Category Archives: Featured

Baby Halloween Costumes

Anybody with a baby should be thinking about baby Halloween costumes in the fall. It is great to be a new parent and discover that you can become a kid again along with your own child! We are not talking here about dressing up your baby at home like a doll, taking pictures and exclaiming over how cute he or she looks. Not only that, anyway. The most fun thing you can do at Halloween is to dress up with your baby and go out!

If you have not been trick or treating since you were in grade school, wouldn’t you like to try it again? It is probably best not to go out alone with your baby because people could realize the candy is for you – or anyway they will hope you are not feeding all that stuff to a tiny baby – so it may seem a little  strange. You could trust that most people will be too distracted by the cuteness of the baby to care, but then they may also be too distracted to remember to give you the candy at all. The best thing, if you can arrange it, is to go out with some small children of an age big enough to walk. If you don’t have any of your own, find friends who do and go trick or treating with them and their kids. You will love it!

You can buy baby costumes for Halloween and parties but check out the fabric as it is often synthetic which may give your baby a rash and may be flammable too. It may be better to create the main body part of the costume yourself from a piece of clothing that the baby already owns and add some bought accessories. Do not forget to make the costume appropriate for the weather. You will want your baby’s hands and feet to be covered if it is cold, and rain protection may be necessary. In warm weather you will not want a heavy costume that will make your baby uncomfortably hot, but you could carry extra layers in case the weather changes.

You do not have to dress your baby as anything scary, like a ghost or a witch. You can take something like a fuzzy bodysuit or a pair of baby’s pajamas and create an animal costume from that. Maybe you have something with a tiger print, but it does not have to be so exotic. A plain white suit could be made into a rabbit costume with the addition of ears, whiskers and a little white tail.

Even better, why not dress yourself up to match or complement your baby’s costume? That way you really get to be a kid again! You could be a mother kangaroo with your baby kangaroo in a pouch, or if both parents are going you could be a whole family of lions or bears. Or how about a butterfly and a baby caterpillar? The opportunities for creating fun and original parent and baby Halloween costumes are infinite!

Baby Car Seats

Although parents take so much trouble to choose a high quality baby car seat to carry their precious bundle of joy in the car, one of the saddest aspects of child safety on the roads is that in most cases they do not fit the seat correctly. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) almost 80% of child safety seats are badly fitted or misused.

The most common errors are harness straps that were loose and safety belt attachments that are incorrectly fastened. These mistakes are defined by the NHTSA as ‘critical’ because there is a possibility of serious injury in the event of an accident. So most baby safety seats are not nearly as safe as parents think, and many babies are at risk.

How then can you be sure that your baby will be safe in the car?

First, make sure that you are using the right type of seat for your baby’s age and weight, and that it is facing the right way. Some multi-purpose seats can be fitted to face either forward or backward and the fitting will change as your child grows. Babies under one year old and under 20 lb in weight should have rear-facing seats. But note that all child safety seats, whether forward or backward facing, should be fitted on  the back seat of the car.

It is also possible to buy infant seats for young babies. These are designed to be rear-facing only, so you will need a new seat when your child gets bigger. However, they will be a better fit for your newborn baby and they are easier to store and carry, being smaller. You can carry your sleeping baby around in his or her safety seat.

If you prefer, you can buy a convertible seat that can be adapted to fit babies and toddlers. Convertible seats are larger and heavier and you are more likely to leave them in the car all of the time. They must be fitted in the rear facing position for young babies and then when the child turns one or weighs over 20 lb, the seat can be turned around to face the front. A convertible seat will usually hold children up to 40 lb.

But whatever type of seat you select, the most important point is to fit it correctly. You must read both the instructions that come with the car seat and the owner’s manual for your car. First, make sure that you have the seat firmly and correctly buckled into the car. Then make sure you know how to fit and secure the harness straps that hold your baby inside the seat.

Don’t guess – have your baby’s seat checked by a qualified technician if you are not 100% sure that you have it correct. US visitors can go to http://www.seatcheck.org to find a child safety seat inspection center near you.

If you are considering buying a used seat or accepting one as a gift, consider the age and condition of the seat. Seats that have been used by several children in a family, or seats that have been in an accident, may be worn or broken and not safe for a baby any more. The label should tell you the date of manufacture and you should not use a seat that is more than five years old. Make sure that you have the manufacturer’s instructions and that all the parts are included. If the instructions have been lost, you may be able to find a copy online, but make sure you have the right manual for your exact safety seat. If not, do not use the seat, even if it was a gift. It is not worth taking the chance.

Above all remember that in an accident, your child’s life depends on the baby car seat.