We had the pleasure of having Sarah Hall in the store. Sarah is Editor of Go Ask Mom on WRAL.com, a local CBS affiliate in Raleigh, NC. Sarah interviewed Heather about how she got started and what SmartMomma is all about! Check it out!
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The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is a national trade organization representing 95% of the prenatal to preschool industry. Today, JPMA represents 250 companies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico who manufacture, import and/or distribute infant products such as cribs, car seats, strollers, bedding, and a wide range of accessories and decorative items.
The JPMA is a great resource for parents to ensure their baby items are safe, and they have recently updated their website to make it easy and user-friendly for parents.
The consumer side of their site is called The Parenthood and is a great place to find safety tips, recall information, and information about innovative products for you and your baby. Here are some great safety tips right from their site for you. Please visit the JPMA site at:
Safety Tips from JPMA Safety House
- Look for bassinets and cradles with a sturdy bottom and a wide, stable base.
- Swinging cradles should have a way to keep them from swinging once a baby is asleep.
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the appropriate weight and size of babies who can safely use the bassinet or cradle.
- If a product has legs that fold for storage, make sure that effective locks are provided to ensure that the legs do not accidentally fold while in use.
- Decorative bows and ribbons should be trimmed short and stitched securely to prevent strangulation.
- Infants should ALWAYS sleep in a crib, which meets current Federal and ASTM standards.
- The crib mattress should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width, one-inch, between the edge of the mattress and the crib side. Otherwise, the baby can get trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib.
- Remember to ALWAYS keep the drop side up when the baby is in the crib.
- NEVER place the crib near windows, draperies, blinds,or wall mounted decorative accessories with long cords.
- Make sure there are no missing, loose, broken, or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or the mattress support.
- Crib slats or spindles should be spaced no more than 2 3/8” apart, and none should be loose or missing.
- Never use a crib with corner posts over 1/16 of an inch above the end panels (unless they’re over 16” high for a canopy). Babies can strangle if their clothes become caught on corner posts. These should be unscrewed or sawed off, and the remaining end panel should be sanded smooth.
- No cutout areas on the headboard or footboard so baby’s head cannot get trapped.
- ALWAYS use a crib sheet that fits securely on the mattress, wraps around the mattress corners and stays securely on the mattress corners.
- Use bumper pads only until the child can pull up to a standing position. Then remove them so baby cannot use the pads to climb out of the crib.
- Mobiles should also be removed when baby can pull himself or herself up.
- NEVER place infants to sleep on pillows, sofa cushions, adult beds, waterbeds, beanbags, or any other surface not specifically designed for infant sleep.
- Bed rails are not designed for infant use so do not use in place of a crib.
- Some beds have built-in bed rails but a portable bed rail is for use only with an adult mattress and box spring. Portable bed rails are not for use with bunk beds, water mattresses, or inflatable mattresses.
- Use a bed rail only with a standard innerspring mattress and box spring.
- Do not use a bed rail on a bunk bed, water mattress, or bed without a box spring.
- Be sure to keep the bed rail firmly against the mattress when in use to prevent dangerous gaps.
- For toddler beds, place headboard against wall rather than the side of the bed so that the child can’t become trapped between wall and bed.
For Babies Under 12 Months…
- Normal, healthy infants should ALWAYS sleep on their backs unless otherwise advised by a pediatrician.
- Only a fitted sheet, mattress pad, and/or waterproof pad should be used under baby.
- Cover baby with a thin covering, such as a crib blanket, receiving blanket or other blankets specifically designed for infants, only reaching as far as baby’s chest, and tuck the covering around the crib mattress. For newborns, consider swaddling.
- Do not overdress your baby. Consider using a sleeper, sleep sack, or other sleep clothing as an alternative to any covering
- ALWAYS use restraint system to restrain baby when the changing table is in use.
- ALWAYS keep one hand on the baby on the changing table. Be sure any baby products you need, such as diapers or wipes, are easily accessible.
- Bath seats and bath rings should be used with children who are capable of sitting upright unassisted. Discontinue use when a child can pull to a standing position.
- NEVER leave baby unattended. If you need to leave the bathroom, take the baby with you. Do not rely on older children to watch the baby for you.
- Collect all bathing materials before bringing baby into the bathroom.
- Never use a bath seat on textured or non-skid tub surfaces unless the manufacturer’s instructions specifically state the seat is intended for such surfaces.
- Place the bath seat in the tub so baby cannot reach the faucet or spout.
- After running a minimum amount of warm water in the tub, carefully place baby into the bath seat.
- If bath seat moves or tips while your child is in it, discontinue use.
- Good practice to keep bathroom doors closed and toilet seats closed and locked. It is possible for baby to drown in as little as two inches of water.
