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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

The first time you bring a child home from the hospital, one of the biggest fears of parenting can really kick in. Yes, most of us start experiencing those worries well before birth; but when you actually have the baby home? That’s when you really can get crazy.

Come on, experienced parents: let’s admit it. More than one of us had safety precautions installed before the baby could roll over.

I think it’s a good thing to worry about safety in the home. Heaven knows there are plenty of ways a child can get into trouble. During the first 6 months, it’s not terribly difficult to keep them out of cupboards and the like since they can’t get too far around the house independently. Once they start rolling and then crawling though, all bets are off. Curiosity is the hallmark of childhood, and your little explorers will be getting into everything they can as soon as inspiration strikes.

So what’s a nervous parent to do? Again, it depends on the age of the child. Here’s a little mini-guide for you (note: this is in no way an exhaustive list).

Birth to 12 months

  • Get a safe infant carseat (rear-facing is best)
  • Bathtub safety: use an infant tub, seat, or other product to keep baby from harm
  • Plug all electrical outlets
  • Anchor shelves, dressers, and especially flat-screen TVs to the wall
  • Move all chemicals and medications out of reach (lock up the meds if you can)
  • Pad any sharp edges of furnishings.
  • Use cabinet locks to keep children out of cabinets that contain anything unsafe (leaving one open with pots to bang is fun…and loud)

One to two years

  • Get a carseat sized appropriately (rear facing is still recommended)
  • In the tub: a padded spout cover can help. And get some fun toys too!
  • Also in the tub: cute slip-resistant stickers.
  • We really loved the portable booster seats from Safety 1st. Easy to use, small footprint, and could be sanitized in the dishwasher.
  • Ohh! Finger pinch guards! Small C-shaped piece of foam that clips to the door and prevents slamming. Priceless, especially with boys.
  • Start thinking about toddler beds, or twin beds with some good sturdy mattress bed rails
  • You can also start thinking about potty chairs now. (yay!)
  • Don’t forget baby gates for areas near stairs.

Alrighty, you’ve made it to toddler stage. There’s lots more to worry about (don’t even get me started on worrying about the teen years!), but the equipment list gets a lot shorter from here.

So there’s that.

Earnest Parenting: help for nervous new parents.

Disclosure: this post was supported by Safety 1st.