From the moment our babies were born…No, wait. Strike that. From the moment we found out we were expecting, the world became a more dangerous place. There were so many things that could harm our babies!
When I was pregnant, I had to be careful with what medicines I took. Some medicines could cause birth defects. Even ibuprofen causes problems, and it is such a common medicine. Then there were certain foods I could not eat during pregnancy. Seafood was limited because of the high levels of mercury. No lunch meat at all. All beef had to be cooked thoroughly (even steaks! and I’m a medium-rare kind of gal). And then the worst, no raw cookie dough because of the risk of salmonella in the uncooked eggs. Do you know how hard it is not to eat chocolate chip cookie dough?
And then the girls were born. We were so afraid to take the girls home. They looked so tiny in their car seats, at 5 pounds. The nurse showed us how to roll up burp rags to put under their bottoms so they would sit up high enough in the car seats to be safe. We were so happy when they finally fit in their car seats properly.
Doing all we could to avoid SIDS and suffocation during sleep was another big concern. When we got them home that first night we had a couple of my cousins with us (who have 2 kids of their own), and they went into the nursery and saw we had the crib bumpers on. They told us that these crib bumper pads weren’t safe because the baby could get up next to them and suffocate because they wouldn’t know how to or be able to turn away from them. So, off they came. (I still don’t know why we spent $70 on a crib set because you only use the bumper pads for about 3 months and the big blanket NEVER. The only thing you DO use is the crib sheet, which could have been purchased for a few bucks.)
Blankets were another issue. Layla LOVED sleeping with a blanket. Over her face. We would let her fall asleep with it, and then remove it. Even now, at 18 months, I will find her with a blanket over her face while she sleeps. And if you move it, she will more often than not wake up if it is during the day. I’m not sure if it helps block out the light, but when she was younger it scared us!
Anyway, it was easy when the girls just sat in their bouncers or their car seats and didn’t move to keep them safe. So when they started scooting around, we had to do a LOT of baby proofing. It started with removing small items from the floor, and making sure I actually vacuumed the carpet every once in a while. We didn’t vacuum well enough one day, when we found Layla gagging on something and realized the dead bug that was once there was no longer on the floor.
And then they started crawling and the sitting up on their own. In went the electrical outlet covers, which the girls figured out how to get out. I remember walking into the hallway one day, and Layla was sitting at the socket with the cover in her hand, trying to put it back in. After a minor freak-out, I redirected Layla to play with another toy. I look back into the hallway, and what is Katherine doing? Pulling out the cover, and then trying to put it back in. We went to the store the next day and purchased a different kind that wasn’t so easy to get out and replaced all the outlet covers we already had in. Every now and then I find the girls trying to take off the rectangular plastic outlet cover. I don’t know what the fascination is with these things, but it needs to stop!
Now that the girls are older, we stop the girls from eating crayons, standing up in the bathtub, and running around with spoons and other objects that would be dangerous if they fell with them in their hands. They keep me plenty busy with everything they don’t think about that could be dangerous. I don’t even want to think ahead to when they are in their teens, learning to drive.