As you buy things for the nursery or register for gifts, think about your baby's safety.
Your baby's safety and well-being is very important. To help prepare for your baby's safety, you should buy a car seat before your due date. This will give you enough time to read the manual, install the car seat, and know how to use it before you bring your baby home from the hospital.
Infants must be secured in a rear-facing safety seat. Use an approved car seat for your baby's height and weight.
Do not add any positioning items that did not come with the car seat. These cannot be used during the testing.
There are many different car seats from which to choose. None is safer than another, but some may be easier to use or may come with more user-friendly options.
The most important things to consider when shopping for a car seat are:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children should be rear facing for two years.
Make sure the seat is properly installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. A properly installed car seat should not move more than one inch in any direction.
It is a good idea to have the installation of your car seat checked by a certified child passenger safety technician or practitioner.
It is your responsibility to know how to use your car seat. There are many resources available, including classes and car seat checkup clinics, including the following:
Your baby's crib is an investment because your baby will be sleeping in it for several years. In 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) required new crib safety standards for all cribs made and sold in the U.S.
If you are using an older crib:
Using cribs, playpens, gates and walkers without the most recent safety measures puts your baby's safety at risk.
If you are going to use a pacifier, here are some guidelines:
If you are going to use a changing table, choose one that is wide and sturdy. If you are getting a used one, check it carefully for exposed nails and splinters. Consider buying a new pad if the old one is cracked.
Make sure the table has safety straps to prevent falls.
Baby wraps and front packs are a convenient way to carry your baby while you shop, go for a walk, or work around the house. They can also be useful in quieting a fussy baby.
There are several different styles. It is helpful to try a style to make sure you feel comfortable wearing it. Read and follow the instructions to ensure that your baby is secure and your baby's head is supported.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, seventh edition, ob-ah-90026
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts