September is National Baby Safety Month! Whether you’re first-time parents, seasoned grandparents, or an experienced mom, baby safety is an ever-trending and important topic. Before having my first child, my husband and I signed up for all the classes, surrounding parenting and baby safety. Attending the classes provides some reassurance, to settle those initial worries. Even now, as a second-time parent, baby safety is always at the forefront of my mind. There are a number of ways, you can take extra steps, to ensure your baby’s safety. Keep reading for my top four baby safety tips!
Car Seat Safety
Car Seat Check
Choosing a reliable and safe car seat is only the first step to mastering baby safety, while on the road. The next step is installing the car seat. I highly recommend purchasing an additional base for the infant car seat(s). You can typically purchase one directly from the manufacturer, or via an in-store/online retailer. Not having to switch car seats and bases, daily, will bring you so much peace—trust me!
Did you know that you can have your car seat installation checked and approved by a local certified Child Passenger Safety Technician? This simple baby safety measure is a complimentary service available to you. Sparrow Hospital in Lansing offers free car seat inspections on Tuesdays from 7:00am to 2pm, by appointment only. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also provides a tool to search your local area for nearby certified technicians. Additionally, they have an extensive information on selecting the appropriate car seat for your child/vehicle.
Car Seat Clothing
Living in Michigan, we typically expect colder temperatures to last over a span of about six months. When those frigid winter days roll in, it is important to know that snowsuits and large coats should not be worn in car seats. I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking the same thing I thought my first time hearing this. What?! What should I do? My baby will be cold. Car seat covers, car seat ponchos, or even a lightweight fleece jacket or pullover work well for time spent moving between the indoors and the vehicle. For toddlers or older children, coats can be worn to the car, and then removed prior to buckling into their car seat.
Prevent Shopping Cart Risks
There is a special place in my heart for retailers that offer shopping carts with the built-in car seat holder. This is a frequent baby safety hazard. simply because many people are unaware that infant car seats should not be placed in the seating area of shopping carts. The car seat could easily tip over in this position. When the built-in shopping cart car seat is unavailable, the safest spot for the car seat is in the large main basket area.
Depending on how much shopping you have to do, this could pose an issue, as far as, space. When I am out shopping with my baby in tow, I often leave the car seat in the car and baby wear instead. Baby wearing helps ensure baby safety, keeping my little one close to me, and allowing my hands to be free. Of course, if you simply do not need a large cart, using your own stroller while shopping is also a great alternative.
Remove All Choking Hazards
Both of my children are curious and fearless tiny humans. During the infant crawling stage, the search and confiscation of potential choking hazards is never-ending in my home. Having a toddler and a mobile infant keeps me on my toes. I regularly search the shared play area and my daughter’s toys, checking for and removing the “chokable” toys and accessories. Some toys may be safe for my almost three-year-old, yet a potential for danger to my eleven-month old.
It is good practice to regularly check your home for small, easily overlooked items. Remove small or loose items that might be enticing for a baby to grab and put in their mouth. Things like caps, certain foods, loose change, jewelry, batteries from remotes, magnets, and toy parts are common culprits. My older child loves to share with her younger brother—sometimes. I make an effort to educate her on what types of things are safe and not safe for her baby brother. This helps her partner with me, in keeping our home safe for everyone.
Baby-Proof Your Home
Is your home baby proofed? We are not always able to anticipate or prevent accidents from happening. We can, however, implement some baby safety measures to lessen the chances. There are a number of products available, to assist you with eliminating access to hidden dangers in the home. Below is a list of my top favorite baby proof items:
- Baby Gate (Pressure-mounted is great for apartments or shared spaces)
- Outlet Covers
- Cabinet Locks
- Table Edge Corner Guards
- Anti-Tip Furniture Anchor
- Door Knob Cover
- Stove Knob Cover
- Baby Play Yard