Baby Care & Child Health Problems

Part I
BABY CARE

VI
Baby Furniture and Accessories

Once the baby is born, it is natural to get carried away while buying things for the newborn. There is no doubt that you will enjoy buying things for your baby, but you will have to be careful not to buy things the baby doesn't need. Also, it will greatly help you to assemble some of the most essential things even before the baby is born. It is important to remember that babies grow quickly and buying a lot of things that can only be used in the first few months will be a needless waste of money. It would be best if you could borrow some of the baby essentials from family or friends. Costly items like prams, rockers, high seats, etc can be bought second hand as they are used only in the first few months.

Your family and friends will gift a lot of the things that are required by the baby for the first few months. It is a good idea to talk to friends who have had babies before you and find out what they thought was necessary for the baby during the first few months. It is a good option to enlist the requirements of your baby and make your purchase accordingly.

1. Baby Bedding

Babies are small bundles of joy. Arrival of a baby fills the whole house with effervescence and colours. Baby bedding is an important part of the nursery and ensures absolute comfort and ease for the baby. Today, the market is stuffed with a lot of choices when it comes to baby bedding. If you are a new parent and are getting confused about what you should buy and what you should avoid, then read on to find what should be the best bedding set for your little one.

Tips for Baby Bedding Sets

 The first thing to keep in mind is that baby bedding is all about making your baby comfortable. So, at the time of purchasing, explore the plethora of shapes, colours and sizes available in the market keeping this in mind.

 At the time of selecting the bedding, consider the theme of your nursery. A nursery based on the theme, ‘Cinderella’ would have bedding that are in subtle shades of pink, green and yellow, while a nursery with the theme, ‘Underwater Sea’ needs bedding done in various shades of blue and green.

 The design would be another important consideration to make. Choose one that is lovely and pleasing to look at for both you and your tiny tot; after all, it is he/she who would be using the bedding.

 For the perfect baby bedding, you can select any one of the popular options, such as cartoon characters, candy colours, planes, automobiles, baby animals, calming tones, trains, fairy tales and wild forests.

 As for the size of the bedding, you should take care that it is neither too big nor too small. The bedding should be of the perfect size so that the baby can snuggle inside comfortably.

 Coming to the bedsheet and bedcovers, as it is popularly known as, should be colourful and stylish. The main reason for high demand of colourful bedcovers is that babies are always attracted to bright and vibrant colours. As for the style, the best preferred are printed bedsheets as they are easy to maintain and have no risks or hazards associated with them.

Decorating baby's bed

 Apart from the bedsheet, make sure that you get a bottom sheet for your baby's bedding. A bottom sheet is an absolute necessity as it helps keep the baby warm and also makes him/her fit snugly and cozily into the crib.

 Do not forget to get a cute-looking snugly blanket for your sweetheart. It would keep the little one warm and comfortable. However, while purchasing blanket for your baby, make sure that it is light in weight.

 Last but not the least, watch out for the amount of money you are spending on the baby bedding. The best bet would be to go for beautiful and comfortable baby bedding that are moderately priced. Such beddings would not only ensure pure comfort, but also would be light on pocket.

 There are innumerable fabric samples in the market. Don't be lured by the glamorous look, but also test the beneficial points.

 Baby-sleep Positioners may not be available to you within the bedding set and you may have to buy them separately. The side pillows and the head pillow with the foam support the head of the baby and also shape the sleeping posture of the baby. The advantage of these sleep positioners is that they go well with the bedding set. They can also be used with the bassinet* bedding set meant for infants.

 In the baby crib, bedding set you can also find crib bumpers, so that if your infant plays football on the crib, he doesn't get hurt. It can be of any tender colour like pink, blue or a mixture of both. A baby crib bumper, usually, comes in soft and supple colours, such as pink/blue, pink with blue stars or blue with pink stars. Foam-filled bumpers are more resistant to the kicks of your babies and the material also bounces back, thus giving a fresh look forever.

 Bassinets are actually meant for infants less than 6 months old.

A baby crib bedding

A nice bedding can give just the right ambience to your baby for a peaceful and undisturbed sleep.

