The Bump has good articles and information that every parents should read. This is simple information and makes sense. Here are 7 everyday items that we have in our homes that we commonly see baby playing with. Please read and reconsider changing these habits.
You know the drill: When you’re out running errands with baby, you give him your keys or your cell phone to keep him from going nuts in the grocery store (we’ve all done it!). But is it really safe to give baby certain everyday objects? We had experts give us the inside scoop.
Babies love the shininess and sounds of keys — and the real deal are way more fun than those plastic keys — but are they really okay? Jeffrey Berkowitz, MD, a pediatrician at Pediatric Specialists of Plano in Texas, says nope. “Keys are made of brass, which may contain small amounts of lead,” says Berkowitz. “Additionally, keys can cause injury to the mouth if the child falls while he’s sucking on them.” Instead, stick to the plastic ones. They might not be as shiny, but at least he can put them in his mouth without harming himself. Or if baby likes the cold feel of the metal in his mouth, we love the teething jewelry from Momma’s Jewels. Baby grabs at your necklace when you’re holding him anyway, so why not splurge for a sterling-silver one that’s specifically designed so baby can chomp away safely?
Baby might be intrigued by the remote, especially because he sees how much the grown-ups grab for it. But you’ll want to keep it away from him. “Remotes aren’t safe to play with,” says Berkowitz. “Remote controls contain batteries, which can be dangerous if ingested. Also, remote controls may have other small parts, which could break off and become a choking hazard.” When baby’s over 18 months, it’s okay for him to play with a remote-control toy, like the Fisher-Price Sesame Street Silly Sounds Remote ($35, Amazon.com).
iPad or other Tablets
It’s pretty common to let babies play with iPads, especially since now there are plenty of kid-friendly apps. But the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under two years old shouldn’t be exposed to screens, like the ones on tablets, smartphones and televisions. That’s because research has found that kids under two aren’t able to understand the educational content, and they learn best from unstructured, unplugged playtime and learn more from live presentations than from video. Monica Vila, founder of TheOnlineMom.com, a website that helps parents protect their kids when it comes to exposing them to technology, says, “Even though manufacturers come out with great, colorful apps for kids, they’re not designed for a baby or a small child to play with on his own; they’re designed for parents and babies to play with together.” Plus, electronic tablets have glass screens and batteries with electrical charges. “It won’t take a lot for a baby to bite it or drop it, and batteries or liquids inside of the tablet can come out,” says Vila. “Those aren’t safe for eating.”
Have you seen those 10 o’clock news reports that say cell phones have traces of poop on them? Gross! Knowing that cell phones are riddled with germs is probably enough reason not to let baby touch yours or put it in his mouth. “These phones that might be covered with germs could cause serious illness,” says Berkowitz. Also, like remotes and iPads, cell phones have small pieces and batteries, which won’t be safe for baby if he puts them in his mouth. Instead, get baby a toy cell phone — there are plenty that are much more kid-friendly and a lot more fun than a grown-up phone. Try the Sesame Street Elmo Cell Phone ($12, Amazon.com).
Your baby might come across your coin purse or jar and want to rattle it or play with the shiny things inside, but don’t let him. “Coins are a choking hazard and can cause tracheal, esophageal or intestinal obstruction,” says Berkowitz. So not worth the risk.
Pens, Markers and Crayons
Maybe you and baby are doing a crafts project or you’re showing baby how to draw. “Most markers and pens are nontoxic but can cause injury if the child pokes themselves with it,” says Berkowitz. If baby puts the pen cap or crayon in his mouth, he could choke. Also, for the sake of your home decor, keep baby away from them. Marker, crayon and pen marks all over your walls and floor won’t be a pretty sight. You should hold off on letting baby use crayons and markers until he’s a toddler, and you should supervise him even then. When it’s time for your tot to use markers and crayons, look for nontoxic and washable ones.
