The safety of your baby should always be your top concern, whether during pregnancy or after birth. You attempt to keep your kid safe before childbirth by avoiding toxins that may come from what you consume. You might also want to avoid electronic gadgets like baby monitors that emit EMF radiation because long-term exposure might be harmful to your unborn child. For the first year of your baby’s life, you should be extra diligent in keeping him or her safe by following these safety standards below.
Safety in their Sleep
Infants (under 12 months) have a high risk of suffocation and SIDs, which as a parent you must take into account. There are several baby heartbeat monitors and breathing monitors on the market that can provide peace of mind. To decrease the chances of these problems occurring, there are certain measures that parents may take;
- Ensure your baby is sleeping on their back
- Make sure there are no other items in the baby’s sleep environment
- Get a firm crib mattress
When it comes to your baby’s bed, you need to make sure that it meets the current safety standards. There are different types of cribs but if you want something durable for everyday use, then we advise that you get a full-sized crib with drop side rail locks. For the first few months, your baby will be sleeping in a bassinet which can either come with or without wheels. Once they start to move on their own and pull themselves up, he or she might want to see what is going on around them and this is where the best baby playpen comes into play.
Safety Monitoring All the Time Using Baby Monitors
Whether it is an old-fashioned video monitor or a modern wireless model, make sure that the screen emits no radiation. Not only will this keep your child away from harmful rays but it is also the most basic rule of baby safety.
Baby monitors are not new. In 1937, the Lindberg baby kidnapping incident is credited as having inspired the invention of baby monitors as it gave parents the possibility of having an eye or ear on their baby at all times.
During pregnancy, it is best to keep your unborn child away from electronic items such as cell phones and other gadgets that emit EMF radiation because these might cause spontaneous abortion or abnormal growth.
Baby monitors enable you to view your baby (video monitors) or hear their audio (audio monitors) even when you are not next to your baby. Some allow you to monitor your baby within the house (non-wifi) and wifi-enabled monitors give you the ability to see or hear from your baby even when you are miles away. For wifi monitors, you’ll need a smartphone app.
Wondering if baby monitors are safe? Baby monitors can be hacked but are generally safe if used correctly. I would recommend non-wif baby monitors if you want 100% privacy, limiting the risk of hackers getting access to your baby’s video and audio feed. Non-wifi baby monitors use either FHSS or DECT technologies that cannot be hacked.
Wifi baby monitors use 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency bands but are static, unlike FHSS monitors that have their signals hopping from one sub-frequency to another during transit making it difficult to get access. If you want to get a wifi baby monitor, we recommend baby monitors with superior encryption, at least 128-bit with security protocols that would not allow easy access to the signal. We have a detailed guide on wifi vs non-wifi monitors here
If you have twins or want to monitor more than one baby, you can get baby monitors with dual cameras or those that are expandable. Expandable baby monitors support up to 4 cameras and relay the video feed onto the parent unit/screen. If you want to view all the video feeds from two or more cameras on the same screen, consider getting split-screen baby monitors.
An audio baby monitor is also a great option if you want a cheap sound-only monitor.
There are smart baby monitors that do more than give you the video and audio signal from your baby. Smart monitors can detect when a baby cries or can monitor the baby’s breathing or baby’s heartbeat and relay that to your smartphone. Others have sleep insights for you to check on your baby’s sleep.
Baby monitors can relay the signal (audio and video) throughout which may be annoying to some parents. If you want a baby monitor that goes into sleep mode when the baby is quietly asleep, voice-activated monitors are what you should get. VOX baby monitors emit less EMF radiation and consume less power compared to those that continually relay video and audio signals.
In 2021, smart home cameras are making their way into baby nurseries. If you want a monitor that is compatible with Google Home, Alexa Home, or Apple Homekit, those options are available too.
To be able to record and playback some great moments, consider getting baby monitors with recording and playback features. Depending on your budget, you can get those that record the feed to local storage (SD card) or to those that record it to the cloud. Those that record to the cloud charge a monthly subscription fee which may be as high as $10.
If you want to use your baby monitor outside of your home, it would be advisable to get an LTE-enabled baby monitor that gives you the ability to view your feed via your smartphone even when there is no WiFi available.
