Being a new mom or dad is tough. The anxiety and paranoia starts during pregnancy and simply doesn't end until the kids have grown up and left the house (maybe not even then!). You worry about all the things you don't know, if what you think you know is actually wrong, if you're wrecking your child, why everyone is silently (or not so silently) judging you, etc etc etc. Well, knowledge is power, so read up and ask friends and family. Find out as much as you can, use what works for your family, and fake it til you make it. That's right, you may think all your parent friends know what they're doing but it's all a guessing game and we're all just doing the best we can with what we have!
What do we have, what do we want, and what do we need? Sometimes it's hard to know the difference. There are TONS of products out there catering toward the paranoia of new parents. Most of them are absolutely unnecessary. That said, many can be quite helpful, put your mind at ease, and some may even save lives. So, without further ado, here are some interesting products that came about to solve the most common and peskiest of parenting paranoias. You may have never heard of these, but if budget allows you may want to take them into consideration for a splurge or to put on that good ol' baby registry! Here we go!
CONCERN #1: SIDS / Suffocation. "My baby has started rolling onto his belly! Will he suffocate?! Should I roll him onto his back every time?? I'm up all night doing this and am exhausted!!!"
Solution: A breathable mattress.
There are a few breathable sleep surfaces to choose from that will lower the risk of SIDS and suffocation when baby sleeps on belly, and also leave baby less sweaty. On a regular surface, the concern is that carbon dioxide gets trapped and rebreathed by baby. A breathable surface allows the carbon dioxide to flow freely away and provides baby a fresher breathing space.
Lullaby Earth Breeze Cover is waterproof and washable, with 3D spacer fabric that increases air circulation and enables air to flow between the baby and the mattress. It fits on most mattresses, and comes with the Lullaby Earth Breeze mattress which is a great non-toxic option since no fire retardant chemicals are added to it (but it still meets fire resistant standards). Check out my full review of this mattress and cover, which we're using for both of our twin girls (who have been rolling to belly since quite early on). ($99 for cover, $279 for mattress)
Newton is a revolutionary mattress - the entire mattress is breathable and washable. My concern with this one is that it's not waterproof, and if you add a waterproof topper than it's no longer breathable. But, a Newton rep told me the cover is water-resistant and most blowouts or spit-up don't permeate the cover, so laundering the cover only is usually sufficient (they recommend having a 2nd cover as a backup). If a nighttime mess gets through to the mattress, most parents choose to rinse off that side, and flip the mattress over til they can clean it better in the morning. ($350 on Amazon)
Secure Beginnings also makes a breathable sleeping surface for babies, but it is the priciest. You have to get the breathable mattress as well as the base. While it looks quite different from a traditional mattress, it should fit in most cribs. ($490 on Amazon)
CONCERN #2: Milk production. "I'm exclusively breastfeeding and worried if my newborn is getting enough milk. How do I know!??
Solution: Baby scale.
Having an excellent pediatrician and lactation consultant (LC) at your side is key to a healthy baby and successful breastfeeding. If baby is making enough wet diapers and weighing in appropriately at each checkup, you know you are producing enough milk. But some mamas would like a bit more reassurance in between those checkups and the solution is pretty simple. Find a very sensitive baby scale and weigh the baby before and after each feeding to find out how many ounces they consumed!!
Discuss with your pediatrician how many ounces the baby should be getting per 24 hours, and how many ounces in how many total feedings. If for some reason baby isn't getting enough, discuss with your doc and LC a game plan. It may be an issue of tongue tie or incorrect latch, or needing to increase supply through diet, hydration, and pumping.
If you go the route of the baby scale, make sure it's sensitive at least to the half ounce, and don't let yourself get obsessed with it! Perhaps you need to use it at each feeding for a day or two, and then here and there after that. There's no need to go overboard and let yourself go crazy over it!
Traditional digital baby scales run around $50 and are good through about 60 pounds. And interesting (pricier) option is the Hatch Baby Smart Pad - a "smart" changing table and scale in one that connect to your phone via wifi and keeps track of weight, feedings, and diaper changes! ($249 on Amazon)
CONCERN #3: Flat head. "I'm worried about my baby developing a flat head from the swing or Rock 'n Play or simply laying down all the time."
SOLUTION: Special pillow or hat.
Some babies may be more prone to developing flat or misshapen heads, it's part nature and part nurture. Most heads that develop mild flat spots will round back out naturally as soon as baby starts sitting and getting more time off of their head, but there are things you can do to help prevent flat spots in the first place. First of all, make sure baby isn't always lying with head facing the same direction. This could happen if you are laying baby down in the same spot in the same direction all the time (baby might naturally turn head toward you), or if baby has torticollis ("twisted neck" - discuss with your pediatrician). There are also a couple of products that might help:
The Tortle is a repositioning beanie baby wears that helps you control which way they lay their head thanks to a tiny pillow on the back that you can move from one side to the other. ($24.99 on Amazon)
The Boppy Noggin Nest is donut type pillow meant to be used in devices notorious for encouraging flat spot development, such as the swing, Rock 'n Play, or stroller. The idea is that it relieves pressure on the back of the head. ($14 on Amazon)
CONCERN #4: Crib rails. "My baby keeps bumping his head and getting his legs stuck in the crib rails!"
SOLUTION: Crib bumpers and liners.
A traditional padded crib bumper is not recommended for two reason. 1) It poses a suffocation risk. 2) It can be used as an aid in climbing out of the crib. However, there are a couple of products that can help without these risks.
A mesh crib liner will prevent limbs from escaping through the rails, and also will keep those pacifiers from being dropped! A win-win! It's breathable and collapsable, so cannot be used for climbing. ($24.99 on Amazon)
Wonder Bumpers are padded but instead of being one long piece around the entire crib, they go on each individual rail, leaving space to breathe between the rails. They will keep baby from bumping their head on the rails, and may help keep limbs inside.
Have you tried any of these products? Have any others that gave you peace of mind as a new parent? Share in a comment below!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!