Baby safety mistakes are more common than you think and there's nothing to be ashamed of. Our children come with an enormous list of do’s and don’ts.
From searching for the best breastfeeding tips, putting the baby down for a nap in the right way, to never taking your hands off them -when they’re on any high surfaces-; the list of safety rules for your little one can seem endless. Well, if you thought it was already a very long list, we have news for you: it gets even longer!
Here are some common baby safety mistakes that even the most informed parents may be making, and we've included a few solution suggestions to give you a hand:
Using Aftermarket Car Seat Accessories
Car seats are safety tested without aftermarket accessories like head supports, strap covers, and snapped-on toys. These items are cute and useful but could alter the seat's safety and interfere with how the seat performs during an accident. Our advice is: Don’t fall into temptation unless they’re available from the seat’s manufacturer.
Be safe during the winter too; make sure any fluffy or bulky blankets or items are placed on top of the car seat straps and away from your baby’s face.
Letting Baby Sleep in the Swing
If your little one falls asleep in another place other than their crib, you should move them as soon as possible. Babies sleeping in a semi-upright position may fall against restraining straps, or worse, their heads may roll forward as they relax, restricting their ability to breathe. Our advice is: Don’t let your baby sleep in swings, strollers, car seats, bouncers, or any other assisted-sitting device.
Failing to Set the Stroller Brake
The brake on your stroller should be engaged whenever your hands aren’t on the push bar. Set the brake whenever you’re:
- Stowing away or retrieving something from the stroller’s lower basket or storage pockets.
- Getting your baby into or out of the stroller.
- Rearranging your baby or other items.
- Not actively pushing the stroller.
- Otherwise engaged in busy public areas like stores (even taking a moment to pull something off the rack and look at it).
Our advice: Setting the brake averts problems with someone bumping into the stroller and causing it to roll, possibly into a dangerous situation like off the curb or into traffic.
Snacking on the Go
Choking can happen in an instant, and it can be tough to detect if a baby is in a rear-facing car seat. Choking is also often a quiet affair, so you may not even know there’s a problem until it’s too late. If you must provide snacks and drinks in the car, use a soft silicone straw in a plastic covered cup (hard cups and stiff straws can be dangerous in some situations). Our advice: Choose snacks that quickly “melt away” in the mouth.
Co-Sleeping and Breastfeeding Tips
As a breastfeeding mom, it’s tempting to bring the baby to bed to nurse while you doze. Keep breastfeeding out of bed by having a convenient and comfortable place for midnight nursing sessions.
Other breastfeeding tips include:
- Using a nursing pillow to elevate and support the baby.
- Keeping water and small snacks nearby.
- Ensuring that your baby’s nose remains unobstructed during nursing.
- Avoiding foods that make you gassy; they can result in a gassy baby, too!
Keeping Baby Safe from Sun
Covering the stroller or car seat to keep your baby out of the sun can actually result in higher temperatures under the blanket, that could possibly overheat your baby. Our advice: Stay indoors on overly warm days, use an attachable umbrella for strollers, or choose a model with a built-in canopy for the safest sun protection.
Playing in the Park
Little feet and tiny shoes can easily get stuck on slides when you’re going down together and may result in broken bones for your child. Our advice: If your little one isn’t ready to go alone on the slide, don’t go tandem. Be patient; they’ll be big enough soon.