Baby safety is very important. New parents need to keep their newborn safe because they are not able to protect themselves yet! There are a lot of things new parents worry about, but don’t fear – this article will go over all of the details of how to keep your baby safe. We will go over all the most common concerns for your baby’s first year
The most common injuries that happen to children are falls, finger tip injuries, scalds, poisons, dog bites, choking, and near drowning. These things happen despite a parent’s best efforts. So don’t worry if something happens, they call it an accident for a reason! But we will go over how to reduce the chances as much as possible
The first thing to do is to crawl around your home. Crawl on all fours around your home and see what you can find that might cause problems. Here are some common issues:
Blind cords – If these hang low, they can be a choking hazard. Tie them up.
Door stoppers – These might have a removeable cap, remove them if they do.
Pet food / water bowls – move them off the floor when they are not in use.
Plants – try to keep plants higher up – they might be poisonous or be bad for your baby to eat. Your baby will eat basically anything!
Batteries, medications, liquid tabs – babies might think these are candy and want to eat them! Put them at a height and lock them up if possible.
Fireplace – if you have a fireplace, make sure there is a protective screen so your baby can not crawl into it.
Dust bunnies – make sure you are cleaning up anything you might have missed in your regular cleanings! Large dust bunnies can be bad for the baby.
The toilet roll test – Anything smaller than a toilet roll needs to be kept out of the reach of babies.
No loose parts on toys – make sure any stuffed animals do not have loose parts, and if so, put them away for now.
Keep the toilet lid down – you may also want to invest in a toilet lid lock.
Bath time and pool time – make sure to supervise this time 100% of the time and empty the bath immediately afterwards. Don’t leave any water lying around your house!
Bags – bags can be a suffocation hazard, so keep them away from babies as well. Hand bags, grocery bags, diaper bags, etc.
Fill a designated drawer – put a drawer with things that is OK for babies to explore. Put them through the toilet paper tube test and allow them to explore safely and make a mess because that helps them develop.
A fever is an expected part of a baby’s life – it’s their immune system operating and learning. But you’ll want to know what is normal and what to do when they have one!
A high temperature is 100.4 degrees fahrenheight. Anything above that is considered a fever. Not all high temperatures are bad however, but you just want to be aware.
Babies get a high temperature with even minor illnesses – their bodies are not the same as adults. For the same illness an adult might not get a fever, a baby may get a fever.
Any fever for a baby under 3 months need to seek immediate attention with the pediatrician or the hospital. Under 3 months, a baby is not good at regulating their body and temperature, so a fever may run away into issues.
Sometimes the baby has a fever and it’s mostly fine. Here are some signs of that:
Baby is happy, smiling, and/or content.
Baby is bright and alert.
Baby is drinking and eating regularly.
Baby is responding to you like they normally would.
Baby recently had a vaccination
Here are some signs that may be more concerning and that you may want to get checked out
Baby is hard to wake up, sleepy, or lethargic
Baby has a stiff neck
Baby has a rash
Baby has a high pitched cry
Baby is inconsolable
Baby is very pale or has marbled skin. If the skin is looking different than usual, then it may be a sign of infection.
Baby is vomiting repeatedly or every feeding. This may cause dehydration.
Baby has difficulty breathing and is grunting.
Make sure to check out a video on how to measure your baby’s temperature! A thermometer put in the armpit for long enough should be the best option!
Always be aware of your pediatrician’s availability. If a baby is having the concerning signs above, or not showing the reassuring signs, you’ll want to go see your pediatrician as soon as possible.
Important: Do not give your newborn baby (under 3 months) tylenol unless your pediatrician tells you to do so.
Teething vs Ear Infection
Ear infections are common. However, they have similar symptoms to teething, so how do you tell them apart? Here are some symptoms to watch out for:
Common between both:
If your baby is doing any of these 3, it may be teething or an ear infection, so don’t worry yet!
These are all common symptoms/behaviors for a baby who is teething, so don’t worry!
Cold like symptoms
Runny nose that is yellow or green
Not reacting to some sounds
Don’t like lying flat – caused by ear infection causing bad balance feeling
Keep losing their balance
High temperature (100.4 Fahrenheit or above).
If your baby is teething, here are some ways to make them feel better
Counter pressure – use a clean tooth brush without toothpaste or your clean finger to push against the painful tooth.
Give them something to chew on
Avoid amber teething necklaces
Give the baby cold drinks and foods
Call your healthcare provider so they can be seen in the next few days. A few days is OK, so no need for an emergency room.
Pain relievers are OK, but you can wait until night time when they are more uncomfortable.
Elevate the baby’s head. Try to stay around so you can keep an eye on your baby while this happening since it can be dangerous to leave your baby alone with an elevated head. Just elevate it a little bit, not too much.
Apply heat or cold
Your health provider may use antibiotics or ear drops, both of which will require a prescription.
Breastfeeding and other illnesses may help the baby stay strong – your breast milk has the nutrition your baby needs to fight off infections and other health issues!
Ways to Sooth Your Baby
Gently stroking your baby has been shown in recent studies to reduce the baby’s pain.
Breast feeding can significantly reduce pain. Even the sucking motion can help.
Move to another room – changing the environment, removing noise and light may help.
Skin to skin contact – Like stroking and breast feeding, this can help.
Use dye free medication – don’t use pink tylenol!
Read the packaging – make sure it is for infants and you know the dosage.
Hold your baby upright in the crook of your arm.
Aim towards the area between the guns and inside of baby’s cheak
Plunge the medicine inside with the syringe
You can give a puff of air if needed to help her get it down.
Then give them some milk that they normally drink to wash it down. Do not put the medicine in with the milk, but you can use it to wash it down.
Do not give your baby aspirin – baby aspirin is not for babies!
Some signs that require action are:
Swelling of mouth or tongue
Trouble swallowing or speaking
Vomiting (very often)
If you have an epipen – use it right away and call 911 for help. An epipen needs to be prescribed, so it won’t happen on the first reaction, so call 911 right away. Communicate with 911 to see if they want you to use an adult epipen you may have available or other advice.
Take a look online for how these rashes might look to identify what your baby has.
Some common rashes include:
Ringworm – need anti-fungal (not an actual worm)
Measles – vaccine preventable illness – sometimes may still outbreak. Call pediatrician.
Impetigo – Bacteria – probably need an ointment
Hives – your pediatrician will probably give you some medicine and help you diagnose what caused it.
Chickenpox – common disease, can be vaccinated, can be typically handled at home with some things for itching
Scarlet Fever – this is a form of strep. You will need antibiotics from your pediatrician
Erythema Toxima – typically on the face but can be other areas. This does not need treatment, simply wash the area with water and it should go away after a week or two.
Molloscum Contagiosum – typically no treatment, just wait to go away, which typically takes a few months. Don’t break open the spots. You may talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned, but typically it is a waiting game.
Heat Rash – baby is probably overheated, so cool down them.
Eczema – see your pediatrician, often caused by an allergy. You may get some creams for this from your pediatrician’s advice.
Diaper Rash – make sure you dry the area before changing diapers and change diapers as soon as possible. If this stays around for a few days, make sure to check with your pediatrician.
Meningitis – go to the emergency room or call 911 – they might have a stiff neck, bothered by light, are confused, shaking, fever that is hard to control, unusually cold hands or feet, rash that doesn’t fit when stretching the skin. The rash might be late or not come, so keep an eye out for these symptoms even without a rash.
Check out our other article on baby care: