10 Baby Products You Should Never Buy

There are countless decisions new parents must make, and choosing safe products for your newborn is definitely among the most important.

From formula to play things, baby products are frequently flagged for recalls.

“Product recalls are complex and can have serious consequences if mismanaged,” Ashita Kapoor, associate director, 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 unsafe baby products there is also a number of items available that are simply a waste of money. To keep your child safe and your budget on track, review these 10 baby products you should never buy.

1. Sleepers

Millions of Rock ‘n Play Sleepers remain in homes even though the product has been recalled for years, according to Consumer Reports. In April 2019 Fisher-Price recalled the product after consumers reported more than 30 fatalities as a result of using it.

While you won’t find one of these in stores, you may see one in a consignment shop or online. Be on the lookout for this model and definitely don’t buy it.

2. Crib Bedding and Bumpers

While a bare crib might not look comfortable, bedding and bumpers are unsafe for children younger than 18 months. According to a 2022 American Academy of Pediatrics paper, 3,500 infants die of sleep-related issues each year.

The organization recommends you “keep soft objects, such as pillows, pillow-like toys, quilts, comforters, mattress toppers, fur-like materials, and loose bedding, such as blankets and nonfitted sheets, away from the infant’s sleep area to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation, entrapment/wedging, and strangulation.”

[SEE: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag When You’re Expecting.]

3. Boppy Loungers

Nursing pillows can be a huge help to new parents but Boppy Loungers are not safe for infant sleep. The Boppy Company recalled 3.3 million newborn loungers in September 2021 after they were linked to eight infant deaths and deemed unsafe due to the risk of suffocation.

Similar products, including nursing pillows and sleep positioners, can also be unsafe for infants, so make sure you use a nursing pillow properly if you do purchase one.

4. 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 not only are they prone to falling off, they won’t get much use since your baby can’t walk yet.

5. Wipe Warmers

Typically safe, wipe warmers can be useful to keep babies comfortable during changes. They can also, however, be a breeding ground for bacteria due to their wet, warm environments. If you’re on the fence about this one, skip it and avoid a ding to your budget.

[Read: 5 Signs You’re Financially Ready to Have a Baby.]

6. Crib Tents

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 if they’re not properly secured or your baby could pull them down, creating possible choking and suffocation scenarios.

7. Infant Walkers

Many doctors consider infant walkers that allow your child to move about a room — before they know how to walk — unsafe. According to healthychildren.org, children using baby walkers can roll down the stairs, get burned from reaching up to pull a cloth off a table and spill hot coffee or grab pot handles from the stove, or even drown from falling into a pool or bathtub. Instead, opt for a stationary activity center or playpen.

8. 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. Depending on the retailer, they can easily cost more than $1,000. To avoid blowing up your budget, consider repurposing your existing furniture to create a changing table instead of buying one.

[SEE: Infant Mortality Rate by State]

9. Used or Expired Car Seats

Hospitals won’t let you leave without a baby car seat, and it’s one of the most important items you’ll buy for your newborn. While it may make financial sense to buy a used one, skimping on one isn’t something you should do. 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.

10. Drop-Side Cribs

Once a newborn staple, drop-side cribs are unsafe, and it’s now illegal to manufacture, sell or donate them. Although they give caregivers easier access to their children, they can create a gap between the crib and mattress, which poses hazards. Follow the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines to ensure your baby’s crib is safe.

More from U.S. News

Best Crib Mattresses of 2023

The Many Benefits of Breastfeeding

5 Signs You’re Financially Ready to Have a Baby

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

Update 03/10/23: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up