Making Your Home Safe for Your Child
It is important to know how your child will be growing and acting at this age for you to know how to make your home safe. So many changes take place in your child’s first 2 years that it is sometimes difficult to know what will happen next. During the first few months, your baby will be entirely dependent on you to keep him safe and comfortable. He learns only by watching, imitating, and listening to you, and he will learn something new each day. Over the first 2 years, your baby will change from not being able to hold up his own head, to rolling, crawling, and finally walking on his own. He learns through his senses, so he will want to touch, see, taste, smell, and listen to everything. Therefore, you need to make sure that he can only get to places and things that are safe for him.
To find out if your house is baby safe, get down on your hands and knees afind ond crawl around yourself to see what your baby sees. Are there tablecloths to tug on? Stairs to fall down? Windows and cabinets to open? Food to taste? Sharp corners to run into? Once you know the dangers in your home, they are easy to fix.
Your baby is going to spend a lot of time sleeping (or at least you hope so) so you want to make sure that your crib is a safe place for your child. Check on your baby frequently, and consider installing an intercom system so that you can hear him if he starts to cry.
When buying a crib:
- Make sure that the slats are no more than 2 3/8ths inches (about the size of a soda can) apart to avoid getting your child’s head stuck between them.
- Make sure that the mattress is the same size as the crib and that there are no excess blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals that could suffocate your baby.
- To help prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) your baby should sleep on his back on a firm, flat mattress. For more information on SIDS, please visit the SIDS: "Back to Sleep" Campaign.
- Hang toys and mobiles far from your baby’s reach.
- Never place the crib near cords, blinds, or drapes.
- Consider placing bumper pads inside the crib until your baby can stand.
- Never leave your baby alone in the crib with the sides down.
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