Babies are the life of a family. They bring joy to their parents and make their grandparents feel a sense of renewal. Because they are so precious, great attention is given to their welfare. From the time the woman discovers she is pregnant, the focus becomes the care of the unborn child. This exclusive attention continues after the infant’s arrival. In honor of Baby Safety Month here are a few tips for a family caring for infants. I hope you take these tips as nothing more than advice. They are not meant to offend anyone.
- Take your baby with you. Wherever you are in the home, your baby should be with you. Leaving a baby unattended in a room alone is ill-advised. All it takes is a split second for an accident to happen to a baby. You may think he or she is asleep in the crib, only to come back and find them in an unexplainable position. Babies can move themselves when you think they cannot. They can flip themselves, they can become lodged between the bed and the bars of a crib, they can rollover and smother themselves with a pillow that you placed under their head. Having a portable crib or a bassinet on wheels will enable you to take them with you.
- Always check the recall lists. Before you buy your baby any product you should do an online product search. These days all sorts of products are recalled for a variety of reasons. Many babies have been harmed or died from ingredients in formula not listed on the label to defective toys to malfunctioning furniture.
- Baby furniture should be purchased according to the behavior of your baby. If you have a “frisky baby”—a baby who is active, you should buy products that you feel is sturdy enough to handle his sudden shifting in weight. Do not rely on the manufacturer to keep your baby safe. Some equipment is made quite flimsy although manufacturers profess it will keep your child safe. Car seats, strollers, high chairs, cribs, and walkers are all items that cause harm to babies. Never leave your baby unattended in any of these products.
- Get a reliable babysitter. Take advantage of the endless streams of advice from “experienced” mothers. Young mothers and first time mothers may feel overwhelmed and even a little resentful, upon hearing commentary after commentary of other people’s pregnancy and delivery. However, these women can come in handy when you and your partner want a night out on the town. These stories will point out which women are reliable and which are not.
- Do not force a reluctant partner to care for an infant. Not all men are mothers. Many women think or insist that the father do their share in taking care of the baby. Some men step up, and are better mothers than the actual mother. They enjoy spending time with their new baby and can handle the incessant crying. Then there are some men who become annoyed at all the attention the baby is getting from the mother. They cannot handle incessant crying either. They try to quiet a crying baby, but it may be impossible. Their reluctance may be a hint you should heed.