Baby Safety Month
Bringing home a new baby can leave many parents feeling a bit anxious about how they plan to tackle balancing their baby’s needs and ensuring they’re creating a safe environment for their bundle of joy. Within weeks, your precious infant will become increasingly more mobile, from lifting his or her wobbly little head to rolling over. And there are countless milestones that’ll follow, like sitting up and crawling. But the sight of your on-the-go baby may send you into a tizzy and that can have you running to the nearest hardware store to begin baby-proofing the house!
September is Baby Safety Month, sponsored by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA.) For a closer look at the top ten hidden hazards that may be lurking in your home, check out the Baby Safety Zone website.
In the meantime, here are a few must-have safety devices you’ll want to pick up pronto:
Much like our little ones, baby gates come in different shapes and sizes. To avoid running safety gear back to the store for a refund, take a few minutes to measure the area you’re going to section off. While you’re at it, why not measure your child? The gate should stand about three quarters of your baby’s height. Don’t underestimate the agility of your active baby. By getting the height right, it’s less likely your child will be able to climb over the gate once it’s mounted. Depending on the size of your space and whether you’re dealing with a wall-to-wall area or a more challenging spot like the top of the stairs, you’ll have to decide which type of gate is best; gates that require hardware or pressure mounted ones. Pressure mounted baby gates are ideal for moving them to another location and they’re easier to set up and take down. But the downside is your baby may be able to push it over if it’s not installed correctly. Let’s face it parents: babies love climbing stairs. Most learn to climb them soon after they learn how to walk, while some are at it before they’re standing on two feet — as early as about nine months (my first born certainly did!) So be sure to buy a gate that not only fits the space at the top and bottom of your stairs, but also one that opens easily like a swing gate.
Soon after becoming a parent, you might be inundated with unsolicited baby advice. You know — the kind you’ll want to grimace over, but manage to respond with a half-smile instead. As a parent of two, I’ve listened to what seems like every bit of advice from everyone, from how I should put my babies to sleep, to where they should sleep, to when. While it’s important to stay in tune with your parental instincts, it’s also worth looking at some vital information on how you can ensure your baby is sleeping in a safe environment. After all, newborns spend more time logging z’s than they are awake.
The Public Health Agency of Canada promotes safe sleep practices like ensuring your home is smoke-free, placing your baby on his or her back during nap and night time, and tossing any pillows, comforters or bumper pads during infancy.
The information about car seats might seem overwhelming when it comes to brand, price variation and safety rating. Choosing the right seat for your child depending on his or her age is paramount. Most infant seats can and should be used in the rear-facing position for as long as possible — usually up to 22 pounds and at least
12 months old. Both my children hovered around the 50th percentile for weight and height, so my husband and I chose to leave them rear-facing until they exceeded the
22 pound mark.
While many children enjoy the view even more once they’ve graduated to a forward-facing car seat, they’ll need to stay put until they exceed the maximum weight and height (over 40 pounds and 40 inches tall is the standard) before getting the green light to move into a booster seat.
If you aren’t familiar with The Canadian Mothers’ Resource, it’s an extremely useful initiative that provides new and expecting Canadian parents with information on everything from pregnancy planning to playground etiquette. It also provides access to great partners offering everything from samples to contest entries and more. For key tips on correctly installing car seats (by their VIB Car Seat Safety expert, Wendy(@mapsgirl), and a closer look at the provincial child car seat, booster seat requirements and more, check out TheCMR.com today.