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So, you’ve just become a dad. Congratulations! Your heart is now bursting with love for your baby. Unfortunately, your home is also bursting with danger. Fast segue, right? That’s parenthood, baby. Everything is coos and smiles one minute and projectile poop the next. While we can’t help you dodge fecal matter (it’s gonna happen, just accept it), we can help new dads safely bring their baby home to their
death trap loving cocoon with some baby proofing and safety must-haves.
Dan Kaiser is the President of KidCo Child Safety, the first child safety company to introduce metal safety gates for childproofing. Kaiser told SPY that the biggest baby proofing mistake he sees new parents make is starting too late.
“We highly recommend parents begin their child proofing before their infant is mobile, which can be as early as six months for an early crawler,” Kaiser told SPY. “Plan ahead as you don’t know if you will have the time to properly baby proof when you really need it.”
Kaiser says that one of the best ways parents can be aware of all the dangers in their home is to see things from their child’s angle. “Pretend you are the baby,” says Kaiser. “Literally get down on the floor, so you see the world from your child’s point of view, and you will quickly understand the danger points in your home.”
When it comes to safety and baby proofing, it’s important not cut corners – just protect corners. Today, we’re looking at a few basics and some new additions to the baby proofing and safety market. Hopefully, these items will help nervous new dads sleep like a baby. Better yet, sleep as they did before having a baby.
Baby Proofing Your Home
Some babyproofing areas are more obvious, while others may go unnoticed by first-time parents. Many parenting sites have comprehensive checklists that take nervous new dads and moms step by step through the home. Some organizations connect parents with professionals who can visit your home and ensure it’s properly baby proofed and as safe as possible for your new baby.
Miku Pro Contact-Free Breathing & Sleep Tracking Monitor
BEST FOR LOCATION
The Miku is one of our top picks for Best Baby Monitor and is an excellent choice for watching your little one when they are safely in their crib or roaming around the playroom. The Miku tracks a baby’s breathing pattern and has a secure tamper-resistant Crypto Chip that lets parents check in on their little one anytime without the risk of prying eyes. Its compact floor mount and cord cover make it safe to place next to a crib or in a playroom to monitor your child while they’re with a caregiver.
Read More: Best Baby Monitors
Owlet Dream Duo with Cam 2
BEST FOR MONITORING
The Owlet is another excellent option for a baby monitor that puts safety first. The new Owlet Dream Duo with Cam 2 will track your baby’s heart rate and average oxygen when using the Dream Sock, giving parents an in-depth look at their child’s sleep quality. The Cam 2 will alert parents when sound, motion, and crying are detected, letting nervous dads and moms know if their little one needs them.
Read More: Best Baby Monitors
Full Connected Suite Bundle from Safety 1st
BEST SMART NURSERY PACK
If you want to be able to monitor your little one, and adjust their night light, sound machine, and humidifier, you can do that all from your phone. The new Full Connected Suite Bundle from Safety 1st makes all that easier. The bundle includes everything you could dream of. You’ll get the WiFi Baby Monitor, which alerts parents when noise is detected. The Smart Humidifier and the Smart Soother are featured. The Under Crib Smart Light has a motion sensor that turns on a gentle light to safely guide parents during nightly check-ins. And there’s the Dual Smart Outlet, which protects little fingers from electrical outlets and turns almost any electrical device into a smart device.
KidCo Anti-Tip Furniture Straps
BEST FOR SECURING FURNITURE
Kaiser told SPY that not securing furniture and TVs is an oversight he often sees parents making. “Parents should anchor any heavy piece of furniture that could potentially tip over and hurt your child,” says Kaiser. “Anti-tip furniture straps are easy to install and can be a lifesaver.”
Sleek Socket Ultra-Thin Child Proofing Electrical Outlet Cover
BEST FOR OUTLETS
Outlet covers are great for outlets you’re not using, but what about the outlets you need to access? The Sleek Socket is an excellent addition to homes that require baby proofing or anyone trying to clean up messy wires. Electrical outlets are covered, and the wall-hugging Sleek Socket comes with an outlet strip that includes three or eight outlets. SPY received a sample of the Sleek Socket, and we like using it in areas of our home that needs to be babyproofed and any spot where we don’t want wires looking messy and out of place.
Safety 1st Home Safeguarding and Childproofing Set
BEST COMPREHENSIVE KIT
Baby proofing safety items can be bought a la carte or purchased in a comprehensive set like this one from Safety 1st. The great thing about this kit is that it works for most homes and can remind nervous new dads about areas they need to baby proof that they may not have considered yet. Cabinets and drawers? Babies love pulling those open.
