Babies don’t come with a manual, but there are plenty of resources out there to keep you up-to-date on important safety recommendations and protocols. Like any job, parents should seek out further education and training to ensure they’re always equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to do the best they can.
To learn a few basics for keeping your baby safe, here is a safety guide to help you navigate some common situations with your new baby.
Bedroom and Sleep Safety
- Keep furniture away from the window
- Follow the ABC’s of safe sleep – alone (no bedding or stuffed animals), on his/her back, in a crib or bassinet
- Ensure changing area is safe by keeping lotions and creams out of baby’s reach. Never leave baby unattended during a diaper change – buckle the safety strap if one is available. Keep one hand on baby at all times.
- Gather and prepare all supplies before beginning the bath
- Keep supplies within arms-reach so you never have to leave baby unattended or take your eyes off of baby
- Use a gentle liquid soap to clean baby carefully
- Use nonslip bath mats in the tub and on the bathroom floor to prevent slipping
- Always hold baby’s bottle, never prop it up while baby drinks
- Set-up a designated nursing or feeding spot to prevent falling asleep while feeding baby to avoid sleep-related accidents
- Always secure the safety straps around baby in the high chair
- Never leave baby unattended in the high chair
- Ensure that the wheels are in the locked position when in use
- Offer age-appropriate food options and teach appropriate portion sizes and bite sizes to prevent choking
- Using a safe car seat is one of the most important ways to protect your baby.
- Ensure your car seat is properly installed before using by following installation instructions and having it checked at a health department, fire station, or police station.
- Ensure the straps are snug and the buckle is placed at chest level, even with the armpits.
- Follow recommendations for rear-facing car seats and age-appropriate modifications
- Do not use the car seat as a replacement for a crib or safe sleeping space, even if it seems baby sleeps better there.
- Never leave baby unattended, bring baby with you if the doorbell rings, etc. or place baby in the crib or a safe, secure place if you must divert your attention elsewhere
- Anchor heavy furniture to the wall so if baby bumps into it there is no risk of a tip-over accident
- Be vigilant about vacuuming and keeping baby’s play area free of choking hazards
- Cover electrical outlets
- Install baby gates to keep baby in/out of designated spaces
- Place latches on cupboards and drawers with dangerous utensils, dishware, and appliances.
What safety tips would you add to the list?