Maybe this should be #1. Or maybe this highlights that this list is not necessarily in order. Because I really don’t want you to underestimate how very much I mean it when I say – You do Not need Cot Bumpers.
#3 Baby item you absolutely do not need: cot bumpers. In fact…. Please Do Not buy cot bumpers.
A cot bumper is padding that runs around the inside of a cot, supposedly to protect the baby from banging their head on the hard sides or getting any part of their body caught between the bars. But cot bumpers have been associated with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), strangulation, and suffocation, and can be very dangerous for your baby.
I can feel myself getting slightly stressed just writing about it. I began this list, this blog, and my consultation service largely because there are so many aspects of babycare that are confusing for parents and families. And no wonder, when there are things marketed to you as helping to keep your baby safe that are widely agreed to potentially lead to their death!! It’s incredible that things like cot bumpers are even allowed to be sold. If I could rip every cot bumper I see off the shelves, I would (maybe I should?). But, since the causes of SIDS are still yet to be fully understood, I suppose it’s not clear enough to ban them – though there are many advisories against them from health bodies around the world*. Continue reading
There are lots of good organic and pure fruit and/or vegetable baby foods available pre-made these days. But many parents still enjoy/prefer to cook and blend food themselves, especially in the earlier days of weaning. I like to do this, myself. It’s a good way to make sure you know exactly what you’re giving your baby and allows for adjustments to their tastes and reactions. For some families it’s not overly difficult or time-consuming to boil or stew a pot of apples, of sweet potato, pumpkin etc. Immersion stick blenders are wonderful for whizzing it all up right in the pot. Now all you need to do is pop it in the fridge or freezer…
#2 Baby item you definitely shouldn’t bother getting: Specialised pots for storing and freezing baby food.
There are several different styles available, often online or from baby superstores. They are simply small plastic containers, usually of around a 100ml capacity or there about. Sometimes they come in a stand to stack them in and keep them stable in the freezer. The cost varies.
There’s no need to go looking for these speciality items. Just get lots of ice-cube trays. Just simple, cheap, plain old ice-cube trays. Fill with your blended/mashed foods. Freeze. When they’re solid, pop them out and store in labelled snap-lock bags in the freezer. Continue reading
I’ve worked in lots of homes with lots of babies. Different families have different styles, both in the way they run their home and in the way they approach parenting. I’ve used these stints amongst varied parenting and household styles to experiment with and explore which of the thousands of possible baby accessories are most commonly used and which are the most necessary and useful. It’s not the same list.
#1 Thing you think you need but don’t:
Plenty of seasoned parents will tell you they’re an unnecessary expense. It’s not just me. You can change a baby on the floor, on the bed, on top of a chest of drawers. As time goes on you’ll find yourself changing them in the backseat of the car, on the kitchen table, and as they get older while they try to run away. All you need for these changes is, at best, a change mat with raised edges, and at least, a soft but firm surface.