Whether you’re a first time mom or already have kids, baby safety is always on every mom’s radar. After all, we all want our kids to be as safe as possible, right?
It’s only natural for a mom to want to protect her child from danger. No matter how prepared (or not) you are for kids, baby safety is an instinct that can’t be avoided even if you wanted to (which, of course, I’m guess you wouldn’t want to avoid anyway!).
So much goes into keeping babies safe that it can feel overwhelming at times. Especially when people begin to contradict what you’ve learned from others. So what do you need to do to keep your baby safe? Here are the basics that every mom needs to know.
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Any information provided in this article is based on experience and research, but you should talk to your doctor concerning what is best for you and your child.
Baby Safety 101
Plug all outlets
Once the baby starts wiggling around, it won’t be long before he’s crawling and getting into everything. Take the time to plug all outlets before this happens, so that you don’t forget later.
You can pick up a pack off Amazon. They don’t have to be expensive–as long as they completely plug up the outlet you’ll be good to go. The last thing you need is to have your baby stick a finger in one and get shocked. Not a pleasant experience!
An easy way to make sure you get all outlets is to start on one wall and work your way around a room, plugging each outlet as you go. Do this for every room, even if you don’t plan for the baby to be in a particular room. Trust me, once they start going, it can be hard to keep up!
Remove All Cords Within Reach of Baby
After you plug up the outlets, be sure to remove any cords that the baby could potentially get a hold of. And let me just tell you from an unfortunate experience, they can reach farther and sooner than you think!
Make sure anything electrical is well out of reach. Even cords with safety switches can harm your baby if they get wet with saliva. It’s inconvenient, but you don’t want to mess with electricity when it comes to the safety of your baby.
Know and Practice Safe Sleeping Practices
This is a touchy subject in the mom world, with some moms adhering hardcore to crib only when it comes to their baby sleeping. On the flip side are moms who believe that co-sleeping is best for babies. Before deciding on either, do plenty of research and then make the best call for your family. In either case, there are safety precautions to take for baby safety.
In A Crib
The ABC’s of baby sleeping safety are recommended by most pediatricians. According to this acronym, babies should be sleep alone, on their backs, and in a crib.
This is so that the baby does not become smothered by the parents if they accidentally roll over. Likewise, it is recommended for them to be on their backs so that they can breath well, since newborns cannot lift their own heads. This way, they do not become stuck in a position where they cannot breath.
At some point your baby will learn to roll over and may prefer to sleep on his stomach. It is recommended that you continue to lay your baby on his back; it is okay if he rolls over himself during the night. At that point, he will be strong enough to move himself if he gets in a position that limits his breathing.
It is also important to keep pillows, stuffed animals, blankets, or any loose fabric out of the crib for the first year. While these things look cute, they can be a hazard to your baby. Instead, keep only a tight fitting crib sheet on a firm crib mattress (this is the mattress we got, and our son loves it!).
If you choose to co-sleep, be sure to research safe sleeping practices and talk with your child’s pediatrician. Many of the same baby safety actions apply here as well. You will want to be sure to dress your child in a many that will keep them warm but prevent them from overheating. Take into account that your own body heat may contribute to this as well.
It is also important to be sure that anything that the baby could potentially suffocate on is removed as well. This includes pillows and blankets. If your baby is sleeping with you, you should invest in a firm mattress that will keep your baby safe.
Install and Use Car Seat Properly
This is one that is talked about a lot but is so very important. Unless you are going to walk home from the hospital and literally never go anywhere, you will need a car seat for your baby.
If you have not yet had your baby, be aware that the hospital will not allow you to leave with your baby unless you have an infant car seat properly installed in your car.
This sounds a lot more ominous than it really is. Simply install the car seat according to the instructions that come with it. When you put your child in, be sure that the straps are snug enough that you can’t fit more than a finger between the belt and the child. The cross piece should be adjusted so that it sits at your child’s armpit level. This will prevent it from harming your child in the event of an accident.
Always make sure your child is safely secured in his car seat before driving anywhere.
What do you think?
Do you have any other basic baby safety tips all moms should know? Let me know in the comments below!