What’s in Your Baby’s Crib?

Decorating the nursery is part of the fun of being pregnant and preparing for a new baby. The crib is often the focal point of the whole room, but it’s important to set up and decorate your crib with safety in mind. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents that a baby’s crib should only have a firm mattress and a fitted crib sheet for at least the baby’s first year of life. Accidental suffocations from loose items in a baby’s crib can be prevented by following a few safety precautions. Here are some common items parents place in their baby’s crib, and some alternatives that safely serve the same purpose.

Blankets

Many assume that sleeping with a blanket is always a part of life, but not for babies. Loose blankets can easily cover a baby’s face or become wrapped around the head and neck, and should not be used. Instead of using loose blankets to keep baby warm at night, use wearable blankets, warm sleepers, or sleep sacks that allow baby’s feet and legs to move around.

Crib tents

Once babies are old enough to pull themselves to standing, many parents panic that now they can climb out of the crib. Some parents have purchased crib tents with the intention of keeping baby in the crib, but these are also a hazard and should not be used. Be sure to adjust the height of the mattress as your baby grows. Once your baby is old enough to climb out of the crib, it is time to transition to a toddler bed or mattress on the floor.

Bumpers

Padded bumpers should be avoided to prevent suffocation from rolling face-first into them, and later to prevent baby from climbing out of the crib.

Cords

Of course, cords are never intentionally placed in baby’s crib, but they often find their way there from baby monitors, mobiles, or lamps. Be sure that a corded baby monitor is placed a safe distance away from the crib so baby can’t grab it. A mobile can be used safely while baby is little, but once baby can sit and stand, a mobile should be removed out of reach. Similarly, lamps should be out of baby’s reach, and baby’s crib should also be placed a safe distance from windows so the cords from the blinds are not accessible.

Stuffed animals

A comforting, soft stuffed animal may be a tempting addition to add to the crib, but resist. They pose the same hazard as loose pillows and blankets and often have small parts that could be loosened and become a choking hazard. Stuffed animals should be kept with the toys or used to snuggle as you rock together, read books, or have tummy time, but then placed safely away while baby sleeps.

Sleep positioners and special pillows

Sleep positioners, wedges, and other special pillows have been deemed unsafe to use in babies’ cribs, and the CPSC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued firm warnings to parents against the use of them.  Sometimes it is necessary to elevate the head of the baby’s mattress as advised by a doctor, but this must be done according to their instructions and as safely as possible.

Continue Reading

October is SIDS Awareness Month

SIDS Awareness Month was created by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) as a means to empower parents with information to help them reduce SIDS risk factors in their homes.

What is SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than one year of age that doesn’t have a known cause after a thorough investigation. (Said investigation includes an autopsy, review of the death scene, and complete family and medical histories.) The good news? Rates of SIDS in the United States have decreased by 50% over the past 20 years. The not-so-good-news? SIDS still remains the leading case of death for infants aged one-month to one-year-old.

Ways to reduce risk.

While the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, we DO know many ways to reduce risk. In 1994, the NICHD came out with the Back to Sleep (now known as Safe to Sleep) campaign, which aims to provide information on how to create a safe sleep environment for babies, and suggests ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. These suggestions include the following:

  • Placing your baby on his or her back to sleep for every sleep time
  • Using a firm sleep surface, like a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered with a fitted sheet
  • Not letting your baby sleep on soft surfaces (like an adult bed, sofa, or couch)
  • Sharing a room with your baby, but not a bed
  • Making sure nothing covers your baby’s face or head
  • Keeping pillows, blankets, or crib bumpers out of your baby’s sleep area
  • Not smoking or letting others smoke around your baby
  • Dressing your baby in sleep clothing and not using a blanket
  • Breastfeeding your baby

At Owlet, we’re committed proponents of safe sleep, and hope that this information has been helpful and inspiring to your parenting journey.

Photo credit: The Grey Effect Foundation

Continue Reading

Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe this Fall

Experiencing new seasons with a baby is so much fun! Creating new traditions and making priceless memories is part of what makes parenthood so wonderful. As you usher in the fall season, follow these tips to keep your baby safe and healthy.

