September has been designated National Baby Safety Month. Most baby showers are all about making sure the baby boy or girl has cute clothes and shoes, fun toys, a plethora of diapers, and all the items they need to function each day. However, a wonderful idea that will bless new parents-to-be and possibly the invited guests is to host a baby safety shower. This type of shower centers around how to keep the environment a place where babies can thrive safely.
As the host, there are some clever things that can be done to make this day both fun and thought provoking.
First, let the guests know ahead of time that the theme is baby safety. This will get them thinking about the purchases they make. Will these particular toys be too dangerous for a brand new baby? Is the swing or bassinet that is on the registry on a recall list somewhere? With the shower invitation, include a list of safety items that come directly from the parents’ baby registry to provide possible gift ideas to the guests.
Plan the menu appropriately. Try not to serve anything that might be dangerous to a new baby, such as peanuts, egg, wheat and shellfish. According to WebMD, these foods may cause allergic reactions in a child under two years old. Also, try to avoid serving foods that could cause choking in babies, such as nuts, raisins, grapes, or small mints. Serve nutritious foods that are in large pieces, such as sandwich halves and tortilla rollups with salsa. This can also be a conversation starter to invite people to talk about the foods that would benefit baby the most and what is best to avoid.
Invite someone to share a bit about keeping baby safe. It could be a pediatrician to share information on infant safety issues, a mother who can give first-hand tips and tricks on how baby is guarded from danger in her family, a fireman to discuss creating and practicing a fire escape plan, or someone who is certified in child passenger safety to actually install that new car seat (How many baby showers have you attended where someone could show the guests in detail how to install that brand new infant car seat?). The idea is to enable the parents or any of the guests ask questions about protecting their new little one and have those questions answered by a professional – or someone who has gone through the same fears and concerns.
Decorate the shower venue with baby safety items. Place corner protectors on table corners or any other sharp corners at the shower venue. Put up a baby gate by the stairs or by the door to the kitchen. Cover all unused plug outlets with outlet safety covers. If there are doors that are not already opened, place door stops to allow free entry, or close the door and place a door knob cover on the door for protection. Hand out index cards as guests arrive that explain what each safety item is designed to do to protect the new baby.
All the games that are played should be geared in some way toward the theme of baby safety. Keep the activities fun, but always keep safety first.
Usually, hosts will give shower favors to their guests to help them remember the fun they had at the shower. Why not provide a favor bag of outlet covers or corner bumpers? There may be guests who need these items at their own home. Some guests may have grown children, but they know of a family who are in need of baby safety items. Encourage the guests to pass on the knowledge (and the favors) they received at the baby safety shower.
Remember, baby safety is more than attaching baby gates in strategic places – it is a whole lot more. Plan a baby safety shower to teach everyone present how to make sure the new baby is secure and protected wherever it goes.