New Parent Checklist: How To Baby-Proof Before Baby Comes Home

When you bring your newborn home for the first time – between feedings, naps and sleep schedules – things are going to move quickly. So it’s very important to make sure the house is safely set up for their grand arrival. In fact, the best time for baby proofing your home is at least three months before your due date because some of these preparations may take time. 

To help you get started, here’s a list of general guidelines to keep in mind as you baby-proof your car, secure your home and prepare for emergencies. 

 

Baby-Proofing Your Car

  • Before your baby even gets to your house, they’ll have to ride in your car. Having the right car seat and installing it correctly is essential to keeping your baby safe. Install an approved rear-facing car seat in the back seat (in the middle, if possible) and get it inspected (for free!) by a local certified child passenger safety technician.
  • Clear the car of any small objects that could be choking hazards, such as coins and pens.
  • If the sun is strong where you live, consider applying stick-on sun shades to the back windows to block the rays.

 

Preparing The House

  • Put non-slip pads under all rugs and make sure rugs don’t have curling edges that you (or a growing child) can trip on.
  • Cover sharp furniture edges and corners with bumpers or safety padding.
  • Block all open outlets with furniture or use safety plugs.
  • Latch closed any drawers, doors or cupboards within baby’s reach.
  • If you plan to hook a highchair to your kitchen table, check that the table is sturdy and strong.
  • Get rid of any blinds or curtains with looped cords, or install safety tassels and cord stops to tuck away the cords.
  • Check your doorstops; many have removable caps that pose a choking hazard.
  • Unplug and store electric appliances whenever they aren’t in use (iron, curling iron, etc.)
  • Make sure all of your houseplants are non-toxic varieties. Some plants are extremely poisonous.
  • Get any flaking or peeling paint sealed or removed by a professional, especially if your home was built before 1978 when it was more likely to have lead-based paint. Dust from lead paint, which was banned from residential use in that year, can be harmful if ingested.
  • Install a UL certified carbon monoxide detector on every story of your house if you use gas or oil appliances or have an attached garage. 

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and in the hallways outside of bedrooms.
  • Test the batteries of any detectors you already have.
  • Install a temperature guard on your water heater at a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius).
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it.
  • Purchase a baby first aid kit, which is important to have at home so that, in case of an emergency, no one has to run out to the store and waste valuable time to get supplies.
  • Add emergency contacts and medical information to your phone that can be accessed even in lock mode.
  • Place a list of emergency numbers within easy access near a landline phone or on the refrigerator.
  • Make sure your home or apartment number is easy to see so fire or rescue can locate you quickly in an emergency.

 

Creating A Safe Sleep Environment

  • Finish all painting and wallpapering at least eight weeks before baby is expected to avoid exposing baby to any potentially harmful fumes.
  • Secure any dressers and bookshelves to the wall with screws, and pull the crib away from any other furniture. 
  • If the crib is near a window, remove pull cords or use cord shorteners on window dressings. Those curious little arms like to reach out and cords can so easily get wrapped around your precious little one.
  • Use a firm, flat mattress in a safety-approved crib. Soft mattresses can create a pocket (or indentation) and increase the chance of rebreathing or suffocation if the infant is placed in or rolls over to the prone (face down) position. Also, a solid mattress base provides the resistance necessary for developing and strengthening muscles. 
  • Keep soft objects and loose bedding away from baby’s sleep area. Do not use bumpers, comforters, pillows, blankets and toys in the crib to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation. 

 

Your newborn baby will spend most of its time at home and in your car, and you’d be surprised at how easy it is for a baby to get into trouble. The first step in baby safety is making sure both of these places are completely safe for your newborn!

5 Tips For Keeping Your Baby Warm On Cold Nights

One of the most common challenges faced by all mothers is to keep their little ones warm and safe during the cold days and nights. According to Stanford Children’s Health, babies are not as adaptable as adults to temperature change and can lose heat rapidly, as much as four times more

Thermoregulation is a process that allows your baby to maintain ideal internal temperature. Premature and low-birthweight babies usually have little body fat and may be too immature to regulate their own temperature. Even full-term and healthy newborns may not be able to maintain their body temperature if the environment is too cold.

As the winter season approaches, temperature regulation becomes difficult, which makes babies more vulnerable to cough, cold and flu. When they are cold-stressed, they use energy and oxygen to generate warmth. By keeping babies at optimal temperatures, neither too hot or too cold, they can conserve energy and build up reserves. 

It’s very important to be knowledgeable about how you can help your baby maintain a consistent body temperature during the holidays and wintertime, especially at night. Use these tips to keep your baby cozy and safe.

  • Dress Baby for the Weather. In the winter, What to Expect recommends dressing your little one in layers that are easy to remove. Adding or eliminating layers is the best way to warm baby up or cool them down. Babies may need an extra layer or two when it’s cold outside; just make sure you’re quick to remove extra layers when you come back in so that baby doesn’t overheat.
  • Use a Firm Mattress. To keep your baby’s crib warm from underside, use a firm crib mattress covered with a high-quality, fitted and waterproof mattress cover. Soft mattresses can increase the chance of suffocation and put your little one at risk. Babies should always sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Use a Sleep Sack Instead of a Blanket. Soft bedding and loose blankets have been responsible for the suffocation of many babies. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), using a sleep sack keeps the baby warm while sleeping without having the risk of loose blankets that might smother baby. Overheating has been implicated in SIDS, as well. A sleep sack keeps babies warm without overheating them.
  • Set the Room Temperature Right. To make sure your baby doesn’t feel too hot or too cold, What to Expect recommends keeping their room at a comfortable temperature between 68° and 72°F (20° to 22.2°C). Use a room thermometer to check whether or not your baby’s room stays at a safe, comfortable temperature. Ideally, the room temperature should feel cozy to a lightly clothed adult.
  • Preheat the Crib Before Putting Baby Down. If there is too much cold in your house, BabyCenter.com says to consider preheating the crib to create a warm sleeping space for your baby. To do this, place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the crib sheet for 30 minutes before you put your little one to sleep in the crib. Most importantly, remove it before laying your baby down to avoid any overheating or burns.

 

The Colgate Mattress zenBaby® Hybrid 2-in-1 is an infant-to-toddler transition crib mattress that features KulKote®, a groundbreaking water-based temperature-regulating technology that creates a tranquil and safe environment for baby. In keeping safety first, our crib mattresses are engineered to provide the ideal firmness to promote the most peaceful rest possible.

As parents, we will do anything to protect and bring comfort to our new bundle of joy. That’s why Colgate Mattress created DREAM SAFE. Through practical tips and expert advice, our goal is to educate and encourage caregivers to adopt lifesaving safe sleep practices. Together, we can ensure both you and baby enjoy sweet dreams.

 

Remember! The coldest time of day is usually overnight from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., so plan accordingly.