2. Baby Carriers

Even with a newborn baby, there will be a number of errands that you will have to do. Also, you will have to take the baby with you wherever you go. The easiest and most cost-effective way of getting around with your baby is to place him in a baby sling or carrier. Both parents and babies like slings as the baby stays close to the parent's body and thus, both feel safe. Slings are easy to use while shopping, on walks and while using the public transport system. Slings can be used in places where it is difficult to use a pram or stroller. If used properly, the weight of the baby will be equally distributed and there will be no strain on your back.

Types of Baby Carriers

As various types of carriers are available in the market, it is best to try all of them and find the one you are most comfortable with. Find out from family and friends how useful they found the sling or carrier. If you can, try out a sling using an older child then you will get an idea as to how comfortable it feels.

 Wrap-Around Sling
This consists of a large piece of cloth with a buckle you can adjust to make a cradle in which you put your newborn. It can be worn across the body like a sash to form a hammock in which the baby can lie. This can also be fastened to balance a toddler on your hip. Many women find this useful when they are breast-feeding. However as the baby grows older and weighs more, it becomes difficult to use.

 Drop-In Baby Carrier
This consists of a pouch, which has arm and leg holes, and rests on the chest of the person wearing it. The baby is made to sit in this pouch with his arms and legs passing through the holes, so that he is secure as he sits. Newborns are made to face inwards and older children are made to face outward. Many parents prefer the drop-in carrier, as it is comfortable and less cumbersome than a pram. But once the baby is over six months, it is difficult to carry him like this.

 Backpack Carrier
Once your baby can sit by himself without any support, you can use this carrier. This is worn on the back and usually has a metal frame; the baby gets a good view of what is happening around him. If you buy a raincover, you can use it in all kinds of weather. Some of the backpack carries have a pull along feature with wheels and a handle and can be used as a ‘little-buggy’ for short distances. Some come with stands, so you can grab a cup of coffee while putting the backpack down for a short time.

Wrap-Around Sling

Drop-in Baby Carrier

Backpack Carrier

3. Baby Strollers and Prams

Carrying your baby yourself can be a bit hectic for you, though it is a universal practice. If both of you want to enjoy each other's company without disturbing the comfort of the other, you should opt for baby strollers. The market is flooded with a variety of baby strollers. As usual before paying for anything, you need to find the utility of the different strollers’ type and select the right one for you, which can give comfort to your little angel and fulfill your purpose too.

Types of Baby Strollers

Here are different types of baby strollers from which you may choose the one which suits you the best.

 Umbrella Strollers
Umbrella strollers are the ideal ones for travelling as they can be folded easily. Even if you are going for a long drive in car, these umbrella baby strollers are very useful as they can be used both inside and outside the car.
They are the best for the infants.

Umbrella Strollers

 Jogging Baby Stroller
The jogging baby stroller is meant for the parents who go for jogging or walking with the baby. Though these infant jogging strollers are light in weight, they are not meant for use in the shopping. You can find wheels of different sizes in the jogging strollers.

 Standard Strollers
Standard strollers have a sturdy frame and are among the most durable type of strollers. Most standard strollers have fully reclining seats, which make them suitable to be used from the time of your child's infancy to the time he/she is a toddler. Standard strollers are easy to push and steer, especially when they are used on smooth surfaces.

 Lightweight Strollers
A lightweight stroller is a good option as it, usually weighs less than 12 pounds. Most of the lightweight strollers do not have a reclining seat and are thus best suited for children, who are one year of age or a little older. They are also less expensive than most of the other types of strollers.

 Combo Strollers
Combo strollers, being versatile, can be used right from the child's infancy to the time he/she is a toddler. A combo stroller features a toddler stroller base and a coordinating infant bassinet. Most of the combo strollers also come with extra seat padding and cup holders as well as many convenience features.

Baby Stroller Accessories

 Infant stroller has cover that protects your baby form rain. There are some strollers that have hood that covers the entire stroller till the wheels.

 There are also small umbrella in the baby strollers that protect the little angel from the scorching heat.

 These strollers are covered with fine wire net that prevents the small harmful insects to come in touch with the baby, but allow the baby to inhale fresh air.

 You can keep the food and any drink of your baby on the stands that are provided in the infant strollers, so that you don't have to carry it separately. There is also a provision of carrying basket with the stroller. However, be careful to hang the baskets low and light weight on the stroller or it may get misbalanced.

