Bringing home a new baby is an exciting and magical time for any family. Preparing your home in advance for the big day helps parents to proactively provide built-in safety for the new addition to the family. There are a range of different baby safety products on the market today that can make parent’s lives a lot easier. However, there are also some very simple types of safety practices that will keep your infant out of harm’s way. Before your baby is mobile, take a few minutes to look at each room of your home and try to see it from the perspective of an infant. General safety issues that can be put in place include:
- Install baby proof latches on all drawers and cabinets in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and storage areas to prevent injury if baby pulls the drawers or cabinets open or gets into the stored contents.
- Check all electrical cords and remove, cover or secure any that can be accessed. Cover all electrical outlets with spring loaded covers that automatically close when the cord is removed.
- Ensure that all cords for blinds or drapes are well out of reach.
- Be sure that the crib is designed to prevent the baby from getting hands or limbs lodged between the posts. The mattress should fit correctly in the crib and extend to the frame on all sides.
- Limit items in and around the crib and ensure any mobiles or items that hang on the crib rails are safe and secure and approved for use with an infant.
- Make sure that the area for changing your infant’s diapers is within reach of all of the necessary supplies so that you never have to take your hands off of a wiggler!
- Always have the correctly sized, approved car safety seat for your baby and do not travel with the baby in a vehicle when the child is not secured in the baby car seat. Also, check the expiration date on the tag (yes, car seats have an expiration date!)
- Avoid using any types of room freshening or air treatment products in the home as some infants are extremely sensitive to these products.
- Last, and perhaps most importantly, never leave your baby unattended unless they are in a safe, secure location such as their crib.
Hopefully these suggestions will ensure that bringing your newborn child home for the first time is a magical time for the whole family.