September is Baby Safety Month, which just so happens to coincide with our anxious wait for the arrival of our first child…how fitting! Leading up to September has been a fun and strange combination of gearing up while also paring down. We got the cute outfits, figured out how to execute the perfect “swaddle” and made room in order to create a cozy nursery. But just as important, we focused our energies on making our home safe for our little man.
First things first, my husband, JP, and I knocked out the easiest steps: checking our carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm to ensure they were both in working order. Check! (Admittedly, creating and crossing off checklists became a serious sport for me during this time. It also perhaps gave me an inflated sense of accomplishment, which explains the exclamation points.)
After we got our crib—in 7,000 little pieces/husband not enthused—we assembled it and then made sure to make it a safe sleeping environment for baby. As tempting as it was to fill it with cute stuffed animals, a chic bumper and a bunch of sanity-saving accessories, those items have no place in a baby’s crib. Simplicity is the name of the game here: a firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is really all you need. Check!
Next up was our car seat. Being a Safe Kids employee doesn’t grant me immunity from an improperly installed car seat. In fact, 73% of car seats are not used or installed correctly. That’s why we made sure to review car seat safety guidelines and check out a local car seat check up event to ensure we’re safely transporting our bambino. Check!
Even though our baby won’t be eating solid foods for awhile, it’s never too early to think about choking prevention , too. Children under 5 should not be given foods that are small, round or hard (think hot dog pieces, cheese sticks or chunks, hard candy, nuts, grapes, marshmallows or popcorn). These food items can put your child at risk for a choking episode. And while we’re on the subject, it’s a great idea to sign up for a CPR class as a new—or repeat—parent as well. The more peace of mind, the better. Check!
As a soon-to-be new parent, I can attest that taking these preventative steps has been fairly simple but also has provided JP and me with a sense of confidence and calm. I know that we can’t control everything that may or can happen to our little guy. All those bumps, bruises and crazy little things that you can’t predict are part of growing up, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. But I also know that if you have the knowledge and tools to reduce serious risk, than why not check it off the list?