There exists a huge web of dangers to babies which is hard to maneuver through for a new beginner. Here is a list of the ones that I wish I knew from day 1.
The most important is to always be present (physically and mentally) and to use common sense at all times. If you are tired or for some reason will not manage to be present at all times, ask for help!
Make sure the baby never is too hot and always has enough air. Never cover up the stroller with a blanket. Make sure the temperature is good (you can check by putting a finger in the neck/ on the chest – it is supposed to be normal temperature, not cold and not warm. If the baby is really warm in the neck she is way too hot, take off clothes and/ or open window. If you take off / on clothes or the weather changes, check the temperature again after some time to be sure. NB! Babies can die from overheat or not enough air.
Be careful with any heights. Never leave the baby on the nursing table or on the kitchen counter. Never leave a window open and ALWAYS close the upper lock on the windows.
Make sure there are small pieces / things / food that can get stuck in the baby’s mouth. F.ex. the lids to the baby smoothies, hard nuts etc. Always be with the baby during a meal.
NB! If you suspect something is stuck in the mouth this is what to do:
- First, let the baby try to solve the situation by itself through coughing.
- Second, try to gently hit the baby with a flat, open hand 5 times on the back between the shoulder blades.
- If that does not work, try 2 breast compressions for babies under 1 year or the Heimlich maneuver for children above 1 years.
- Try to see inside the mouth if you can see the object. If it is easy to remove you can do that, but don’t attempt if there is a chance of pushing it further down.
- If the baby is unconscious and does not breathe call 113.
After finishing a bath always empty at once. Never leave the baby unattended in the bath or by the pool / seaside.
Never leave a baby in a room where she is alone with an electrical contact that has not been set baby proof. NB! Remember they can pull out electrical cords.
Be super careful with cars, bicycles etc. Hold hands at ALL TIMES when around cars (parking lots, road etc.)
#7 CHEMICALS/ MEDICINES / DANGEROUS FOOD etc.
Never keep soaps, vanish bottles, medicines, or any poisonous substances. Nb! No honey and nuts for babies.
#8 GENERAL CONDITION
Call the doctor if the baby has poor general condition, including if you do not get normal contact / response from the baby, if she is remarkably tired, has high fever (very hot in face/neck region), not wet diapers, cries all the time.
#9 STUFFY NOSE
The smallest newborns don’t breathe through their mouth, only the nose. If the baby has a cold and the nose is blocked – use a lot of salt water spray / water and clean the nose.
You may want to try tickle the baby underneath the nose to trigger a sneeze in order to help rinse the nose a little extra. After food and when bathing you can throw some water gently up in the nose. Use soft, dry tissues to clean off excess water and mucus. Make sure to keep the baby in an upright position when rinsing the nostrils as the water goes back and down into the mouth.
#10 HOT LIQUIDS
Coffee cups, boiling kettles and saucepans should NEVER be within reach of babies. Make it a habit of having the handle for the saucepan turned towards the wall and not towards you.
Let the baby “do their thing” but sitting in an upright position (ie. if the baby is lying down in the stroller it is super important to help the baby into an upright position. Make sure to clean the airways (nose especially) with water and salt water spray after. If the baby won’t drink, try to give water by spoon (or 50:50 apple juice and water).
#12 SHARP OBJECTS AND HARD SURFACES
Be careful with sharp objects (knives, scissors etc.), and sharp angles (table corners etc.). Be extra careful to follow the baby around when she is walking on stone and other hard surfaces. If the baby falls and seems unwell / is throwing up after it may be a concussion and she needs to be taken to the doctor.
Can get stuck around finger, toe, etc. and limit blood supply. NB! Be careful!
#14 LONG OBJECTS
Don’t let the baby run around with sharp objects, long sticks etc. in case they trip.
#15 HEAVY / SHARP OBJECTS FROM ABOVE
The baby can pull the lamp’s electrical cord, pull out / climb on a bedside table etc. etc. Take necessary measures or watch the baby at all times.
NB! In winter time there can be ice or snow from the roofs that may fall down. Never walk / stand right under the roofs in winter time.
#16 SHAKING the baby.
Maybe surprising to some, but every year children get severely hurt because a caregiver shakes the baby in a moment of desperation, typically when the baby cries non-stop. Remember, if your temper gets to this point, take a break. Put the baby down into its bed and close the door. Take deep breaths and do not walk in before you are calm and can “play” the responsible, calm adult again.
#17 Plastic bags
Remove from reach of baby. Chocking hazard.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
Always keep a phone in the house / bring outdoor in case of emergency. (But please do not use on an everyday basis unless necessary).
PS. Please let me know if you have more points to this list so I can update 🙂