By Joanna Sommer
Almost nothing is more exciting or nerve wracking than bringing your first baby home from the hospital after delivery. You have likely set up a designated baby room, chosen a crib or other sleeping arrangement, and purchased plenty of tiny baby clothes. Don’t forget to take the extra step and make sure your home is also as safe as it can be for the newest addition to your family.
Make sure you have a baby-safe car seat
Before you even think about baby proofing your home, you should consider how your baby will be getting there from the hospital. The newest safety advice prescribes a rear facing car seat that buckles in behind the driver or passenger side.
When looking for the best car seat for your new baby, look specifically for car seats made for infants less than six months of age.
Baby proof the bath (or sink!)
One of the most hazardous events in a newborn baby’s life is bathing. Be sure to choose the best area for bathing your baby. If you have a large farmhouse-style sink, it may be the kitchen! Whether you will be bathing your baby in the kitchen sink, or in the bathtub, look for slip-proof matting for the bottom of the bathing tub, and for the floor directly alongside it.
It is also advisable to get faucet and knob covers to safeguard the rough edges. Create storage for bathing items and towels nearby so that you never have to leave the infant, or stretch too far, to reach what you need.
Keep an eye on baby’s bedding
Our instincts often make us inclined to purchase lots of cozy bedding and stuffed animals for our baby’s sleeping area. Unfortunately, this is not the right move for safety. Avoid using fluffy bedding such as pillows, comforters, or sheepskins. As much as you may want to give your baby a stuffed animal immediately, it should never be with them while they are sleeping. All of these items increase the risk of suffocation for newborn infants who cannot position themselves.
You should also be sure to have a crib or bassinet in the baby’s room and also in your room. As tempting as it may be to let your new baby sleep with you in your bed, this also poses a safety hazard. Having that extra baby sleeping space in your own room will make difficult nights with your little one easier.
Invest in a baby monitor
A baby monitor is an extremely useful tool for monitoring you baby when they are sleeping in another room. Not only can they help you tell if your baby has woken up and needs you, but they can help to alert you if your baby is in distress.
There are different types of baby monitors, including audio only versions and monitors with video capability. Video capability combined with night vision and a motion sensor is the ideal combination for monitoring your baby’s safety while in another room.
Baby proof your furniture.
While it may not be absolutely necessary until your little one starts to crawl, why not get a head start? Adding corner guards to sharp furniture edges will ensure that your home is still baby-proofed when your baby begins to crawl. It will also help prevent you from banging shins or knees on sharp furniture edges when you are walking around with your baby in your arms.
Take an infant first aid course.
At the end of the day, there is only so much baby-proofing that you can do. Once you have addressed major hazards - such as the car, sharp edges, the bathing area, the bedding area, and times when your baby will not be with you in the same room - your baby’s safety ultimately lies in your ability to identify issues and respond. An infant first aid course will teach you everything you need to know about monitoring your baby’s health, and how to respond effectively in an emergency.
Being prepared is the name of the game when it comes to bringing your new baby home. As best as you can, address areas of concern and outfit your car and bathing areas so that they are baby friendly. Be mindful of bedding and your child’s sleeping area, baby proof your furniture, and make sure that you know how to react to any emergency situation. With some extra attention, your home will be safe for the newest member of your family!
Joanna is the Senior Editor for InformedMag and is passionate about security and tech. She has been working in the home safety and security field for 5 years. Joanna loves to travel and enjoys going to hot yoga and Barre classes. She is dedicated to creating articles that both educate and help people make an informed purchasing decision.
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