How to Choose Safe, Practical Infant Gifts

Are you gift wrapping a potential hazard? In the days of lead paint scares and BPA bottles, itís easy for your well-intentioned baby gift to be more of a hassle than a help. Avoid buying a product that will be either be recalled or destined for the trash in six months. Here are some tips for choosing baby gifts that are not only safe, but practical.

Look where the item was made.

Many parents have grown leery of toys made in China after the lead paint scare. Ease their concerns by giving infant gifts made in the U.S. or European countries, which have high safety, labor, and environmental standards. Many wooden toys are made using all natural wood and non-toxic paints. Seek out clothing made in the U.S. It may be more expensive, but itís worth the price.

Make sure the item is age appropriate.

Donít give toys marked ďone year plusĒ to a newborn, unless you expect mom to stash it away for months. If you want something a newborn can use, purchase swaddling blankets, hats, or pacifiers. Buy teething toys for an older infant. Stay away from walkers and push carts until the babyís reached one year Ė or the age marked on the toy.

Buy bigger clothing.

Even though toys should follow marked age limits, clothing can be bought a few sizes up. Newborns grow incredibly fast. Some newborns donít even fit into newborn clothing Ė which generally fits ten pounds and under. Purchase a wide range of clothing for a new baby or size at least two months up. Too much newborn-sized clothing will only go unused, making the 0-3 months size a better choice.

Steer clear of controversial ingredients.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in many plastic bottles and sippy cups that is being linked to increased risk of some cancers. If youíre looking for bottles or cups, purchase ones clearly marked as BPA-free. The same goes for pacifiers. Aluminum baby bottles are becoming popular but arenít suitable for a young infant. Choose organic clothing to avoid natural fibers whose plants werenít sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers.

Now you have the knowledge to buy that perfect infant gift Ė one that wonít end up on the product recall list.