The MOST Important Item in Baby’s Nursery, Do YOU Have It?
What I Didn't Know - Parenting FAIL
As a new / expecting parent you can count on getting a ton of advice. Some of it you will ask for. Most of it will be offered unsolicited. One of the most exciting things to do is to register and plan and decorate the baby’s room. And what choices we have today! When I was expecting my first child we lived in a small two-bedroom apartment. I gleefully decorated the nursery with a Beatrix Potter Peter Rabit theme. I was so delighted by the adorable matching crib sheet, matching (deadly - FAIL) bumper, matching plush (FAIL) comforter, matching crib skirt, the matching thick fleece (ugh, FAIL) blanket, cute window valance. We bought a matching ceramic Peter Rabbit lamp that broke as I fumbled in the dark during a middle of the night diaper change & incredibly useless diaper stacker, cute wall decals that peeled off (okay, THEY turned out to be good call). Family & friends gave us plush toys galore some of which went into the crib (FAIL ). We had a bassinet for in our room. When the time came and our little bundle of squalling joy came home. It turned out she hated the crib. Hmmm. And she hated the bassinet. She hated anywhere that wasn’t right next to me as a matter of fact. So, I had to do some quick reading up on safe co-sleeping thanks to breastfeeding. Might have been a good thing though as at the time, I had all that crazy, un-safe, parenting-fail stuff in her crib! Now, that I think back on it, perhaps she knew how clueless I was. Well, I did discover those dangers and remove them all so she could nap there at least. But, at the time, I can tell you, I never once considered how SAFE I was making her room, I just wanted to have what I had heard were “the essentials”. Never once giving thought to what it really needed.
What I Learned - Screw Cute - Give Me SAFE
So, six years later and baby #2 came around, I was much better prepared. By now I had learned 2 things. 1) my baby could care less how his room was decorated. 2) I make cute babies. So cute, in fact that they can out-cute the cutest baby accessory any day, rendering cuteness in a baby item ad bonus and not at all needed but they do need to be safe. (First time moms, I should point out that the cute-baby-making skill does not appear to be unique to me. I have noticed that even the most clueless of first time moms are capable of making cute babies. Just in case you were wondering if you really DID need cute accessories, nope, you don’t.)This time around, my focus was on safety! And there was one item in particular I checked & posted about in my pregnancy boards as fellow new mommies shared their cute nursery pics.
Above all else, any room where you will be putting baby to sleep should be equipped with a recently tested, brand new battery installed SMOKE DETECTOR! That’s right folks! It’s not cute at all! As new parents we tend to focus on baby monitors & maybe even movement detectors as we worry about things like SIDS. But few give much thought to a far more likely danger – fires. And with a tiny infant deaths is often caused by the smoke inhalation alone. But all this can be prevented by making sure you have enough fully functioning smoke detectors. If you can’t afford one, you should call your local firehouse & tell them you are expecting a baby & ask if there are any programs they know of that distribute free smoke detectors. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s some facts.
Does Your Child's Room Have a Fully Functioning, Recently Tested Smoke Detector?
- On average in the United States in 2010, someone died in a fire every 169 minutes, and someone was injured every 30 minutes (Karter 2011).
- About 85% of all U.S. fire deaths in 2009 occurred in homes (Karter 2011).
- In 2010, fire departments responded to 384,000 home fires in the United States, which claimed the lives of 2,640 people (not including firefighters) and injured another 13,350, not including firefighters (Karter 2011).
- Most victims of fires die from smoke or toxic gases and not from burns (Hall 2001).
- Children 4 and under are at increased risk of fire-related deaths & injuries (CDC 2010; Flynn 2010);
- Over one-third (37%) home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms (Ahrens 2011). 1
And you can do a search in the news and easily find a case like this where a functioning smoke detector could have saved four lives.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –As fire officials continue to investigate the cause of this morning’s deadly fire that took the lives of a Feltonville mother and her three children (see related story), Philadelphia’s fire commissioner wants to make sure everyone that every home has working smoke alarms.
Fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers says the one smoke alarm found in the basement of the home of the 4800 block of Palethrope Street didn’t have a battery, and not having the early warning likely made the difference between life and death in this case.
The exact cause of the fire is not yet known, but Ayers says the vast majority of what is in your
home is plastic — petroleum based — and gives off toxic gases when burned. 2
So, make sure your newest addition has their very own smoke detector in their room. Check the rest in your house as well. Each floor of your home should have one. Do not place them too close to the kitchen or bath to avoid nuisance false alarms. If you hear it “chirping” change the battery right away. If possible, have hard-wired smoke detectors that are interconnected. For a handout on good smoke detector practices, checkout the link here: