Safety For Your Newborn
Newborn safety is crucial when having a baby. When you held your baby for the very first time in the hospital, you promised to love and protect him/her for the rest of their life. Your little one depends on you for absolutely everything, at least as a newborn, and it becomes your responsibility to make sure that your baby gets the absolute best in every possible way. Here are some safety tips for you to follow to protect your baby.
Newborn Safety in the Nursery
- Before anything, when you purchase a crib or bassinet for your little one, make sure that it meets the current federal safety standards. For instance, the maximum width of the crib slats should be 2 3/8 inches in order to avoid any part of the baby’s body from getting trapped.
- To prevent suffocation, keep soft bedding, such as pillows, stuffed toys, bumpers, blankets, etc. away from where your baby sleeps.
- Always put down your newborn to sleep on his/her back to reduce the risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. You can also choose to give your baby a pacifier before sleep to reduce the chances of SIDS.
- If you prefer co-sleeping, place a crib or bassinet next to your bed instead of sharing your bed with your infant. This prevents safety hazards like suffocation or rolling on top of the baby.
- The room where your baby sleeps in should always have a moderate temperature. Also, dress your baby in the right clothes to avoid overheating.
- The mattress used within the crib or bassinet should be firm and not soft.
- The crib or bassinet should be placed away from heaters, lamps, windows, and other furniture.
- Choose a changing table that either comes with guardrails or safety strap to eliminate the risk of falls.
- Never leave your baby unattended on the changing table.
Newborn Safety in the Car
- Make sure that the car seat you purchase for your baby is federally approved.
- Install the car safety sear properly by reading and following the manufacturer’s instructions to a T.
- The middle of your car’s back seat is the safest location to have the baby car seat.
- Never place the car seat in the front seat with a passenger air bag.
- Never carry your baby on your lap when the car is moving.
- The car seat should be rear facing, at least for the first year of your baby’s life.
- Leave one or more of your belongings in the seat where the car seat is installed, because this will make you check the seat before leaving the car, thus preventing leaving behind your child in the vehicle accidentally.
Newborn Safety in the Kitchen
- Before your baby starts crawling, install appliance locks in all appliances that have doors.
- Though your baby might not be able to reach it, or you will always be there to prevent accidents, use stove knob covers just in case.
- Install safety locks on all shelves or cabinets that are close to the ground.
Newborn Safety in the Bathroom
- Remember to always check the temperature of your baby’s bath water before placing him/her into the tub to make sure that it is not too hot. One of the best ways to do this is by dipping your elbow in the water.
- Maintain the temperature of your hot water heater at 120o
- Use non-slip mats for the bathtub, and also for any other hard surface around the bathroom.
- Never leave your baby unattended in the bathtub, even for a moment, in order to avoid drowning.
- Keep any appliance you use in the bathroom, such as hair dryer, trimmer, etc. unplugged and away from water.
- Never hold or carry hot liquids, like coffee, or even hot foods, while you are holding your baby.
- Prevent tap water scalds by maintaining the temperature at the faucet at a maximum of 120o
- Avoid microwaving your baby’s bottle, because it can create hot spots in the formula due to uneven heating. Instead, you can leave the bottle submerged in a bowl of warm water. And always check the temperature of the milk or formula on your wrist before feeding your baby.
- Make sure that the smoking alarms around your home are in working condition, and check them regularly.
- Avoid smoking around your baby and restrict others from doing the same as well.
- Do not leave your baby unattended on the changing table, sofas, or beds. If you have something to attend to, leave your baby in their playpen or crib and not anywhere else.
- When using an infant carrier, always remember to use the strap, and never place it on an elevated surface.
- Once your baby reaches crawling age, use gates wherever necessary, especially on stairways, to avoid falls and other accidents. Also, install window guards, especially on those above the first floor.
As a new parent, with everything going on with the arrival of your newborn, there are things you are likely to forget. Use these safety tips and make a checklist to make sure that you have everything under control.
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