 There are also some attractive toys on the stroller, which are attached to them by a Velcro. Undoubtedly, they are within the reach of the tiny supple hands. And if desired, you can even use them in the car seats or cribs.

 In some baby strollers, there are elegant designed removable headrests and padding, so that your little one can find some comfort while experiencing the long tiring journey.

Baby Prams

Prams are normally the carriages in which new born baby lies down while going for a stroll. Babies outgrow them as they learn to sit. However there are some pram-cum-strollers available in the market which may serve dual purpose.

 Coach-Built Prams
A coach built pram comes with a wide hood, a generous frame and large wheels. It has good suspension and good shock absorption abilities, which means comfortable ride for your baby. These kinds of prams are quite spacious and give enough space for your baby to stretch, turn and lie flat. It is very easy to handle these prams and it also takes care of the comfort and safety of the baby with its sturdy chassis and padded mattress. The only disadvantage of these kinds of prams is that they are very expensive and are not easily available. They are even bulky and once your baby grows up, you will need a stroller instead.

Coach-Built Prams

 Three-In-One Prams
Pram style strollers are very common for newborn babies. They come with features like enclosed carrycots that can be pulled out and have swivel wheels. These models come with seats that can help you position the baby either facing you or away from you. They can even have a separate pushchair unit that can be securely attached and detached from the pram unit. The benefit of having a carryout is that one can use them to carry the baby during naps or feeding time.

 Two-In-One Prams
These are prams with a chassis and a seat with a hood. It can serve the purpose of both a pram, when in reclining position and a stroller when upright. The price tag is always a disadvantage for these kinds of prams.

Security Tips

 Make sure while buying a pram or a stroller that the belts are secure enough.

 The wheels and the support on the seat should be sturdy enough.

 Look out for carriages with breaks or other features to control and manage it.

 One more point to be kept in mind while buying a pram/stroller is that whether it can be maneuvered in all kinds of terrain.

 It should also be spacious and comfortable.

4. BabyWalkers

There is a constant demand of infant walkers in the market, though it is considered a risky item by many. If you have decided to buy a walker, do a brief research before selecting the right walker for your infant. You can get walkers that have an activity centre on the walker itself. Also, these infant walkers are available in different designs. Some are brightly coloured with all the funny cartoon pictures or designed with some lacy and satin material. There are also folding baby walkers available in the market that can be easily folded and carried over to any desired place. However, the security of your infant is the primary concern and you need to consider it before making a final choice.

Infant Walkers

Apart from some minor differences, almost all the infant walkers are basically circular in shape and designed in a way so as to enclose the baby. Some walkers come with central seats for baby to sit and totter around the floor, while some walkers are more traditional in their makeup and design requiring babies to stand and hold on to a handle for toddling about. Some traditional wooden walkers also feature a tray containing wooden blocks with numbers, alphabets, letters and mathematical signs. Electronic walkers are also available, which have activity centres so that babies can learn, discover and play even as they use them.

Infant Walker

Toddler Walkers

The toddler walkers are meant for slightly older babies. In these walkers, the babies can grab the back of the walker, ‘ which gives them the option to hold on to the walker's back or move around a room. Toddler walkers may be designed in the shape of a car, truck or other popular vehicles to fascinate the young kids. The two-in-one walkers are also a good option for growing babies as they can be used for dual purpose: as a secure activity centre and for walking.

Toddler Walker

Tips to Use a Walker

 You should cover the electrical switches and plugs.

 The latches of drawers and cabinets should be covered.

 It is better that you either remove the furniture with sharp edges or smoothen the sharp edges.

 Remove all the breakable items from tables and shelves where your infant can reach safely.

 Don't carry hot water or food in vessel near the baby when seated in the walker. The baby might knock it against you with the thrust of the walker causing a dangerous accident.

 Don't allow your child near the stove heater or other heating appliances.

 Keep the house locked with a childproof lock, so that the baby can't go outside the main door of the house to the backyard or garage without the help of any elder person.

