4 Ways to Create a Safe Home Environment Before Baby is Born
When preparing for the birth of your baby, in addition to seeking prenatal care, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking, alcohol, and harmful substances, it’s also important to create a safe home environment to bring your child home to. Even though your baby is not yet born, here are just 4 ways you can start now to prepare for your baby’s arrival.
Purchase and Install a Car Seat
Buy a car seat that meets national safety standards, whether it is new or used. Make sure it is properly installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions by following the owner’s manual. If you need help with installation, there are drive-through checkpoints that are conducted by certified safety seat technicians. To get a free car seat check, please contact Mercy on Call at 319-358-2767 to register. Also, make sure to bring your car seat to the hospital with you when you deliver, and we can help make sure your baby is strapped in correctly.
Check All Baby Equipment
Make sure all your baby’s other equipment (including cribs, strollers, carriers, bassinets, change tables, playpens, and toys) meet national safety standards. If you purchase any of these products second-hand, make sure they are clean, come from a non-smoking home, are in good condition, and also meet the safety standards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is a good place to start.
Learn About Safe Sleep
Before your due date arrives, you should prepare a safe sleep surface for your baby. Choose a firm surface, such as a crib mattress in a safety-approved crib. Cover the mattress with a fitted sheet only. Do not add any blankets, stuffed animals, crib bumpers, or any other bedding or soft materials to the sleeping area. Take some time to learn more about safe sleep recommendations here, and talk with your doctor about what you need to know about safe sleep. Share this information with all of the baby's caregivers.
Choose Your Baby’s Doctor
It's a good idea to start looking for a doctor for your baby about 3 months before your due date. Ask for recommendations from friends, neighbors, coworkers, and doctors you know. Then, check your insurance company's website to see if the doctors are in your plan. Having your baby’s doctor in place is something you can do ahead of time so that you already know who to call if you have questions during those first few days and weeks with your newborn.
We are committed to helping you feel supported during your pregnancy as you prepare for the arrival of your baby. No matter when your baby is due, you can begin to create a safe home environment and learn best practices for keeping your baby safe from day one.