November 1, 2012

A Glossary of Baby Product Terms and Definitions - Know What You Need

Umbrella stroller
by Jody Holford

So you're having a baby -- congratulations! If this is your first baby and you have already started buying things for the nursery, you may have discovered that the number of things your baby will need is more than a little overwhelming. Well, whether this is your first baby or your fourth, what every mother wants, is to have the most convenient, well-built and safe products available for their new baby. New and improved baby products are coming out on the market all the time, so take your time and shop around to find what will suit you and your baby best.

Before you do get out there and start to shop, however, take some time to browse through this handy Glossary of Baby Product Terms and Definitions. It will help you to become more familiar with some of the common names and descriptions of today's baby products.
  • Armoire
    A large clothing cupboard; usually has two doors up top that open to expose shelves and two to four drawers below. Comes in a wide variety of styles and colors.

  • Baby carrier
    Generally a cotton or nylon cover for carrying baby which straps onto your chest, back, or around your neck. The baby carrier comes in many styles which allow baby to find comfort against your body in a number of positions. (See Snuggly)

  • Baby pillow

    A smaller pillow that should be used for decorative purposes within the first year of life. Some baby pillows can be embroidered with name and date of birth to be given as a gift. Others will be a perfect fit for baby when they're ready for a toddler bed.

  • Bassinet bedding
    This bedding can be smaller than crib bedding and can consist of sheets and blankets. If you have a bassinet that is not the same size as your crib, look for linens that fit the bassinet properly and snuggly to keep baby safe.

  • Bassinets
    With a variety of styles, including round and oval, the bassinet is a smaller, cozier first bed for your newborn. Many rock or sway gently to soothe baby as they sleep.

  • Bath seat
    A plastic insert that sits in your tub (or sink) for baby to rest in while they are being bathed in a larger tub. Some come in the style of a ring that baby puts legs through (meant for babies that can sit up), while others are mini bathtubs that rest inside your own.

  • Bath toys
    Plastic or waterproof toys that entertain baby while they bathe.

  • Bib
    A cloth, nylon, or plastic covering for baby to be used while they are eating. Generally ties around the neck with strings, Velcro, or snaps but can also go over the head like a shirt.

  • Bonnet
    A thin baby hat that usually ties around the chin.

  • Booster seat
    This one straps onto a kitchen chair and is used for babies who are able to sit safely at the table without being tied in.

  • Bottle brush
    A long, round scrubbing brush that slides in and out of bottles to keep them clean. Usually comes with a nipple brush that fits in the bottle nipple to keep it sanitary.

  • Bottle warmer
    A small, plug in appliance that quickly warms your baby's bottle without the use of a stove or microwave. These are great for traveling.

  • Bumper pads
    Cushioned pads that decorate cribs and protect baby from sliding through crib bars. Be sure to fasten them according to the instructions.

  • Burpies
    Cotton cloths used to protect parent clothing while burping baby. (See Receiving Blankets)

  • Cabinet locks
    Plastic guards that are screwed inside of your cabinets so toddlers cannot simply pull open cupboard doors.

  • Car booster seat
    A smaller seat with or without a back that straps into the car and is used with the vehicle safety restraints for children up to a certain weight.

  • Car seat
    A baby safety seat that is locked into your vehicle seat using the car restraints. It is required by law that all children under a certain age are restrained in child safe seats that are age and weight appropriate.

  • Change table
    A solid wood piece of furniture that has a flat top with or without side guards that baby can rest on while you change him or her. Some come with drawers and shelves underneath for storage.

  • Changing mat
    A handy plastic mat that folds up conveniently for travel so you can change baby anywhere and not worry about the ground (or carpet) beneath their bottom.

  • Crib
    A solid wood bed that is enclosed by high, adjustable rails that keep baby safe until they are ready for a toddler bed.

  • Crib set
    A matching bedding set that generally includes bumper pads, sheets, and a quilt. Comes in a variety of patterns and can even be personally designed.

  • Crib sheet
    A cotton sheet that fits the crib mattress securely and safely. It is best only to used proper fitting bedding for your baby's bed.

  • Diaper bag
    This convenient bag is a parental must have as it has space for all of baby's needs (and even yours) when you are out. Most have pockets for bottles, diapers, wipes, and toys.

  • Diaper genie
    A convenient dirty diaper holder that keeps diapers sealed away until they can all be properly disposed of.

  • Diaper vest
    A cotton t shirt like outfit that goes around baby's bottom as well and snaps at the waste. Gives baby an undershirt that won't ride up and holds the diaper securely in place. (See Onesie)

  • Door locks
    The most common style of baby proofing your doors is to install plastic covers over the door knobs which prevent baby from being able to actually turn the knob.

