7 Basic Safety Tips for New Parents

Welcoming a new child into your family is an exciting event… and it can also be intimidating. Especially when it comes to safety. In order to help you feel more prepared, we’re sharing seven basic safety tips for new parents.

1. Purchase furniture that adheres to federal safety standards.

This doesn’t just apply to your baby’s crib, but the chairs, dressers and any other furniture item in the nursery. You can find these guidelines here. Also ensure that large items are anchored to the wall, and that your changing table has a strap attached to it to help keep your child secure when you’re changing her diaper.

2. Baby-proof all accessible drawers and cabinets.

This is a good idea to do prior to when your baby becomes mobile, just to ensure you have all your bases covered. Invest in protective knobs for your oven and stove, too. And keep all hazardous items on a high shelf, or under lock and key.

3. Be mindful of pet food.

If you have pets, you need to make sure that there isn’t pet food lying around. It can be a choking hazard for a crawling child. So store it in a cabinet and try to have the pet food dishes in a place that isn’t as easily accessible to your baby.

4. Be aware of recalls.

Save the information from all baby-related items you purchase, like strollers, cribs, toys, etc. Make sure to register them when possible, as the companies will notify you of recalls if they apply. Also consider bookmarking the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall list to be informed. Click on “babies and kids” for the latest news.

5. Make sure your baby’s car seat is ready to go.

And you know how to install it properly. Hospitals will check to see if you have a car seat before they discharge you, and having it ready to go will help you have one less thing to remember when the big day arrives.

6. Bathroom safety is always a good idea.

Consider purchasing non-slip mats for any hard surface that may get wet. Make sure to test the bath water to see if it’s too hot. To help your peace of mind, you can purchase an anti-scald spout cover for your faucet, like this.

7. Don’t microwave your baby’s formula/breastmilk.

Most microwaves heat unevenly, which creates hot spots in your child’s formula that can burn your baby’s mouth. (Breastmilk shouldn’t be warmed up this way either, because of the heat, and if it gets too hot, it can break down the nutrients it contains.) Warm the bottle by running it under warm tap water, or submerging the bottle in a warm bowl of water. Always test the temperature on your wrist before giving it to your child.

What are some of your favorite basic safety tips for new parents? 

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Becoming a Dad for the First Time

The transition into parenthood is a different experience for moms and dads. While mom has a constant physical reminder of the new baby and her life has changed drastically from day one, dad might need a little more proactivity as he eases into fatherhood for the first time.

Here are 10 tips for new dads to help the transition into fatherhood a bit easier.

Make an effort to bond

While you may feel immediate love and attachment to your baby, realize that bonding and building any sort of relationship takes time and effort. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t feel an immediate or effortless bond. Be deliberate about getting to know your baby. Spend meaningful time with your baby, learning his/her sounds, movements, and preferences.

Pay attention to your wife’s needs

A woman’s body goes through so many significant changes during pregnancy. Recovery is not easy, both physically and emotionally. Although she may not admit it, she needs help. Her hormones are fluctuating, her body is healing, and she’s learning to be a new mom. Being part of a family means watching out for each other, so take time each day to make sure your wife is okay as she heals and adapts to parenthood.

Fill in the gaps

You will both probably come up short in some departments that used to be routine, like chores or self-care time. Do your best to stay positive as you adapt to a new normal. If you notice that things aren’t getting done around the house, take the initiative to do it yourself rather than complain or mourn the loss of your old routine. Change is difficult, but every change becomes a new normal with time and acceptance.

Be patient

The most important thing you can do is practice patience. I say practice because it truly requires practice – trying over and over again. Sleep loss is exhausting. Taking care of a baby is demanding. Your baby isn’t going to sleep perfectly the first night you introduce sleep training. It may take several months to find a method of feeding your baby accepts. Your wife isn’t going to bounce back physically and emotionally for a while. You may fall behind in some things, and that’s okay. Be patient and gracious with yourself and your family. Believe it or not, you will look back fondly on this time of change. Embrace it.

Ask for help

It’s not cliche – it really does take a village to raise children. On those hard days where you or your wife can’t seem to keep your cool, desperately need a nap, or haven’t been to the grocery store for far too long, call for help. I guarantee you have family, friends, or neighbors who will feel honored that you called them for help and trust them in that capacity. It’s not shameful, it’s a sign of strength and it’s you doing your best to take care of your family.

Make some dad friends

Go watch the movie, “What to expect when you’re expecting,” and pay attention to the dad group who meets at the park to walk with their babies. While you might not want to adopt their specific habits, that sense of community and companionship with other dads is so valuable. Simply having someone to listen to you who understands what you’re going through, or to give your own tips to someone going through something you’ve just come out on the other side of, will help so much.

