Bringing home your baby from the hospital is a joyous occasion, but it’s also scary, especially for first-time parents. You may be even more scared if your child has health issues. For this reason, many parents turn to baby monitors for help. The Owlet Smart Sock 2 is the most unique type of baby monitor on the market. Created by Kurt Workman, Zack Bomsta, and Jordan Monroe, the Smart Sock is getting rave reviews after just a few years on the market. Is the Owlet worth it? Here’s what you should know.
Our lives are driven by our electronic devices, and our kids also spend a lot of time surfing the net and playing on apps. Some children get cell phones or tablets before they can walk. But did you know that screen time for kids also means getting bombarded by ads while they learn their ABCs and how to count?
Keeping your kids safe is the number one thing you do as a parent. Your job is to protect your children and make sure that when they go from point A to B in life that they do it safely. When it comes to buying a new car, you want that car to be the safest environment for your children. But what kind of safety features should you make a total priority when it comes to your new car? Below are some great safety features, that most car packages offer as options when you’re looking for a new car to keep your kids as safe as possible.
According to www.cars.com, “Safety isn’t just about airbags and crash tests. Crash avoidance technology has taken center stage as automakers offer features that can warn you before an accident or intervene with automatic steering or braking systems.” Cars.com actually offers a wealth of safety information for new buyers looking to really amp up the safety features on their new vehicle. If you’re buying with kids in mind, it’s a great website to compare everything you want in a vehicle so you get exactly what you want in a safe car. The safety features you should consider include seatbelt features, as well as transmission and crash test features.
Why LATCH Is So Important
All new cars, manufactured after 2002, now come equipped with a safety feature called Low Anchors and Tethers for children or LATCH. This cool feature simply makes it easier to install a car seat without using the seatbelts. This system is just as important as the safety features of seatbelts, so if you’re looking for a new or used vehicle you can rest easy if you purchase one manufactured after 2002.
What You Need To Know About Airbags
While airbags are designed with safety in mind, there are some features that you should know about. When it comes to “side-impact airbags” it’s important to know if the car you are looking at has passed “out of position” tests. While side-impact airbags are designed to protect children they can injure a passenger who is “out of position” in their seat. That includes small children, as they can move around a lot at young ages. If you have teenagers that ride up front in your car, look into “active head restraints”. These airbags are designed to minimize movement in the event of an accident because they inflate in the headrest and absorb shock to the head as well.
Brake Transmission Safety Locks
Some parent’s biggest fear is accidentally locking their keys in the car with their child. Knowing a friend who did this – it can be terrifying. You’re at the grocery store, you turn around to take the buggy back. You walk to the car and your child hits the lock button, and your keys are sitting in the front seat right next to your purse and your smartphone. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye. That’s why the new brake transmission technology is so important when looking to buy a new car. What does it do? It simply keeps your child from being able to shift the car out of park without hitting the brake first. It’s pretty impossible for your child to put the car in reverse, drive, or neutral because they simply cannot push the pedal down. While brake transmission technology isn’t one of the most obvious safety features to consider, it’s comforting to know it’s available for the parent with mischievous kids in mind.
In 2014, my husband and I had two in two years. We also lived on less than $2,000 per month. Having a lot of baby things simply wasn’t an option during that season of life. However, we did save up for a number of quality baby items, and I’m glad we did.
We may not have had new living room furniture or all new kitchen appliances, but if there was something costly that got its money’s worth for our kids, then it was money well spent.
5 Quality Baby Items Worth the Investment
Hear me out. One thing we did not do is go into debt to purchase these items. Nor did we dip into our emergency fund. Either option would have been so much easier. Instead, we opened a checking account with no minimum balance required and labeled it our “Baby” account.
Each month, we’d budget an allotted amount into the account. Having it separate from our primary checking helped protect that money from being mishandled.
We saved up, used coupons, used gift cards, or we said no to the purchase.
There are so many different brands of these products, but here are the ones we chose and that I recommend.
We kept our babies in this Rock N’ Play throughout their entire newborn stage. It was so nice to have them right next to our bed at night, elevated so they could probably breathe when congested. Another perk was how lightweight the product was. After I had an unexpected c-section with my second child, I had a major weight restriction during the first several weeks. The Rock N’ Play was easy to fold and transfer from room to room.
I made the choice before my first child was born to breastfeed. I was still employed at my banking job during that time, so have a reliable and efficient breast pump was crucial. Since that time, the government has made it much easier to obtain breast pumps for free or to receive reimbursement on a purchase. Definitely look into that. If you can’t get one (a QUALITY one) for free, then I highly recommend this product. It hasn’t given me any problems and I was able to breastfeed both of my children for at least 12 months.
