You’ve brought your new baby home, but suddenly everything seems like a hazard. You may find yourself wondering if your house is baby-proof enough, or maybe even if you went overboard. Even then, there are safety concerns outside your carefully baby-proofed home.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are our top five infant safety tips.
1. Be careful with what your baby sleeps on or with
According to Sutter Health, your baby’s crib should have a firm and tight-fitting mattress. Avoid putting toys, pillows and stuffed animals in the crib—these could smother your baby! You should also be wary of suffocation with soft surfaces. Don’t let your baby sleep on objects such as pillows or bean bags.
2. Put the Poison Control’s hotline number in your phone
1-800-222-1222. Put it in your phone now for easy access later. This hotline is a completely free way to get expert poison control advice. The hotline will be able to tell you whether what your child ingested is toxic or not (saving a costly trip to the emergency room), and if you can take immediate action to help your child.
3. Don’t leave your baby alone near water
Babies can drown with a small amount of water and very quickly, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. They recommend giving your baby a bath in a special infant tub with a non-skid mat. University of Rochester Medical Center adds that you should fill the tub with only two to three inches of warm water.
Note that babies can even drown in a pail of water—be very cautious with their surroundings.
4. Don’t use baby walkers
You may want your baby to begin walking earlier, but don’t worry! Your baby will learn how to walk when he or she is ready developmentally. In fact, Sutter Health says that baby walkers often cause injuries, and actually slow down proper muscular development.
5. Put your baby to sleep on his or her back
The National Institute of Health says the best way to reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is to put your baby to sleep on his or her back. This position also reduces the chance for babies to get stuffy noses and fevers.