Baby Toys and Safety Tips

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What kind of price ranges are there for baby gift baskets?

Budget Baby Gift Baskets

Are you on a budget or are you feeling generous? When you think of baby gift baskets, elaborate and high priced options come to mind. Sure, you can forgo that plasma television you were saving for and spend a couple hundred dollars on a baby gift basket. Just remember, you haven't met the baby yet. You might not even like him.

Let's just assume for a minute that you're not in the mood to fork out a couple hundred bucks for a baby gift basket. Well sure it contains a forty pound stuffed bear with pure gold stitching, but so what? That twenty dollar baby gift basket contains seven pure organic cotton baby bibs for each day of the week, so there!

Really though, if you're on a budget, you can find some really nice baby gift baskets at places like prettybabytoys.com. A lot of times you'll find a clearance section or sale items. Even at full price, you can find baby gift baskets for under forty dollars.

Don't worry about how much money you spend on baby gifts. It's an old, worn cliché, but it really is the thought that counts.

   
Should I buy a baby gift before I get on the plane, or after I arrive at my destination?

Traveling With Baby Gifts

You've flown a million times, yet somehow you never really thought about how you'd get that baby gift basket (you know, the one containing well over three ounces of fluids) onto the plane. You could stuff it into your luggage but then it wouldn't really look like a basket when you got to your destination.

If visiting your expecting friend means traveling by plane, your best idea is to shop when you get to your destination. That way, you don't have to worry about your baby gifts getting lost, stolen, smashed, or refused entry through customs. People bring gifts through customs every day, it's just easier when you travel light. There are stores where your friend lives, right?

Another alternative is to order cute baby gifts or baby gift baskets online and have them delivered to your friend's house. If you time it just right, you might be able to have the gift delivered on the exact day of the baby shower. This is probably the best alternative because chances are good your friend is going to want to spend time with you when you arrive. That means it'll be really hard to ditch her while you zip out to buy the perfect baby gift. By ordering online, you know the gift is on the way and you can spend some quality time with your friend.

   
Is it a good idea to stock up on baby gift baskets for upcoming baby showers?

Stocking Up On Baby Gift Baskets

The cool thing about baby gift baskets is that they never go out of style, they're perfect for girls or boys, and they keep forever. So, if you're friends are all hoping aboard the mommy train, stock up! Chances are you're going to have a few baby showers to attend. Who has time to shop these days? Some people don't even like to shop. It's true! There's traffic to contend with, parking spaces to find, overcrowded stores, way too keen sales associates, and those annoying few who think whistling is a sport.

So here's the thing: Grab your laptop and start searching for baby gift baskets. You can point and click two or three from the same site, pay online, and have the things delivered to your home.

If you enjoy spending hours shopping for baby shower gifts, don't take offence. You just go right ahead and do that. Meanwhile, the rest of us will be shopping for those well received baby gift baskets from the comfort of our homes.

If you plan on storing the baby gift sets for future use, don't buy baskets filled with cookies or other perishable goods. Stick with bed and bath themes, toys, lotions, etc. If you're buying things with lotions or creams, make sure to store the basket somewhere out of the direct sun or excessive heat.

   
How safe are my baby's toys?

Getting Serious About Toy Safety

Possibly one of the biggest and most attended birthday celebrations is baby's first birthday. Aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews all show up to celebrate the big day. While the birthday cake sits vulnerable on the counter being assaulted by dirty little fingers, mom and dad sit on the floor sorting out the toys.

There's a pretty good chance the parents aren't doing a mental tally of how many flame resistant toys there are in the lot, or what type of toy safety regulations they had to go through before they hit the market.

No, most parents are just thinking how they're going to bring the baby down from their sugar high. You just assume that the toys are safe and that the powers-that-be have done their jobs to make sure your baby isn't going to be gnawing on some brain stunting chemical cocktail.

Unless you're ordering unregulated toys from unknown companies in cyberspace, there really isn't a lot to worry about. Most manufacturers, in conjunction with American toy associations, voluntarily recall toys if they suspect there might be a problem. They don't take chances. If you happen to hear of a baby toy recall, don't panic. Yes, bring it back. Ask the retailer why the recall was issued. Sometimes it could have been a problem with one particular toy, when the other nine billion of them on the market are perfectly fine. If anything, you should be reassured that the toy companies take child toy safety that seriously.

   
Are there any really exciting newborn baby toys on the market?

