Expectant Parents Guide

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What to do when you're expecting

Text of Expectant Parents Guide

  • Guide

    Expectant parents

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    3

    Welcome

    Michael Hohl, Director Product Content and Testing (and new dad)

    With your first baby on the way youre probably excited, apprehensive, and

    maybe a little lost all at once

    I know I was! Where do you

    start to get your head around

    everything you need? Are they

    going to break the bank? And

    have you missed anything on

    your checklist of things to buy

    for when junior first comes

    into the world?

    Luckily, CHOICE knows a thing or two about babies and

    toddlers. After all, our experts have been testing their products

    for more than half a century, offering advice and suggestions

    to members that save them money and provide them with full

    peace of mind. Whether its rolling strollers along our custom-

    made rig for hours on end in the CHOICE labs, or checking for

    sharp edges and finger traps in well, pretty much everything

    safety is at the forefront of all we do.

    2

    PLUS! Join CHOICE today and youll receive the latest issue of CHOICE Computer and

    a CHOICE multi-mini tool set FREE! Enter the promotion code CCTOOLOFFER

    at the checkout to receive your giftsOFFER ENDS 31 DECEMBER 2013 OR WHILE STOCKS LAST

  • Contents

    ChoICE & safety 6How we test products for babies and toddlers and why our focus on safety is so important

    Planning for baby 8Yes, no, maybe a checklist of what you definitely, possibly and definitely dont need for your first-born

    What you need 10-15With our help, you can get the safest and best value for money must-have products on the market

    Cots Strollers Car seats High chairs Baby carriers & slings Nappies

    What you might need 16-19Useful but not essential, these products are still definitely worth considering

    Baby monitors Change tables Safety gates & barriers Other safety equipment

    What you dont need 21The products that are more contrived than crucial

    Child care 22CHOICE members share their tips and tricks on this daunting and costly exercise

    health & other insurance 24Knowing youre fully insured is very assuring

    Beyond baby 26How CHOICE can continue to help you out long after baby has grown

    4 Back to cover 5

  • ChoICE & safety

    Back to cover6 7

    No matter what youre buying for

    your baby, whether its furniture,

    toys, a stroller or car seat, there

    are certain important things to

    check for. Although CHOICE reports

    on these, nothing can beat a close

    look before you buy.

    Make sure there are no sharp edges or protruding points,

    rough surfaces or small parts

    that might be bitten or could

    break off

    Check there are no gaps or holes where a child could

    trap their fingers

    Look for sturdiness, stability and quality materials

    Clear and concise instructions always help, especially if

    you havent used that

    product before

    Check for mandatory or voluntary Australian

    standard certification

    SAFETY FUNDAMENTALS

    When you have a child, you start to see danger everywhere

    When you have a child,

    you start to see danger

    everywhere. Poisons,

    electrical sockets, climbable

    furniture your lovely family

    home suddenly seems full of dangers for the inquisitive and mobile toddler.

    But safety is just as much

    an issue even when your

    child isnt yet moving around.

    When it comes to baby

    products, beautiful designs,

    cute patterns and bold and

    bright colours are important,

    of course, but what really counts is safety.

    Up to standard?Wherever possible, CHOICE

    will test to mandatory

    Australian standards.

    And when the standard

    is only voluntary, well

    test to it anyway.

    But sometimes theres no

    standard at all to test to,

    such as with change tables (see page 17). When thats

    the case, we come up with a

    standard of our own, based on

    our common-sense approach

    that reflects how you use

    those products.

  • the baby checkli$t

    Back to cover8 9

    What you definitely need Cot (see page 10) Pram or stroller (p 11) Child car restraint (p 12) Nappies (p 15) Bucket with a secure lid.

    Two buckets if youre using

    cloth nappies, one if youre

    using disposables

    Up to eight singlets, size 000

    Up to eight onesies (jumpsuits) and/or nighties,

    size 000

    Two long-sleeved tops or jackets for cool days

    Soft sunhat for summer, warm hat for winter

    The costs of baby items can be daunting, especially if youre moving from two salaries to one. But by sticking with items you need and avoiding the ones you dont you wont blow the budget.

    Two pairs of small socks Bibs Bottles and teats, bottle

    brush and sterilising

    equipment

    Sheets, blankets and mattress protector

    Three or more bunny rugs or muslin wraps

    Soft towel and face washer, baby soap or wash,

    cottonwool balls, sorbolene

    and glycerine cream, soft

    hairbrush and round-tipped

    nail scissors

    Thermometer

    What you might need High chair (p 13) Baby carrier (p 14) Baby monitor (p 16) Change table (p 17) Safety equipment such as

    gates, child-resistant locks

    and catches, stove guard

    and door knob covers (p 18)

    Playpens (p 20)

    Baby bath Baby sleeping bag Bouncer or rocker Breast pump Breast pads four pairs of

    reusable pads or a pack of

    disposables

    Baby bag for outings Cottonwool squares or

    wipes, baby wipes and zinc-

    based cream (for preventing

    and treating nappy rash),

    petroleum jelly

    Bassinet or cradle for first few months

    Portable cot or highchair Day clothes a special

    outfit or two for when

    babys on display (though

    youll probably get some

    as presents)

    Toys and other amusements Dummy Olive oil for massage

    or moisturising

    What you dont need Baby walkers (p 21) Other baby-specific

    products (p 21)

    Cot bumpers Quilts, doonas, duvets and

    pillows (not recommended

    for the first year)

    U-shaped pillows (not recommended for the

    first two years)

    Look out for these logos throughout

    this guide

  • Cots Strollers

    Back to cover10 11

    Household cots are only used for a relatively short

    period of time, but its during

    this time that safety is most

    critical. Look for one thats

    certified to AS/NZS 2172.

    Most cots are certified when

    first produced but may then

    be manufactured for several

    years without ever being

    re-certified, which means

    manufacturing variations

    can subtly change the cot

    over time.

    Also make sure the cot is:

    Smooth, gently contoured, sturdy and durable

    Deep enough to stop a child from

    falling out

    Has no head, finger or limb

    entrapment hazards

    Has no sharp edges or hazardous

    protrusions

    Has no footholds

    Buying a

    stroller can be a complicated

    exercise. Some

    things you

    can check for

    yourself in the

    shop such as

    size, features and

    manoeuvrability

    but how

    can you tell whether the

    pram/stroller model youre

    considering is safe, durable,

    and easy to use? CHOICE test

    cots thoroughly in our labs,

    focusing on all those factors.

    Three or four wheels?Three-wheelers tend to be wider, longer and heavier than

    four-wheelers. Theyre usually

    easier to push around, thanks

    to larger wheels and inflatable

    tyres that help absorb bumps.

    But that easie