Make Your Home Baby-Ready
As soon as your baby begins to scoot, get down on the ground and see what they see. Babies are curious. What do you see that might be interesting to them?
Check the whole house for:
- Electrical cords and sockets
- Small toys or coins behind the couch
- A cabinet filled with cleaning supplies
- Sharp corners
Install child safety locks, put safety plugs in the electrical sockets, and take care of any dangerous conditions that you see.
Do this safety check regularly! When your baby learns to crawl, and then walk, they will see things they didn’t see before. They’ll be able to reach things they couldn’t reach before.
Tub Time, Teaching Time
Always stay with your baby when they are in the tub. Use this time as fun teaching time.
- Read to your baby or tell them a story.
- Use bath toys to go over, under, up, down, or around. Say these words.
- Talk to your baby. See if they will repeat sounds back to you.
- Repeat the noises they make to show them that you hear them.
A baby can drown in seconds. If you have to leave during bath time, take your baby with you. Their safety is more important than anything else.
Hand on My Tummy
It may seem like you are always changing your baby’s diaper. Make it a habit to always keep one hand on your baby’s tummy while you are changing their diaper. This will keep them from pushing, kicking, or rolling off the changing table and getting hurt.
Do not leave your baby on the changing table alone – even for a second! If you forget something or another child needs you, take your baby with you. It is never worth the risk of them falling! You may have to clean up an extra mess, but your baby’s safety is worth it!
A Safe Car Ride
A safe seat in the car is one of the most important things you can do for your baby. Car seats can be complicated and are often installed incorrectly. When you get a new car seat, call 2-1-1 to find where you can make an appointment to learn how to install it correctly. Make sure you bring the car seat manual and car manual with you. Bring any extra straps that come in the box. 2-1-1 will also know about places where you can get a new, free car seat. Don’t accept a hand-me-down or used car seat.
Make a habit of walking around your car before you drive anywhere. Make sure it is safe to back out and to drive forward. Create an easy routine when you are leaving your child. For example, have another adult hold your baby. Wave to her as you back out. This way, you know exactly where baby is!
You have a lot to get done each day, and with a new baby, you are probably getting a lot less sleep. Believe it or not, it might be easy to forget your child. Here are a few ideas to help you remember to take your baby out of the car every time you leave it:
- Put your purse or something you always take with you in the back seat of your car, or on the floor beneath the baby’s seat. You’ll have to reach behind you. You will see if your baby is still in the car.
- Put a teddy bear on the front seat of your car. When you look at it, it will remind you that your baby is in back.
Never leave your baby in the car without an adult, even for a minute.
A Safe Bed
Your baby spends a lot of time alone in their bed. Make it a safe place! Your baby should sleep in their own space, separate from the adult bed. You can choose a bassinette, crib, or a co-sleeper that attaches to, but is separate from the adult bed. Your baby should not sleep in the same bed as you or other adults or older children. Your baby can suffocate from bedding or other people.
Always put your baby to sleep on their back.
Check your baby’s sleeping area to make sure:
- There are no toys, stuffed animals, extra blankets or pillows in the crib that can cause suffocation
- The room is a comfortable temperature (not too cold or too warm)
- Your baby is dressed to fit the room temperature
- You can hear your baby from every part of your home
- Your baby is never left alone in the house
When your baby begins to sleep in a crib, make sure:
- The bars of the crib are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (less than the width of a soda can)
- The mattress fits snugly – less than two finger widths between the edge of the mattress and the side of the crib
- The side rail is locked in its raised position whenever you place your child in the crib. As soon as your child can stand up, adjust the mattress to its lowest position and remove the bumper pads
- A soft rug or blanket is laid on the floor in front of the crib in case of a fall
- There are no picture frames hung over the crib
- There are no cords or strings hanging near the crib
- Windows in the room are locked
- Other adults watching your child are aware of these Safety Rules.