The features I love most about these swaddling blankets is that they’re sheer which reduces the risk of suffocation, and they’re large enough to do a full swaddle on a baby throughout the first six months to a year. My 2-year-old son still chooses his Aden and Anaias blankets to sleep with over any other bedding.
If you’re up at 2:30 AM with a screaming, feverish baby, you need a reliable thermometer that will tell you exactly what’s going on, every time. I tried the cheap route at first, using a knock-off thermometer under the baby’s armpit (try getting a fussy baby to keep his arm down long enough to get a consistent reading). Finally, I realized it wasn’t worth the risk of misdiagnosing. High fevers can spike at any time. I’ve caught each of them in time with my Braun ear thermometer.
5. Wooden Toys
What I love about wooden toys is that they’re made well. My parents grew up in the era of wooden or metal toys. I was raised throughout the dawn of plastic. To see the difference in toys like Melissa & Doug and many others is very refreshing. I head straight to that aisle every time I buy a gift for a baby shower or child’s birthday party.
What quality baby items are you grateful you purchased? Share in the comments below!
This post contains affiliate links.
Image Credit: Gaelle Marcel (UnSplash)
Some parents dread the day that their little boy or girl asks for a skateboard or leaves the house in their older sibling’s BMX. There are some sports that some – or many – parents aren’t so keen to encourage, but whether our little monkeys decide to be a ballet dancer or a parkour runner, we have to be supportive in every way we can.
Skateboarding has become extremely popular in the last few decades, so it would be no surprise for our little ones to show an interest even from a young age. Off-shoot sports such as longboarding and mountain-boarding are also growing in popularity. So if your son or daughter decides that they want to give an extreme sport a go, and you’re fully supportive of it, here are some safety tips to make sure they stay as safe as possible.
Safety Gear Should be Mandatory
It should always be mandatory for kids to wear safety gear when they are taking part in sports such as skateboarding or mountain biking. This should be encouraged from the beginning, with serious discussions about the consequences that they could experience if they were not to follow safety rules. Safety gear should include a helmet, safety pads (elbows, knees and wrists), the right skateboard shoes and mouth guards for beginners. Padded jackets are also available if you worry about your child falling over.
Take Part in Skateboarding Too
The best way to encourage safety in sport is to get involved too and show your little ones how it’s done. Show them that you take an interest in what they love to do by taking part and you can learn the sport together. You can also lead by example and show them the importance of wearing safety gear.
Buy from Trusted Brands
If you are shopping around for skateboards and safety gear, make sure you research the different brands out there. Price isn’t everything but some of the better brands have been around for many years, and are trusted by many extreme sports stars. Brands such as Santa Cruz, Sk8 Mafia, Enuff, Bullet, Baker Skateboards, Element, Flip, Plan B, Real Skateboards, and Heroin Skateboards are all available from reputable retailers such as Skatehut.
Know Where Your Child Is Riding
This is extremely important. If your child is old enough to go riding with his friends, it’s not always easy to keep a track of exactly where he or she is at all times. Research the skate parks and bike trails in your local area and make sure you check out each of these spots before you allow your teenager to ride there. Don’t be afraid to set rules about where he/she can go and always tell your child to keep their skateboarding within designated skate parks. To locate the nearest skate parks anywhere in the world, use this locator from Thrasher Magazine.
As careful as you might be you can’t control other drivers on the road and a car accident can come out of nowhere. If your family is involved in a car accident here’s what to do.
Stay Calm and Call for Help
It’s important to stay calm if you’re in an accident and it’s even more important if your children are with you.
If you haven’t sustained any injuries check on all of the members of your family and the passengers in any other vehicles involved. Quickly assess the situation and call for help.
Even if no one has been injured it’s still important to call the authorities and file an accident report.
The calmer you remain the better you’ll be able to help your children. Even if they haven’t been injured they’re most likely very scared.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
After the authorities have been contacted and medical treatment has been provided for any injured passengers, you should contact your insurance agent.
If the accident was your fault your agent can take necessary information from you and file a claim with your insurance company. If the accident was caused by another driver your agent can file a claim with the at fault party’s insurance company on your behalf. If you don’t have the insurance information from the other drivers involved your agent should be able to get this from the accident report.
Your insurance agent will be able to walk you through the claims filing process and assist you with any questions you have.
