Baby Cot Advice & Tips

Whether this is the first time you are having a baby, or you’ve done it before – you’ll most likely need to look at getting a Cot/Crib for your baby.

Cot safety

The screws, bolts, and/or other fasteners should all be in place. Will the position of the mattress hold under your baby’s weight? This must be tested before you put your baby in the cot. Take something that approximates the weight of your baby at about 4 months old. Bounce it off the mattress to be certain it will hold its position. If it doesn’t it could cause serious injury to your baby or worse.

When setting up the nursery (if it isn’t already up) consider very carefully where you will place the cot. If you place the baby’s cot near a window and you have Venetian blinds, either shorten the cords or anchor them somewhere that your baby can’t reach and get a hold of them. If it all possible avoid placing the cot near the window. As your baby grows into a toddler and she/he attempts to climb out of the coy; they could fall which could cause serious injury to your baby.

Blankets and your baby are not necessarily a good mix. With the incidents of SIDS today, you want to be sure to do everything that could put your infant at risk. It is more advisable to put your baby to bed in a sleeper. If you have to have a blanket on the baby, tuck it tightly around and under the foot of the mattress with your baby’s feet touching the footboard. Also, you don’t want to put the blanket any higher on the baby than up to his chest as that will help prevent him from slipping under the blankets and suffocating.

The position of the mattress is imperative for your child’s safety. Most parents put the mattress at the highest position when the baby first comes home because it is so much easier to change him in that position. As your baby becomes more active you will want to lower the mattress accordingly. Once your baby can pull up to a standing position put the mattress in the lowest possible position and to be sure your baby is safe, measure the distance between the top of the sidebar and the mattress. In the lowest position, the distance of the top of the sidebar should be no more than 26 inches above the mattress. If your child’s head is over the sidebar or they climb out of the crib, it may be time to move your child to a regular bed. Some cots are convertible into beds that will grow with your child.

The cot itself should be looked over for things that might put your baby at risk. Have you seen those cribs that have ornate designs carved into the end boards? They are beautiful but they pose a danger to your child. Your child could get his head or arm and leg caught and sustain an injury. The simpler the design of the crib the safer your child may be.

Cot slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. This is to prevent your baby from getting his head stuck between the slats. This could cause injury to your baby but it would necessitate the removal of some of the slats and that alone would compromise your baby’s safety.

Cot accessories

Bumper pads are a great concept but unless they are secured properly, there is a risk of your baby slipping between the mattress and the bumpers and possibly suffocating. If you use them they should be anchored in at least eight places one at each corner of the cot and at least two spaced evenly on each of the sides. There should be a total of 16 ties in all, for the top and bottom.

Mobiles are a nice addition and look adorable. However, if you use a mobile – as soon as your baby starts to sit up on his own – the mobile should be taken down. This will prevent your baby from getting tangled in it. Also, make sure that it has no small removable parts that your baby could choke on.

Second-Hand Cots

If your cot is second hand – either if you had for a previous child or you got it from someone else – check out the mattress carefully. Make sure there are no cracks or holes in the mattress cover. Make sure too that the mattress properly fits in the crib. Here again, your child could slip between the mattress and the sidebars or the end boards and suffocate. The mattress should fit snugly in the cot. Now the sheets you use in your baby’s crib should also fit properly and not slip and slide. Sheet anchors are available that hook on the sheet under the mattress and keep it in place.

Baby Colours – Pink, Blue or undecided

The pink or blue question can be irrelevant these days – it’s so easy to tell the gender of a baby before the happy day, so there’s no need to guess.

That’s not strictly true. Even with the advances in technology, ultrasound pictures aren’t always one hundred per cent certain, and many parents prefer to be surprised. If you’re shopping for a new baby without knowing the gender, you still might have to decide whether to buy pink or blue.

You could always flip a coin – heads its roses and lace, tails you pick up the little sailor suit. There are more efficient and practical ways to make sure that you pick up clothing and accessories that will be appreciated and useful.

Gender-Neutral Colors

The easiest way, of course, is to stick with gender-neutral colours in your choices. As a culture, we’re fond of dressing babies in pastels, but you don’t have to limit yourself to pale yellow and baby green to be safe. There are lots of other gender-neutral colours to choose from.

Looking for a crib set that isn’t gender-specific? White and ivory are good choices, and you can actually get away with eyelet and lace as long as it’s not too delicate. A plump white comforter and matching crib bumpers work just as well for a boy as for a girl.

Primary and bright, clear secondary colours are another great way to avoid gender tangle when selecting clothing and accessories for baby. Bright red, blue, green and yellow sleepers will look adorable no matter what gender the baby turns out to be. Pick onesies in turquoise, orange, dark green or red, either all a solid colour or with contrasting ribbing along the edges.

