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The most important thing for new parents is their baby’s health and safety. Even before the little bundle of joy is born, they start preparing for the new member of the family and purchasing all sorts of items that will make their lives easier and the newborn’s more comfortable. However, the sheer amount of things that need to be taken care of can be quite overwhelming, from picking out the right skincare products through finding the best clothes all the way to dealing with potential hazards around the home. If you are a new parent and are struggling with these matters, read on for a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know when it comes to keeping your baby safe.
Learn how to properly bathe your baby
You will surely have your parents or a friend that already has a child guide you through some of the basics of taking care of your baby but you should also start learning on your own. For instance, your baby will need two or three warm-water baths a week. Make sure the water is not hot as that might scald their skin. Once you find the right temperature, fill the bath with two or three inches of water as anything more could pose a drowning danger. Wash your baby by dipping a washcloth in soapy water and gently scrubbing their skin. After the bath, wrap them in a hooded towel and apply baby lotion once they’re dry.
Grasp the basics of diaper changing
Another basic thing you need to learn is how to change diapers. To prevent any painful experiences, you need to change the diapers frequently, wipe the baby’s bottom thoroughly with baby wipes and then apply some diaper cream. Also, avoid irritating rashes by making sure the bottom is dry before you put on a new diaper. Finally, fragrance-free products in the right size are a must as you don’t want any chafing.
Look for the best skin care products
When it comes to skincare, you need to look for products made specifically for babies. These are usually fragrance- and tear-free items like shampoos, lotions and bath gels. Something else to think about is the soap you will be using. It’s best to go for baby soaps as they are not harsh on the baby’s skin. Whenever you try something new, pay attention to your baby’s reaction as they might be allergic. Seeing as how it’s important to keep their skin moisturized, have a supply of lotions and ointments as well.
Find clothes and linens that do not irritate their skin
Keep in mind that you will also have to stock up on baby clothes and sheets as babies go through a lot of clothes on a daily basis thanks to spit-ups and blowouts. Pick the clothes that are practical and easy to put on and include a variety of items like onesies, kimonos, footies, gloves, and socks. For sleeping, you should consider swaddling as then babies will not be able to scratch their faces in case their mittens come off during the night. Linens you pick should preferably be organic as materials such as cotton and bamboo help with temperature regulation due to their breathability.
Be aware of the weather
If you’re taking your child outside, be wary of the weather conditions. Regardless of the season, you should apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 over their exposed skin around 30 minutes before you go outdoors. If it’s warm, put them in loose clothes and a hat to prevent a heat rash. On the other hand, if it’s winter, their skin can be harmed by the dry weather so make sure they stay hydrated properly.
Make certain areas of your home off-limits
Once your kid starts crawling around or even walking, you will need to keep certain areas of your home out of reach. For example, if you have stairs, you need to ensure they are off-limits. You can do that by purchasing several baby gates and installing them around the stairs. Then, you can do the same for the kitchen entrance as you don’t want to risk them injuring themselves on a sharp object. The bathroom is another dangerous area that should be kept closed off. If you can’t keep it locked at all times, at least ensure they cannot get injured by opening the toilet bowl or reaching for a harmful item. Put baby locks on all cabinets but especially on those where you keep your medicine and chemicals as you never know when a toddler might start investigating everything within their reach. Finally, don’t put any furniture near the windows because that can lead to them falling out of the window.
Prevent choking and strangulation
Other than the previously mentioned danger zones, you also have to look a bit deeper to see whether there are any items that pose a threat of choking or strangling. For example, various electronic cables around your home – use concealers or tape them to the floor. Keep window blind cords out of reach by sticking them to the wall. Then, keep your small décor pieces out of reach as children can easily put it in their mouths and start choking. You will have to go through most of your possessions to see whether they can harm your child.
Bolt things to the wall
Another safety precaution you should take involves securing certain heavy items to the wall. For example, if your TV can be mounted on the wall, it might be best to do so as then the child cannot pull it on top of itself. Bookshelves are something else that you need to bolt to the wall as an unstable bookshelf can easily fall on a child. Check your home for other things that pose a similar threat and secure them.
Create a safe play area
While this play area can be indoors, you can expect your kids to want to go outside when they get a bit older. This is why you should create a safe space where they can play in the backyard. Regardless of whether they’ll run around on their own or invite friends over, you need to think about the dangers that are present. For example, some kids are allergic to grass pollen and experience symptoms like itchy eyes, runny nose, and skin rashes. In order to prevent something bad happening to your kids or their friends, you can consider installing artificial grass. Seeing as how it is made from non-toxic and non-allergenic materials, there is nothing that can be harmful. Plus, you will not have to mow it and think about bald spots. You can also add various play equipment pieces and put rubber or sand underneath to prevent scrapes and cuts.
Keep the backyard neat
Other than making sure the grass is not dangerous, you have to take care of other threats in the backyard. For example, keep the shed where you store garden tools under lock and key. The same goes for the garage where you certainly have some toxic car fluids. Perhaps you have a pool. Make sure there is a fence around it and that your child is never alone outside. Check whether there is something else that can lead to an accident and deal with it.
Research your plants
In addition to grass allergies, there are many other plants that can harm your child. You need to do proper research into the plants you own and get rid of those that are toxic to humans or at least keep them out of reach of your toddler. Such plants include holly and mistletoe, philodendron, daffodils, and English ivy, just to name a few. Instead, opt for plants that you know are safe and allow your family to experience all the health benefits that greenery provides us with.
Think about car safety
Finally, the last thing we will mention is baby safety when in a vehicle. It’s important to never carry your infant in your lap when in a moving car – always put them in an approved car seat where they will be properly secured. Make sure you install the seat according to the manufacturer’s instruction. If you have to leave the car, do not leave the baby alone under any circumstances.
There is no need to worry. Babies are more resilient than we give them credit for but by following these basics, you can rest assured that your child will be safe and sound.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.