Child Health, Family Health, Women's Health Tamar Raucher | 6 years ago

10 Tips for Creating a Safe Baby Registry

There are so many baby items these days that it may be a little overwhelming to figure out what’s right for your family. So, when you’re tagging tiny booties and pacifiers, keep these baby safety tips in mind to help you decide.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Your baby bump is growing, you’ve (maybe) picked out a name, and you’ve told your family and friends that you’re expecting. Now, you get to pick out your nursery decorations, newborn fashion and baby transportation items – by building a registry for your baby shower. 1) Health Basics – Babies soothe themselves by touching their own faces. Use an emery board to file the nails or carefully use nail clippers to trim your baby’s finger and toe nails regularly to avoid any accidental cuts. And baby thermometers are a must-have. When you think your baby may be sick, the first thing your pediatrician will ask when you call is whether your little one has a fever. Having a rectal thermometer will ensure an accurate read during a high-stress moment. 2) Swaddle Your Sweetie – Swaddle blankets and sacks mimic the feeling of being in the womb, helping calm your newborn and give you some extra shut-eye. They also keep babies’ arms close to their bodies and out of harm’s way. 3) Pick Play Mats – Very early in life, you’ll want to introduce some tummy time into your baby’s schedule. Play mats are a comfy, entertaining and safe place for your baby to strengthen his or her back and neck muscles, starting a few minutes at a time. Just make sure you don’t put any other blankets or pillows around your baby’s face. 3) Keep it Clean – Don’t get in hot water by forgetting to grab important bath-time tools. Register for a water thermometer and spout cover to make sure bath time is a safe time. And make sure to check your water heater, which should be set below 120° to avoid burns. Leave scented bath soap and detergents for the grown-ups. Newborn skin is sensitive and tends to fare better with unscented products. 4) Caravan Carefully – Invest in a good car seat and multiple bases. Safely transporting your baby will be so much easier if you have an infant car seat base always installed in the cars of both parents, and any family members or caregivers that will regularly be chauffeuring your little one. Take a class before the baby comes to make sure you’re properly installing your car seat. And carefully consider any hand-me-down car seats you’re gifted. If the car seat doesn’t have the most up-to-date restraints, is past its expiration date or has even been in an accident, don’t risk it. 5) Crib Chic – Yes, a decked-out crib is adorable. But the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a more minimalist look for baby bedding – just a mattress and a crib sheet. Putting bumpers and toys in the crib actually raises the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, rather than keeping them safe. And while an antique crib may seem sweet and sentimental, they also come with some dangerous deficiencies, like drop sides that could leave your baby open to falls. In this case, newer really is better. 6) Manage Mobility – Once a commonplace tool thought to help teach babies how to walk, infant walkers have officially outstayed their welcome. Under babies’ teetering control, walkers can roll into a variety of dangerous situations, like stairs and hot ovens. Newer, safer baby activity centers, with stable bases and no wheels, let little ones bounce themselves silly without putting themselves in danger. 7) Limit Lounging – While there are definitely seated activity stations that are safe for baby, consider limiting the number you register for. We’re not saying you can’t put your baby down. You both deserve a break now and then! But babies do need to spend time on their bellies and being carried, both to build strong muscles and to avoid developing plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, a head deformity common to babies who spend too much time in loungers. 8) Put a Hold on Hinges – Changing tables come in all shapes and sizes these days. But make sure yours doesn’t use hinged chest adapters. Little fingers can get stuck in between the pieces and wriggly babies have caused these tables to tip. 9) Security Settings – Keeping your kiddo under loving lockdown will ensure his or her safety when toddling time begins. Register for knob covers and safety gates for when your little one starts scooting all over. Of course, no amount of plastic security is a substitute for a watchful eye, so don’t leave babies unattended for any length of time, even with these safety features in place. Every baby is different. Yours may love tummy time or be a world-class clinger. And expert guidelines for child safety are constantly being updated. If you have questions about what items to purchase for your baby or whether a gift you receive is safe, discuss them with your pediatrician.  

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