By Katrina Hatchett
Having a newborn, especially your first, can be extremely daunting. There are so many variables to account for with young children and accounting and combating all of them can seem like an impossible task. However, reassure yourself its not and do a bit of research on anything you’re not sure about. To that end, here are ten tips for caring for a newborn as safely as possible.
- Choose The Rooms You Will Let Your Baby In
Every room in your house will have a variety of potential hazards which you will need to remove or account for. By identifying the small number of rooms your baby can roam free, you can babyproof with focus and with precision.
- Arrange Their Sleep Area
Cribs should be very carefully chosen, with slats that are the correct width to keep your child in there when you aren’t in the room. Bedding should actually err on the side of hard. Soft bedding might allow for a situation in which they suffocate in their sleep. To this point, never sleep with your baby in the same bed as you.
- Pick A Car Seat
Travelling in a car can be dangerous for fully grown humans, let alone babies. Newborns have unusual body to head ratios, so the traditional advice is to opt for rear facing car seats. Actual crashes are fatal to humans, but much lighter impacts can seriously harm a small child.
- Consider What Is At Their Height
“When you babyproof a room, you really have to think about it from a baby’s perspective. What can they reach, what could they bump their head on or scratch themselves on when they are on the floor?” says Lola Roth, parenting writer at WriteMyx and BritStudent. Where you place the protective foam might not be initially where you expected, so think like a baby and you’ll see the hazards more easily.
- Prepare For Bath Time
Baths need to be a much more monitored experience for a baby than you will be used to. The water temperature mustn’t be too hot for a baby’s delicate skin. Similarly, babies must be attended at all times. Even with a small amount of water in the bath a baby can drown very easily if you are not vigilant.
- Cover Your Electronics
Babies are at the perfect height to really interfere with electronics, which can lead to either damaged electronics or a damaged baby. Watch for wires hanging out, make sure babies can’t pull things on themselves, cover your wall outlets with plastic covers etc.
- Learn CPR
“Many adults don’t consider how valuable this skill can be to their own baby. There are so many more things which can go wrong with a small child and having first aid training can go a long way to offsetting the chance of a serious mishap” explains Frederic Lawson, educator at 1day2write and Australia2Write. Give yourself some insurance, so if the worst ever did happen you’d be ready.
- Keep Houseplants Well Out Of Reach
Babies will eat just about anything, that includes some tasty looking colorful leaves off the plant in your living room. This could have disastrous consequences, depending on the plant, so keep your plants out of reach and watch for any leaves that have fallen to the floor.
- Monitor The Temperature Of Your House
Adults have a much higher capacity for enduring shifts in climate. Extended periods of time at temperatures which fall out of the safe range (65f-74f) can be damaging to your baby. Have some sort of thermostat and don’t lie your baby down next to a heater or air-conditioner.
- Choose A Guardian
In the unlikely and unfortunate event anything were to happen to you and you are unable to be responsible for the security of your baby, make sure you have picked who you want to have step in. Ideally, they should be someone who has researched everything on this list.
Looking after a baby can seem like an obstacle course, but if you do your research you should be set to offset the chance of harm coming your child’s way. Don’t rely on this list alone, go from here and keep researching to maximize your knowledge.
Katrina Hatchett is a mom and lifestyle blogger at Academic Brits. She has been involved in various business projects as well, where her main role is to define problems and propose solutions, as well as improving overall communication efficiency. She also writes for Origin Writings, an online academic service
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