Top 3 Tips when Shopping for Baby Products

By Lauren Mulenos, Colgate Mattress Brand Advocate & Guest Blogger

 

 

So you’ve already made the great decision to go with Colgate for your baby’s crib mattress. If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, here are 4 things to consider when buying a crib mattress and why to go with Colgate. Now what? You still need crib sheets, a crib, and more so, where to begin? You likely picked Colgate for its quality and standards, so it makes sense you’d desire similarly crafted products for everything else. But where to begin? Researching and acquiring baby necessities is like a full-time job; plus, words like “natural” and “nontoxic” aren’t regulated, making it hard to discern what to buy. 

 

First of all, go ahead and buy a couple Eco Cover-Organic Cotton Fitted Crib Mattress Covers to go with your Colgate bed. These are great to put on top of your mattress, before you put on your fitted sheet. Have at least one backup per mattress (I grabbed four total for my twins). This way you can change the sheets immediately without downtime, while the soiled one goes in the wash. After that, let’s get the rest of the nursery outfitted. Here are 3 tips to keep in mind when shopping for baby products, be it anything from cribs to clothes.

 

  • Read the label. I can’t stress this enough. Go to listed materials or fiber contents and see what it says. This will tell you exactly what is used in the product. If it is confusing or doesn’t list them, try reaching out to customer service. Typically if it isn’t listed, that is a red flag and means they don’t actually want you to know. Why not list it otherwise? They have nothing to lose if there isn’t an issue regarding materials! While it is a requirement to list fiber contents on clothing tags, this isn’t the case for all products and even sometimes websites don’t list the details.


  • Go for Natural Materials.* Man-made fibers may be great and are often cheaper, but look for natural fabrics like 100% cotton, 100% hemp, 100% wool. Common man made fibers are rayon, spandex, polyester, etc. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these, but natural fibers tend to be more breathable, have less chemicals, and cause less irritations. Baby skin is so sensitive, anything you can do to help, you should. This also applies to hard goods too. When you’re buying furniture looking for contents like  100% wood without any chemical finishes is best. Avoid plastic where you can.

 

*Once you choose natural fibers, some “nice to have” features are organic (GOTS Certified) and made in the U.S.A. Organic means there are less (harsh) chemicals on the products. Made in America products not only support local companies, but also ensure the highest standards in production since it can be more easily monitored versus overseas. Another call-out that is nice is “no flame retardants”. This has become increasingly important in mattresses (Colgate doesn’t use them!) and car seats.

 

  • Find Greenguard Gold Certified. This is a certification put on by UL, a company that has been around for over 100 years in the safety and security space. When something is Greenguard Gold Certified, it means that it has low chemical emissions, making your home (or wherever the product lives) better to be in. All products have Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which often cause the air in your home to be worse than even the most polluted air outdoors. This is great to look for in all of your nursery furniture! Children’s lungs are so sensitive, and they often put things in their mouth that don’t go there, so these certifications offer a better sense of security and safety. For the record, Colgate is Greenguard Gold Certified AND CertiPUR Us certified safe.

 

Once you know these things, it is a lot easier to find products for your sweet babies. Well, maybe not easier, but at least you know what to rule out! Seek out companies (like Colgate) that implement the standards you desire. Whether they are a brand or retail store, you can often find companies that choose items within your quality level, which take out the guesswork and searching. Some of our favorites are Milk Street Baby, The Tot, and Maisonette. While some places may not carry items based solely on my recommendations above, they often have organic or more nontoxic collections within their product lines. Just look for it and you’ll likely find something in your style and budget. The more you know… Happy shopping!!

 

Lauren Mulenos is an expectant twin mom located in Los Angeles, California with a background in apparel merchandising and production. She runs the lifestyle blog LMents of Style where she discusses everything from fashion to travel, and now baby! You can keep with her and her twins on her Blog, Instagram, and YouTube channel.


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5 Tips To Organize Your Little Ones Room 

Preparing for your new baby to come home is oh so exciting. However, baby-size stuff can make a big mess, really fast, and having clutter all over can add unnecessary stress to your new-mom life. Friends and family often shower you with so many amazing gifts that when it comes time to finally organize the nursery, you are in baby stuff overload! 

The secret to a functional, peaceful nursery is creating an organizational system that you will actually maintain. Below are five helpful tips for creating and keeping order as your little one grows.

1. Turn Walls Into Storage 

Take advantage of the height of the nursery wall to create instant storage space. Place items you won’t use often or want to keep out of baby’s reach on wall shelves or tall bookcases. And don’t forget overlooked areas like backs of doors. Consider adding an over-the-door shoe holder with clear pockets behind the nursery door and compartmentalize all the small stuff like tiny shoes or baby hats.  

2. Use Containers & Label Everything

Say yes to bins that can be hung and stored in drawers and give each one a specific category. Inside your closet you’ll want to use clear, stackable containers so you can see exactly what’s in them. Label them by size. Items that have daily or weekly use should be stored within arm’s reach while seasonal items or clothes your baby can’t wear yet don’t need to be in close reach. 

