocation risks; and have a friend help you when you’re learning to use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Slings require ongoing adjustment.


Avoid any carrier or sling where baby’s head rests with his chin upon his chest blocking his airway


Brakes that lock at least 2 wheels are preferred to brakes on 1 wheel


Seat that fits baby yet keeps his hands and feet away from wheels


A seat belt and harness


A single foot rest spanning both seats in side-by-side twin strollers to prevent a baby’s feet from


entrapment between single foot rests


54 health4mom.org


Bath Tub


Safety gates


Stroller


Carrier or Sling


Never use pressure- mounted gates with stairs.


Never leave baby


unattended in a tub—not even for a second.


Carriers are considered safer than slings.


Strollers are one of the biggest


investments parents can make, so you want to trust that you’re using one


that will keep your baby safe.


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