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5 Ways to Protect Your Baby From Common Safety Hazards

5 Ways to Protect Your Baby From Common Safety Hazards

Becoming a parent surely is one of the absolute highlights of the human experience. Your world starts revolving around your newly-formed family and the happiness that you feel during this time of your life is immense.

Having this in mind, you certainly wouldn’t do anything to compromise this situation, so one of the main things to think about is the security and well-being of your newborn. Keeping your baby safe is a challenging job, no doubt about it.

There are many different child safety hazards, and most parents tend to overlook some potentially dangerous situations. Inside or outside of your home, you can never be too cautious. I am not trying to make you paranoid or fearful, just more aware of these harmful possibilities.

Don’t get too stressed about this; I assure you that peace of mind is possible and that your parenting ‘career’ will be even more joyful by taking care of the following hazards.

Here are a few potential dangers that you’ll face during the growth of your baby and simple, yet effective solutions for them.

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1. Choking and suffocation

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    Image Credit: Caitlin Regan, Flickr

    Many parents will put this hazard as one of the first that come to mind when the baby comes, so we simply had to address it. There are many occasions where your child can start choking, and many young moms are on alert from the day one. The small objects, feeding, sleeping, all can potentially interrupt the infant’s breathing and create an unpleasant situation.

    If possible, avoid any toys that might have small parts that can be detachable, or possible to get ripped out by the child. We’re talking eyes, buttons, gears, wheels, and screws.

    While feeding, try to be extra careful and put small portions into baby’s mouth. Provide a comfortable feeding position to your child, ideally rocked in a fine nursery glider chair. It will help you during feeding and sleepless nights. Develop a habit of using it, as it will benefit you greatly, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

    Sleeping – don’t put your baby to sleep on the stomach. Sudden infant death syndrome might occur if your child sleeps like this. Remember not to sleep with your child, no matter how cautious you think you are. Both the surface of your bed and your possible movements during sleep can harm the baby.

    2. Homes of friends who don’t have children

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      Image Credit: Josh Engroff, Flickr

      Being a new parent doesn’t mean that you are not going to socialize or visit your friends anymore. The chances are that some of your single or even married friends don’t have kids; you should know that their homes aren’t as baby-proof as yours. This means that your toddler’s safety might be compromised if you let them roam freely around this new environment.

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      So, what can you do to keep the baby secure so you can enjoy a chat and a cup of coffee with your friend carefree?

      Besides keeping your child near you all the time, the best solution is to set up a play yard because this will limit your baby’s moving space. To keep them entertained, throw in their favorite toys and some snacks in there. You can buy a foldable play yard and bring it along with you, or just leave it at your friend’s place if you visit there often.

      3. Crowded places

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        Image Credit: Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr

        Busy places like malls are always full of attractions and interesting stuff your toddler will most certainly like to explore. When they learn to walk, children enjoy discovering things; this is where they can get in trouble, injured, or lost. You don’t want to go through the stress having a lost child wandering the mall.

        To handle this situation without going bonkers, you can make small cards with information about the toddler yourself, and your cell phone number. Attach this card to the child’s clothing at a visible place, so if it gets lost anyone can contact you.

        Some moms go a step further and use harnesses which can draw some unwanted looks and judgment, but it is ok. Children can be quite active and full of energy so maintaining the constant supervision is sometimes hard. Opinions on this option are divided, and you can use it on your terms – if you think it’s good, use it. If not, don’t. Simple as that.

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        4. Transportation

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          Image Credit: Intel Free Press, Flickr

          For safe drives with your toddler, installing a baby car seat is a must. The problem happens when people set up the seat front-facing, which means turned towards the windshield. Why is this a mistake?

          Well, everyone should be aware that the small child’s spine and ligaments are still developing, and their heads are still large in proportion to their bodies which makes their stability low. A solution which can provide suitable support is to put the seat rear-facing.

          In a case of a car accident, research has shown that setting up the seat this way will reduce the chance of injuries up to five times, for children of two years or younger. Even when your kids grow older than two, it is still a good idea to keep them facing the back seat. Make sure that you learn more about car seat safety, and drive with a cool head afterward.

          One of the big problems in this area arises when the child learns to unbuckle the harness by itself. During this stage, you need to teach the child the basics of safety by either adding reward system or putting some educational cartoons for the child’s attention.

          5. Bathing

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            Image Credit: Dean Wissing, Flickr

            Did you know that infants can drown in the water two-inch deep? A lot of cases of drowning were reported in the past years, with not caring as the main reason for this horrific fact.

