When you bring your new baby home for the first time, your little one depends on you for everything they need. Life can seem scary when your bundle of joy’s safety is totally on your shoulders. But you prepped for this, took the classes, listened to your parents and your friends who are parents – you’ve got this! Don’t become so overwhelmed with worry about your little one’s safety that you forget to enjoy the amazing ride that parenthood is. Our friends at JPMA are all about promoting infant safety and ensuring you’re using the right products. Here are 12 baby safety tips to remember so you can focus on the joys of parenting.
1. Always keep a close eye on your little one’s growth and development. Once they’ve outgrown the physical or developmental limits set by the manufacturer for a product, it’s time to stop using it
2. Your little will want to explore their new world through all five senses – touch, smell, sight, sounds, and taste. Keep anything potentially unsafe for baby out of their reach or secured. Think: window blind cords, cleaning supplies, uncovered outlets, and more.
3. Be wary of secondhand products. Buying brand new isn’t within every parent’s budget, so if you’re accepting hand-me-downs, make sure nothing is broken, the product hasn’t been recalled, and you have all the parts.
4. Keeping your LO rear-facing in their car seat until they reach the maximum rear-facing weight or height as stated in the manual is best practice. Once they pass the weight or height, they can be switched to forward-facing mode in a five-point harness.
5. Always follow the instructions laid out in your car seat’s manual and your state’s car seat laws.
6. Stop using a car seat if it has been in an accident, no matter how minor–or if the seat has expired.
7. Don’t leave baby in the car. In warm climates, the temperature in your car can rise 40 degrees in just 30 minutes. Keep something you need in the back seat to remind you to check for baby before leaving the car.
8. Bring infant car seat on airplanes. Despite their name, car seats aren’t just for cars. Make airplane rides safer (and easier for you) by bringing along your infant car seat to keep baby safe while up in the air. (Hint: All Maxi-Cosi infant car seats are FAA approved for use on an airplane.)
9. Don’t hang things on the canopy or handlebar. It might seem like a convenient place to keep your purse or shopping bags, but the added weight can make the stroller unbalanced and tip over. Make use of the storage basket at the bottom of the stroller for your essentials.
10. Avoid putting hot liquids in the cupholder. Your hot coffee might be essential to your morning routine, but the roads can be bumpy and can cause unwanted splashes or spills.
11. Buckle up whenever you’re on the move! Using the harness system can prevent injury from falling or sliding out – make sure to check periodically that the harness is secure.
12. Avoid placing entertainment products like infant swings, bouncers, rockers, or activity centers on soft surfaces like the bed or sofa. Flat, sturdy surfaces prevent them from tipping or malfunctioning.
13. Follow manufacturer’s age/height/weight limits for products. Some products, like activity centers, rockers, and bassinets, have restrictions based on your LO’s development so watch out for any sudden milestones and stop using once they’ve passed any limits.
14. Only let baby sleep in products meant for sleeping. While they might look adorable nodding off in their high chair or car seat, transfer baby to a crib or bassinet as soon as you can once the sleepies hit.
15. The safest way for baby to sleep is without anything else in the crib or bassinet. Avoid toys, blankets, pacifiers, and other items that could pose a risk to your sleeping angel.