Important Safety Knowledge to Gain Before Baby Arrives
June 10, 2015
Imagine this moms and dads: You’re sitting down to a yummy dinner with your baby when all of a sudden he/she begins to choke. What are you going to do? Are you going to be the kind of parent who panics because you have no idea how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver, let alone baby Heimlich, or are you going to be the parent who calmly reacts and takes care of the situation? We can all be the parents who react calmly and know how to handle scary situations like this with a little bit of preparation. So buckle up, as we help you to be a better-prepared parent for some of the most common health or safety threats your little one might face.
- Baby Heimlich
Let’s go back to the scary, yet very common, scenario we encountered in the paragraph above. Baby Heimlich is actually quite easy to learn and there are several resources to teach you how! One of my favorite sites to use is babycenter.com. Here is a link to learn the baby Heimlich.
Also, most hospitals offer First Aid and CPR classes. Classes range from $15-50 per class/per couple. The benefit of these classes is that they are hands on, so you’ll be able to actually practice performing the Heimlich maneuver on fake babies. Baby Heimlich is one of the most important safety tools you should have in your repertoire, but there are several others as well.
We’ve seen it done in the movies a hundred times, but what would we do if our baby passed out and stop breathing in real life? Would seeing it on the big screen be adequate preparation for you to be able to save your little one’s life? The Baby Center website is also where you can go to learn Infant CPR. Local hospitals also offer infant CPR classes. CPR classes are usually around 15 dollars per couple depending on your location.
Infant CPR is a bit different than regular CPR, so it’s extremely important to learn. Not only is it important to know how to do infant CPR, but the correct way to respond and who to call when this scary situation happens. One of my all time favorite go-to sites for everything you need to know about CPR is the Red Cross website.
- Car Seat
Did you know that about 93% of new parents installed their baby’s car seat incorrectly when coming home from the hospital? Sorry folks, but the odds are that you are included in that percentage unless you’ve taken the time to learn exactly how. Here’s a great site that will help guide you through the installation of a car seat for the first time.
Any fever that is over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 3 months of life is an emergency, and the baby should be taken to the doctor or Emergency Room immediately. Many parents think that giving the baby Tylenol will take care of the infection, but if your baby is under 3 months, he/she could be in serious danger. If they’re this young, don’t risk it; take them in so they can get the help they need. If your child is over 3 months, just pay attention to how they are acting. If they are consuming liquids, they are most likely fine. If the fever lasts longer than 24 hours, it’s probably a good idea to give your doctor a call. If you want more information on baby fevers, here is a great link with more helpful information!
- Baby Teeth
You may think that you don’t need to worry about your baby’s teeth. I mean, they are just going to fall out anyway, right? Most parents don’t know that good oral care actually starts even before your baby’s first tooth comes through and that neglecting your little one’s teeth can result in more cavities for the rest of your child’s life.
It turns out that it’s a myth that soft, cavity-prone teeth run in the family. Rather, there is a certain bacterium that eats away your teeth that are passed on in families. Research has shown that this bacterium is not native to a child’s mouth, but is most often introduced into the child’s mouth from their mother. Especially if you have a history of having a lot of cavities, avoid sharing a spoon with your baby, or really any other contact between your and your baby’s mouth. This will end up saving both you and your child an innumerable amount of pain and discomfort both from the cavities, as well as from the dentist bills. Some other things you can do to prevent these bacteria from developing in your child’s mouth are not letting your baby go to sleep with a bottle of milk in their crib, and using a damp washcloth to gently wipe your baby’s gums at least twice a day. You should also start using a toothbrush when your baby’s teeth come in, and fluoride toothpaste should be used when your baby turns two.
It is recommended that you take your baby to the dentist when they reach one year of age, or within six months of their first tooth, so that your dentist can determine if harmful bacteria has been introduced into their mouth, and can take corrective action if necessary. An added bonus to keeping your baby’s teeth strong and healthy is that these baby teeth act as a placeholder for their adult teeth. If their baby teeth have to be pulled due to cavities, it can lead to more crooked adult teeth, and therefore more orthodontic work in the future. Although it can be a hassle in the meantime, you and your child will be so much happier if you take the time to develop a pattern of good oral health. For more information about establishing and maintaining good oral health, check out this link.
Sleeping schedules for our babies can be daunting and sometimes hard to figure out. There are some times when we won’t have control over their schedules, for example, if they are sick or teething, but most of the time we can have control! All it takes is a well thought-out schedule and consistency. Babies need security just as much as we do; by giving them a consistent eating/sleeping schedule we are giving them just that. One of my all time favorite books that will help introduce a healthy sleeping schedule for your baby is called “Baby Wise.” You can find this book at any bookstore, library, or it can even be purchased online. This book will give you a step-by-step guide on how to develop a sleep schedule that works for you and your baby. My husband and I started this sleeping schedule with our baby when she was 2 months old and since then we’ve had no trouble with her sleeping through the night. The Baby Center website is another great resource that goes over sleeping schedules for your baby. You can find these sample schedules by going here. I think the best thing to remember is consistency! At times it might be hard and frustrating, but if you stick with the schedule, in no time you’ll have a happy, sleeping baby (and mommy)!
We are constantly learning as parents. There is no way we can possibly know and perfect every safety tip before baby arrives, but we can definitely prepare ourselves as much as possible. Remember the best thing you can do in a scary situation is to stay calm, call for help if needed, and reassure your child that everything is going to be okay.
Is there anything else you’d like to learn more about when it comes to baby safety?
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