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Whānau members can have differing opinions on acceptable parenting practices. Thinking from baby’s point of view can help keep baby safe.

The Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 2, page 20, describes baby as ‘tamaiti haututū’ – a playful child who is continually exploring and testing out everything he comes across.

Differing views on raising pēpi

Sometimes there can be conflicting views within a whānau on what are acceptable parenting practices. Child safety and discipline can be topics where opinions differ. For example:

  • ‘We didn’t have safety gates when our kids were little, they just learnt.’
  • ‘A little smack never hurt anyone – that’s how kids learn.’

Statements like these from parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles can be confusing and unsettling for new parents, especially if they’re living together with extended family. It can be even more difficult when the parents have differing views.

Ask the whānau:

  • Are there things that your family disagree on about keeping baby safe?
  • Whose responsibility is it to see that baby is safe in your home?

The Tākai resource Thinking about parenting encourages parents to consider their beliefs about raising children and why they parent as they do.

Seeing things from baby’s point of view

Helping whānau understand the link between child development and behaviour, and seeing things from baby’s point of view, might get them thinking differently.

Help parents make their baby’s wellbeing their priority rather than feeling as if they have to agree with everyone else.

  • Let’s look at safety around the house together – what sort of things might be a danger to a baby who spends most of their time on the floor?
  • What about the falling risks when they’re up on furniture or beds or can get to stairs or steps?

There’s a lot to think about:

  • Bathroom
  • Car safety
  • Cords
  • Electrical items
  • Heaters
  • Hot liquids
  • Medicines
  • Plastic bags
  • Poisons
  • Sharp objects
  • Small objects
  • Stairs and steps
  • Water

More guidance can be found in the Well Child Tamariki Ora My health book(external link) and on Plunket’s website(external link)

How does this relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze – E aroha ana ahau ki te ako – I love to learn

Six things children need – Te tūāpapa mō te tika me te hē – limits and boundaries

Helpful resources for whānau