The most important thing we can do as parents and caregivers is to keep our little ones safe. That’s why every September – the ninth month of the year! – is given over to Baby Safety Month. The campaign was born in 1983 to educate everyone, from parents and grandparents to childminders and sitters, on keeping babies safe.
Set up by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), it was first known as Expectant Mother’s Day, when its aim was to highlight the best baby products and how to use them. Now, JPMA sponsors the event to cultivate a wider baby safety culture. Here, PishPosh Baby has gathered together some top tips on keeping your baby safe, whether you’re in the car, at home or out and about.
On The Road: Car Safety Tips
Riding in the car with your baby can be an overwhelming experience at the best of times! We have a few ideas to make car journeys less stressful.
- Buy a car seat from a reputable manufacturer. Read our Car Seat Buying Guide: How To Choose The Right Car Seat to pick the right one for your family.
- Install it properly, or get us to do it for you. We’re registered and trained Child Passenger Safety Practitioners.
- Don’t purchase a second-hand car seat – it may not be up to date or be damaged from a previous accident.
- Your baby should ride rear-facing until they’re two or reach the advised maximum rear-facing weight or height.
- Register your car seat in case it’s recalled for safety reasons.
At Home: Nursery And Household Safety Tips
Your home is a sanctuary for your baby. But as your little one grows, even the most ordinary household objects can pose a threat to those adventurous kiddos who can roll, grab or toddle. This Baby Safety Month, follow these guidelines to make your living space safe and secure. Need more details? We go through tips for each room in our How to Babyproof Your Nursery & Your Home guide.
- First, think like a baby! Get down on your hands and knees to help you to spot any danger zones.
- Keep an eye on your tot at all times (when they’re awake!). Never leave them unattended.
- Put locks and latches on cabinets in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room.
- Place chemicals and medicines up out of reach.
- If you have stairs, install safety gates.
- Pop sliding outlet covers on electrical sockets to stop inquisitive little fingers.
- Hang up blind cords as they could be a strangulation hazard.
Out And About: Stroller and Outdoors Safety Tips
A stroller is a must for every parent and caregiver who wants to get out and stay active with their little one. Here’s what we recommend to stay safe while exploring the great outdoors (even if you’re just popping to the store!).
- Make sure you have the right stroller for your baby’s age. Head to our Comprehensive Guide to Baby Strollers to learn more.
- Don’t exceed the stroller’s weight limit. This can make it unstable.
- Stay close – never leave your stroller unattended. It could roll away or get too hot.
- Be careful while folding your stroller up – little fingers can easily get trapped.
- Ensure you can fold and unfold your stroller correctly so it doesn’t collapse while in use.
- Like the car seat, register your stroller with the manufacturer in case of recalls.
Mealtimes: Feeding Safety Tips
Enjoying food is one of life’s biggest pleasures. While your baby gets used to mealtimes, however, there are a few hazards to watch out for.
- If you’re bottle feeding, never warm milk in the microwave. Place the bottle in a container of warm water instead.
- Discard any breastmilk or formula that hasn’t been consumed within an hour.
- Clean and sterilize teats and bottles regularly. Make it more fun with this cacti bottle cleaning set!
- If you’re weaning, cut up and quarter small, firm foods like cherry tomatoes, grapes and chunks of raw veg.
- Cook meat well and chop into small pieces.
- Spread a thin layer of sticky foods, like nut butter, on to a rice cake rather than offering a spoonful from the jar.
- Always watch your baby when they’re eating.
- Encourage your tot to take their time, chew their food well and eat slowly. Try to keep them sat still while they eat as running around could lead to choking.
Splash Down: Bathtime Safety Tips
- Prevent scalds by turning your hot water heater down to 120°F or lower. Check the water temperature with your own hand first.
- Never leave your baby unattended in the tub. Prepare all your kit (toys, towel and diapers) in advance.
- Make bathing your newborn easier with a secure support (see below).
- If your little one is more active, place a non-slip mat in the tub.
Bedtime: Safe Sleeping Tips
What about bedtime? Creating a safe sleep environment for your baby is so important for ensuring their early years are happy and healthy. Follow these essential guidelines for safe sleep in those early months:
- Always lay your baby to sleep on their back. It can reduce the risk of SIDS by six times compared with them sleeping on their stomachs.
- Sharing a room with your baby for at least the first six months can halve the risk of SIDS. Give them their own safe, clear space near your bed so you can easily get up and tend to them at night.
- Use a flat firm mattress that is designed to be used with your specific crib, cot or bassinet. Avoid pillows, bumpers and soft toys. Instead use a fitted sheet and adjustable swaddle blanket or baby sleep sack to keep your little one safe and cosy whilst they snooze.
Read our Safe Sleep Guide For Babies for more helpful advice about keeping your little one safe at nap time and night time.