Have we all not felt that the phase of joyous pregnancy slowly gives way to anxieties about the safety of the newborn? The list of anxieties appears never ending at times.
Apart from follow-up procedures like monthly check-ups and vaccinations, there are the enjoyable but challenging daily chores like bathing the child, breastfeeding and putting them to sleep.
Our home, and not just the baby’s room, has to be proofed for safety. There are always loved ones and other mothers to help us out and now that Google is our best friend, help is a double click away. Let us look at some safety measures we have sourced for you:
1. Baby’s sleep
When you are a new mother, nothing is as significant as a child’s sleep. Because that’s when you get to remember that you need to breathe, visit the washroom, shower, and maybe eat. Whether with us or in the nursery, the child’s crib has to be absolutely safe.
The slats should not be wide as the child can endanger itself by putting its head through the gap. In our eagerness to see that the child stays in the crib, we tend to prop up pillows and comforters. This may put the child in danger as it is likely to turn around or turn over and get stuck between them.
Allowing the child to sleep on his/her back prevents sudden death syndrome. We all like to see a smiling face when the child wakes up! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, any unexplained death of a child under one year of age is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (1). Everyone handling the child must know how to keep him/her in a safe posture.
2. Bathing routines
Bath forms part of the baby’s basic hygiene. Nearly every baby advert shows the mother and the child enjoying the bathing routine because this is one of the most significant bonding times for the parent and the child, but you need to be careful. Babies have very delicate skin, and hence ensuring that the temperature of the water is just tepid by dipping your elbow in it will make it safer for the baby. Never leave the child alone whether it is the tub or the pool.
Be sure to ask your pediatrician for a recommended hypoallergenic soap and other body products that can be safely used on your baby. If affordable, use delicate detergents or baby-specific detergents to wash baby paraphernalia.
Travel is unavoidable whether the child is justborn or a toddler, but we can take steps to ensure that the journey is safe. Today’s cars are commonly fitted with baby seats as a safety measure. This prevents the child from fatal injuries in the unfortunate case of an accident. Ensure that the child is in a comfortable posture in the car seat so that his/her back and neck are placed firmly (2).
Going out when the weather is pleasant makes the trip pleasurable for the child. We must give some relief to the child so that the child does not feel the tedium of the journey.
4. Quit that cigarette
Smoking is an absolute no-no around babies. Make your house a no-smoking zone, so that household members and visitors who like to enjoy smoking know that they should do so outside the house. Ask them to consider not touching or breathing into the baby’s face right after a smoke, too. Remember, it is your baby, and you get to say the big NO if you think someone or something might endanger the child’s safety.
It is better to be safe than sorry. Children are the light of our lives, but they are also so much more vulnerable than we are as they are almost powerless when it comes to looking after themselves. We need to ensure that we put the child’s safety first. Most of these steps can be taken even during pregnancy to ensure that you are bringing a child into a safe home.