Evaluating Pediatrician-Recommended Products

Doctor examining little girl's hand and smiling

Andrew Brookes / Getty Images

There are so many baby products on the market these days that parents often have a difficult time deciding which products to buy.​​ And even when they do narrow it down to a specific type of baby product, deciding on which brand to buy can be another big decision all on its own.

In addition to reading product reviews, simply trying the product for yourself, and asking friends and family members for advice before buying baby products, it can help to look for products endorsed by professionals you trust.

For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) lends its name to the Infant CPR Anytime Kit, which was developed by the American Heart Association and the AAP.

Although there are many other "pediatrician-recommended" products, there are very few that are endorsed by the AAP, which is what many parents likely think that "pediatrician-recommended" means.

Pediatrician-Recommended Products

Many products overuse these types of endorsements. In addition to being a pediatrician-recommended brand, a number of products are actually promoted as being "number one" with pediatricians, including:

  • Pedialyte ("#1 Pediatrician-Recommended Brand")
  • Infants' Mylicon Gas Relief Drops ("Pediatricians' #1 Choice")
  • Lysol ("#1 Pediatrician-Recommended Brand")
  • Enfamil Tri-Vi-Sol with Iron ("#1 Brand Recommended by Pediatricians")
  • Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion ("#1 Pediatrician-Recommended Brand")
  • Baby Orajel Non-Medicated Cooling Swabs for Teething ("#1 Pediatrician-Recommended Brand")

Other products leave out the number one and simply label their product as being pediatrician-recommended. But does all of this really mean anything? Apparently not.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, they are simply "marketing terms that try to get you to buy a product. Although the product may be recommended by a group of doctors, what the advertisers don't tell you is how many doctors or how long ago the recommendation was made. It could be 5 or 100 doctors surveyed 10 years ago."

Or, it could be one or a few pediatricians that you have never heard of; you shouldn't let the fact that they are recommending a product influence your purchasing decisions.

Evaluating These Endorsements

If a product is truly endorsed by a pediatrician or group of pediatricians, you should find out some answers to a few questions before buying the product, such as:

  • What is the basis for saying their product is the "#1 Pediatrician Recommended Brand" or "Pediatrician's #1 Choice"?
  • What exactly is it about the product that has made them make the endorsement?
  • What are their financial ties to the company that is making the product?
  • Were they paid to make the endorsement?
  • Are they selling the products themselves?

And remember that your own pediatrician is usually the best source for recommendations on what to buy for your kids.

1 Source
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  1. American Academy of Pediatricians. Medicine Ads.

Additional Reading

By Vincent Iannelli, MD
Vincent Iannelli, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Iannelli has cared for children for more than 20 years.