Every parent experiences moments of panic when their baby consumes something they shouldn’t. A common concern is “My baby ate vanilla extract – what should I do?” In this article, we’ll explore what to do in such situations, the potential risks involved, and preventative measures you can take.
Understanding Vanilla Extract
What is Vanilla Extract?
Vanilla extract is a solution made by soaking vanilla beans in alcohol and water. It’s commonly used in baking and contains a high alcohol content, generally between 35% to 40%.
Is Vanilla Extract Safe for Babies?
In small amounts, like what’s used in baked goods, it’s generally safe. However, consuming it directly can be harmful due to the high alcohol content.
Actions to Take if Your Baby Eats Vanilla Extract
Assess the Situation
Firstly, try to determine how much vanilla extract your baby consumed. If it was just a tiny lick, they will likely be fine, though you should still monitor them closely.
Contact a Healthcare Professional
If you’re unsure about the amount consumed, or if your baby shows signs of discomfort, it’s best to contact your pediatrician or a poison control center immediately. They can provide specific guidance based on the situation.
Preventing Future Incidents
Safe Storage of Baking Ingredients
Ensure that baking ingredients, including vanilla extract, are stored in locked cabinets or high places where your baby can’t reach them.
Supervise Your Baby in the Kitchen
Always keep an eye on your baby when you’re in the kitchen. It’s all too easy for them to get hold of something potentially harmful if you turn your back for just a moment.
“After a long day of baking, I noticed my 15-month old daughter, Lucy, had managed to get her hands on the vanilla extract. I was petrified when I saw her with the cap off. I didn’t know how much she’d consumed. Immediately, I called poison control, and they advised me to keep an eye on her for any signs of discomfort. Thankfully, she hadn’t ingested much and was perfectly fine, but it certainly taught me a lesson about keeping baking supplies out of reach!”
– Sarah, North Carolina
“I remember one afternoon, I was busy prepping dinner while my son Ethan was playing nearby. When I turned around, I saw him licking vanilla extract off his fingers. I panicked, assuming the worst. I dialed our pediatrician, and they calmed me down, telling me that a small amount shouldn’t harm him but to monitor him for any signs of intoxication. Luckily, Ethan was completely unfazed and kept playing as if nothing had happened.”
– Miguel, Sacramento
“My twins have always been a handful, but I never expected them to find the vanilla extract. I found them giggling and smelling their hands. They must have loved the sweet scent, but I was horrified. I was unsure how much they had consumed and rushed them to the ER to be safe. It turned out they had only had a few drops each, but it gave us quite the scare. From that day on, all baking ingredients are stored in a high cupboard.”
– Laura, Manchester
“I have a toddler who is notorious for getting into things she shouldn’t. One day, she found the vanilla extract, and before I knew it, she was sipping it like it was her sippy cup. I immediately took it from her and called our local poison control center. They asked me about her size, what she had consumed, and then told me to watch her closely for the next few hours. She was a bit more tired than usual that day, but otherwise, she was fine. It was a wake-up call, though. Now I’m extra cautious about where I store things.”
– Aiden, Toronto
“I left the room for two minutes to grab a washcloth and came back to find my son Jake with the vanilla extract bottle. I estimated he had swallowed about a teaspoon. While he seemed perfectly happy, I was in full panic mode. I called the pediatrician who reassured me that he should be fine but to watch for any unusual behavior. Jake was a bit hyper for an hour or so but eventually calmed down. It was a terrifying experience, and I’ve since put childproof locks on all my kitchen cabinets.”
– Madison, Sydney
How SleepBaby.org Can Assist You
At SleepBaby.org, we understand the importance of safe environments for promoting healthy sleep routines. Ensuring your baby can’t access potentially harmful substances, such as vanilla extract, contributes to their overall wellbeing and sleep quality.
Aside from articles on baby safety, we provide numerous resources to help you understand your baby’s sleep patterns and methods to enhance their sleep. Whether you need advice on sleep training, understanding sleep regressions, or creating optimal sleep environments, we’re here to help.
While discovering that your baby has eaten vanilla extract can be alarming, remember not to panic. Assess the situation, contact a healthcare professional, and ensure safe storage of such items in the future. Prioritizing safety in your home will not only protect your little one but also contribute to better, more peaceful sleep. For more information and resources on baby sleep, visit SleepBaby.org.