Go for the unusual. Imagine how high the adorable meter will raise if you outfit baby’s room in tuxedoed penguins sporting bright red, blue and yellow ribbons, or pick up a t-shirt emblazoned with red, yellow and blue balloons. You can even pat yourself on the back for choosing bright colours for the baby’s room and accessories. As much as we love pastel baby togs, babies respond far better to bright, clear colours.

Gender Neutral Patterns

If you’re not sure on the boy/girl issue, keep in mind that you can err more easily on the boy side than the girl. A baby girl in a t-shirt printed with sports motifs is cute. You just wouldn’t put a little boy in a sleeper printed with tiny sprigs of daisies. Teddy bears and duckies are one gender-neutral choice, but you can find adorable, unique prints that will stand out. Some of the more clever that we’ve seen around lately – Noah’s Ark, lions and tigers, traffic signs, seasonal themes (Pumpkins or Easter & Christmas themes?).

Other gender-neutral patterns that work for boys or girls clothing include candy colour stripes, odd-size polka dots and abstract patterns. Pick a motif, pick a colour and have a blast dressing your baby in clothes and accessories that don’t scream boy or girl.

Planning For A New Baby – Tips To Help You Prepare

Preparing for your baby

You need to get yourself prepared for your new baby both mentally and physically. You will also need to adjust your house and car for the new baby too. Here is some new baby preparation advice we hope will help.

Mentally preparing for the new baby

Women generally adjust to having a new baby quicker than men; so don’t necessarily expect husbands to start being all fatherly after the pregnancy is announced. Women tend to adjust better to the new baby mentally because they experience physical, emotional and psychological changes. These changes can help them adjust to the new baby more quickly. However, men start feeling the new baby when they see the bump or feel the flicker of baby movement over the belly of mummy to be.

Physically preparing for the new baby

There is nothing much mentally a new father can do to prepare to the new baby. What needs to be done by a father needs to be done BEFORE the new baby is conceived. However, the new father can try quitting smoking, quitting drinking and other vices once the new baby is conceived. The new mother needs to do the same too.

Planning for the new baby; the house and car

Depending on whether you are planning to co-sleep with the baby, or whether you are planning to have the baby in a separate room, will dictate the changes to your home. Either way, we recommend having a separate room for your new baby, even if the new baby is going to be sleeping with the new parents for the first couple of months.

A baby cot, some toys, a place to put all the baby’s clothes, shelves to convenient grab lotions, creams, nappies, baby wipes etc. located near the changing table are recommended. Getting these things in place before the baby is born will help.

You will also need to think about getting a baby chair too; baby chair for the house (at the right height for the dining table) and a car seat so you can travel with your baby. Some baby chairs can be adjusted to fit the adult dining chair AND fit into the car at the same time. They are a little bit more expensive than the conventional baby chairs, but the multi-function is extremely convenient for you and comfortable for your new baby.

Don’t forget to baby proof your home and prepare for this before the baby is born if you can.

 

Other essentials for your new baby

The other essentials for your baby depend wholly on your own preference, budget and lifestyle. You can live without some of these things if you think you would rather not waste the money.

If you have had already had a baby previously you probably do not need too many new baby clothes. New babies outgrow their clothes very fast and it would be a waste of money to splurge on new clothes. You can get hand-me-downs from nieces and nephews, and from your friends if any of them have previously had babies. Recycling clothes is now the way forward and why not start your baby’s environmental recycling habits right from the start! What you should probably buy new are blankets, sweaters, coats, and clothes for going out. At home, you or your new baby is not going to mind recycled clothes. In fact, your new baby is probably going to like wearing the worn in clothes better than the new clothes.

Don’t forget the feeding utensils like baby bowls, and if you’re planning to pump breast milk for your new baby – a breast pump. You’ll also need baby bottles, cloth nappies, disposable nappies, baby wipes, lotions, shampoo, bath gels, towels, baby blankets, baby bedding, bibs, stroller, etc. And do not worry, you will do fine. The best thing to do is to get unbiased advice from friends and family when you are planning for your new baby.

5 Ways Parents Can Help Children Lead Healthy Lives

Healthier Parenting: Ways to help children lead healthier lives in the future

Parents leave a legacy of health to your children that goes well beyond the genes you give them. You also pass along health beliefs and model health-related choices. Here are 5 tips that will set your kids up on a path towards a healthy life.

