Strollers, Cribs, & Alarms: Safety Tips & Best Practices
US Consumer Product Safety Commission, the office that decides all the current national standards says....
To prevent suffocation, never place pillows or blankets in a baby’s sleep environment.
Make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress and use a fitted crib sheet designed for that size mattress.
Proper assemble of cribs is paramount – Follow the instructions provided and make sure that every part is installed correctly. If you are not sure, call the manufacturer for assistance.
Do not use cribs older than 10 years, broken, or modified cribs. Infants can strangle to death if their bodies pass through gaps between loose components or broken slats while their heads remain entrapped.
Set up play yards properly according to manufacturers’ directions. Only use the mattress pad provided with the play yard; do not add extra padding.
Never place a crib near a window with blind, curtain cords or baby monitor cords; babies can strangle on cords.
No blankets, no pillows, no bumpers or stuffed animals... and always put your infant to sleep on her back.
There has been a large drop in the incidences of SIDS, but an increase in suffocations... the rate more than doubled between 2000-2010. According to the National Institute of Health, 55% of U.S. infants are placed to sleep with bedding that increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and accidental suffocation. Be diligent at home and with care providers.
And don’t forget to check for crib recalls: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/baby-crib-recalls
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms:
On every level of your home. There are products out there that have industrial-grade smoke sensors, can be controlled from your phone, will test themselves automatically, and last up to 10 years. Basically, you need one or two alarms with sensors that will test for both smoke and carbon monoxide. They should have a simple to use silence/test button, low battery warning, end-of-life timer and 85dB alarm. Be sure all alarms meet UL standards and are backed by a manufacturer’s limited warranty – usually Smoke (10 years) and CO (5 years).
AND NO SMOKING!
THAT GOES FOR EVERYONE!
Always follow the T.I.C.K.S checklist... Tight, In view, Close enough to kiss, Keep chin off chest and Supported back. With your baby’s tummy and chest against you and her back straight - not curled – she can fully expand her lungs with each breath. Her chin needs to be positioned upward, 2 fingers width off of her chest, as if in a breastfeeding position. Babywearing International and the people who make baby wraps contend that babies cry less, especially during the evening hours, become independent more quickly and get a better view of the world. Healthier, sleep better, learn more and happier? Why? Because they feel loved and secure. It is easier to get out... no stroller, easier to see them and communicate, easier to breastfeed while on the go, navigate up and down stairs or through narrow doorways... keeping your hands free.
Speaking about strollers:
Never leave your child unattended in a stroller, always use the 5 point harness and an infant insert to support your baby’s spine, don’t carry hot drinks, even in the cup holder near the handle, don’t hang bags on the handles, they can make it tip backward. If the stroller has a basket for carrying things, be sure it is placed low and near the rear wheels. Always engage the brake when you stop. Consider baby wearing.
For your safety and that of your newborn, please, please, turn off your phone, computer or television when you are awake together.