Seek Legal Counsel if Needed
If a serious injury was sustained by a member of your family you may need to contact a disability or personal injury lawyer.
A disability lawyer such as Preszler Law Firm can assess your situation and help you determine what kind of damages are owed to you by the insurance company. It’s especially important that you contact the best personal injury lawyer in your area if you or one of your family members have sustained long term injuries.
Since personal injury lawyers work with insurance companies on a daily basis they’ll be able to look at your situation and evaluate what type of compensation you should receive for your injuries. You might be entitled to payment for your long or short term medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of wages.
If you aren’t sure whether the insurance company is treating you fairly a personal injury lawyer can help.
Talk to Your Children
As parents we want to shield our children from everything bad in the world. Unfortunately, accidents happen.
Being in a car accident can heavily impact a child. Talk to your child about what she is feeling and do your best to comfort her. In some cases a child may need to talk to a professional counselor to help deal with her feelings.
Car accidents happen. Do you have any other advice?
While you may want to keep an eye on your kids all the time, realistically, you can’t. Of course, there are some steps you take to protect your child such as checking your babysitter’s credentials and calling references. You likely put sunscreen on your child if you’ll have him outdoors for an hour or more.
You take the precautions to protect your child outside the home, but do you take the proper precautions inside the home?
Keeping an Eye Inside the Home
Home is where we feel safest, but there is danger lurking. Even the staircase can be dangerous if you or your child slips and falls. To keep an eye on your child at all times and keep them protected, you’ll want to see all the quality safety equipment for around the home that is available. You’ll be amazed. . .and reassured.
You can install a nanny cam to make sure your sitter is taking good care of your child. What you will see will likely reassure you and help you feel even more confident in your sitter, but if something is amiss, you can take the proper steps immediately.
Remember Key Safety Features
However, there are other things you should consider. Do you have a smoke detector on each floor of the home? Ideally, you might want at least two per floor, depending on the size of your home.
What about a fire extinguisher? There should be one within easy reach of the stove in case a fire starts there.
Some people feel safer with a home security system to protect them while they sleep at night. Use a trusted supplier such as PureSafety who can help you make your home as safe as possible for your family.
You’ll never be able to remove every danger that may face your child, just as you won’t be able to keep an eye on him 24/7, no matter how much you want to. However, you can take the proper precautions to make him as safe as possible inside the home and out. As parents, that’s our job, and one most of us will gladly do.
What other safety precautions do you take?
In the wake of a new study that shows a clear link between babyproofing one’s home and a reduction in injuries to children, the International Association for Child Safety is reminding parents that a professional babyproofer can help them choose and install the appropriate products.
The study by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center looked at two groups of families with newborns. One set had properly installed and maintained child safety devices in their homes. After two years of follow-up, babies and toddlers living in these homes had 70 percent fewer injuries requiring medical attention than did those in a control group with no child safety devices installed in the home.
Study shows Childproofing reduces child injuries by 70%
“The home environment is the most common location of injury for younger children,” said the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Kieran J. Phelan, in a medical center news release. “However, parents may not have the time, training or resources to obtain and install the best safety products.”
The International Association for Child Safety (IAFCS), a worldwide network of child safety professionals and babyproofers, has helped parents and caregivers do just that for more than 15 years. IAFCS has the first and only certification program for Certified Professional Childproofers®.
“This study just confirms what our members have known for some time – proper installation of appropriate safety devices can prevent injuries,” said Colleen Driscoll, Executive Director of the IAFCS. “Our members are trained and experienced in identifying hazards and installing top quality safety devices for even the most difficult-to-solve home hazards.”
Many parents need help choosing and installing child safety products, notes Driscoll. “IAFCS members are expert childproofers and are able to help make your home a safe place for your little one.”
Regardless of whether parents decide to use a professional childproofer, parents can reduce the risk of injuries in their home by following these safety tips provided by IAFCS. For more tips or to find a child safety professional in your area, visit iafcs.org.
Did you child proof your home when your kids were born?
How would you feel about letting your child go to a neighborhood park to play on their own? Do you allow your children the freedom you had growing up? I think we would all like to do that – but realistically speaking – isn’t it too dangerous? Some people say — no. As I was doing research for my last post, I stumbled upon a few articles that included thoughts and opinions, on Free-Range parenting. I had heard about it, but didn’t know the specifics.
