By Tan Wee Keng, CEO of Tollyjoy Baby Products
Gearing up for a baby’s arrival and purchasing baby products can be an exciting and challenging experience, especially for first-time parents. With the wide range of options available, one overriding consideration that should never be compromised, whether you’re buying, borrowing, or accepting hand-me-down products: the safety of your baby.
Disposable diapers, washable napkins, feeding bottles, cleaning accessories (bottle-cleaning brush, cleanser, laundry detergent), baby-grooming toiletries (baby bath, powder, lotion), baby wipes, diaper-changing mat and baby wear are all essentials required from day one.
The digital sphere is becoming a more popular shopping destination for baby products, especially those that do not require the touch-and-feel factor. This is due to a variety of factors: the comfort of shopping at one’s own convenience; being able to receive all the items at the doorstep; and, most importantly, hassle-free return policies. Online platforms also have the power of influence on consumer decisions with cost comparisons, product reviews, product information and usage instructions readily available.
If you find yourself in the market for baby products, here are some things you should look out for.
The recommended age for use of a product should be clearly specified on the packaging. For example, toys are designed specifically to cater to the developmental stages of a child, its cognitive abilities and growth, such as rattles that improve hand-eye coordination, squeeze toys that help with tactile, sensory and motor skills, and so on.
Parents should look out for products that are tested to conform to international safety standards, which should also clearly be stated on the product packaging. Compliance to safety standards ensures that the products have gone through appropriate standardised tests to provide a high level of safety and utmost comfort, and do not have mechanical features that pose a hazard to the user. This gives additional assurance to parents when purchasing products for their little ones.
Parents should ensure that the products purchased do not have small detachable parts that children may swallow by mistake. They should check that any chemicals used are gentle on the child’s skin and that products have been tested for toxicity, as babies have a tendency to put things into their mouths.
Baby products are built not just for babies but also for the parents who are using them. Parents should choose products based on their lifestyle, including the type of transportation they take, distance and time spent outside the comforts of their home, and the length and intensity of use of various products.
The right fit
Every baby is different and it is never a case of a one-product-fits-all solution. Products come in different sizes and weight thresholds, which are specified on the product packaging, and some also have adjustable features. It is advisable to wait until after the baby is born and be aware of the baby’s physique — weight, height, body shape and so on — especially when choosing the right fit for clothes, diapers and baby carriers.
Lastly, it is very important to read the instruction manuals carefully when assembling, maintaining or using a product. Even a good-quality product can malfunction and cause injuries when not used correctly.
Tan Wee Keng is the CEO of Tollyjoy Baby Products, a provider of reliable, durable and value-for-money products designed for the well-being of mothers and babies. Incorporated in 1971, it is a Singapore brand that has a comprehensive range of more than 250 products across different categories including Baby Hygiene, Baby Wear, Baby Play, Baby Bedtime, Baby Groom and Baby Gift and Mom’s Needs.