dangerous baby items in nursery

4 Dangerous Baby Products and How to Avoid Them

You’re shopping for your baby and you chance upon an item. You take it to the register, pay for it, and go home. You tell your best friend about your latest purchase, only to hear that it’s a deadly baby product. You think to yourself “how can this be a dangerous baby product if they sell it in the stores?”

I thought the same thing until a huge realization hit me!

You can’t trust the baby stores to determine what’s safe for your baby. Never assume that if you see it in the stores, it must be safe.

Below, I will go through 4 baby items that are sold in many stores which are completely dangerous and should never be purchased by anyone!

I have no idea why they’re still in the stores, but it’s up to you and me to make other moms aware so we can all keep our munchkins safe.

Additionally, I will provide some background as to how I found out they are unsafe or what my experience was with these items.

Dangerous baby products

Here are 4 products that are proven to be deadly and you should completely avoid.

1. Car seat head support

I actually bought a couple of these from Amazon before I knew the dangers of it. My baby would fall asleep in the car seat while we were driving and her head would slump forward. I was worried that this may be unsafe for her so I searched online for what to use. 

I found these head support bands which strap around the baby’s head and it goes around the car seat. This way, your baby’s head stays upright even if they fall asleep.

Sounds great, right? Wrong! Just imagine for a second that you get into a car accident (hopefully that won’t actually happen). What will happen to your baby’s head when the car plunges forward or backward?

Her head is trapped inside the head support band so it has nowhere to go naturally. Usually, her head will move, but the seat belt will keep her body safe. Her head is not meant to be strapped too. 

Another possibility is that the band will fall down and actually strangle her. There were several incidents where babies died from this horrible item.

Luckily for me and my family, I never actually used these bands since shortly after buying them, I saw a post on Instagram about the dangers of them.

If you own these, please throw them out!

If their head slumps forward while sleeping, it’s a lot safer than dying from the head support band. You can try to keep your car rides short when your baby is tired so they don’t sleep too much in the car.

2. Crib bumpers

I was in the store buying a crib and a changing table when I was 6 months pregnant. I already knew about the dangers of crib bumpers, which I will inform you of soon. The salesman was offering me and my husband different sheet sets which included bumpers.

Dangerous baby products in the crib

I immediately declined the bumpers and I asked him “aren’t they unsafe?” He told me that every mom decides for themselves, but most moms buy it.

I was shocked! The store doesn’t care if they’re selling unsafe baby products. They only cared about making money, which is the sad reality of most retailers.

You may be wondering what is unsafe about bumpers. While your baby sleeps, he moves around. When he’s very young, a few months old, he’s unable to extract himself from areas where he gets stuck. 

These bumpers are a suffocation hazard since your baby’s face can get pressed against it and he won’t be able to move away.

What’s the alternative? Nothing. You don’t need anything instead of bumpers. Every baby will bump his head at least once in his first year.

A bump on the head is nothing compared to the alternative. Please don’t use these dangerous bumpers in your little one’s crib.

3. Blankets

Just like crib bumpers, blankets can also be a suffocation hazard for babies. They move around in their sleep and the blanket can easily cover their face and suffocate them.

My experience with baby blankets was shocking!

After giving birth and before going home, the nurses in the hospital told me that my baby needs to sleep with 2 blankets.

I knew already that blankets were unsafe so why was the hospital staff telling me this? I don’t have an answer for this. Unfortunately, every mom needs to do her own research and can’t rely on misguided information from others.

However, I was weak after giving birth, mentally exhausted, and started to doubt myself. I thought “if the nurses are telling me this, they must be right”.

So, when I put my baby to sleep for the first time in her bassinet at home, I draped 2 blankets over her. I prayed nothing would happen.

This went on for a few days but eventually, I couldn’t handle the anxiety I had around this.

I also saw how my baby moved around during her sleep and I was so worried the blankets would cover her face.

At that moment, I dumped what the hospital told me and trusted my gut, as well as the National Institute of Health. I stopped using the blankets.

Bedding such as thick blankets, quilts, and pillows can block an infant’s airway, leading to unintentional sleep-related suffocation.

NIH, Unsafe Infant Bedding Use Still Common

How can I keep my baby warm? Dress her in layers. Sleepsacks are great for the winter months and in the warmer months, 1 or 2 layers of clothing is enough.

4. Drop-side cribs

These types of cribs are actually illegal in some places for stores to sell them. This alone is enough to tell you that there’s something extremely unsafe about them.

Babies have gotten caught in the side of the crib that drops down. Sometimes, the drop-side can get loose or malfunction and this can cause accidents.

When my husband and I were crib shopping, we saw that all the cribs in the store were drop-side cribs. I couldn’t believe this.

Again, I asked the salesman in utter disbelief “aren’t these cribs dangerous?” To which he answered, “of course it’s safe, we wouldn’t sell it otherwise”.

Being that these were the only cribs available, we bought one, with great unease on my part.

Fast forward a month, after the crib was already set up in my baby’s room (before she was born). I was reaching down to pick something up from the floor and I held onto the crib for support.

Remember, I was about 8 months pregnant so any support I can get while bending down, I will gladly take.

Suddenly, the side of the crib came down with me. This wasn’t how it was meant to work. At the store, the salesman showed us how to release the side to enable it to drop down and this wasn’t the correct way.

Before my baby even got a chance to sleep in this crib, it was already malfunctioning. I knew it was unsafe and that the store shouldn’t have sold it.

Since I already bought it and I had no alternative, I used zip ties to secure the drop-down side and moved that side against the wall. This way, I don’t even need to interact with the drop-down feature.

However, this is not a justification for buying dangerous baby products. I wish I went with my gut more.

Always trust your gut

Trust your instinct. Trust your research. Don’t get swayed by smooth talkers or salesmen. If you think a baby product is unsafe, don’t buy it. Find another store that sells safer alternatives.

If you know of other dangerous baby products, comment below so I and other moms can keep our little ones safe.

Related: How to Shop for a Natural Baby Shampoo

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8 Comments

  1. It’s amazing how, when you’re a new parent, you don’t realize how simple things like blankets can be dangerous to infants. And it always amazes me that they still sell bumpers when they are so dangerous! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Katherine, I also can’t believe they still sell bumpers! And those moms who aren’t aware of the dangers will buy it because they think it’ll prevent their baby from getting hurt. I hope moms will read this and understand the dangers.

  2. This was great advice. I had actually bought a couple different brands of the head supports. They didn’t work at all for me so I didn’t use them. But I never thought about the dangers. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is so thorough! I had a discussion about crib bumpers with my mom who suggested I purchase them because my son’s legs would get caught in between the crib rails. They are not safe.

  4. Yes to all these things – I didn’t think drop downs were even allowed to be sold anymore. Maybe not in Canada where I am? The bumpers in all the pictures of every baby store ad make me so mad! Good job helping new parents learn these!

    1. Sara, there are some countries that banned dropside crips but unfortunately, not all of them. It’s our job to help other new parents prevent dangerous accidents from happening! I can definitely relate to getting upset when seeing bumpers in baby ads. It just doesn’t belong there.