Newborn - Home safety checklist

Parentree-editors 2008-08-14 06:46:43

Bringing a newborn home is an exciting and life-changing event. The baby will add so much to our lives, and it is important that we provide an environment that ensures the baby is safe and is nurtured well.

These safety tips will help Indian parents think about how to make their newborn's environment secure. Of course, these are no replacement for the constant care and attention that you should pay to your newborn.

Before baby comes home:

  • Buy bedding that is firm for the baby. Don't buy soft, fluffy pillows, blankets etc. Opt for natural materials like cotton.
  • Don't buy clothes which have choking hazards like buttons, beads etc., The baby may loosen these and then put them in his/her mouth.
  • Stop using pesticides in your garden and indoor plants.
  • Don't use harsh cleaning agents to mop the floor.
  • Buy a carseat and install it. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully when installing it. Have someone double-check your installation. Re-check the carseat every time your baby will be put in it. Newborns should always be in a rear-facing carseat.

When baby is at home:

  • Keep the area where the baby spends time, clean. If the baby is on the floor, mop the floor regularly. Clean the baby's sheets regularly.
  • Remove stuffed toys from around the baby, when the baby goes to sleep.
  • Don't smoke in the house and especially never around the baby. It can affect him and result in respiratory illnesses when young.
  • Don't use harsh detergents to clean the baby's clothes and sheets.
  • Check for diaper rash every time you change a diaper. Buy a good diaper rash cream.
  • Ensure that no small parts of toys are near the baby as these are a choking hazard. Babies are learning and often put everything in their mouths.
  • Don't buy toys that are too loud. They may damage your baby's hearing.
  • Don't leave the baby on an elevated surface like a sofa/couch/bed without supervision.
  • When giving your baby a bath, never let him out of your sight. It takes very little water and very little time (sometimes just seconds) for a baby to drown.
  • Always ensure that the baby is sleeping on her back unless your doctor has recommended otherwise. 
  • Stuffed toys (especially large ones) are also a smothering hazard.
  • Don't let anyone throw the baby up and down. It may cause injury to the brain.
  • Be careful when consuming hot liquids like coffee, tea around the baby. Keep the cups away from his reach.
  • Don't hold your baby or let her play near you in the kitchen when you are cooking. There is risk of burns from hot water, food and oil.
  • Meet your paediatrician regularly and ensure that your baby gets his vaccines at the right times.
  • If you use formulas, ensure that the bottles and nipples are cleaned thoroughly and kept in a clean environment. The same goes for pacifiers that the baby may put in her mouth.
  • Do not put the baby's pacifiers in a string around his neck. If he accidentally twists, the string may entangle itself around his neck and choke him. This applies to jewellery also.
  • Don't leave the baby alone with any pets.
  • Be careful if you are using a mosquito net. Ensure that they will not collapse and smother the baby.
  • If you are giving the baby a warm bath, check the temperature of the water carefully.

Above all, keep an eye on your baby all the time. Or have someone you trust do it. Also inspect your baby regularly to see if there are any signs of poor health. If you suspect any adverse changes go see a doctor immediately.


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