5. Baby Toys

If you think that your baby's toys are the luxurious items required just to decorate the room of your child, you will be pleasantly surprised at your ignorance. The first baby toys have a great potential to help in the overall development of the personality of the child. Baby toys are generally colourful, so that they appear attractive to the eyes of the babies. Infant toys are generally attached to the cribs or hung on the upper side of the child cot, so that the sound and movement amuses the little one.

Rattles and Teethers

Rattles and teethers are great toys for children, especially when they are learning to chew. However, it is better to keep them in refrigerator when unused. The coolness of the refrigerated rattle will be a relief to the gums of the baby. Toys that make noise or move when squeezed also help in development of the child. Babies get to know that their act of squeezing the toy makes it move or creates some sound from the toy.

Nesting Cups

Nesting cups come in different colours and sizes, so that they can be stacked or nested. These toys can be used to develop the colour and size recognition abilities and hand-eye coordination of the baby. The best nesting cups are made of plastics that come in several solid colours and may consist of more than five cups.

Stacking Rings

Stacking rings are as educational as nesting cups and come in different colours and sizes placed in a cone. These rings also help the child in colour and size recognition, hand-eye coordination and for pretend play as well. The most inexpensive stacking rings are made of plastics. You can buy the more fancy rings, which also contain other fun activities for the child.

Soft Building Blocks

Soft baby building blocks help your child to develop motor skills. The baby will use his/her little fingers to grasp, lift and manipulate the building blocks. As such, they are considered to be one of the best toys for the little ones. For a very young age group, soft building blocks are preferable. You can also choose blocks with other activities embedded in them to increase their play value for the child.

Colourful Picture Books

Another interesting way of developing the intellect and personality of the child is by reading simple short stories to him. However, this is only possible once the child is old enough to understand, at least, something from the story. Reading habit never goes without paying off and it can easily overcome all the obstacles that age creates. When he/she is little grown-up then you can give him the more durable rhyme books or other colourful pictured books. These books are made up of thick cardboard or hard cloth, and are specially designed for infants.

6. Baby Monitors

The universal problem that a mother of a newborn has to face is little or, sometimes, no sleep or rest. Also, it is simply not possible to stick around your baby during all the twenty-four hours of the day. At the same time, you can't stop worrying about the troubles that your little one can face when he/she is not under your careful observation. It is in this situation that the baby monitors prove to be the most helpful tool to make you aware of your tiny angel's needs.

Audio-Video Baby Monitors

These monitors are actually used to see or hear your infant when you are physically not present near him/her. These monitor have two sections; one is placed near the baby and the other remains with the mother. It can work both with battery and directly through electricity. One part of the baby monitor is to be placed in between 10 feet of the baby's crib, so that it can make you alert of the baby's moving or crying, etc. Though the widely used baby monitors are the audio monitors, but there are infant video monitors where you can view your baby on-screen with all his different gestures. You can also get to know the room temperature of the infant's room with a monitor.

Audio-video baby monitors

Baby-Breathing Monitor

Another variety among the baby monitor is the baby-breathing monitor. Premature babies require these breathing monitors and the hospital authorities generally provide it, if they find such requirement. It might be, sometimes, possible that the walls or the cordless phones or even other baby monitor can be an obstacle and send you wrong alerts. So, it is better to have a frequent checkup whether your baby monitor is working properly or not. Also don't keep a baby monitor near the water, else there can be serious accident.

Baby-breathing monitor

Tips to Choose the Best Baby Monitor

 It is better to opt for a small size infant monitor, so that you can carry it in and around the house.

 There are some monitors that give you the alert regarding when your battery needs to be changed. It is better to use those baby monitors that contain this feature or you will not know about the battery replacement and it might be possible that you will stop receiving alerts even when your child needs you the most.

 See to it that your infant monitor has a light alert beside the sound alert. It might happen that you are busy watching TV or cleaning the house with a vacuum cleaner and the sound may not reach your ears. But as the monitor lights up, you become aware and rush to your infant's crib.

 You can also use monitors that have two receivers. You can easily leave one receiver in the room and take another with you outside, if required.

 There are some brands that have a high bandwidth compared to others. These powerful monitors are ideal for the remote areas where the technology development or usage is less, as these monitors give clearer signals compared to others. However in hi-tech places that are replete with technical devices, such as cell phones and computers, you require a baby monitor of low bandwidth.