Instill a sense of wonder about the body

Many adults fear and distrust their bodies. They believe that the body is fragile, and illness is just around the corner. The myth that you will catch a cold if you go outside without a coat persists. Your kids are listening when you look in the mirror and say to no one in particular, “Im so fat.”The truth is your body is the most miraculous mechanical system on the planet.

Cuts heal without a single thought or action on your part. Your immune system is your own personal homeland security system, protecting you from bacterial and viral terrorists. Yes, illness is part of the human condition. And we have powerful treatments that aid your body’s own ability to heal. However, even with today’s medicine it’s your body’s ability to battle illnesses, such as the common cold that offers concrete evidence of your body’s resiliency.

Comment on your child’s amazing body. “Wow, that cut healed in no time!” or “You have such strong, fast legs” or “Look at what your hands have been able to draw.” Remind your child how great it is to have eyes and kidneys and hearts that work so well.

Become a student of the human body with your child

Your kids will come to you with questions about how their bodies work. It can be uncomfortable for both you and your child when you don’t have the answers. This discomfort can teach children that they should avoid questions about how their bodies work, which may, in part, explain why parents themselves are reluctant to ask doctors embarrassing questions.

Remember, no one has all the answers. Thats why your doctor participates in continuing medical education. Your child can remind you of the joy of discovery. Together you can look for answers. I mentioned to my son that bones make blood and he asked, “What about creatures with exoskeletons?” I said, “What an interesting question. Lets get on the Internet and see what we can find out.” Have a child-appropriate book about the body available and learn and use anatomically correct words. Maybe you can have a family contest to come up with the coolest medical term.

Teach your kids to listen to their bodies

Often it feels as if adults are rewarded for ignoring or overcoming the signals from their bodies. The hero who comes to work with the flu or the mom who ignores her need for food or sleep. Health is maintained when you know the signals that suggest your body is out of balance and respond in a timely manner when your body indicates it needs something.

Help your kids identify when they’re cold or hungry or tired. You can say even to an infant, “You look hot, so Im taking off the blanket.” Give your child some experience regulating his external environment like taking on and off sweaters. Educate your children that pain is there to keep them safe. Say, “Cuts and burns are no fun, but they’re there to keep you from burning yourself seriously on the stove or cutting yourself with a knife. That’s how your body reminds you to be careful.”

Model healthy eating habits

Childhood obesity is a growing problem. Talk with your kids about good food choices and bad ones. Encourage them to ask themselves,”What kind of food is my body hungry for right now?” and “Am I full?” even if there’s still food on the plate. Pay attention to see if your child is a grazer or a 3-squares-a-day kid and set an eating schedule that reflects their style.

Decide whether its OK to indulge in unhealthy food choices now and then. When I inquired about the nutritional value of my sons snack of donuts, he said, Its health food for the soul.

Reward health rather than illness

Some of my best childhood memories come from times when I was sick. In an effort to ease my pain, my mother unwittingly rewarded illness by lavishing attention on me, delivering endless bowls of ice cream and playing games with me. Who wouldn’t want to be sick!

Instead, lavish attention on your kids when they’re well. While you don’t want to punish your kids for being sick, consider which privileges of health should be withdrawn during sick days.When you instill in your children a sense of pride, wonder and respect for their bodies, you have given them the foundation of health.

Helping children lead healthy lives conclusion

If you follow these health tips for your children, together with your current parenting skills, you can help your children grow up leading healthy lives..

How To Baby Proof Your Home

Keeping your baby safe in the home FAQs

There is so much to consider to keep your baby safe in your home and it is very easy to overlook something that might be fairly obvious but there may baby safety tips that you may have overlooked.

What is the best way to approach baby-proofing our home?

The best way is to see your home from the eyes of your child. It is recommended that you get down on your hands and knees and crawl around your home. This will enable you to see hazards you might not have recognized at your full height. Are electrical outlets in baby’s reach or are there electric cords hanging down that your baby can pull on or get tangled in? Does your furniture have sharp corners? Are there precious items at your babys level that should be put up out of reach?

What is the most hazardous situation for my baby?

Any situation that places your baby in harms way is the worst situation for your baby. The most hazardous situation for your baby is choking or anything that might cause him to stop breathing. The most hazardous situation for you baby is one that caused an injury that could have been prevented.

What are some things I need to consider when I am baby-proofing our home?

There are many things to consider. Your baby is a quick mover so it is never safe to leave him unattended if at all possible. Consider putting up all valuables and breakable items out of reach of your babys. Anything that is small enough to fit in his mouth should be removed. If in doubt as to whether any one item is small enough to fit in your baby’s mouth and pose a choking hazard take an empty toilet paper roll. If it fits inside the tube, it goes in his mouth and possibly harm him.

Why do I need baby safety gates?