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            To avoid this, manufacturers came up with the idea to build and sell infant bath seats, which can help in the process, keeping the baby secured and unable to move. Unfortunately, these proved to be not so reliable, as the suction cups on the bottom tend to detach, trapping the baby underwater.

            The simplest solution is – never to leave your baby unattended, especially during bath time. The most common scenario that happens is that parent forgets something necessary for the baby’s bath time and thinks “I’ll just run to get that quick, nothing’s going to happen.

            Don’t do this. Be prepared in advance to prevent this scenario from happening. Have everything necessary for the baby bath near and ready before you start.

            Don’t forget to babyproof your tub with a rubber mat. When your infant is old enough to stand, never allow her to stand in the tub.

            Safety first

            Having a toddler can be stressful sometimes, yet it brings the biggest joy in a lifetime. We can never be too safe, but on the other hand, if we take care enough, our lives can be pretty great.

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            Dejan Kvrgic

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            Last Updated on August 22, 2019

            14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

            14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

            According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 27% of children under the age of 18 are living with a single parent.[1] That’s over 1/4th of the U.S. population.There is a common misconception that children who grow up in single parent homes are not as successful as children living in two-parent homes.

            One crucial detail that was often left out of studies when comparing single and two-parent homes was the stability of the household. There is a correlation between family structure and family stability, but this study shows that children who grow up in stable single-parent homes do as well as those in married households in terms of academic abilities and behavior.

            But providing stability is easier said than done. With only one adult to act as a parent, some tasks are inherently more challenging. However, there are a few helpful things you can do to make the parenting journey a little easier for yourself and stay sane while doing it.

            1. Don’t Neglect Self-Care

            Before anything else can be done, you must be caring for your own needs adequately. Only when you are feeling well-rested and healthy can you be at your best for your children.

            Many parents tend to put their kids’ needs first and their owns last, but that will result in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy. Make time to eat regularly and healthfully, get plenty of rest, and squeeze in exercise whenever you can. Even a short walk around the neighborhood will help your body get much-needed movement and fresh air.

            Your children depend on you, and it’s up to you to make sure that you are well-equipped and ready to take on that responsibility.

            2. Join Forces with Other Single Parents

            At times, it may seem like you’re the only person who knows what it’s like to be a single parent. However, the statistics say that there are many others who know exactly what you’re going through.

            Find single parents locally, through your kid’s school, extracurricular activities, or even an app. There are also numerous online communities that can offer support and advice, through Facebook or sites like Single Mom Nation.

            Although single moms make up the majority of single parents, there are more than 2.6 million single dads in the U.S. A great way to connect is through Meetup. Other single parents will more than happy to arrange babysitting swaps, playdates, and carpools.

            Join forces in order to form mutually beneficial relationships.

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            3. Build a Community

            In addition to finding support with other single parents, also build a community comprised of families of all different types. Rather than focus solely on the single parent aspect of your identity, look for parents and kids who share other things in common.

            Join a playgroup, get plugged in at a church, or get to know the parents of the kids involved in the same extracurricular activities. Having a community of a variety of people and families will bring diversity and excitement into your and your kids’ lives.

            4. Accept Help

            Don’t try to be a superhero and do it all yourself. There are probably people in your life who care about you and your kids and want to help you. Let them know what types of things would be most appreciated, whether it’s bringing meals once a week, helping with rides to school, or giving you time to yourself.

            There is no shame in asking for help and accepting assistance from loved ones. You will not be perceived as weak or incompetent. You are being a good parent by being resourceful and allowing others to give you a much-needed break.

            5. Get Creative with Childcare

            Raising a child on a single income is a challenge, with the high cost of daycares, nannies, and other conventional childcare services. More affordable options are possible if you go a less traditional route.

            If you have space and live in a college town, offer a college student housing in exchange for regular childcare. Or swap kids with other single parents so that your kids have friends to play with while the parents get time to themselves.

            When I was younger, my parents had a group of five family friends, and all of the children would rotate to a different house each day of the week, during the summer months. The kids would have a great time playing with each other, and the parents’ job becomes a lot easier. That’s what you would call a win-win situation.

            6. Plan Ahead for Emergencies

            As a single parent, a backup plan or two is a must in emergency situations. Make a list of people you know you can call in a moment’s notice. There will be times in which you need help, and it’s important to know ahead of time who you can rely on.

