Keeping your baby safe is one of the top priorities for any parent. But where do you start? There are a whole load of different rules and regulations about what is considered safe these days but let’s start with some basics to help keep your little angels safe.
Keep the cot clear of clutter
While it might be tempting to have a beautiful cot bumper and all of those new toys that people have gifted your new baby, less is always more when it comes to the cots. There have been so many children die as a result of cot bumpers and clutter in the crib, I don’t even want to think about it. When it comes to the crib, keep it simple. Let your baby sleep on their back, use a baby sleeping bag that they can’t get tangled in, and use a tight fitting mattress so that your baby doesn’t roll between the mattress and cot. Having anything else in the rib will greatly increase the chance of your baby not making it through the night.
Keep things out of kids reach
Once your little one is up on their feet, they can get into anything. The problem with this is that they are into everything. During the first few years, most exploring is done with the mouth. This means that everything, including medicines, cleaning products, and poisons could end up shoved in that little mouth. Keep anything that might be harmful to your child out of their reach by putting them up high or using cupboard locks to keep them out. But this also extends to small objects like coins and things they could easily choke on.
Car seats are a must
I don’t know what part of the world you are from but in the UK children are legally required to travel in the appropriate car seat for their age and weight. And while it might be exciting to see them move up into the bigger seat, don’t do it until they are supposed to. the rules keep changing around car seats so always keep an eye on what the current rules are. But if you think that they aren’t worth it because your mum never put you in one, car seats have reduced infant deaths in car crashes by around 70% since they were first introduced.
Keep an eye on them
You would be surprised what mischief your little one can get into when you aren’t watching them. As a toddler, they will be into everything, but as they grow they will need a different type of supervision. Learning how to monitor their online activity and what they are watching on TV is just as important as watching them through a baby monitor when they are little. It is best to start with open communication from a young age so that they know they can come and speak to you if something happens or that they understand why you keep an eye on them online.
Use a harness
Believe it or not, using a harness used to be a big taboo. At least it was 15 odd years ago when I had my eldest. Quite frankly I didn’t care, kids are slippery little suckers and some can escape out from your hand like a mini Houdini. Using a harness is great for a few reasons. First, it allows your little one some freedom without putting them in danger. Second, if they do decide to take off, you have the hold of them so they won’t get far. Third, this is a great exercise in trust for you and your child as you can teach them to behave and hold hands without putting them in danger. And fourth, if you are walking along and someone tries to snatch your child, they are not going to be as successful if you are only holding hands.
Teach them about stranger danger and the underwear rule
As cute as it is to watch this, stranger danger is a very big thing and we need to make our children aware of it. Is it a nice conversation to have? No, and it will probably scare them a bit but it’s better than them jumping into a van for some sweets. The same can be said about the underwear rule. Sexual abuse can happen to anyone and we need to teach our kids about the different types of touching long before we talk to them about puberty. It is one of the most empowering things we can do for our kids.