7. Baby Safe Feeder

It is a real pleasure to see your baby grow. The first time he/she sits, stands, speaks and eats; are the special moments and they are cherished by you. Any tiny progress of the infant seems to be extraordinary to your eyes. As a parent, apart from enjoying the wonders of your baby's childhood, it is your duty to provide him/her a safe and secure growing phase. Apart from taking bigger financial measures, it is your duty to take care of the baby's smallest necessities. To ensure that he/she eats right, sleeps peacefully and play safe is your duty. One more tool that will help you ensure your child's safety is Baby Safe Feeder.

What is a Baby Safe Feeder!

A baby safe feeder is a disposable mesh bag attached with a plastic ring that helps in feeding the baby safely. The food items are stuffed in a mesh bag and given to the baby who sucks them according to his/her own wish. The plastic ring attached at the end of the mesh bags assure that your baby does not gulp up the entire food piece at a go. It is also an easy way to keep a baby engaged. Using the baby safe feeder is also a nice way to feed baby with fruit piece, vegetable piece, meat or any sweetener.

Baby Safe Feeder as a Teether

It is a very painful phase for a baby when his/her teeth begin to come out of the gums. To overcome the uneasiness and pain caused during this period, the baby develops a tendency of chewing and eating all solid things that come in his/her way. However, at times, it becomes very dangerous because the kids gulp up big pieces of food or any uneatable item that can make them choke. To avoid this, one can always offer the baby a safe feeder that will keep him/her away from all these dangerous items. A baby safe feeder is also a terrific soothing teether, if filled with ice or frozen fruit.

Tips for Using Baby Safe Feeder

 Always make sure that the safe feeder you are using is of good quality. The mesh bag attached with the feeder should be gentle in touch.

 Try to keep the safe feeder away from the reach of dirt, dust and pets.

 Clean your baby's safe feeder with lukewarm water after every use.

 Stuff the mesh bag of the safe feeder with food of your kid's choice, so that he/she does not throw it anywhere and get engrossed with something else.

 Keep, at least, half a dozen of safe feeders with you, so that you do not have to rush to wash one when it becomes dirty.

FAQs

Q-1. I have a wrap-around sling to carry my baby in, but I am fearful of using it as my baby may feel suffocated in it. What should I do?

Ans. A wrap-around sling is a very comfortable baby carrier both for the mother and the baby. Once your baby grows up, it may be a little difficult to use but for newborn babies, it is quite comfortable. In the wrap-around, the baby will feel your warmth and remain snug and happy.

Q-2. The sheets on my baby's bassinet bedding get loose easily on the rubber sheet under them and every now and then I have to tuck them all over again. What should I do?

Ans. The sleeping sheets on the bassinet should fit perfectly. If they are loose then the baby may get entangled in the sheets which may be harmful for the baby. So get a few well-fitting sheets for the bassinet.

Q-3. How do I protect my baby from mosquitoes?

Ans. The safest way of protecting babies from mosquitoes is using mosquito net. There are specially designed mosquito nets for babies available in the market. Do not use mosquito repellant on the body of the baby as they can cause allergy. Using mosquito coils, mats and liquid vaporizers are also not advisable as they can also cause breathing problems.

Q-4. I am afraid of buying any rubber and plastic toys for my baby due to the fear that they may contain some toxic component. What toys should I buy for my baby?

Ans. There is always a fear in the mothers about the quality of material used in baby toys owing to toxicity of many materials. However, you cannot altogether avoid buying toys for the baby. So go in for toys from those company which have a safe label on them. Always buy toys of a renowned brand and do not go in for local ones as they may not have the material and other specifications printed on their label. Rattles and teethers from a well-known brand may be safely given to the baby.

Q-5. I would like to give my baby a baby safe feeder. Please tell me what all I can put in it?

Ans. A baby safe feeder is a disposable mesh bag attached with a plastic ring. It helps in feeding the baby safely. The food items are stuffed in a mesh bag and given to the baby to suck them. you can place any sold food item like a piece of fruit, vegetable, sweetener etc which the baby can chew and suck through the mesh bag. Any of these things can be placed in that bag depending upon your baby's liking. However, try to keep the safe feeder away from the reach of dirt, dust and pets so that the baby does not catch any infection by chewing on the dirty feeder.