3. Maximize Closet Space

Make the most of baby’s closet by storing folded clothes in a hanging cloth shoe organizer. And since little outfits are short, you can double up on space if you install a double-hang closet rod. You might also consider installing shelves above and below a single rod and use them to store bins of books, toys and seasonal clothing.  

4. Buy Storage-Friendly Furniture

Invest in dressers that offer generous proportions, perfect for stashing excess wipes and diapers and more, like the pieces of furniture from our friends at Milk Street Baby. If you have a combo changing table-dresser, use drawer dividers to organize smaller items like socks. Storage benches are also great to stash bulky items like blankets and sweaters. 

5. Purge Frequently 

You need to manage both the inflow and outflow of odds and ends you’ll collect for baby. Every few months, separate baby’s clothes into three piles: what fits now, what baby can grow into soon and what’s been outgrown. Keep the first two piles in the nursery, placing the “fits now” group in an easy-to-access drawer or bin and tucking away the “grow into soon” items for future use. Put too-small clothes in a bin to sell, donate or give to a mommy friend. Do the same for toys and books periodically. A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used it in the last two to three months, you likely won’t be using it again.

 

Great storage will translate to a more organized and functional nursery, which in turn gives it a calm feeling. And that’s a feeling every mom could use a bit more of, after all.

New Parent Checklist: How To Baby-Proof Before Baby Comes Home

When you bring your newborn home for the first time – between feedings, naps and sleep schedules – things are going to move quickly. So it’s very important to make sure the house is safely set up for their grand arrival. In fact, the best time for baby proofing your home is at least three months before your due date because some of these preparations may take time. 

To help you get started, here’s a list of general guidelines to keep in mind as you baby-proof your car, secure your home and prepare for emergencies. 

 

Baby-Proofing Your Car

  • Before your baby even gets to your house, they’ll have to ride in your car. Having the right car seat and installing it correctly is essential to keeping your baby safe. Install an approved rear-facing car seat in the back seat (in the middle, if possible) and get it inspected (for free!) by a local certified child passenger safety technician.
  • Clear the car of any small objects that could be choking hazards, such as coins and pens.
  • If the sun is strong where you live, consider applying stick-on sun shades to the back windows to block the rays.

 

Preparing The House

  • Put non-slip pads under all rugs and make sure rugs don’t have curling edges that you (or a growing child) can trip on.
  • Cover sharp furniture edges and corners with bumpers or safety padding.
  • Block all open outlets with furniture or use safety plugs.
  • Latch closed any drawers, doors or cupboards within baby’s reach.
  • If you plan to hook a highchair to your kitchen table, check that the table is sturdy and strong.
  • Get rid of any blinds or curtains with looped cords, or install safety tassels and cord stops to tuck away the cords.
  • Check your doorstops; many have removable caps that pose a choking hazard.
  • Unplug and store electric appliances whenever they aren’t in use (iron, curling iron, etc.)
  • Make sure all of your houseplants are non-toxic varieties. Some plants are extremely poisonous.
  • Get any flaking or peeling paint sealed or removed by a professional, especially if your home was built before 1978 when it was more likely to have lead-based paint. Dust from lead paint, which was banned from residential use in that year, can be harmful if ingested.
  • Install a UL certified carbon monoxide detector on every story of your house if you use gas or oil appliances or have an attached garage. 

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and in the hallways outside of bedrooms.
  • Test the batteries of any detectors you already have.
  • Install a temperature guard on your water heater at a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius).
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it.
  • Purchase a baby first aid kit, which is important to have at home so that, in case of an emergency, no one has to run out to the store and waste valuable time to get supplies.
  • Add emergency contacts and medical information to your phone that can be accessed even in lock mode.
  • Place a list of emergency numbers within easy access near a landline phone or on the refrigerator.
  • Make sure your home or apartment number is easy to see so fire or rescue can locate you quickly in an emergency.

 

Creating A Safe Sleep Environment

  • Finish all painting and wallpapering at least eight weeks before baby is expected to avoid exposing baby to any potentially harmful fumes.
  • Secure any dressers and bookshelves to the wall with screws, and pull the crib away from any other furniture. 
  • If the crib is near a window, remove pull cords or use cord shorteners on window dressings. Those curious little arms like to reach out and cords can so easily get wrapped around your precious little one.
  • Use a firm, flat mattress in a safety-approved crib. Soft mattresses can create a pocket (or indentation) and increase the chance of rebreathing or suffocation if the infant is placed in or rolls over to the prone (face down) position. Also, a solid mattress base provides the resistance necessary for developing and strengthening muscles. 
  • Keep soft objects and loose bedding away from baby’s sleep area. Do not use bumpers, comforters, pillows, blankets and toys in the crib to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation. 

 

Your newborn baby will spend most of its time at home and in your car, and you’d be surprised at how easy it is for a baby to get into trouble. The first step in baby safety is making sure both of these places are completely safe for your newborn!