Appropriate clothing

According to the CDC, babies and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing serious or even life-threatening health conditions because of the cold. To help keep baby warm despite the fluctuating weather, check the weather before you leave the house to get a sense of how to dress. Sometimes fall mornings can be very cold, but the afternoons warm up significantly. Consider dressing baby in layers so that you’re prepared for the cold but also able to keep baby cool if the temperature changes.

Car seat safety

This is important any time of year, but especially as baby may start wearing coats when you go out. Review the proper car seat buckling guidelines, specifically about wearing coats. As a rule of thumb, you should take off baby’s coat before putting him/her in the car seat.

Keeping germs away

With many kids going back to school, the spreading of germs is more of a concern in the fall season. Babies seem to get hit harder with colds and the flu, so if your baby is old enough it’s important for baby and your whole family to get the flu shot.

Follow the proper hand-washing protocol and include baby in the pre-meal ritual. Hold baby in front of the sink and wash his/her hands before eating to instill the habit. Keep hand sanitizer handy when you’re out and about and don’t have access to a sink to wash your hands.

Use safe food-handling techniques

Along those lines, make sure that the food that is prepared for all of those amazing parties that come with the fall season is prepared safely. Halloween, Thanksgiving, sporting events, etc. all often revolve around food, so be extra cautious not to cross-contaminate food, to be careful as you handle raw meat, and to thoroughly wash produce.

Frosty mornings

Although snow isn’t as common in the fall (but still a possibility in some places), frost is a reality. Early mornings are often accompanied by a beautiful, sparkly layer of frost covering the ground. As enchanting as it is to look at, frost can be a slippery hazard to drivers or walkers. Be mindful of frost on the ground if you’re planning on going out. Give yourself extra time to commute so you can drive slowly if necessary.

Stay Active

Avoid the urge to stay bundled up inside all fall as the cold weather sets in by finding ways to stay active with your baby. Set the example of regular physical activity regardless of your external environment. Bundle up for a stroller or baby carrier walk, design an at-home workout you can do with your baby (Instagram is a great place for mommy-and-me workout inspiration), and don’t forget to give baby plenty of tummy-time so they can get their workout in!

What do you do to keep your baby safe and healthy in the fall?

Continue Reading

Cutting the Cord on Dangerous Blinds

Window blind cords are a household danger hiding in plain sight. While these cords may seem harmless, they can pose a potential strangulation risk to your children. With baby safety month in mind, here five ways to cut the cord on dangerous blinds:

1. Replace all corded blinds with cordless blinds.

This is the most effective way to eliminate strangulation risk. However, if replacing all of your corded blinds with cordless blinds isn’t in the budget, there are other cost-effective ways to minimize risk, which are listed below. Another idea is to replace your blinds one window at a time, starting with the nursery and other more kid-friendly areas.

2. Tuck your cords.

This is mostly a temporary solution, as in, what you should probably do after reading this post. Tuck your cords up in an inaccessible location while you plan for a more long-term solution. And monitor your children around the tucked cords; older kids might be able to knock them down.

3. Invest in cord wind-ups or wraps.

Earlier this month, we shared five baby safety products for your home. One of these items was a cord-wind up. Cord wind-ups and cord wraps enable you to safely manage your cords in an effective and organized manner. Wind-ups are a good solution if you don’t want to attach any hardware to the wall, while cord wraps are typically mounted to the wall above your child’s reach.

4. Cut the cord loops.

Depending on which blinds you own, some will function the same with two cords rather than a looped cord. While this doesn’t completely eliminate the risk, it avoids the danger of the looped cord becoming a noose. Before you make the cut, ensure that the blinds will still function. To eliminate the loop, cut both cords above the tassel, remove the equalizer and the put new tassels on each cord.

5. Keep all climbable furniture away from windows.

Because a lot of kids like to climb, they may still be able to access wrapped cords by climbing onto the window sill or nearby furniture. So try to keep all beds, dressers and other climbable furniture away from the windows.

What ways do you cut the cord on dangerous blinds?

Continue Reading
Introducing Smart Sock 2! CLick here to learn more.