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When I was pregnant with my first child nearly 10 years ago, it was important to me that my husband and I take an infant CPR and safety course. So we rode on the subway for an hour to get to the hospital where I was planning to give birth, hung out with other expectant parents for a four-hour chunk of time, and then schlepped all the way home, only to do it again the following week.
It was a huge time commitment and involved a lot of waiting around. We had to wait for everyone to arrive, for drink and snack breaks, for other parents-to-be to complete certain tasks, and for the instructor to get around to having one-on-one time with everyone.
Speaking of my instructor, he was kind of terrifying. I think he was trying to impart the importance of all of the safety information on us – but I ended up feeling intimidated. And if I’m being completely honest, I forgot most of the information within a few weeks.
Fast-forward to now, and I have four kids – including one who is 9 months old. It’s been a minute since I took that CPR and safety course, so I’m a little rusty. I know that it’s crucial that I be up-to-date with this information, especially given how many little ones I have running around. But I’m also a working mom of four, and leaving the house outside of working hours – without children, no less! – is a serious childcare challenge, making it all but impossible for me to take another in-person infant CPR course.
So, when the editors at BabyCenter asked if I wanted to take their All-in-One Baby Safety with CPROpens a new window course at home in exchange for an honest review – and in less than 75 minutes! – I jumped at the opportunity.
The course offers 13 video lessons that you can watch at your own pace.
The second I clicked on the introductory lesson, I immediately felt at ease. The courseOpens a new window is led by C. Anthoney Lim, M.D., M.S., the director of pediatric emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Hospitals in New York City, and it’s co-hosted by Anna Jimenez Lyle, a BabyCenter parent contributor. There’s soothing music playing in the background, and Dr. Lim and Anna are sitting in a cute, brightly-lit room that’s a far cry from the sterile and soul-sucking hospital meeting room where I took my in-person infant CPR class.
Dr. Lim has that unique ability to communicate important information without getting in the weeds with “doctor speak,” so all of his advice is easy to understand. That was key, given that I took these courses in snippets that I watched on my phone during nursing sessions and after putting my kids to bed at night.
Ultimately, this course was way more approachable than the in-person class I took, and I found it easier to stay engaged with the information since I wasn’t so intimidated.
The lessons contain comprehensive safety information and come with notes you can save for later.
For a busy mom like me who has a serious lack of time, it was helpful to know when the lesson would cover something that I already knew so that I could skim over that information. I felt comfortable initially skipping over the basic first aid section, for example, given that I handle cuts and scrapes on a daily basis and (unfortunately) have first-hand experience with treating burns. I came back and watched it later when I had more time, and actually learned something new, like that you should see your doctor if your baby has a cut in a sensitive area, like the diaper region.
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Optional quizzes in between different chapters of the courseOpens a new window helped ensure I was actually retaining the information and were a gentle reminder that maybe I needed to go back and review a few things.
I also loved that some videos have extra tools that you can download and save or print out. For example, I kept the handy infants’ medication dosage chart on the counter when my entire family got the flu – it was so helpful to consult it when I had to figure out dosages for several little ones on the fly.
Taking a CPR course online is definitely different than in person, but I preferred the virtual version.
When I took an in-person CPR course, I probably had about two minutes of hands-on learning with a mannequin that needed to be shared with other expectant parents and my husband. While it gave me a chance to actually do CPR, I’m not sure that I got all that much out of it. This time around, I practiced on my 3-year-old’s Cabbage Patch kid and still felt like I was learning just as much.
Another element that I really liked? The courseOpens a new window addresses infant CPR and choking, as well as rescue maneuvers for children ages 1 and up. As I recall, my in-person class never went beyond the infant stage.
I also spent a lot of time on the choking lesson from Dr. Lim, and even rewound some parts to rewatch them again, given that I have four kids who love to wiggle around and talk while eating. It was great to be able to watch and rewatch the information that I found most relevant to my situation.
I really appreciated the sections on water safety, as well, and the timeliness of the COVID-19 precautions and safety lesson. Neither of those topics were covered in my in-person course.
Finally, as someone who has debated taking their kid to the ER on more than one occasion, it was really helpful to watch the lesson on when this is actually necessary and when it may be better to call the pediatrician instead. This course offered much more comprehensive safety information than the in-person class did, in addition to covering CPR and choking rescue maneuvers.
For $45, the course was also less expensive than what I’d pay for an in-person class in my area. I like that I can go back and rewatch it any time during the 12 months I have access. And I can’t stress how immensely helpful it was to be able to take the course in those rare little moments of downtime that I have – and from my own home.
Overall, I left the course feeling empowered and re-educated about important aspects of safety for my kids. I’m definitely recommending it to friends who have little ones.