Baby's starter kit

Besides the excitement of having a new member of the family, there are also practical issues. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your baby's birth.

By REBECCA MATTANA
August 30, 2011 09:32
baby nursery

Baby nursery. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The birth of a child, especially if it is the firstborn, is always an exciting time for the parents and grandparents, an important emotional experience. But besides the excitement of having a new member of the family, there are also practical issues that have to be dealt with. Technically speaking, the infant stage does not end when the child is a few months old but extends to kindergarten age, or four years old. For the young family that has just brought a new human being into this world, the basic needs are a crib, a bottle and a baby carriage. But the needs of an infant are manifold and are adapted to the different stages of the child’s physical mental development.

For the newborn, a carriage is one of the most important items. There is a law that says you cannot take an infant in a car unless there is a child’s safety sea. Today, most baby carriages are designed to double as safety seats.

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Idan Mybski, sales and marketing manager of Dovron Ltd., a company that specializes in the marketing of baby goods, says, “The basic needs for a newborn baby are a crib and mattress, sheets and blankets, a feeding bottle and a carriage. I strongly advise buying good quality, relatively expensive items rather than cheap, shoddy items. For most young parents, the first baby is just that -- the first. More will follow. Quality goods that last can be used for the siblings of the firstborn. If the items are well made, they will last a long time. Consequently, in the long run the expensive comes out cheap, and the cheap expensive,” he explains.

Feeding bottles
Feeding bottles are used when the mother is not nursing her child. Some bottles have a pump to extract the mother’s milk into the bottle. In cases where the mother cannot produce milk, the baby is fed from the bottle with a nutritional alternative such as Materna.

Most bottles are made of plastic. The more expensive ones are designed so that the baby does not suck in air with the milk. Prices range from NIS 15 to NIS 40. Glass feeding bottles cost 10% -15% more.

Cribs
A newborn baby needs a place to sleep, so one of the first things parents must buy is a crib. This is a small bed 128 centimeters long by 64 centimeters wide. It has high wooden bars to prevent the baby from falling out. The crib should be outfitted with good-quality sheets and blankets.

The mattress is a very important element. Special care should be taken to ensure that it is the right kind of mattress to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is responsible for more deaths than any other cause for babies one month to one year of age. Last year there were 7,000 cases of SIDS deaths in the US alone.

One of the reasons for SIDS is suffocation. Babies often fall asleep on their stomach; they lie face down on the mattress, and they can suffocate. Today, there are special mattresses that allow babies to breathe even if they fall asleep with their heads down. This will prevent SIDS through suffocation. There are other devices that prevent infants from falling asleep on their stomachs, so making sure that a newborn does not fall asleep on its stomach is something every parent should be aware of.

A standard crib can cost NIS 800. A nice hand-painted crib can cost NIS 1,500. A special mattress can cost NIS 600. A standard mattress costs NIS 150.

Baby carriages
A baby carriage is another important item on the shopping list of new parents.

It, too, should be chosen with great care. For one thing, the carriage should be sturdy but light and easy to handle. Most modern carriages can be folded up like a folding chair.

Most of today’s baby carriages can double as a safety seat for a car, so special care must be taken to make sure that the carriage can fit into your car. The same holds true with high-rise buildings. The carriage should fit into the elevator. If one lives in a three- or four-story building with no elevator, the carriage should be light and flexible enough to take up the stairs.

The prices of baby carriages vary considerably. You can purchase a carriage for as little as NIS 400, but there are more expensive models that can cost NIS 6,000 and more.

There are carriages made of aluminum or iron. There are also carriages with adjustable cradles, featuring a mechanism that allows the baby to lie horizontally or sit up in an upright position. There are also carriages with an adjustable mechanism that allows the cradle to change position according to the way the carriage is going, so whoever is pushing the carriage can see the baby at all times – and vice versa. The carriage is by far the most sophisticated piece of equipment for the baby.

The bottles, the crib and the carriage are basics and should be ready to use when the baby comes home. But a baby needs other things that will help in his or her development.

Nir Levy, sales manager of Pupik, a company that specializes in marketing products for infants and toddlers, says, “At every stage of an infant’s development, they have certain needs that can help in their development. In the first stage, up to the age of three months, the most active faculty is hearing. From the age of three months, the infant’s visual faculties start to develop. And infants start moving their limbs, such as stretching their arms and playing with their legs. From the age of six months, they start to get around by crawling. And at 12 months, they make their first attempts at walking. There are different products that are suited to the different ages, and they all help in the development of the infant.”


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