It doesn't take much work to keep a newborn safe. At this age, a baby's too small to get into much trouble on his own. He's not ready to stick buttons in his mouth or climb out of his crib, and it will be quite a few months before he starts toddling toward the stairs.
Still, it's not too early to make safety a top priority. Even before your baby arrives, you can learn how to handle the hidden dangers for newborns. Here are four potential dangers and danger zones to watch out for.
1. The sleep environment
To reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), put your baby to sleep on his back on a firm mattress. Don't let your baby sleep with anything soft and cushy like a pillow, sheepskin, comforter, or plush toy.
A warm one-piece outfit, or sleeper, is a safer choice than a blanket, which could cover your baby's head and restrict his ability to breathe. Crib bumpers are discouraged for the same reason.
Make sure the mattress fits tightly so your baby can't get trapped between it and the side of crib. Check that the crib doesn't have any missing or broken parts or any gaps greater than the width of a soda can.
2. The diapering area
Even the smallest babies can find a way to roll off a changing table with cover if left unattended. Buy a table with safety straps or add straps to your current table.
Even if your baby is strapped onto the table, never leave her alone. (That phone call can wait.)
You can avoid the risk of falling entirely by changing your baby on the floor using a receiving blanket or an unfolded cloth diaper as a changing pad.
3. Bath time
Whether you wash your baby in a baby bathtub, a sink, or a regular tub, never leave him unattended for a second. Once he's sitting up, a bath seat may seem like a handy safety device, but it can create a false sense of security. Hundreds of babies have drowned after tipping over or slipping out of their bath seats.
4. Baby furniture in a dangerous spot
Keep cribs and changing tables away from windows, window cords, and hanging mobiles to prevent your child from getting tangled, suffocating, or falling out the window.