How to make my home safe for my baby?

Your baby is on the way, and there is a lot to think about. Besides making sure that you have baby furniture and clothing for your new son or daughter, you will want to check that your home is safe. These tips can help you cover all the safety bases.

Before you bring baby home:

Check the safety of your baby's crib and other baby items. Many new parents welcome hand-me-down baby items from family and friends. Although it is wise to save money, some products could be unsafe if recalled or if parts are missing or loose. Unsafe cribs and other items can put your baby's life in danger. Remove pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals from the crib to prevent your baby from suffocation. Check to see that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home are working. Place at least one smoke detector on each level of your home and in halls outside of bedrooms. Have an escape plan in case of fire. Put emergency numbers, including poison control, near each phone. Have at least one phone in your home connected by land line. Cordless phones do not work when the power is out, and cell phone batteries can run out. Make sure your home or apartment number is easy to see so fire or rescue can locate you quickly in an emergency. Make sure handrails are installed and secure in stairways. Always hold the handrail when using stairs, especially when holding your baby.

This answer is based on source information from National Women's Health Information Center.
Deborah Mulligan
Deborah Mulligan on behalf of MDLIVE
Certain safety rules and preventive actions apply to every room in the home.  Basic safeguards would include installing smoke detectors throughout your home and checking them monthly to be sure they are working properly; placing safety plugs in all unused electrical outlets so your child can’t stick his/her finger or a toy into the holes; installing safety gates at both the top and bottom of stairs; attaching cords for venetian blinds and drapes to floor mounts that hold them taut or wrapping these cords around wall brackets to keep them out of reach; keeping computers and televisions out of reach so your child cannot pull them over onto him/herself, and much more.  Visit the Safe Kids USA or American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children Web site to learn more about preventing injuries “at home, at play and on the way”.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.