Little Nomad Play Mat
Play mats are a great safety piece to use throughout your home when baby proofing. Having a mat under your child’s crib and changing table can help relieve some stress for nervous dads should the unthinkable happen and the baby ends up on the floor. Play mats in your child’s play area also provide cushioning for inevitable tumbles when they are first learning to sit, stand, crawl and walk. We like the play mats from Little Nomad because they are made without toxic EVA foam, toxic dyes, or inks, are lead-free, and you’ll actually like adding these subtle prints to your décor.
Baby Proof the Outside of Your Home
Baby proofing is obviously an important safety step to take inside the home, but keeping a baby safe once you leave home is just as important. We’ve outlined a few key ways to babyproof your life to keep your little one safe while on the go.
Car seats are one of the biggest purchases new parents will make, and nervous new dads may feel especially overwhelmed when deciding which model is right for their baby. SPY spoke to Britax’s car seat specialist Sarah Tilton to find out what nervous new parents should consider when purchasing and safely using a car seat.
“For first-time expecting parents, I would recommend selecting the car seat model type (i.e., rear-facing only, convertible, or all-in-one), based on what you know your lifestyle is now and will be once baby arrives,” says Tilton. “Do you plan on wearing your baby outside the vehicle, or do you prefer to push the baby in a stroller with the car seat attached? This will help narrow down the model type that you’ll get the most use out of. I always recommend that the car seat selection is based on whether it will fit the vehicle correctly, fit the child properly, and is one that you feel confident installing and using every day.”
Once parents have chosen their car seat, ensuring it’s properly installed is the next safety hurdle. “The biggest mistake I see parents or caregivers making when installing car seats is that they do not secure it to the vehicle properly,” Tilton told SPY. “We, as adults, just buckle up and don’t have to do anything else with the seat belt system to help it protect us, but when we install a car seat, there are typically more steps involved to achieve a secure installation.”
Tilton recommends dads follow all the instructions on their car seat manual and work with a car seat specialist. “When caregivers find that they cannot achieve a secure installation by following the instructions, I recommend that they reach out to their car seat manufacturer, watch installation videos, and ask for help from a certified child passenger safety technician,” says Tilton.
“Since nearly half of car seats are installed incorrectly, Britax offers ClickTight installation technology across four models for parents shopping for the option to rear-face infants and forward-face growing toddlers,” adds Tilton. “This is a great solution for achieving a quick, easy and secure installation every time.”
Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat
BEST CAR SEAT
A convertible car seat like the Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat is a great option for nervous new dads because it can be used from birth to childhood, meaning parents only have to purchase one car seat. This car seat is rear-facing up to 50 pounds, which is great news for nervous dads who want to keep their little one safely rear-facing for as long as possible. The Britax is super easy to install with a seatbelt using the three-step open, thread, buckle, and click it closed directions.
Chicco Alfa Lite Lightweight Travel Playard
BEST SAFE SPOT
Babies can’t roam around the home unmonitored, even with all your babyproofing. For times when you can’t watch your little one, a playard is a safe and secure spot to keep the baby. If you ever want to go to the bathroom again, make sure you have a playard. A travel model like the Chicco Alfa Lite Lightweight Travel Playard is also great to use as a play area in a hotel room or at a family member’s house when it’s not possible to babyproof the area.
Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate
BEST TRAVEL GATE
If you are going somewhere that has a babyproof area for your little one, keep them safely contained with a travel-friendly baby gate. We’ve used our Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate for years and love how easy it is to adjust the pressure-mounted gate, which can expand from 38 to 60 inches. Just a reminder — pressure-mounted gates should never be used at the top of staircases.
KidCo Stretchy See-Through Mesh Protective Railing Guard
BEST FOR BALCONIES
Most new parents know that baby gates are a must at the bottom and top of staircases and in front of fireplaces (check out some of our recommended baby gates here), but what about openings that aren’t so straightforward? The KidCo Stretchy See-Through Mesh Protective Railing Guard can help babyproof floating staircases and railings inside and outside the home, making them a must-have for anyone with an open rail balcony.
Baby Banz Infant Hearing Protection Earmuffs
You can’t baby proof the world, but you can protect your little one’s hearing when out and about. Whether you want to help your baby sleep on a noisy plane or protect them from loud noises at the farmer’s market, headphones like the Baby Banz Infant Hearing Protection Earmuffs will help to ensure your child’s hearing isn’t negatively affected.
Read More: Best Baby Ear Protection