- Small appliances, including blow dryers and irons, should be unplugged when not in use and kept out of baby’s reach.
- Check for adjustments on a stroller that reduces the size of seat openings in the front to prevent your baby from falling out when seat back is reclined into the flat position.
- Choose a carriage or stroller that has a base wide enough to prevent tipping, even when your baby leans over the side.
- If the stroller seat adjusts to a reclining position, make sure the carriage or stroller doesn’t tip backwards when the child lies down.
- ALWAYS secure the baby by using the restraint straps.
- Don’t hang pocketbooks or shopping bags over the handles of the carriage or stroller. If your stroller has a shopping basket for carrying packages, it should be low on the back of the stroller or directly over the rear wheels.
- Use the locking device on any stroller to prevent accidental folding.
- Apply the brakes to limit rotation of the wheels when stroller is stationary.
- When you fold or unfold the stroller, keep the baby’s hands away from the areas that could pinch tiny fingers.
- The back seat is the safest place to ride.
- Infants must ride rear facing or in a car bed.
- Always anchor the car seat/booster seat to the car using the seat belt exactly as directed by the car seat/booster seat manufacturer.
- NEVER use a car seat/booster seat in a seating location with an airbag.
- Always check that the car seat/booster seat is securely installed. A locking clip may be necessary. Read the vehicle owner’s manual for information on other belt accessories that may be required.
- Do not use a car seat/booster seat more than six years old.
- Do not use a car seat/booster seat that has ever been involved in a crash.
- Do not use a car seat/booster seat missing the manufacturer’s label showing the name of the manufacturer, model number and date of manufacture.
- Booster seats are recommended for children over 30 lbs., but consider height and maturity level as well. Some children are mature enough to handle a booster seat, while others are too immature to keep the shoulder belt properly positioned.
- Set a good example and make sure the entire family buckles up.
- NEVER buy a used car seat or booster seat.
- Choose a play yard with mesh holes no larger than 1/4”. Slats on a wooden play yard should be no more than 2 3/8” apart.
- The play yard, including side rails, should be fully erected prior to use.
- Do not add padding or other objects inside the play yard, which permit your child to climb out.
- Make sure all latching features of the play yard are in place and secure.
- Always provide the supervision necessary for the continued safety of your child. When used for playing, never leave child unattended.
- Infants can suffocate in gaps between a mattress too small or too thick and the sides, or on soft bedding.
- NEVER leave a baby in a mesh play yard if its drop side is in the down position. The baby could roll into the space between the pad and loose mesh, causing suffocation.
- NEVER place the play yard near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall mounted decorative accessories with long cords.
- Never suspend strings over play yards or attach strings to toys.
- Check vinyl or fabric-covered rails frequently for holes and tears.
- Don’t tie items across the top of the play yard as they can entangle a baby and cause strangulation.
- Some gates are not appropriate for use at the top of a stairway. Check the product use recommendations.
- Gates with expanding pressure bars should be installed with the adjustment bar or lock side away from the baby.
- Anchor the gate securely in the doorway or stairway.
- Always close the gate when you leave the room and never leave the baby unattended.
- Many new “accordion style” gates meet the current performance standards. Older models could be hazardous.
- Never leave your baby alone in the activity center.
- Keep activity centers away from stairs, doors, windows, plants, lamps, the TV, fireplace, heaters, or coffee table.
- Keep curtains and blind cords out of reach.
- Bouncer seats are for in-home use only. Many have bouncing action, soothing vibration, and/or toys for play.
- NEVER place infant bouncer seats on beds, sofas, or other soft surfaces. Infant seats or bouncer can roll over and suffocate a baby.
- ALWAYS secure the restraining straps on bouncers and never leave a baby in the seat when straps are loose or undone.
- Baby’s movements can slide an infant seat, so be sure not to place the infant seat near the edges of counter tops, tables or other elevated surfaces.
- Select a walker with a wheelbase longer and wider than the frame of the walker itself to ensure stability.
- Coil springs and hinges of walker must have protective coverings.
- NEVER leave a baby unattended in a walker.
- Only use a walker on smooth surfaces.
- Remove all throw rugs when a baby is in walker.
- Keep doors closed.
- Keep child away from appliances or items that could cause injury such as ironing boards ranges, radiators, and fireplaces.
- NEVER carry walker with a child in it.
- Electrical outlets, appliances and cords can be baby safety hazards. Be sure to cover unused electrical outlets with safety caps and replace broken or missing receptacle cover plates.
- High chairs should have a waist strap and crotch strap.
- Some high chairs recline for use with younger infants or are height adjustable.
- Use waist and crotch restraint every time you place a child in the high chair to prevent falls from standing up or sliding out.
- Never depend on the feeding tray to restrain or protect baby. Instead, secure restraint straps.
- Prevent tip over – Keep high chair far enough from the table, counter or wall so the baby can’t push off from it.
- Secure the safety latch on a folding high chair each time you unfold it for use.
- NEVER leave a baby unattended.
- Never use a bouncer seat on an elevated surface like countertops.
- Portable hook-on chairs should have a strong clamp-on device, which keeps the seat level, making it impossible for a baby to kick off.
- Do not use on portable hook-on chairs on glass or loose tabletop, or on a table with a single pedestal, leaf, tablecloth or placemat.
- Check stability and sturdiness of table before seating a child.
- Do not place an ordinary chair under the portable hook-on chair.
- Always secure the waist and crotch straps around baby.
- Before removing baby from chair, make sure baby’s legs are free from chair straps.
- When feeding baby, first test all warmed foods for a comfortable eating temperature before serving.
- Heating baby food in a microwave is convenient, but be sure to check the temperature very carefully. Use microwave-safe dishes and stir food from the center out after heating to ensure the temperature is even.
- When baby begins to eat solid foods, do not give the child small, hard foods. Check with your pediatrician for a list of appropriate foods.
- Baby should always eat and drink in an upright position.
- Bleaches, oven and drain cleaners should always be kept out of baby’s reach. Childproof safety locks for cabinets can be helpful.
- Keep the number of the poison control center near your phone so you can call for emergency first-aid advice.
Not sure which kind of car seat your child needs? Check out the recently published Car Safety Seat Guide for parents, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It gives some helpful hints about what to look for in an infant carrier, convertible car seat, or booster seat. It also helps you make the decision as to when to transition your child, and give you some direction on installation and function of the car seat.
You can find this helpful guide at: http://www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.htm.
As a reminder, SmartMomma carries the following brands in car seats
We hope this guide published by the AAP helps to make your car seat decision easier.
Attention teethers! If you like Vulli’s Sophie the Giraffe, you will love Chan Pie Gnon, also manufactured by Vulli! Like Sophie, this little mushroom looking man is non-toxic, BPA-free, and phthalate-free with no PVC, and comes in three colors: Yellow, Blue, or Pink!
Baby will love to hold him by his triangle topped head while squeezing his squeak-able soft body.
Is your baby teething? Try the Chan Pie Gnon Cool It Soother, also non-toxic, BPA-free, and phthalate-free with no PVC. This little green guy comes with a cool water-filled ring, but gives baby something to hold onto to prevent cold hands.
Cool Chan Pie Gnon soother in the refrigerator and let baby go to town, soothing sore gums for immediate relief!
All of these great teethers are now available at SmartMomma Baby Gear & Gifts in Raleigh, NC or by going to our website at SmartMomma.com. Happy Teething!
“Motherhood Made Simple”
About Sophie the Giraffe
Sophie the Giraffe was conceived by Monsieur Rampeau, who was an expert in transforming sap from the Hevea tree using the rotational moulding of rubber as a toy-making concept. He came up with the idea of designing a toy giraffe, sensing that such an exotic wildlife figure would be the first in the market, and its size and shape would be ideal for the baby’s hands to grasp and fit the baby’s small mouths. Sophie the Giraffe, who looks exactly the same as the day she was ‘born’, went into production on May 25th, Saint Sophie’s day, hence her name.
Sophie was an immediate success in France. Young mothers saw straightaway that Sophie was a must-have for their babies when the first signs of teething appeared. By simple word of mouth, the little Giraffe’s fame spread. From then on, generation upon generation of children in Europe, have come to love Sophie & her happy sound.
Sophie is still traditionally produced today, by Vulli, which is based in Rumilly in the Haute-Savoie Region of France. She is made from 100% natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea Tree. The process of creating her involves more than 14 manual operations and is still a secret, jealously guarded by the company.
So what makes Sophie the Giraffe such a success? This is baby’s first toy, and stimulates each of his senses from the age of 3 months.
At the age of 3 months, a baby’s eyesight is still limited and can only make out high contrasts. The dark and contrasting, attention-catching spots all over Sophie the Giraffe’s body provides visual stimulation and she soon becomes a familiar and reassuring object for baby.
Sophie the Giraffe squeaks when pressed and keeps baby amused and stimulates his hearing. In later months, this helps baby understand the link between cause and effect.
Sophie the Giraffe is made of 100% natural rubber and food paint and is completely safe to chew, just like a feeding bottle teat.
Her soft texture and numerous chewable parts (ears, horns, legs etc) make her perfect for soothing baby’s sore gums during teething.
The scent of natural rubber from the Hevea tree makes Sophie the Giraffe very special and easy for your baby to identify amid the other toys.
Easy to grip:
Sophie the Giraffe’s shape and size are perfect for baby’s small hands. She is very light, and her long neck and legs are easy for baby to grasp, even in his early days.