  • Drawer locks
    These locks are very similar to cabinet locks but they prevent the toddler from being able to slide open the drawer.

  • Dresser
    A solid wood piece of furniture that can come with any amount of drawers to store baby's clothing. Some dressers are equipped to have a change table rest on top of them.

  • Fine motor toys
    Toys that stimulate baby's fine motor skills such as toy bars or toys that require them to pick things up, grasp things within their fingers, or hold the item within their hands.

  • Fitted sheet
    This is the bottom sheet of the linen set that fits snuggly at all of the corners.

  • Glider
    This is essentially a rocking chair but rather than having a 'rocking' motion, the chair moves gently back and forth. Many also come with an ottoman.

  • Highchair
    This piece of furniture is handy once baby is learning to feel himself; the chair is equipped with tray and straps to keep baby safe and give lots of space for exploring food.

  • Infant carrier
    This is the first car seat you should purchase for your baby as it suits newborn to approximately 22 pounds. Be certain to check the weight and size restrictions as some may vary.

  • Jogger
    This is a term used for a strong, durable three wheel stroller that can handle tougher terrain.

  • Moses basket
    This is a small baby bassinet that usually rests on the floor and is made of wicker material. Generally comes with padding inside the basket and matching linens. You can custom design these to make a great baby gift. (See Bassinet)

  • Onesie
    This is a one piece "shirt" that buttons up at the waist and goes from baby's shoulders around the bottom. Generally worn like an undershirt though they make great summer pajamas when it's really hot! (See Diaper Vest)

  • Playpen
    A compact sleeping or playing pen that folds up and stores or travels easily. Many comes with detachable bassinets, play toys, and change tables built right in.

  • Play yard
    This is a handy device that is constructed of multiple safety gates and creates a space for baby to play inside and out. Similar to a playpen but with a larger space.

  • Pram
    This refers to a classic style stroller that allows baby to face you when they are resting or taking in the view. Many only allow baby to recline but more modern versions also allow baby to sit up. Usually found with classic features such as the large, flowing handle bars and elegant canopy.

  • Rattles
    These are small toys that make sounds when baby shakes them. Great starter toys.

  • Receiving blanket
    Cotton blankets of varying styles and sizes that are used to catch baby's spit up when feeding and protect parents clothing. (See Burpies)

  • Rocking chair
    This is a comforting piece of furniture that allows you to rock baby (back and forth) to sleep or help him settle. The classic style is one made of sleek wood but there are many styles to choose from.

  • Safety gate
    The child safety gate is a must have for anyone with a baby on the move and can be placed at any locale that you want baby to avoid such as stairs or the doorway to the kitchen. It is a gate that either attaches to the wall or simply suctions into the door frame.

  • Sleeper
    This is a one piece item of clothing that zips or snaps up and covers baby from shoulders to toes. (Some come without the feet to allow baby room to grow)

  • Snuggly
    The snuggly is a convenient way to carry baby without hurting your back. The nylon casing lets you hold baby on your back or your chest. Most allow for baby to be in a variety of positions such as sitting up or reclining. (See Baby Carrier)

  • Soother
    A plastic sucking device that is inserted into baby's mouth to provide oral stimulation or just "soothing" when they need it.

  • Stimulating toys
    This refers to any toys that heighten baby's senses, such as colorful, musical, or textural toys.

  • Stroller
    This is basically a chair on wheels and allows mom and dad to take baby out for leisurely strolls or to the park. Most strollers come with canopies and a place to hold a diaper bag. Many even come with toys bars and drink holders.

  • Toddler bed
    This is a bed designed for the child who is too big for a  crib but too small for a regular bed. Most will fit the crib mattress so that you only have to buy the frame.

  • Top sheet
    This refers to the linen sheet that rests atop the baby and the fitted sheet.

  • Toy attacher
    This device uses some sort of baby safe clamp that allows mom or dad to clip a toy to baby's car seat or stroller so that baby does not drop it or lose it.

  • Toy box
    This is a convenient way to store all of your child's toys in one large storage bin. Styles include the classic wooden box with a lid as well as awide variety of colorful shapes and unique designs.

  • Triple stroller
    A stroller that has three seats, which allows for three children up to a certain weight. Each spot usually has a canopy to protect baby from the sun.

  • Twin stroller
    A stroller that can accommodate two children or babies. Be certain to check the weight and size restrictions.

  • Umbrella stroller
    This is a light weight, smaller stroller that folds up and stores easily. Very convenient for short trips or the mall.
Keep in mind that most of the baby products you may be looking for, or wanting for your baby, can be found online. Good luck and happy shopping!

Jody Holford is a successful freelance writer providing tips and advice for consumers purchasing a variety of consumer baby products.