Take care of yourself

While having a new baby will mean making some sacrifices, don’t forget to take care of yourself still. It’s the airplane analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others. If you’re falling apart it will be difficult to help your family. It may not be as often as you want, but even once a month will help you stay grounded and connected with yourself. Go see a movie, schedule an afternoon of golf or fishing, or go see a game. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you truly love to do.

What advice would you give to a new dad?

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How to be a Supportive Husband During Labor

You’ve waited nine months to meet your child, and now the moment has arrived. While your partner will be doing the actual laboring, she will definitely need your support. There are a lot of things she’ll have to focus on, so you need to be prepared to step in to help. Below are some ideas on how to be a supportive husband during labor.

Be her advocate.

Be aware of the birth plan in advance, and know what your spouse’s expectations are. Make sure you’re communicating with the nurses and doctors involved in her care, and speak up when necessary. And feel free to ask your own questions if you’re feeling unsure about what’s happening.

Document, document, document!

Trust me, your wife will want to see some documentation of her labor and delivery after the baby arrives. So whether it’s filming, taking photos or a combination of both, try to capture the moments that you think will be meaningful to her and to you.

Support her emotionally and physically.

Said support could be holding her hand, her leg or giving her a pep talk (or knowing when NOT to give her a pep talk). It’s bringing a game to play once she’s had her epidural, or steeling yourself to help her through a drug-free birth. It’s making sure her favorite playlist (and a backup charger) is ready to go.

Help Mama and Baby postpartum.

If your partner is planning on breastfeeding, it’s best for her to give the first feeding soon after birth. So come prepared with some knowledge and be ready to offer a helping hand, if it’s requested. You can also help bathe your baby for the first time while your wife is recovering. You can also take this quieter time to notify friends and family of your child’s birth, and manage the flow of visitors according to your partner’s wishes.

Show some love.

Once your baby is here and your spouse is recovering, take the opportunity to spoil her a little bit. Bring an arrangement of her favorite flowers, or takeout from her favorite restaurant. Be thoughtful and try to celebrate this wonderful moment. She will definitely appreciate it.

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Best Tech Gifts for Dads

With Father’s Day coming up, check out these hot tech gifts that are sure to make dad feel like a little kid again.

Amazon Echo

“Alexa, how’s the weather today?” …is all dad has to say in the morning to get his daily weather report. She can add things to his to-do list so he doesn’t have to find a pen or his phone, play his favorite music, and even order pizza. An Amazon Echo is one of those things you don’t think you need until you get it, but when you do you’ll wonder how you got by without the convenience of your virtual home assistant.

Drone

The quality and price of drones have improved in the past few years so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a high-quality drone anymore. Let dad get an aerial view of his favorite fishing lake, hiking trail, or sports stadium with a drone for Father’s Day. This drone found on Amazon has great reviews and is only $120.

Roku Express

For only $70 you can give dad the gift of his favorite TV shows and movies wherever he goes. The Roku Express is a small USB device that plugs right into a device and can then stream anything from Netflix, ESPN, YouTube, Movies Anywhere, and numerous other streaming apps.

GoPro

Similar to an Amazon Echo, a GoPro is another piece of gear that opens your world once you own it. Being able to see underwater while you fish, capturing beautiful video of your snorkeling adventure on vacation, or even making fun family videos in the pool, a GoPro will add priceless photos and video footage to your collection of memories. There are several models available for around $100 up to several hundred dollars.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch can manage your whole life right from your wrist, but you can’t set it down and forget or lose it like your phone! Send messages, take calls, track your fitness, pay with Apple pay, and so much more! Better yet, you can use it in water!

Wireless Charging pad

Dad would love the convenience of a wireless charger. There’s nothing worse than thinking you plugged in your phone at night only to wake up and realize you didn’t properly plug it in and it didn’t charge at all. With a compatible charging pad you just have to set your phone down on top of it and it starts charging automatically.

Logitech Keys-to-Go

Working from his phone is convenient, but tasks that take a lot of typing can be time-consuming from a phone. The Logitech Keys-to-Go is the perfect gift for the dad who works on-the-go. It’s a phone stand with a keyboard so he can easily type from his phone. It has a dirt cover to keep it clean, and at only $70 the increased productivity makes this a great investment for dad.

Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor

The gift of sleep is priceless and one that all new dads would appreciate. With the Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor, dad can sleep a little easier knowing he can track his sleeping baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels right on his phone. The Smart Sock keeps an extra watch on baby so dad can rest easier. Every dad needs an Owlet Smart Sock for Father’s Day.

 

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