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Safety Tips for Your Growing Baby

  • Never leave your baby unattended for even one single minute. This includes and is especially true for leaving your baby around other babies and pets, and/or unattended on couches, beds, and changing tables, in car seats, and in the bath. Babies have been known to drown in one and a half inches of water. That's another reason why making a crib enjoyable for your baby is so important. It can become your safe harbor; because as long as it's safe, you can leave her there for short periods of time while you do other things, like take a shower.

  • Remove or fix uneven floorboards. Babies learning to walk have enough challenges, on top of the fact that this is a trip hazard for everyone else in the house.

  • Be sure to check your baseboards for wooden splinters—and be especially aware of outdoor decks. If your baby gets a splinter, try soaking the area in warm water and pulling the splinter out by hand with a massage, or watch to see if it comes out naturally within a day or so. A larger splinter can be excruciatingly painful, and those need to be removed immediately.

  • If you have an outdoor porch, check to be sure it is enclosed by vertical spindles that are no more than two and a half inches apart, because baby may get caught in or fall through anything wider. Don't take a chance!

  • Keep all loose change in an out-of-reach place and check your floors over and over again each day, because these types of small objects are very real choking hazards.

  • The rule of thumb is to keep nothing smaller than baby's fist within her reach. Actually, I'm going to call this the rule of fist.

  • Use childproof covers on all unused electrical outlets.

  • Install safety latches on cabinets and drawers. They are inexpensive, easy to install, and they will give you so much peace of mind.

  • Purchase safety doorknob covers as an alternative to replacing your locking doorknobs. They fit over your regular doorknob and baby can't maneuver them, so that's one less worry.

  • Be sure there is no electrical outlet near the crib. As the baby grows and the bed level is dropped down, the lowest level for a crib is about the same level as outlets. This will be hazardous later because baby may play with the outlet or try to put things in it. Moving the bed later could affect your baby's sleeping, so just position the crib in a different spot now.

  • Make your life easier for now and just remove tablecloths. Baby will begin to pull on them the minute he starts to move.

  • Use only car seats that are age-appropriate for your baby. Place the seat in a rear-facing position in the backseat. There are lots of mirror items on the market that you can buy and situate in the backseat so baby sees himself and so you can view your baby easily using your rearview mirror.

    More on: Babies

    Copyright © 2006 by Jeanne Murphy. Excerpted from Your Growing Baby (5 to 8 Months) with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

    To order this book visit Amazon.com.

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