Newborn basics for every parent and caregiver, part three

As I have recently blogged, even if your home is only the occasional host to small children, you must, must, must babyproof or childproof your home. It takes just a few minutes to go through a home safety checklist, but a lifetime of grief or regrets after an accident is not worth the risk. Please take a few moments to go over the checklist on my blog at

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Basic rule number three:  Baby proof the home

And as your baby grows, she’ll show you just how quickly she can get herself into trouble. Though the process of covering outlets, installing gates and putting locks on cabinets will take up a few days, babyproofing is essential to create a space that’s hazard-free as your little one becomes more and more mobile.

That goes for chokables, too. Until they’re old enough to really understand what is and isn’t food, many babies’ first instinct will be to put anything into their mouths—coins, cat litter, small toys. Get in the habit of placing small items out of baby’s reach. “If you can put it through a toilet paper roll, it’s too small for a baby to handle,” says pediatrician Lisa Dana. Beyond choking, some common small items like the silver button batteries inside remote controls are toxic and can cause irreparable harm if swallowed.

Siblings need to be trained, too. “Toddlers and preschoolers may try to ‘feed’ the baby,” warns Dana. Teach your older child not to do this and – exhausting as it is – make sure he is constantly supervised when he’s around his new sibling.



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