Choosing your baby’s cot and furniture is a very exciting exercise. It can also be a little overwhelming because of the sheer range of choices available to you. It is important to focus on what your needs and those of your baby will be. Your baby doesn’t need lots and lots of furniture especially in the early days. Your aim should be to choose furniture that is safe and suitable for your baby.
The cot is the key piece of baby furniture that will get the most use during your baby’s first few months. When you are purchasing it make sure it meets the Australian safety standard AS/NZS 2172.
The cot needs to be safe and deep. This means that it should be deep enough to stop your baby from falling out of it and that the mattress fits in closely around the sides. The cot shouldn’t have anything sharp or potentially dangerous in or around it. It is important to follow the guidelines from Independent Consumer Group Choice and these can be found here.
There are plenty of great prams available. Focus on choosing a pram that is primarily a safe one. If you are given a second hand one, check the wheels and make sure there are no potential hazards on it such as broken handles or prongs sticking out. There are specific safety guidelines that prams and strollers must comply with. The full details on them are here.
It’s sensible to consider what use you will be putting yours to. For instance, if you are planning to exercise with bub in tow, you may need to consider getting a 3-wheel pram. These are usually easier to manoeuvre outdoors. Get a pram that is going to be practical. If you are getting on and off a bus with it, make it a pram that is light weight and can be folded easily and quickly.
Think about what accessories you might want on your pram. You might consider a storage place for the nappy bag a necessity, or a cup holder if you are going to be out exercising. Consider your needs and those of your baby when you will be using it and then make your choice accordingly.
According to Independent Consumer Group Choice the recommendations for high chairs include the following: ‘your child’s high chair should be sturdy, with a stable base, include a five-point harness with no sharp edges or exposed gaps/traps to ensure the baby’s safety.’
You can get the full details here.
Your baby’s high chair will typically get messy on a regular basis once your baby starts solids. It’s vital to make sure it is easy to wipe down and clean. Check to make sure it doesn’t have corners or crevasses where it would be difficult to wipe food out of.
Your baby will be using the chair on a regular basis; however there will be times when you will want to store it away. It is a good idea to check just how much space the high chair will take up before you purchase it. Some high chairs can have a very wide base and make it difficult to store easily. Unfold and fold it in the store and measure it. Check the space where you intend to use it at home and make sure it works effectively there.
The reality is your baby will be using a high chair for at least a year after they start solids. Before you purchase the high chair make sure you check that it can carry a baby through to toddlerhood. It’s also a good idea to check the height of the chair against you and your partner. If it is too short you may prefer a chair where you can adjust the height of it for meal times when you are feeding your baby.
For the first six months of your baby’s life they must be restrained in a car using a rear facing restraint. It is important to ensure that the capsule or restraint meets The Australian Standard and Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) this is a body funded by the government and motoring organizations. It is also well worth going to an authorised fitting station to have your car seat installed. You can assess the best restraint at the Choice website.