Baby Strollers and Change Tables: Essential Safety Tips To Read Now
As the new mother research continues, one area you’ll need to read about is newborn stroller and changing table safety.
In this post, we’ll cover the safety tips you need to know before buying and using these items.
Did you catch last week’s post? If so, click here to see the baby carrier and car seat must-knows.
Baby Stroller Safety Tips
One of the first items you’ll probably add to your baby registry is a stroller. However, which one you add is important. Here are some tips for choosing and using the right stroller for a newborn.
Caution: Not all baby strollers are created equal.
Prevention: When purchasing a baby stroller, there are a few things you should keep in mind to assess quality. Below are some general tips.
- Choose a sturdy model. A stroller with a wide base usually indicates it’s less likely to tip over.
- Only choose a stroller that comes with a label and instructions. If you’re buying used and the model doesn’t have instructions, don’t purchase it.
- Take caution if you’re considering a used stroller that appears older. Carriages made before 1985 may not be up to today’s safety standards.
- Ensure it comes with a safety belt or lap harness that is securely attached to the stroller frame.
- If you’re considering a folding model, ensure the brakes and locking mechanisms are working properly.
- Check to make sure the wheels are attached securely.
- If you’re buying a double stroller, look for a model with a footrest that goes across both sitting areas. Having two separate foot rests means small feet can be trapped in between.
Caution: Wear and tear of a stroller can lead to injury.
Prevention: Regularly inspect your stroller. Look for any signs of damage and check to see if the wheels are still securely attached.
Caution: Not all strollers are made for newborns. Newborns have not yet fully developed their spinal and neck muscles. They always need neck support to prevent injury.
Prevention: Only consider strollers that provide neck support. The model you choose should allow your baby to recline without their head falling from side-to-side. Keep in mind that most umbrella strollers don’t provide enough head and back support. In addition, most jogging strollers don’t recline and shouldn’t be used until about 6 months.
Caution: Don’t let your baby finish their naps in the stroller seat.
Prevention: If a stroller has a portable seat that can be used in a car, you may be tempted to detach the seat and allow your baby to finish her nap. However, research suggests that this may compress a newborn’s chest, leading to lower oxygen blood levels. Even a little obstruction can be enough to impair their development. Experts recommend against letting your baby relax in a car seat for more than two hours at a time. Another reason to take your baby out is that it may lead to her developing a flat spot at the back of the head and may make gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) worse.
Caution: If you forget to use the brakes, the stroller may roll ahead due to uneven grounds or baby movement.
Prevention: Whenever you stop the stroller, always engage the brakes. Choose a stroller with brakes that are easy to operate. Also make sure the brake release is not within reach of the baby.
Caution: Adding additional items to the stroller, such as hanging a purse off of the handle bar, may cause it to tip over.
Prevention: To ensure the stroller doesn’t lose balance, always use the compartments it comes with to store accessories. If you know you’ll carry along many items, choose a stroller with a lot of storage areas.
Caution: While it’s okay to walk your baby on a gorgeous day, keep in mind that plastic and metal pieces can become too hot and may burn your baby.
Prevention: Don’t stay out in the sun too long while your baby is in the stroller. If you leave the stroller outside in the sun, before you put your baby back in, touch it to make sure it’s not too hot.
Caution: No matter how safe the stroller is, your baby should never be left alone in it.
Prevention: If you’re leaving the area, take your baby with you or have a trusted person watch her.
Baby Strollers: Safe Options
- Amazon rating: 4.4/5 with about 160 reviews
- Stroller and removable car seat
- Fits newborns and babies from 4-35 lbs.
- Lightweight design and slim fold
- Extra-large storage basket
- Sturdy tires for smooth pushing
- Amazon rating: 4.7/5 with about 25 reviews
- Suitable for newborns up to 6 months
- Anti-shock and strong wheels (good for slippery winter conditions)
- High quality but light aluminum alloy frame (won’t rust)
- Detachable and easy-to-recline seat
- 3-step folding system
- Amazon rating: 4.2/5 with about 434 reviews
- Suitable for newborns from 5-30 lbs.
- Large soft head support for both the car seat and stroller
- Can recline to multiple positions
- Easy one-hand fold
Change Table Safety
Whether or not you purchase a change table, babies are usually changed on elevated surfaces. Before you give birth, you’ll need to know how to mitigate any safety risks associated with a baby being laid on a high surface.
Caution: If you buy a change table, make sure you choose one with safety features.
Prevention: Below are some tips you should keep in mind when selecting a change table.
- Purchase one that comes with instructions. You may think, “a change table is a change table,”, but a high quality one will come with instructions indicating the safety tips you need to follow for that specific table. If you buy used, be sure it comes with instructions.
- Choose a table or mat with safety straps that are easy to fasten.
- Choose a sturdy table with a 2-inch guardrail on the sides.
- The changing table or pad should dip in the middle so that the sides are slightly higher to prevent your baby from falling off.
Caution: A baby should not be left alone on any high surface.
Prevention: After you are done changing your baby, take her off the surface immediately. Never leave her unattended on a change table or mat, even if just to walk into the next room for a wipe. To prevent this, have everything you need beside you before laying your baby down.
Caution: If your baby is not secure on the table, she may roll off.
Prevention: Use the safety straps on the changing table but also keep one hand on your baby at all times.
Caution: If supplies are too close to your baby, it can be a safety hazard and he may reach them. For example, babies can choke on plastic liner diaper pieces and may inhale powder particles, which may injure their lungs.
Prevention: Keep your changing supplies, diapers and anything else close to you, but not within your baby’s reach. Choose a place for your changing table where you know you’ll have supply space.
Changing Tables: Safe Options
- Amazon rating: 4.5/5 with about 410 reviews
- Study wood design
- Water-resistant pad with safety strap
- Safety rails on all 4 sides
- Bottom shelves for storage that the baby can’t reach
- Non-toxic finish
- Amazon rating: 4.5/5 with about 4,900 reviews
- Can fit on wide dresser
- 100% waterproof and can be wiped clean
- Contoured walls
- Quick-release safety belt
- Security strap underneath to attach pad to furniture
- Amazon rating: 4.4/5 with about 50 reviews
- Comes with changing pad
- One fixed shelf and bottom storage bin to keep supplies away from baby
- Strong wood construction
- Tested for lead and other toxic chemicals
- Raised walls with front guardrail
Do you have any other safety tips to add when using baby strollers and changing tables? If so, comment them below. If you have any pregnant or new mother friends, be sure to share this post with them, too!
P.S. Have you heard about the new way to connect with your baby while still in the womb? Fetal dopplers are handheld devices that allow you to hear the heartbeat through earphones—similar to an ultrasound. Check them out here.