Baby safety gates can be placed in doorways or at the top and bottom of staircases. The gates can prevent your baby from getting into the kitchen or bathroom. They can also prevent your baby from tumbling down the stairs or climbing the stairs and falling. The mesh or the holes in the gate should not be large enough for your baby to put his toes through to climb the gate. Gates now are being made to operate hands-free or one handed. There are gates being made with the bars going vertical instead of horizontal reducing the chances of your baby being able to climb the gate.

What are electric outlet covers or locks?

Electric outlet covers look like plastic plugs when they are inserted and prevent your baby from sticking his fingers or something else in the outlet and getting a serious shock. Electric outlet lock plates can replace typical outlets and in order to insert anything into the outlet the plug has to be inserted and turned.

It was suggested to me that I have motion alarms on our doors and windows, why would I need them?

Some kids are very active and able to do things you would be very surprise about. Children have been known to open windows and fall through screens and become seriously injured. There are many news stories where toddlers have gotten up in the night and unbeknownst to their parents open the door and go outside. Some are found wandering around and others are not so lucky. Some windows now come with a mechanism to prevent the window from being opened more than an inch or two. The alarms will alert you to the door opening and you can intervene before something tragic happens.

What kind of baby-proofing products are available?

There all kinds of baby products available and most are reasonably priced.

There are motion sensors, corner cushions for sharp corners on furniture. There are electric outlet covers, cabinet and drawer locks of different types and cord retractors for window blinds.

Is there anything available to protect my baby from getting in between banister posts?

There is netting available that can be attached with screws that will prevent your baby from getting between the banister posts. This product is similar to the deck netting available for outdoor decks.

Are there baby proofing checklists available?

Yes, there are baby-proofing checklists available. You can locate them online and they are printable. Specialty stores, hospitals, and doctors are all possible sources for such checklists.

How can I baby proof my nursery?

You can baby proof your nursery by keeping your baby’s crib away from windows and blinds cords. Put outlet protectors on all outlets. Make certain to dress your baby in sleepers rather than using blankets. When your baby begins sitting up place the mattress in the lowest position. Do not put stuffed animals or pillows in the crib with your little one, they could nestle up to them and suffocate.

How can I baby proof my kitchen?

Put all cleaners or chemicals up out of reach of your baby. Make sure all drawers and cabinet doors. While cooking put all pot handles toward the rear of the stove. Do not allow electric cords to hang over counters where your baby can pull on them. Better still, if possible unless you are feeding your baby keep him out of the kitchen.

How can I baby proof my car?

You can baby proof your car by making sure the car seat your baby will ride in is installed correctly and that it is the correct one for your baby. Remove all loose items that could become missiles in a crash or quick stop, and place them in the trunk.

Baby proofing your home conclusions 

There are many ways you can help to keep your baby safe in the home and in the car by following these safety suggestions. We all are usually away of the basics of child safety but hopefully you picked up some tips for baby proofing your home.

Baby Car Safety

Car Safety For your baby FAQs

Frequently asked questions to help you know more about baby car seats and keeping your baby safe while in the car.

What is the best baby car seat?

The best car seat is the one that matches your baby’s size and weight. It also fits properly in your car and is easily installed.

What types of baby car seats are available?

There are several types of baby car seats such as infant seats, front facing car seats, and convertible seats. There are also combination seats (can face front or rear), booster seats and integrated car seats. With each type of seat there are variations.

Is a five-point harness or a shield safest for my baby?

A five point harness gives your child the greatest protection because it holds your baby tighter in the seat in the event of a crash. A T-Shield or over-the-head restraint allows too much room or can get in the way of chubby tummies and legs. The stalk of the T-Shield can cause serious injury to your baby.

How can I find out how to safely install my baby’s car seat?

All car seats (except most second-hand seats) come with printed directions. If after reading the directions you still are not sure how to properly install it. You can call or email the manufacturer. Some police stations and hospitals have assistance programs as well.

Is there a correct way to secure my child in the baby car seat?

Yes, there is a correct way in which to secure your child in his car seat. How you secure your baby in the car seat will likely depend on the age and size of your baby. For children under a year of age they should be placed in rear-facing seats in the center of the rear seat. Older children can sit facing front and their seat are generally placed behind the driver or passenger in order to utilize the shoulder/lap belts.

What is LATCH?

LATCH refers to Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. It is a baby car seat installation system. The lower hooks are attached between the bottom of the back of the seat and seat itself. The tether piece is a strap made of seat belt material with a clip that secures forward facing baby car seats and prevents excessive movement of the baby’s head in crashes.

What is a Tether?