            Look into whether or not your area offers emergency babysitting services or a drop-in daycare. Knowing who will be able to care for your child in the event of an emergency can relieve one potential source of anxiety in stressful situations.

            7. Create a Routine

            Routines are crucial for young children because knowing what to expect gives them a semblance of control. This is even more important when in a single parent home.

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            If the child travels between homes or has multiple caretakers, life can seem extremely chaotic and unpredictable. Establish a routine and schedule for your child as much as possible. This can include bedtime, before/after school, chores, meal times, and even a weekend routine.

            Having a routine does not mean things cannot change. It is merely a default schedule to fall back on when no additional events or activities are going on. When your children know what to expect, they will be less resistant because they know what to expect, and days will run much more smoothly.

            8. Be Consistent with Rules and Discipline

            If your child has multiple caretakers, such as another parent, grandparent, or babysitter, communicate clearly on how discipline will be handled. Talk to your ex, if you are sharing custody, as well as any other caretakers about the rules and the agreed-upon approach to discipline.

            When a child realizes that certain rules can be bent with certain people, he/she will use it to their advantage, causing additional issues with limits, behavior, and discipline down the road.

            This article may help you to discipline your child better:

            How to Discipline a Child (The Complete Guide for Different Ages)

            9. Stay Positive

            Everyone has heard the saying, “Mind over matter.” But there really is so much power behind your mentality. It can change your perspective and make a difficult situation so much better.

            Your kids will be able to detect even the smallest shift in your attitude. When the responsibilities of motherhood are overwhelming, stay focused on the positive things in your life, such as your friends and family. This will produce a much more stable home environment.

            Maintain your sense of humor and don’t be afraid to be silly. Look towards the future and the great things that are still to come for you and your family. Rediscover and redefine your family values.

            10. Move Past the Guilt

            In a single parent home, it is impossible to act as both parents, regardless of how hard you try. Let go of the things that you cannot do as a single parent, and instead, think of the great things you ARE able to provide for your children.

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            Leave behind the notion that life would be easier or better with two parents. This is simply not true. There is a multitude of pros and cons to all family dynamics, and the one you are providing for your kids now is the one that they need.

            Don’t get bogged down by guilt or regret. Take control of your life and be the best parent you can by being present and engaged with them on a daily basis.

            11. Answer Questions Honestly

            Your kids may have questions about why their home situation is different from many of their friends. When asked, don’t sugarcoat the situation or give them an answer that is not accurate.

            Depending on their age, take this opportunity to explain the truth of what happened and how the current circumstances came about. Not all families have two parents, whether that is due to divorce, death, or whatever else life brings.

            Don’t give more detail than necessary or talk badly about the other parent. But strive to be truthful and honest. Your children will benefit more from your candor than a made-up story.

            12. Treat Kids Like Kids

            In the absence of a partner, it can be tempting to rely on your children for comfort, companionship, or sympathy. But your kids are not equipped to play this role for you.

            There are many details within an adult relationship that children are not able to understand or process, and it will only cause confusion and resentment.

            Do not take out your anger on your kids. Separate your emotional needs from your role as a mother. If you find yourself depending on your kids too much, look for adult friends or family members that you can talk to about your issues.

            13. Find Role Models

            Find positive role models of the opposite sex for your child. It’s crucial that your child does not form negative associations with an entire gender of people.

            Find close friends or family members that would be willing to spend one-on-one time with your kids. Encourage them to form meaningful relationships with people that you trust and that they can look up to.

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            Role models can make a huge difference in the path that a child decides to take, so be intentional about the ones that you put in your kids’ lives.

            14. Be Affectionate and Give Praise

            Your children need your affection and praise on a daily basis. Engage with your kids as often as possible by playing with them, going on outings, and encouraging open dialogue.

            Affirm them in the things that they are doing well, no matter how small. Praise their efforts, rather than their achievements. This will inspire them to continue to put forth hard work and not give up when success is not achieved.

            Rather than spending money on gifts, spend time and effort in making lasting memories.

            Final Thoughts

            Being a single parent is a challenging responsibility to take on. Without the help of a partner to fall back on, single parents have a lot more to take on.

            However, studies show that growing up in a single parent home does not have a negative effect on achievement in school. As long as the family is a stable and safe environment, kids are able to excel and do well in life.

            Use these tips in order to be a reliable and capable parent for your kids, while maintaining your own well-being and sanity.

            More Resources About Parenting

            Featured photo credit: Eye for Ebony via unsplash.com

            Reference

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