This post was originally published on March 20, 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
New parents often receive a flood of well-intentioned advice (and the occasional horror stories!). Most of the things you’ll read and hear are true…rest becomes a rare thing, you are exposed to more projectile bodily fluids than you can imagine, and you feel like someone shouldn’t have let you leave the hospital because you aren’t ready to do this on your own.
The good news is you’re not alone. Parenting is hard work, and there is always a lot to learn, so here are three practical, yet often overlooked, baby home safety tips for new parents:
Safety Tip #1: Set Baby Boundaries for Your Pets
Chances are your pet has been the center of your attention, but now with baby, it’s important to acclimate your pet to new sights, sounds, smells and routines.
Start by training your pet to respect boundaries around the baby’s nursery, crib, stroller, clothes, car seat, etc. Let your pet sniff and explore all of those things, but keep a couple of feet of distance at all times.
The famed dog trainer, Cesar Milan, has some tips on how to introduce your pet to the new addition to your family.
Safety Tip #2: Secure and Stabilize Top-Heavy Furniture
As your baby becomes more mobile, anything is up for grabs, literally.
Most parents tend to focus on electrical outlets, sharp edges, stairs, and swimming pools when going through their baby-proofing checklist. While these are important, what often gets overlooked are dressers, entertainment centers, floor lamps, and even heavy electronics like televisions. In fact, according to safekids.org, 15 children go to the ER every day because of a TV tip-over..
It is important to secure these items to studs in the wall or tie-down straps to make sure they aren’t at risk of tipping over and falling on your baby.
Safety Tip #3: Avoid Baby Distraction Driving
You often hear stories about accidents caused by people texting, or by fidgeting with the radio. Many forget to mention how distracting it is to have a baby screaming in the backseat.
While it’s unsettling to hear your baby cry, resist the urge to reach into that back seat to offer comfort. Taking your eyes off of the road even for a second can increase your risks for an accident. The National Safety Council estimates that drivers who are distracted can miss seeing up to 50% of their driving environments.
Pro tip: consider keeping a few toys in your cupholder. You can offer these to your baby without having to turn your head while driving.
For more tips about keeping your growing family secure, visit the “family” category of our blog. If you are interested in taking your security to the next level, build your own security system with our convenient tool.