The question of how to keep a baby safe at home is every parent’s concern. We want to care, nurture and protect our little ones…don’t say it, but you’re thinking it. Yes, If we could provide them a lifetime of security from hurt, pain, danger, sickness…..we would.
As a mom, my heart aches when my baby is not able to tell me what’s going on. My heart yearns to serve at all times and it brings me great joy to see my baby happy and playing. Every day, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a mom….because that desire was always in my heart. If I had never experienced the joy of birthing my own child, I personally would have never felt complete. Being a mom is personal and our journeys will never be the same. Each parenting journey is its own.
As you read this blog, think of your own journey…you too have your own story to tell…your experience with life, motherhood, parenthood, guardianship, care giving, etc. The list goes on in terms of which title is appropriate for you…you choose it. Don’t let others define your position whether you’ve given birth or not, if you’re reading this now, then you are a parent. You are searching for ways to keep your baby safe…and that is just the beginning of good parenting.
Your Baby’s Safety
Before I go on, I want to insert a quick point here: please wash your hands or sanitize (alcohol-free) frequently before holding baby. Minimizing their exposure to certain germs is just as highly important as keeping your child safe.
Your child’s safety is your first priority. Keeping your baby out of harm’s way from birth through toddler years is a major task. Start by observing what your baby is capable of doing. Naturally, a newborn is less mobile than a 6-month old; however, if you start practicing certain habits early, you will not have to re-adjust to every stage. Safety will become an everyday practice.
Avoid Baby Falls
As a rule for infant carriers, as soon as you put the baby in, strap immediately. Never place an infant carrier on a tabletop or counter top, place it on the floor – no exceptions.
If you’re leaving the room and your baby is not secure in a playpen or strapped in a carrier then take the baby with you. Never leave your baby unattended on the bed, couch, or changing table. It only takes a second for an accident to happen. Remember, whatever you’ll be rushing to, can wait a second but your baby can’t.
Avoid microwaving baby bottles. The microwave can heat unevenly which can create hot spots that can result in burning your baby’s mouth. When warming bottles, use a bottle warmer or simply submerge the bottle in a bowl of hot tap water. As always, shake the bottle well to make sure the bottle is evenly warm for the baby. Do a temperature test on your hand or wrist before feeding your baby.
Do not carry hot liquids while you’re carrying the baby. Ask for help, if help is near or simply make multiple trips.
If you are giving the baby a bath, test the water with a thermostat. Some thermostats have happy and sad faces emojis which will indicate whether the temperature is right for your baby’s bath time.
Install working smoke alarms in your home at every level or every room. Be mindful to change the batteries every 3-6 months. An easier way to remind yourself is to change them with each season. As the seasons change, so should the batteries. 🙂
Have your home tested for radon, based on the age of your home. If your home uses gas heat then make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector installed.
Dangerous Baby Incidents
As fun as parents may think this is – DON’T DO IT – never shake or throw a baby in the air, which can damage their brain or cause blindness.
Let’s not keep sharp objects in baby’s reach. Secure all knives, scissors, tools, razors, pens/pencils and other small hazardous objects such as coins, beads, pins, pills, etc. If your baby is crawling, bring yourself to the baby’s level to see what he/she sees and feels. Sometimes, you’ll be able to see objects or things that might not be as visible from a standing up position.
Make sure tablecloths, lamps, and other things are not reachable and will not easily roll down on your baby.
Last, do not leave your baby unattended with younger siblings and pets. I repeat, do not do it! Remember the “second” rule…it only takes a second for something to go wrong. Keep a watchful eye at all times.
In the past years, a lot of changes had to be made to televisions, drawers and other furniture pieces that had accidentally fallen on children. Take an inventory of your home…is it safe? Ask yourself: Does an item have the potential of falling if the baby reaches for it? Do I need a gate to section off the room? Do I need to affix the furniture to the wall so that it doesn’t fall over? One of your immediate goals is to make your home as childproof as possible.
Baby Sleeping Safety Tips
I’m truly thankful for my labor team at the hospital because they provided ample training on baby care and safety. Whether you’re a first time parent or not, they reinforced all the safety measures to take in order to prevent senseless mistakes. So, I say all this to make this point – always put your baby on his/her back to help reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS.
I hardly used a pacifier but it’s been said that giving your baby a pacifier before he/she goes to sleep can also reduce the chance of SIDS.
I have always had a picture in the nursery of what the crib should look like – free of toys, blankets, pillows, toys, bumpers, anything that might suffocate your baby. The only precious item that should be in the crib is your baby – nothing else.
Keep your baby’s room at a comfortable temperature. Do not add too many layers so that they don’t overheat which can also reduce the risk of SIDS.
If your baby falls asleep in a soother or rocker, do not leave your baby in there for a long period. Always remove your baby and lay him/her on a flat surface.
When nursing, place yourself in a position that will keep you awake so that you don’t fall asleep. Doing this can avoid the risk of choking your baby.
Although, it’s been done numerous times but avoid doing it – do not put your baby to sleep on your bed for easy reach. Your baby should only be put to sleep in his/her crib. When in doubt, don’t do it. Think – safety first!
Your Baby’s Safety is Possible
Overall, keeping your baby safe is your responsibility and it is very possible.
It’s true, there’s no such thing as too much skin-to-skin contact with your baby. So enjoy touching your baby and loving on him/her. Create moments, lasting memories that only you and your baby will have. It’s not cliche – the times do go by rather quickly. The innocent little helpless baby you brought home will soon be crawling, then walking and the moments will continue on – cherish them.
I have said this before but it bears repeating, I enjoy every stage of my baby’s growth and miss each one dearly; however, I’m also looking forward to new and exciting ones. Simply thankful!
Share your journey and/or a positive thought by leaving a comment.