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I don't consider myself a helicopter mom, but the first time I left my baby I remember panicking a little bit. Our house was pretty baby proof, but what about Grandma's house? Was my little one going to be safe without me?
There is no need to go out and buy a big roll of bubble wrap and start wrapping everything at grandma's house to protect your little one, but there are some big safety things that you should make sure to go over with your parents, especially if this is there first grand baby. A lot of things are the same as when you were little or common sense, but some things have changed with baby gear and guidelines over the years that it is important to note.
1. Car Seat Installation - If your baby is going to be riding in a car with another adult, they need to know how to properly install and use the seat. Up to 84% of carseats are used incorrectly. Teach your parents the correct angle of the seat and tightness of the seat belt. One big item that often gets overlooked is to make sure that the chest clip is at chest level every time. Car seats have changed a lot over the years so a refresher can be really helpful. If you aren't sure that your seat is installed correctly head over to this site to find a place your seat can be inspected. Also, new guidelines recommend keeping babies rear fast until at LEAST two.
2. Heavy furniture is secured - It is always best to have heavy furniture bolted to the wall, but especially with a baby in the house. There are devastating stories of bookcases and dresser falling over on little ones, so it is a good thing to make sure.
3. Chemicals are locked away. Make sure the cleaning cupboard isn't accessible to little fingers. If you child is going to be spending a lot of time at grandma's it might be a good idea to bring them a cabinet lock. There are plenty of locks that take no installation and just cost a couple of bucks.
4. Safe Sleeping- The guidelines for sleeping have changed a lot over the years and I know many grandparents are used to putting little ones to sleep on their tummies. Make sure grandparents know that it is now recommended to put babies to sleep on their back with very little in the bed with them. It is best to dress the baby warm instead of adding blankets to the crib. Remember the ABCs of safe sleep (baby should be Alone, on their Back, in their Crib).
5. Tie up long cords on blinds. There is something about little babies and long cords that are attracted to each other. If baby is going to spend a lot of time at grandma's house, you might want to invest in cord shorteners. If baby is going to be there only intermittently just tie the cords up out of reach.
6. Food Timeline. When a baby starts solids is totally up to the parents. Just let your parents know what your plan is for food and hopefully they will stick to it. As the parent of a child with allergies, I know how important it can be to introduce foods slowly to gauge reactions. So make your parents aware of your plan so they know that one day they will be able to pump their sweet grand babies full of sugar, just not quite yet.
7. Beware of the baby and animals. Even a family pet who loves the baby can snap under the constant affection of a toddler. Make sure that an animal, even a sweet one is never left alone with a small baby. More than 100,000 babies are treated for dog bites every year, usually from a family pet that every one was comfortable with.
8. Baby Gates. Block stairs or use a baby gate when little ones are still figuring out how to maneuver on them.
9. Keep outside doors locked especially when you have pull down handles. Babies figure out how to open doors at a young age.
10. Outlet covers. I am pretty pro outlet covers. I have a scar on my hand from sticking a key in a light socket when I was a baby. Outlet covers are a simple and affordable way to protect curious little hands.
When it comes to babysitting, grandparents are my favorite option because they care just as much about your baby as you do. I think most grandparents are pretty aware of a lot of these things, but touching on them might make you feel better and prevent an accident. One thing I wish I had the first time I left my baby over night, and even nights at home is an Owlet Baby Monitor.
The Owlet Baby Monitor is the only baby monitor that uses hospital technology—pulse oximetry—designed to alert you if your baby stops breathing. A pulse oximeter is the little red light they clip on your figure at the hospital to measure heart rate and oxygen. This technology has been miniaturized into a tiny, snuggly baby sock that your little one wears to bed. It's totally wireless and connects via bluetooth to a base station and Wi-Fi to your smartphone so you can view live vitals.
Did you know that 3,500 babies pass away each year while sleeping? This is more than 10x the number of babies who passed away in a car last year. It is a very real fear the parents deal with. I remember my first night home from the hospital with our daughter I stayed up all night long because I was so worried about it. Owlet is designed to help parents proactively monitor their child while sleeping, with frequent notices on the child’s heart rate and oxygen, I wish it had existed when my daughter was a baby and if we have another little one, we will be getting one for sure. Enter to win your own Owlet below.
What tips would you add to this list?
Be sure to read what Shambray from Shambray: Live a Happy Life shares tomorrow.
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