Items - Know What You Need
This glossary of baby products will help you list baby gifts or shopping
needs for your new baby.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A thin baby hat that usually ties around the chin.
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.
Cotton cloths used to protect parent clothing while burping baby. (See
- 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
- 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
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
- 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.
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
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
- 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.
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)
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
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.
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
These are small toys that make sounds when baby shakes them. Great starter
- 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
This 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.
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)
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)
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.
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
- 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
- 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 a wide 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.
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 such as baby
strollers and car seats.