10 Baby Products You Should Never Buy

Keep unsafe products away from your newborn.

There are countless decisions new parents must make, but choosing safe products for your newborn is perhaps among the most important. According to Consumer Reports, there were 1,234 recalls from 2017 to 2021, and children’s products were in the top five recall product categories. “Product recalls are complex and can have serious consequences if mismanaged,” Ashita Kapoor, associate director of product safety at Consumer Reports, wrote in an email. “Recalls of consumer products generate significant media headlines and social media buzz, but still we are finding products that have been recalled still in the marketplace.”

Aside from products deemed unsafe for newborns, there are also numerous baby items that simply aren’t necessary and can be a waste of money. To keep your child safe and your budget on track, review these 10 baby products you should never buy.

Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers

Millions of Rock ‘n Play Sleepers remain in homes even though the product has been recalled for years, according to Consumer Reports, and there have been eight infant deaths and 17 injuries related to this product that occurred after the recall in April 2019. While you likely won’t find one of these in stores, you may find the recalled sleeper in consignment shops or online, and this sleeper is one item that you definitely want to avoid.

Crib bedding and bumpers

While a bare wooden crib might not look comfortable to an adult, crib bedding and bumpers are unsafe for children under 12 to 18 months. Nearly 40% of mothers reported using soft bedding when placing babies to sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But the CDC recommends a firm sleep surface in a safety-approved crib free of blankets, pillows, bumper pads and soft toys.

Boppy Loungers for infant sleep and sleep positioners

Nursing pillows can be a huge help to new parents dealing with late night feeds and learning to nurse, but nursing pillows and loungers are not safe for infant sleep. The Boppy Loungers were recalled in September 2021 after being linked to eight infant deaths and are unsafe due to the suffocation risk. Similar products, including nursing pillows and sleep positioners, can be unsafe for infant sleep, so be sure to use a nursing pillow properly if you do purchase one.

Baby shoes

While generally safe for babies, shoes — and even socks in some climates — aren’t necessary. Avoid loading up on those cute little newborn and baby shoes in your child’s first months because baby shoes are prone to falling off and, as your child cannot yet walk, won’t get much use.

Wipe warmers

Typically safe, wipe warmers can be useful to keep babies calm and comfortable during changes. However, wipe warmers can also be a breeding ground for the growth of bacteria and fungi due to their wet, warm environments. If you’re on the fence about this one, save yourself the extra cost and consider skipping.

Crib tents and low-hanging decor

Crib tents are designed to keep toddlers inside their cribs, but they may be unsafe. As a general rule, don’t buy anything low-hanging to go near or above your child’s sleep area. These items could fall on your baby if not properly secured or your baby could pull them down, creating possible choking and suffocation hazards.

Infant walkers

Infant walkers that allow your child to move about a room before they know how to walk are considered unsafe by many doctors. Though new safety measures were introduced in 2010, a 2018 study published by the American Academy for Pediatrics found that infant walkers are still associated with thousands of injuries to children each year. These might include falling down a flight of stairs or tipping over. Try an activity table or jumper instead.

Pricey changing tables

Changing tables can be very expensive and don’t offer many additional benefits beyond those of a dresser or table you already own. Popular changing tables at Pottery Barn and West Elm run upward of $500. Consider repurposing your existing furniture to create a changing table instead of buying a new item.

Used or expired car seats

Hospitals won’t let you leave without it, and it’s likely one of the most important items you’ll buy for your newborn: a car seat. And while it may make financial sense to buy a used car seat, this is one area of your baby gear budget you really shouldn’t skimp on. Car seats often expire between six and 10 years from the date of manufacture, so keep an eye on that date and consider buying new.

Drop-side cribs

Once a newborn staple, drop-side cribs are unsafe and it is now illegal to manufacture, sell or donate them. Although drop-side cribs are convenient for caregivers, allowing them easier access to their child, these cribs can create a gap between the crib and the mattress that could easily become dangerous to a baby. Follow the guidelines created by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure your baby’s crib is safe.

Skip these newborn and infant products:

— Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers.

— Crib bedding and bumpers.

— Boppy Loungers for infant sleep and sleep positioners.

— Baby shoes.

— Wipe warmers.

— Crib tents and low-hanging decor.

— Infant walkers.

— Pricey changing tables.

— Used or expired car seats.

— Drop-side cribs.

More from U.S. News

5 Signs You’re Financially Ready to Have a Baby

Throwing a Baby Shower on a Budget

What Child Care Costs and How to Save

10 Baby Products You Should Never Buy originally appeared on usnews.com

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