parenting

Heat Danger and Other Horrible Mistakes We're Making ...

Eliza Martinez

Heat Danger and Other Horrible Mistakes We're Making ...

As moms it seems like we're always doing something wrong, right? Most of the "mistakes" you make won't hurt your kid for life. Sometimes, however, the choices you make could be putting your baby in danger. Riding in the stroller seems safe enough, but make sure you aren't making these errors when you strap your little one in.

1 Stop Covering the Stroller with a Blanket

Many moms, myself included, has put a thin blanket over the stroller to keep the sun out of their baby's eyes and keep them in the shade. Your thought is your baby's safety, right? Experts say that doing this can easily cause your baby to overheat in the hot summer months. The heat doesn't have a way to escape, trapping it all around your little one. Use the sun shade that came with the stroller instead of the blanket and check your baby often to be sure he isn't overheating.

2 You Don't Apply the Brakes

When you stop the stroller and plan to release the handle or move away from the stroller, it's vital to always put the brake on. Even if you're within reach, a stroller can gain speed pretty quickly and get away from you. The simple act of putting on the brake will keep your baby safe and prevent you from having to freak out.

3 Don't Forget to Open before Collapsing

Your stroller is designed to fold up for easy stowing in the car or the house. However, you have to do so properly or you run the risk of damaging your stroller, which makes it unsafe for your baby. Before you collapse your stroller, make sure you open it fully first. That way it folds up smoothly and properly.

4 Never, Ever Leave Valuables in an Empty Stroller

Say you're at the zoo and there's an area that doesn't allow strollers so you park yours. You never want to walk away from the stroller without your purse, wallet and other valuables. You'd like to think that your stuff is safe and that other moms would never steal from you, but that isn't always the case. Better safe than sorry.

5 You've Got to Use the Safety Straps

When your baby is really tiny, it can be tempting to forgo the straps because he isn't going anywhere, right? Wrong. You never know when your baby is going to learn to roll or sit up. Case in point - my oldest son was about to fall off the public toilet so I stashed his little brother in the stroller (without the straps) and he chose that moment to roll, falling out face first onto the bathroom floor. He was fine, thank goodness, but it just goes to show that you should always use the safety straps in your baby's stroller. No exceptions.

6 You Should Never Let Your Baby Sleep in the Stroller

I've done it and I know I shouldn't. Your baby should always be sleeping flat on his or her back to reduce the risk of SIDS. If your little one falls asleep in the stroller, it can be pretty tempting to leave him there until his nap is over. At the risk of waking your baby up, you should always move him from the stroller to his crib when you arrive at your destination. If you're out and about and your baby falls asleep in the stroller, keep your eye on him until he wakes up.

7 Don't Use the Stroller as a Babysitter

Yes, when your baby is strapped in, he's totally safe and not going anywhere. However. leaving your baby in the same position for long periods of time isn't good for his physical development. For example, lying on his back for extended amounts of time can lead to a flattening on the back of your baby's head. Take your little one out and play with him, place him on his tummy when you can supervise him or dance around together.

Have you made any of these stroller mistakes? What other stroller safety tips can you add?