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12/1/22 blog post

building a baby registry? here are the best and safest items to include

our experts can help decide if you should list it or leave it

mother receiving gift

Planning for a new baby can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. There’s nurseries to set up, classes to take and don’t forget setting up the registry! But with all the parent items available for new babies these days, how do you know what’s worth putting on your registry for friends and family to buy? Dayton Children’s injury prevention team has you covered with this gift guide to help expecting parents get the safest items for baby.  

Some of these recommendations have changed as recently as 2022, so if you have hand-me-down items, be sure to check those too!  

Car Seat Safety 

In Ohio, children need to be in appropriate child safety seats until they are at least 8 years old!  

Need help installing your car seat or have more questions? Find a Child Passenger Safety Technician near you and make an appointment today. 

List It  

  • Car Seat - With more than 200 car seats on the market and even more counterfeit ones available on the internet, it’s important to be intentional about the seat you choose. To make sure a car seat is safest for your baby:  

    • Check the weight and height limits on the seat before you buy., and make sure your child is within those limits 
    • Look out for counterfeit products- If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is! Check the car seat manufacturer's website for approved vendors before making a purchase 
    • Review the American Academy of Pediatrics list of approved car seats.  

Leave It 

  • Backseat mirrors and cameras - These items are distractions to drivers which can make car trips dangerous. And, if there’s a crash, they become projectiles...definitely not worth your baby’s safety.  

  • Hard, dangling toys for the car seat - If there is a sudden stop or car crash, these toys could hit your child and cause injuries.  

  • After-market car seat pads, mats, and accessories -  Aftermarket car seat accessories are products sold for use with a car seat that are made by a third-party manufacturer and are not part of a car seat system's original packaging. These items weren’t tested with the seat, so we don’t recommend you use them for your child.  

Home Safety  

Babies can begin to roll over as early as 4 months! It’s better to be prepared early!  

Need help with childproofing? Download this app for tips and advice. 

List it 

  • Childproofing equipment - Gates, cabinet locks and outlet covers are a must-have for when your baby starts moving! 

  • Furniture mounting equipment - Babies and toddlers use furniture to cruise around the room, so make sure it’s mounted to the wall to avoid it falling and crushing your child.  
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors - These are two of the most important safety devices in your home. They can help detect poisonous gases and fires. If you don’t already have these detectors, you’ll want to get some right away. 

  • Baby bath and bath thermometer - There are fewer things more adorable than bath time with your baby, but you’ll need the proper baby bath to keep baby in a safe position, and a bath thermometer to keep baby from burning in water that’s too hot. 

  • Highchairs - A safe and secure highchair will make sure your baby is in a sitting position that will keep them from choking while eating.  

Leave it 

  • Beaded teethers/pacifier strings - While they may look cute, if the string breaks then those beads become instant choking hazards.  

  • Automatic formula makers - These may seem cool and futuristic, but they may get the formula recipe wrong and are also difficult to clean. Not the best meal for baby! 

  • Walkers - These can pose a danger to children as they move around and bump into things. Choose a stationary activity instead! 

Sleep Safety 

Babies should sleep alone with no other people, blankets, or toys, on their back and in their own bassinet, portable crib or crib. Safe sleep can be hard, but it's worth it!

Safe Sleep recommendations are changing all the time, so keep track of the most recent changes with the Healthy Children Parents Guide to Safe Sleep. 

List it 

  • Bassinets, portable cribs, and cribs - When setting up your baby’s crib and sleep spaces, choose items with firm mattresses and bedding sheets that fit properly.  

  • Sleep Sacks, wearable blankets and, swaddles - Make snuggles even sweeter with these items, just be sure to stop swaddling your baby once they can roll over. 

  • Pacifier - If you plan to breast feed or are breastfeeding, it’s best to wait until your baby’s latch is established before offering them a pacifier. 

Leave it 

  • Inclined Sleepers and wedges - These items can lead to suffocation, and all have been banned in the United States by the Safe Sleep for Babies Act.  

  • Blankets, pillows, bumper pads - Help your child sleep safely by leaving these off the list. While they may look cozy and cute, these items can lead to suffocation or strangulation of your baby.  

  • Weighted sleepers - Weighted sleepers are not recommended because they can put stress on your baby’s respiratory system, making it hard for them to breathe.  

  • Smart Socks/ infant sleep monitors - These devices don’t meet the same requirements as medical equipment and can provide a false sense of security. It’s better to leave these off the list.  

Abbey Pettiford

Injury Prevention Coordinator
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