While baby’s on the changing table, maybe he grabs at the wipes and even stuffs them in his mouth (sound familiar?). While it’s tempting to just let him — especially if that’s the only way he’ll quit wiggling — don’t. Most baby wipes are nontoxic, but Berkowitz says, “It’s not wise to allow baby to suck on wipes, because he could ingest the chemicals in them. Also, if baby chews or tears pieces of the wipes off, it could result in a choking hazard.” To distract baby while he’s getting his diaper changed, keep a teething ring or other age-appropriate toys nearby.
Baby might love climbing in and out of the laundry basket, but is it a safe toy? “It’s not unsafe, but parental supervision is needed to prevent baby from falling or chewing on the plastic,” says Berkowitz. So feel free to let baby make a fort with the baskets, but make sure you’re keeping a close watch the whole time he’s doing it.
Sleep is becoming a hot topic! There are many books written about the subject, and so many seem to have all the answers. When our children were babies and toddlers, it broke my heart to ever hear them cry. Especially when it was a situation when they simply needed ME or my husband. When it came time for bedtime, we established a family routine that worked for us. While there were times that it was a challenge, I knew that someday they would be able to sleep through the night without ‘needing me’. Today I received this tip from Rebecca Thompson with The Consciously Parenting Project and wanted to pass it on to you.Sleep is precious, yet overrated. Meeting your child’s nighttime needs is very important. Children should never be left to cry alone. Children cannot soothe their own stress and need a responsive caregiver to help them learn to calm themselves down, especially at night. This investment results in positive associations with sleep and helps create calmer children during the day. Think of it as an investment rather than a sacrifice!
©Rebecca Thompson, 2008
The Consciously Parenting Project
Another common concern that parents face is how to handle a diaper rash. Nothing can be worse than seeing your precious little one with a red, burning bottom and not knowing what to do to help. This article comes from the Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine. I love Dr. Sears and follow his advice when I have a question . Go here to read more.
When you’re new to the baby-raising game, every bump or discoloration can seem to be cause for alarm, but there’s no need to panic just yet. William Sears, MD, pediatrician for more than 30 years and renowned author of more than 40 books on child care, offers the following tips on calmly caring for your babe’s bottom.
All babies have diaper rash. It’s a misconception that a baby’s skin will always be as soft and smooth as the day he is born. In fact, diaper rash is a common and normal occurrence in babies’ lives. Whether newborns or curious crawlers, babies rub around in their diapers, causing friction. When that friction is combined with moisture, bacteria and yeast from their urine and stools, diaper rash is bound to happen.
Diligence is key.
For newborns who regularly suffer from diaper rash, you should change soiled diapers or air out the unsoiled ones at least every two hours. Poopy diapers should be changed immediately. This routine may be difficult at first, but the frequency of stool movements will diminish as your baby grows. Parents with little ones who experience less
diaper rash can then become more lax in changing regularly.
Change it up.
If your newborn is suffering from diaper rash, try varying your diapering routine. This means using another brand of disposable diapers and/or switching to unscented wipes or plain water for cleaning. If you use cloth diapers, try adding a half-cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to help remove alkaline irritants.
Treat bottoms with all natural creams.
To avoid diaper rash, use a daily preventative cream after each change to moisturize and protect baby’s delicate skin. Be sure to cleanse and thoroughly dry the area before application. For those with a severe diaper rash, try a thicker treatment cream with the skin protectant zinc oxide, to alleviate pain and offer immediate, refreshing relief. Due to babies’ sensitive skin, creams should always be all natural and free of harmful chemicals. Be vigilant about carefully reading the labels on any products you use on your baby’s skin.
For more diaper rash and baby care tips—and for information on Dr. Sears’ all natural baby care line (including diaper rash prevention and treatment creams)—visit askdrsears.com.
Recently a friend of mine, shared the idea of having your child paint a wooden Easter egg every year. I thought it would be great fun to try it with my grandson, Lincoln. First, I painted the wooden eggs with a yellow base coat. Then we stripped him down to just a diaper, and put 3 colors of acrylic paint in a pan. Then we painted his hands and let him play with the eggs. When he was done (or rather we were done), we quickly got him straight into the bathtub. After the paint dried, I put his name on the bottom of the eggs and put a clear coat of sealer on them. I plan to do this every year with him!