What I did know, was that columnist Lenore Skenazy, made the decision to let her 9 year old son navigate the New York City subway all on his own. This of course was after she made sure that he knew about the subway system and could read a map. Skenazy then wrote about it in the New York Sun. Some people – I’m going to guess there were quite a few – thought she was crazy and that she was taking a huge gamble with her child’s life. At first, I thought so too and it had a lot to do with something that happened last summer.
When a child wanders off
While the actual event only lasted a few minutes, it felt like an eternity. It terrified me and left me shaken for the rest of the day. I took the boys – who had just turned 3 – to a nice park on the other side of town. It’s one of our favorites, has wide open spaces, and a really fun playground.
When we got there I heard music. There was a man playing a guitar and singing. He was located in the covered picnic area, which is right next to the playground. Right away my “mom radar” went off. I told myself that I shouldn’t be so judgmental and I just needed to relax a little. I sort of did — but I was careful to kept an eye on the guy and an even closer eye on the boys.
The boys were playing and having a great time. There weren’t too many people there, so they had free run of the place. A. had climbed a little too high for his comfort and asked me to come help him get down — so I did. When I turned around to look for N. he was no where to be seen. No where!
I tried not to panic. I kept one hand on A. and began calling for N. I looked all over. I looked on slides, on the swings, in tunnels and nothing. Then I saw something that made my heart sink and almost brought me to tears. The man – the one playing the guitar – was gone too. Suddenly, every episode I had ever watched of America’s Most Wanted and Dateline NBC – relating to abducted children – flooded my mind. I imagined that man had grabbed my son, and slipped away unnoticed. I tried to stop thinking about it, but I couldn’t. Now — I was frantically calling. A. began asking where N. was and started to call for him too.
All of a sudden, from around a corner, came my sweet- faced darling boy. I’m getting teary just reliving this again; that’s how much it frightened me. I grabbed N. and hugged him and thanked God that he was okay.
Free-range parenters believe risks over over-stated
So after that experience – and the panic and fear that I felt – how could I even think of (eventually) giving them the kind of freedom Skenazy advocates? Well, she and others like her, think that shows – like the ones I just mentioned – are what keep us over parenting our children. Skenazy also notes in her book Free-Range Kids: How to Rise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (without going nuts) that the occurrence of children who are abducted, is actually quite rare. Rare or not, I think I would be a nervous wreck if I allowed the boys – at age 9 – to ride their bikes to the library all on their own. Would they be fine? Probably, but what if they weren’t? I would never ever forgive myself if something happened to them.
I have been reading Skenazy’s blog and I really like it. I didn’t think I would. I thought I’d be outraged by everything she posted, and I’m just not. She is right that hovering and trying to remove all of the potential dangers and disappointments in life — isn’t doing anything for our kids. So what if they fall down and get scraped knees or a broken bone? It’s going to happen but they will heal and they might learn to be more careful next time.
Look — I spent my summers climbing trees and riding my bike around the neighborhood (often times doing dare-devil maneuvers like standing on the seat). Sure I fell, but I have some really fun childhood memories – and impressive scars – because I got to do that. I don’t think I would ever be able to allow the boys to navigate the subway system at age 9 but I’ll be reading Skenazy’s book. I’ll probably still feel the same about a lot of things, but it will definitely give me some food for thought. I certainly don’t want to take anything away from my kids, but their safety is my first concern! I think the book is worth a read! I’ll keep you posted 🙂
So what are your thoughts? Are you for or against Free-Range parenting?
On February 1, 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in conjunction with Summer Infant Inc, Woonsocket, R.I., issued a warning about a strangulation hazard. Young babies and children are getting tangled in the cords of video baby monitors and two children have died.
Strangulation hazard from cord
There has also been a report made of a child becoming tangled in the cords but had been freed safely.
What the CPSC is advising that no cords be within three feet of the crib. If a baby or child can reach the cord it is too close. The report also states that the monitors had been placed on the rail, on the wall and on a dressing table attached to the crib.
Summer Infant Inc, has also started a campaign where the company is now putting labels on all of their video monitors. There has been over 1.7 million of these types of monitors sold.
We as parents always want to do the best for our children and of course we want to keep an eye on them when they are sleeping. Having a camera in the room is a great way to keep an eye on what is going on. But, on the other hand we do not want to risk having something terrible happen either. By using due diligence with anything that is placed near a baby crib risks will be lowered.
Best rule is to never put anything near a baby crib where the child can become entangled. Although there is only one company named in this report there are other brands of baby video monitors on the market. Anything with a cord should never be put near the crib.
Do you use this device or anything similar? How far away do you keep the cord?