The tether is a strap made of seat belt material with a clip. It attaches to the clips on the seat and secures front facing baby car seats. In a crash it prevents excessive movement of the seat and the baby’s head, reducing the severity of injuries.

How can I tell when my child is ready to use car seat belts without a booster seat?

Your child will be ready for using the car safety restraint system when s/he can sit all the way back in the seat and the knees can bend comfortably over the edge of the seat. The belt crosses the shoulder between the neck and the arm and the lap belt is low and touches the thighs. Your child must be able to remain seated the whole trip.

Can a baby car seat be used safely in an aeroplane?

Yes, it can. Airlines require children age 2 and under, to be in approved car seats. The seats must be 16 inches or less to fit in the aeroplane seats. Call ahead and find out if your seat is an approved seat. Once on the plane, the hostess/es, will be able to assist you.

Is it safe for me to use second-hand baby car seats?

Yes, it is safe to use second-hand baby car seats provided you do a safety check. Belts and harnesses should not be frayed or cracked. There should be no cracks or tears in the seat cover and the seat should recline easily and stay upright when the baby is seated. Look into the history of the seat, if it has been in a car crash do not buy it, its ability to safely restrain your child has been compromised. If the seat does not come with a manual contact the manufacturer to ensure the seat will be properly installed. If the seat is more than 5 years old do not use it, it may have been in a crash and older baby car seats may not fit in new model cars.

What should I do if my baby car seat is recalled?

In most cases, the manufacturer will provide you with instructions of what to do if baby car seat is recalled. In some cases they will replace it for free they will have you bring it somewhere to get replacement parts also at no cost to you.

Are there baby car seats available for children with special needs?

Children with special needs may require different restraint systems. Discuss your options with your doctor.

What is the best type of harness for my baby car seat?

here are four types of harnesses in baby car seats. The six-point harness has two straps at the shoulders, two at the hips and two at the crotch. The five-point harness has two straps at the shoulders, two at the hips and one at the crotch. The t-shield is a padded triangle that latches at the crotch while the overhead shield comes down from over the head and latches at the crotch. The safest harnesses are the five or six-point harnesses. These prevent excessive movement of the baby in crash situations. The t shield and the over-head shield allow for too much room and could cause your baby to be ejected from the car in a crash.

Baby Car Safety Conclusions

You can never go wrong if you err on the side of caution when it comes to the safety of your baby. The size and weight of your baby, as well as your budget, will decide what type of car seat you will purchase for your baby or toddler.

Baby Home Safety

Home Safety Tips for your baby.

When you first have a newborn baby, you are very protective of it. You are always afraid of something happening to it. When you are at home you should not be afraid of anything happening to it because you are there and it should be safe. Keeping your baby safe at home is very important. First, prevent people from coming to your home that is going to smoke, or do any type of drugs, this is your first line of defence for your baby.  

Baby Home Safety at Night

When you put your baby to sleep at night make sure that it falls asleep on its back because of cot death. Cot death is when a baby suffocates to death. Also, keep loose blankets out of the crib. A cot is a place for the baby to sleep, not to play. The cot should have bars that are close enough, so the baby can’t slip through, and the cot should have bars so that the head of the baby can’t slip through and get stuck. Avoid potential problems and situations where your baby could easily be hurt.  

Home Safety Prevention for your Baby

When you are at home by yourself lock all the doors, this is vital if you live in a big city. Other than other people, to keep your baby from getting injured at home the best thing to do is a buy safety thing for all over the house. Prevention of problems will include the ability of the baby to walk away or get to the swimming pool. Prevent problems in the home by locking doors, windows, cupboards and garages with locks that a baby or toddler can’t open.  You might not want to have animals like a dog or a cat around your baby until it gets older. A pet can maul a baby, or a toddler when the pet is not accustomed to being around children all the time. Avoid having a cat near the baby, so the cat doesn’t cuddle up on the face of the baby, which will then smoother the baby without your realizing what is happening.  

Baby Home Safety – Stairs 

Once your baby starts to crawl, the best thing for you to get is a walker to let it learn how to walk. If you have stairs in your home, the thing to get is those child gates. They have them at most baby shops if you don’t know where to purchase them. This will prevent your child from falling down the steps. You could even use them in doorways to rooms that you don’t want the child in without you. If you have animals, you could even use the gates to keep the animals away from the baby.

Baby Home Safety Tips 

Once your child starts to walk you should keep things back away from the edge of the counters and the table. If you drink coffee, you should definitely keep that away so it is not reachable. You should not let anything that is small laying around because if you do so this it will help so that your baby does not choke on anything. Just remember to lock all the doors when you are there by yourself. Anything like this will help you keep your child safe at home and increase home safety for your baby.