Making Home Safe For Baby
Decorating the nursery isn’t the only way you need to get your home ready for your baby. You also need to take steps to make your home safe for a clumsy and curious little one. Before your baby is born, prepare your house for their arrival by taking these steps.
Baby Proof Your Home
Though your newborn will stay where you put them, it won’t be long before they are rolling around and crawling. To keep your child safe, you should:
- Cover electrical outlets and secure electrical cords.
- Put up gates on stairways.
- Anchor bookshelves, televisions, or other furniture that may tip on your child.
- Install safety latches on cabinets or drawers that contain dangerous, sharp, or heavy items including clean products, batteries, knives, or tools.
- Remove any small objects that may cause choking.
- Avoid smoking in the home which is a burn risk and increases the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Place any medications or other dangerous items out of reach.
- Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
- Shorten cords on blinds or choose blinds that do not have long cords as these are a strangulation hazard.
Be on the lookout for other potential hazards in your home, whether you have a fireplace or space heater or if you have tables with sharp edges. To spot these hazards, get down on your hands and knees and view your home as if you are your child. You may discover there are more things you need to babyproof than you realize.
Make a Safe Sleep Space
Babies should always sleep alone, on their back, in a crib or other safe surface. A safe sleep area can reduce your child’s risk for SIDS considerably.
Safe sleep surfaces include:
- A crib
- A pack-n-play or play yard without a mattress
- A bassinet
Babies should always be placed on a flat, not inclined surface. You should always buy sheets meant for their sleep surface that fit snugly. Their crib or bassinet should be free of toys, pillows, blankets, bumpers, or any other objects. You should also keep pets and other children out of your baby’s sleeping area.
You can also lower your child’s risk for SIDS by ensuring their room is cool and that a fan is running, even on low. Overheating has been connected to cases of SIDS.
Ensure a Safe Bath Time
Your bathroom and bathtub are another space you need to make safe for your little one. Whether you choose to bathe your baby in the sink, a baby tub, or your bathtub, you need to take these steps to make bath time safe:
- Lower your water heater temperature to prevent bath time burns.
- Remove any sharp objects, medicines, cleaners, or other dangerous items from within the baby’s reach or place them in locked drawers and cabinets.
- When your child is an infant, choose a tub or tub insert that allows them to recline back safely until they can sit on their own.
- Choose shampoos and washes meant for a baby’s delicate skin.
- Place all bath time supplies within easy reach.
Never leave your infant unattended in the bathtub even for a moment. Infants can drown in less than an inch of water.
Learn CPR and Infant Safety
All parents and caregivers should also take an infant CPR and safety course. These courses teach you how to perform CPR on an infant, how to remove an item if your child is choking, and how to prevent other injuries. The course typically only takes a couple of hours on one day but could save your child’s life.