Do you know we have an inbuilt baby manual?
We all feel its hard work having a baby when we don’t have one and wonder how we will cope when we do but as soon as we have one, boom! We just know the right things to do and we have a series of dictations from nurses, friends, neighbors, colleagues not to mention family. They act as if they had the baby with us lol.
We actually know the basics; put baby to sleep on his back to avoid cot death, never leave them unattended when they start to crawl or walk, keep anything poisonous far away even/especially drugs, don’t keep loose beddings or too much stuffed toys/teddy’s in the crib, mix his bathwater putting the cold water in first and not the hot water, test the temperature of his bottle food with the back of your hands before feeding, e.t.c. The list goes on but there are some mistakes we make unconsciously that we need to take note of like;
Mistake 1: Covering the stroller or baby on your back to protect them from the sun
It is dangerous to cover your baby up in his stroller or when on you back (even front) due to the poor air circulation. Even the thinnest blanket reduces air circulation. I know you are trying to protect your baby from the scrounging sun but it is not a safe way to go.
The temperature can get dangerously high and babies overheat in a much shorter time than we adults so you might risk your baby having heatstroke, suffocation, and even SIDS.
Another baffling thing I noticed amongst Nigerian mothers is covering their baby with just a blanket when it is raining. This is dangerous too. You are better off with an umbrella in both cases or get a stroller that has a canopy.
Do check on your baby regularly for signs of discomfort.
My advice: don’t take them out when it is raining or it is scrounging hot.
Mistake 2: Leaving Baby to sleep in their car seat or swing
We are always happy when our baby falls asleep and try not to wake them up or interrupt them in any way: you feel me? We also do this when they are sleeping in their car seat or swing. This is dangerous.
I read on a blog that a study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics in the year 2015, found that allowing infants and children up to 2 years of age sleep in so-called “sitting devices” can lead to injury or death.
When a baby sleeps in a car seat or swing/bouncer, his/her head can fall forward, which can block air passage and stop them from breathing. Also, they can get strangled by the straps, says Katie McPeak, M.D., medical director of primary care at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
This is also why it is important to learn how to properly buckle them to the car seat and, the car to avoid any injury. Also, never use head support if it did not come with the car seat. I know we are tempted sometimes to use the blanket or shawl but it can be dangerous too. You can’t pay attention to your driving and also to your baby at the back of the car.
So anytime they fall asleep, take them out of the seat and put them in their crib – when they fall asleep in the bouncer, swing, sling, or stroller. If in the car seat, get home quickly and do the same.
My advice: Do not leave your baby unattended in the back seat. If you are driving, get someone to seat by baby if you can’t, take a cab.
Mistake 3: Leaving your toddler’s to walk unassisted
It is dangerous to let your toddler walk alone. It gives us freedom and we sure love to see their happy faces as they run down the street but it is dangerous as you might get to them too late when they run pass a bend and a fast-moving vehicle comes along. Even a bike or a three-wheeler can prove dangerous for a toddler.
Some of them might run too fast and trip on a stone, bruising their knees and palms while at it. They also will probably run into a wild animal or into a pole.
You know toddlers can run so fast, sometimes faster than we are.
It is best to hold their hands and don’t give in to their tears.
My advice: take them in their stroller or get the
Mistake 4: Giving your child a snack or drink on the go
We get it, you don’t need a cry baby during car rides so you stuff them with some snacks and a sippy cup filled with their favorite drinks. However, this is dangerous as your baby could choke and before you notice via the rear mirror, it might be too late as choking typically has no sound.
It won’t be easy for you to pull over in the middle of the road and attend to your baby, you risk an accident to if you try to maneuver to the side and pack out of panic.
Another accident that could happen is you entering a bump or pressing the brakes are the straw or sip cup bruises baby’s face. It can even puncture a baby’s eye.
So it is safer to feed baby before a ride or pull over as soon as you notice baby needs a meal or a drink so you can feed her/him.
My Advice: get someone to sit with baby so they can feed baby, cuddle a baby or just take a cab and be with your baby
Mistake 5: Allowing your toddler “greet” dogs
Little kids aren’t afraid of animals in short, they tend to love them. I have noticed this with my toddler. Twice he has greeted dogs bigger than him while I stood away in fear (one belonged to my friend and the other, my sister).
So don’t be shock when your toddler sees a cute dog and his or her first instinct may be to run up and give the dog a rub or hug. This is not a good idea cause for one, your child may be allergic to furs. Another is that the dog might have an infection or disease that is contagious. Some dogs might perceive your child’s movement as a threat, and things could get dicey so fast.
It is important that you teach your child early enough that s/he must ask permission before playing with any animal/pet. Let them also know that you need to ask the owner about the dog and how it loves to be approached so as to avoid any threat. Also, teach your child to say thank you to the owner and goodbye to the dog.
My advice: keep your child away from any pet that you have no relationship with the owner to avoid stories that touch
It is always fun to go out with our babies, show them to the world but we must understand that as parents, it is our duty to ensure our children are safe in and outside our homes.
Do share and comment on other safety measures you think we should take note of when out with our babies or toddlers.