Tips for Keeping Your Baby Happy, Safe, and Healthy
Posted on August 29 2017
Caring for a newborn is such a terrifying and wonderful experience. It seems like new mums have a million and one things to remember for keeping their babies safe and healthy – but the effort is rewarded with a million and one sweet moments. From midnight feedings to afternoon snuggles and every diaper change in between, newborns are delightful creatures despite how much care they require.
The fun moments make for wonderful memories, but the embarrassing moments when you’re caught off-guard without the essentials make you laugh (after the fact). But, nothing is more traumatic than that moment when you think something might be wrong and don’t know what to do about it. The health and safety of your little one are in the palm of your hands. Having an arsenal of newborn care tips can make the task of being prepared less intimidating.
The most obvious needs demand the most of our attention – keep your baby clean, fed, loved and rested as much as possible. But what about the less obvious needs? Here are some things you want to have ready before you bring the little one home.
Your baby needs proper travel equipment, and you need to know how to use it properly.
When you have a car seat that is second hand, you need to make sure you know its history. Was it in a vehicle that was involved in an accident? Is it past its expiration date? These can be factors in its effectiveness should the worst happen while you are on the road. Be sure you have a car seat that is not expired and has not had its integrity weakened by an impact. Child Passenger Safety Technicians provide help for parents by inspecting car seats for proper installation.
Your home needs to have measures in place in case of emergencies.
It’s not unusual for something to come up, such as a low-grade fever, that doesn’t warrant a run to the hospital. But, sometimes it’s something more serious and you want to get in to see a health professional quickly. Your diaper bag is your usual go-to item that has supplies such as diapers, wipes, extra clothes, and other essentials – but when you’re in a hurry it’s a horrible feeling to grab it and suddenly realise it’s not stocked and ready to go. When your little one needs medical attention, you don’t have the presence of mind to track things down. Consider keeping a “go bag” of essentials in your car that you only use in emergency situations.
Another important piece of advice for new mothers is to keep the floor clear of clutter at night as much as possible. I know this sounds like both a no-brainer and an impossibility (especially if you also have toddlers), but it can really make an enormous difference in an emergency situation. If you do have other little ones, you more than likely deal with unbelievable messes day-in and day-out. Believe it or not, it can actually promote a helpful attitude toward bedtime clean up if you coach them on how to be ready for emergency situations.
Talk about the importance of having clear access in case the firemen come, and how to make sure they can get to the doors and windows without tripping on things. Not only is it a good practice for safety, it helps your kids think in terms of preventing problems through organisation. Win, win! Just give them age-appropriate jobs to be in charge of when it’s time for bedtime clean up, so they can “help keep the baby safe and be your little heroes!”
Take a course on CPR
While reading about the proper procedure is certainly better than nothing, it doesn’t hurt to take an actual course from a certified instructor on the proper way to help your baby if he or she is choking. The procedure includes different elements for infants as opposed to older children and adults, so it can help for parents to take the time to become well-versed in the proper procedures for the individual scenarios.
Read up on bath safety for your little one
Know how to care for your newborn’s umbilical cord, understand how to make the water temperature suitable for your baby, and have the right supplies on hand each time to make bathing a safe experience. Obviously, you never want to leave your baby unattended, even for a second, so make a checklist of items and post it near the sink or tub so you remember what to have on hand before the bath gets underway. Have a towel, diaper, baby powder, wash/shampoo, cloth, and baby lotion within arm’s reach so you won’t be tempted to take your hand off of your baby.
Get your baby’s sleeping space ready
Having a crib that has been recalled, putting additional bedding in the sleeping space, and putting your baby on the stomach for sleeping are all recognised as risk-factors for SIDS. Remember to check the manufacturer and model number of your crib online for recall notices, always keep the crib clear of stuffed animals and loose bedding, and always put your newborn to sleep on his or her back.
Items that could be helpful for babies who have trouble getting to sleep include:
- Sleeper sacks that conveniently swaddle your baby with wings that strap around the arms (have two on hand in the likely event of a nighttime diaper blowout).
- Something that will make soft music or ambient noise.
- A touch-light to facilitate diaper changes without requiring turning on the lights, which can make it hard to get your baby back to sleep.
- If you can swing it, record your voice singing to your little one – it might just make them think you’re still in the room and let you sneak away more easily once you get them down!
Let’s recap today’s essential newborn care tips! Have the proper travel equipment, and know how to use it. Be prepared for emergencies with a stash of essentials. Learn CPR. Get a bathing routine down. And finally, have the sleeping space ready for safe and sweet sleep. This is a great start for proactively taking care of your little one’s health and safety.
Thanks for reading! Please share other advice in the comments section!