Keeping your Newborn Safe and Healthy
As a new parent, the thought of keeping your newborn safe and healthy is daunting – they seem so small and fragile! Here are some tips for creating a safe environment for your little one.
Protect your little one on the road
The first time you need to keep them safe is on the way home from the hospital. Your baby will need to be transported in an infant car seat for this and all other times you ride in a car with your little one, no matter how short the distance.
Keep the following safety precautions in mind:
- Ensure the car seat you’re using is right for your baby. Premature babies might need a special car seat for their small size - find out more about premature baby needs in our article, Caring for and Feeding Premature Babies.
- The straps should be snug with no slack. The straps should be below your baby’s shoulders if they’re sitting rear-facing position, and above their shoulders if they’re sitting in the forward-facing position.
- Slide the plastic buckle that holds the two straps together up to your baby’s armpits before securing it.
- Remove bulky clothing before buckling, and swaddle or put on a blanket afterwards.
- Check that the straps aren't twisted as this could reduce the effectiveness of the harness in a crash.
- Ensure that the car seat doesn’t tip forward or slide from side to side more than an inch.
Ensure safe sleeping habits
To prevent the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), your baby should always sleep on their back, and in their own cot or bassinet with no pillows, stuffed toys or loose bedding around. Never put your baby on a beanbag or anything soft enough to cover their face and block their nose or mouth.
Go for a checkup at the doctor
It’s a good idea to go to your paediatrician when your baby is about 6 weeks old so that they can see if all is on track with your baby’s health and development. During the examination, the doctor will check your baby’s entire body, and their reflexes. The doctor will also want to know about your baby’s feeding, digestive system and sleeping. This is a good opportunity to ask your doctor about anything you’re unsure of, or worried about.
Practise safety at home
There are also some more general health and safety tips to keep in mind:
- Before you place your baby in the bath, check that the temperature is lukewarm. Keep checking the temperature, and when it gets too cool, take your baby out. Find out how to bath your baby safely with our Baby Bath Basics.
- Keep your baby’s toys and bottles hygienic by regularly disinfecting them with Purity® & Elizabeth Anne’s Disinfecting Solution. Find out how to use it in our Baby Hygiene 101.
- Don’t hold hot liquids while holding your baby.
- Don’t microwave your baby’s formula, as it can create “hot spots” that can burn your baby’s mouth. Rather heat slowly in a warm water bath.
- Keep small items and sharp objects away from your baby.
- Never leave your baby unattended, especially in the bath or on a compactum. They are mobile!
- Take a first aid and CPR course, and keep a list of emergency contacts by the phone or on the fridge.