Boring But Important Baby Gifts

There are so many big, bright, and explosively exciting games on the market that when it comes time to buying baby gifts, they can look pretty unimpressive. Oh boy, three soft blocks without any removable parts, smells, sounds, or possibilities. Well, that's true, but you have to view that toy through the eyes of a baby who's only been on the planet for a couple of months. Try switching on a remote control robot that shrieks “WE WILL RULE THE PLANET” and see how long you stay friends with the mommy-to-be. Now, if you want to inflict psychological harm on the little one and effectively end your friendship, go for it. Otherwise, stick with the simple newborn baby gifts.

When you think about it, those cute baby gifts on the market help babies develop in all sorts of ways. Just holding one of those little blocks in their hands is a big accomplishment for baby. Before the baby can start developing hand-eye coordination, he has to first realize he even has hands.

So don't worry about your baby gift being the brightest and the loudest, concentrate on the baby gifts being something that won't traumatize the baby.

   
What do I do with old baby gifts that I don't need anymore?

Recycling and Reusing Baby Gifts

The reality is that all of those cute baby gifts you got for your baby shower are only used for a short period of time. Some stuff, as nice as it is, might not be appropriate when you start redecorating the nursery to look more like something that a preschooler or school-aged child would want. That means a lot of the baby gifts wind up at the bottom of a toy bin or at the back of a closet.

Why not put the stuff aside and give it to charity or donate it to a local nursery? It's better than letting the toys collect dust for the next five years. A few things to consider before giving away those former baby gifts include:

  • making sure there are no baby toy recalls on the items, especially if it's been over a year since you first received them;
  • cleaning the toys with a mild solution of water and bleach;
  • ensuring that any stuffed animals or teddy bears don't have any loose parts (eyes that can come off, etc.)

Was it one of your best friends who gave you the baby gifts? If so, you might want to talk to her about your plans. Just tell her you and the babe have really enjoyed the toys but now that the baby is getting older, it's time to recycle the toys to someone else who can use them.

   
How can I make sure my baby doesn't play with toys that could hurt him?

Safe Toys, Safe Babies

The safest toys are the ones that are age appropriate. An infant will hoover pretty much anything off the carpet (who needs a vacuum). So even though your little munchkin is close to that next age appropriate level of toys, it still probably isn't a good idea to buy him toys that have small parts that could break off or tiny pieces. That's easier said than done if you have more than one child. How do you tell your three-year-old not to feed magnets to the new baby?

This could be a good time to use a little mommy psychology on your preschooler. Tell him or her that it's very important to be careful with the toys. Make the bedroom (if he doesn't share it) a place where he or she can play with the “big kid” toys. Your preschooler will feel like he has his own sanctuary to go to that doesn't involve a little brother or little sister.

There's no perfect solution but making sure your infant is only eating dry Cheerios and not a tiny rubber tire, is your responsibility. It's great to give the older child some guidelines to follow, but he or she probably isn't ready to baby sit at four years old. Keep an eye on what goes into the baby's mouth. Before you know it, the kids will be teenagers and you'll be more worried about what's coming out of their mouths.

   
How can I make sure the toys my baby plays with are safe?

Baby Toy Recalls

Okay, everyone who's sick and tired of toy recalls, raise your right hand. Please, like parents aren't stressed enough about everything going on in their child's environment already. You worry about germs, viruses, bacteria, your neighbor's retired police dog that they promise is as gentle as a poodle, and whether or not your child is breathing healthy air. Now you've got to worry about toy safety regulations too.

As a parent, you kind of expect that all toys on the shelves have been inspected carefully. When you get to the checkout, you shouldn't have to second-guess your purchase. Parents used to think, my child is going to have so much fun with this toy! Now they're thinking, I hope there's no lead in the paint on this toy.

It's enough to drive you crazy. There's no guarantee that there won't be a baby toy recall on that toy you just bought, but you can decrease the possibility by following a few simple rules:

1) Do an Internet search for current warnings or toy recalls before you buy.

2) While there's no guarantee, check to see if toys were made in America.

3) Eyeball the toy for obvious signs of problems. Wiggle the parts and make sure that there's nothing that looks like it will break off in baby's mouth.

4) Stick with high quality toys. Yes, in this case a higher price probably means a better product, although that's not always the case. Trust your instincts.

If you gave the toy as part of a baby gift basket, keep your eyes and ears open to any baby toy recall notifications and let the parents know if you hear anything. If you're the parent, it's your responsibility to monitor the toys for wear and tear, and pay attention to any baby toy recalls that you hear of.

   
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Carma Spence-Pothitt