September is National Baby Safety Month, so we here at KidGlue want to celebrate by listing the top 10 safety tips to keep our babies safe. After all, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for our babies, right? As a mom of three kids, these feel like common sense to me. Except for the fact that some of them were completely foreign concepts when my first child came along. So here’s a gift to you new moms reading and a reminder to those of us who are old hats at the mom game.
- Keep up with recalls. Register all your children’s products so that you can be notified in case of a recall, and subscribe to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall RSS feed for children’s products. We also list many of those right here on KidGlue.
- Get a standard crib. CPSC standards, that is. The easiest way to make sure your crib meets the newest safety standards is to look for JPMA certification.
- Strap down the furniture. Make sure dressers, bookcases, cabinets, and armoires are tethered to the wall. Anchor straps are easy to find and install and priceless when it comes to your baby’s safety. Zoe will pull up on that drawer sooner than you think.
- Get a wrap on cords. Gather up window covering cords with a twist tie up out of baby’s reach. Yes, I know the baby isn’t even walking yet, but you’ll be surprised when you turn around and Harry’s holding on to the window sill gnawing on the cord. Bundle up appliance cords, too. Hid them behind furniture if at all possible.
- Cover the outlets. It’s cute when Laila’s hair is so curly it looks like she stuck her finger in a light socket. It’s horrifying when she actually does stick her finger in the light socket. Outlet covers are another must-have in the home. With their minimal cost, there’s no reason not to have one in every unused outlet.
- Get down to baby’s level. Crawl around on the floor so you can see what will catch Evie’s attention and end up in her mouth. You’ll be surprised at what you find that you didn’t realize existed down there. Choking hazards are easier to come by than you think.
- Put up the plants.Yes, that aloe vera plant is wonderful for burns, but not for your little teether’s tummy. Ivy is gorgeous, as are mistletoe, poinsettias, and holly during the holidays, but all of them are toxic. Make sure you know which plants are poisonous, and if you do choose to have them in your home, make sure they are well out of Carter’s reach. Keep an eagle-eye out for fallen leaves, berries, and petals.
- Watch out for water. That big, round head holding Maisy’s big, round eyes is heavy. In fact, it makes babies top-heavy, which makes it very easy for her to fall down head first. It also makes it harder for her to get herself back upright. Keep the toilet lid down and the door to the bathroom shut. And of course, always keep at least one hand physically on her body while in or near water.
- Keep cabinets and chemicals baby proof. Yes, it’s adorable to see Levi playing with the pots and pans, but that doesn’t mean every cabinet should be open domain. My mom lost her sister as a baby when she got into the cabinet under the sink and drank drain cleaner. It still happens today. Keep chemicals up out of babies reach and put locks on all cabinets and drawers. If Levi likes to play with the pots and pans, designate one bottom drawer or cabinet that only has baby-safe items.
- Never underestimate your baby. Just because tiny little Claire barely lifts her legs today doesn’t mean she won’t magically jump off the bed tomorrow. Our son Brandon suddenly could roll both directions when he was determined to get an up-close view of our friends’ cat. Luckily, he was on the floor and we stopped him before he rolled into the sharp corner of the coffee table. Babies develop quickly to boot, but flukes of physical dexterity are not uncommon. Never assume that your baby won’t roll off the bed or pull something down on herself just because she hasn’t done it yet. Babies have a way of learning new tricks in the nanosecond our heads are turned.
Life with a baby is to be enjoyed, so we certainly don’t want to hamper the fun by making you paranoid. Following these tips will get all the terrified-parent stuff out of the way so you and baby can have a blast.