There are also some advanced mom and dad monitoring devices on the market such as smart scales, smart thermometers, and more that can help you determine whether your baby is getting the right amount of nourishment or if they are growing at the correct rate.
Safety During Travel
When traveling, you need to secure your baby’s seat and that’s the law in all 50 States.NHTA releases annual crash test results which you can use to compare the safety rating of different infant car seats. There are also so many other features that you need to consider. For example, the size of your car will give you an idea of which car seat to get. If you are to travel, make sure you are getting an FAA-approved car seat that you can take with you when flying.
If you want a car seat that is on the lighter side, consider getting one that weighs less than 10 lbs. The weight of infant car seats varies and it may also depend on whether the baby is on rear-facing or front-facing mode.
For babies who are over 9 lbs., we advise you to get convertible car seats instead of infant car seats. Also, consider purchasing a car seat that you can use for more than 1 year (3 years or more).
If your older baby is over 25 lbs., then you should get toddler/combination seats instead of infant car seats. Diaper bags are also something to consider if you want to take the maximum capacity allowed by law.
The most portable car seats are those that can easily fit into a backpack or a travel bag. If you have back problems, another good option is to get an umbrella-style stroller which has a universal car seat adapter for your infant car seat.
When traveling on foot, you need to be aware of the weight of the baby carrier you are using. You need to make sure it can support your baby’s weight plus the weight of the gear you are carrying.
Even though many people tend to think that strollers are quite heavy, they range from 7 lbs. up to 40 lbs. which is quite manageable for most parents.
If you want a buggy that weighs less than 25 lbs. and that can be folded in a compact size, then you should consider getting an umbrella stroller. It is lightweight, easy to fold, affordable, and very compact for traveling purposes especially on planes.
When it comes to buggies, the weight depends on whether your baby is facing frontward or backward so make sure to check which mode you would like to use. If you go for a buggy with a forward-facing option, then we advise that the maximum weight should not be more than 35 lbs.
When your baby learns to make that first step, you should make sure that everything in the baby’s nursery or in your home does not pose a health or injury risk. You need to secure your doors, secure your furniture & TV/entertainment system, fireplace, stairs, outlets, and cords. When your baby starts crawling, get good-quality crawling mats made from non-toxic material.
Baby fences are the most convenient options to ensure your baby does not get to the equipment/items that may harm them. Table corner protectors are also essential so your baby does not hit hit table corners by accident.
There are various types of baby gates and the most common ones are pressure gates and hardware-mounted gates. If you want to get a gate for your stairs, then we advise that it should be mesh and should be easy to store away when not in use. For the best baby gates, consider getting those that can prop open or close with ease and that come with extra features such as sound alerts, manual open/close options, and more.
Safety During Baths
Aside from keeping your child’s bath water to a safe maximum of 110 degrees Fahrenheit, you should also install an anti-scald device on each hot tap. These are available at any hardware or baby store. You could also use a removable bath seat and teach your kid to sit down while he or she bathes and shower them afterwards so they don’t stand up in the tub.
Safety in the Kitchen
Use a microwave oven with a child lock to keep your child away from any possible burns, but if you want to cook using gas stoves, make sure that you install at least one smoke alarm on each floor of your house and test them weekly for proper functionality. Keep all dangerous objects out of your child’s reach by storing them in locked cabinets.
If your kitchen is open to the rest of your home, make sure that you use an anti-tip bracket to secure heavy appliances like ovens, microwaves, dishwashers and refrigerators.
Always avoid using strollers or buggies when you are in parking lots, on escalators, stairs, etc. Keep your baby away from any other moving object that may cause an accident. If your kid enjoys being outside, then you should get a safety harness to keep him or her secured to something sturdy while he or she plays outside. One great option is an outdoor play yard with a mesh material so your baby can have fun playing in it yet breathe fresh air. If you go for soft play yards, then make sure that they are well secured because wind could easily blow them away and into a wall or a fence which might collapse on your child.
Consider getting kneepads when your baby starts crawling and with time, make sure they use a helmet if they have to use electric equipment such as wagons or electric cars for kids. If your baby wants to start an outdoor adventure using skateboards or hoverboards, a safety helmet is an absolute requirement.