Pregnancy and the birth of your new child can be an exciting yet busy time. Though the checklist of things to do in preparation for your baby may seem never-ending, there is one important thing you should make sure to add: baby safety. Your home should be infant- and child-proof prior to bringing your newborn home. This will help prevent accidents and injuries to your baby and give you peace of mind that your home is a safe space. This article will walk you through different areas of your house and what things you should consider. (Note: This list is not exhaustive.)
- CRIB: Ensure that your baby’s crib and / or bassinet adhere to current safety standards. The space between crib spindles should not exceed 2 and 3/8 inches apart. Additionally, remove any blankets, pillows, or toys from the bed.
- MATTRESS: Your baby’s mattress should fit tightly within the crib so that no gaps are present. If there are gaps, your newborn could get stuck in the spaces. Additionally, the sheet should fit snugly over the mattress.
- HAZARDS: Eliminate any items or structures that could be hazardous to your baby. For example, remove nearby cords that may be dangling from electronics, lamps, or blinds. Also ensure there is no splintered wood or peeling paint in areas the baby could be in.
- POSITIONING: When it is time for sleep, always place your baby on his or her back1,2.
- TUB: Keep a mat inside the tub to avoid slipping. Ensure the water is at a comfortable, warm temperature to avoid burns. Remove any sharp (e.g., razors) and electric items from the bathing area. Always drain the water after finishing your baby’s bath. Always stay close to your baby and watch them while in the tub.
- CABINETS: Keep your medications in a child-proof container. Store medications and cleaning products out of reach in a locked cabinet.
- TOILET: Keep the toilet seat closed and add a toilet seat lock.
- DOOR: Always keep the door to the bathroom closed and install a child-proof doorknob cover to prevent your child from entering themselves3.
- HIGHCHAIR: When your baby is old enough to sit up without support and able to use a highchair, make sure the highchair is safe. Ensure the base is wider than the top to stabilize the chair and prevent it from tipping over. Use a 5-point harness when your baby is in the chair. Never leave your child alone in the chair1.
- CAR SEAT: Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your infant should be in a car seat in the car’s back seat facing the rear of your car. Never put a rear-facing car seat in the front seat4.
- Put in baby gates at both the bottom and top of the stairs to avoid your baby falling.
- Ensure that you are providing your baby with age-appropriate toys. For your infant, avoid toys with small parts that could be swallowed2.
- Home safety for infants and toddlers. (n.d.). Retrieved January 8, 2022
- Infant safety tips — Child safety — Golisano Children’s Hospital — University of Rochester Medical Center. (n.d.). Retrieved January 8, 2022
- Bathing an infant: Medlineplus medical encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved January 8, 2022
- Child passenger safety: Get the facts | transportation safety | cdc. (2021, September 20).