No-one can really give you an idea of the enormity of the responsibility of having a baby!!!
Keep your newborn baby safe – make that your priority and if you are doing that, believe me you are way ahead.
I remember one day feeling so embarrassed when I saw that there was wax in my baby’s ear when I was at the Infant Health Clinic – I thought the nurse must think I am a really slack mother. (I was so exhausted and sleep deprived it was a miracle that I had managed to get to the clinic at all – even if I was half an hour late – I was even more devastated when after the baby had been weighed, I didn’t have a clean disposable with me, and the nurse had to try to find one for me – I had changed the nappy/diaper just before I left home and didn’t expect her to wet the nappy so soon. Keeping yourself, your baby and your house spotlessly clean is not a priority – healthy and happy is what counts. This was one of the hardest lessons for me – as I had always been such a spotlessly clean person, and such an efficient nurse, where babies were immediately cleaned up and lay in beautiful clean bassinets/ isolettes – and here I was not able to keep on top of the wax in my baby’s ears!!!!
Back to safety issues:
Make sure you have adequate equipment for safe car travel – check with your local council for requirements.
Keeping your newborn baby safe includes making sure that your baby is not getting too hot or cold whether they are travelling in the car, or at home etc.
Never leave your baby unattended in a car – not even for two minutes – why take a chance that something could happen to you or your newborn baby while you are away?
Make sure your baby stroller/baby pram is safe – that it won’t overturn the first time it hits a bump – visit the baby shops and get the assistants to show you all the important safety features – and then make sure you use them, not just have them. Much as you may want to get fit after baby is born – please remember that baby jogging strollers are not recommended for infants less than 6 months old.
Protecting your baby from the sun and wind is also important – most sunblocks are a bit too harsh for a newborn baby, so it’s best to make sure they are not exposed to the sun. (Early morning sunshine, or late afternoon sun is used in some countries to help clear up jaundice (yellow discolouration of the skin) that happens to new born babies. Make sure that your Health Professional has given you guidelines to ensure that your baby comes to no harm.
Make sure that all hot drinks or foods cannot come into contact with your newborn baby. Always supervise young children around your baby – some children like to do a little prodding as a means of discovery – which may not be in your baby’s best interests.
Always supervise your visitors – especially pushy relatives, and be very particular that everyone washes their hands before touching your newborn baby, and that they do not come close to your baby if they have some contagious disease. Be particularly careful about anyone with a “cold-sore”, including yourself and partner, making sure that the sore does not come in contact with your baby – this can be very dangerous to your newborn baby.
Keep animals away from your newborn baby – they carry germs and diseases that can be harmful to your baby.
You need to be particularly careful with newborn babies – by about 6 months of age they have usually developed their immunity to a degree where you don’t have to be paranoid and with gradual exposure to normal household organisms – your baby’s immune system is tested and develops.
Make sure that all items that come in contact with their mouths, have been sterilised.
It doesn’t matter what country you live in – there are always ways to sterilize pacifiers/dummies/teats/nipples/bottles etc. Western countries usually make it a little easier than the usual sterilising method of: 3 minutes in boiling water, or using steam sterilizing in a Microwave oven, or soaking in a chemical agent which will kill the germs such as Milton – (Milton is not used in hospitals anymore as some hospital germs aren’t destroyed by it). Check with your Health Professional about the manner that you intend to use – this is to ensure that your baby does not develop gastro-enteritis which can be dangerous to any baby, because they can “dehydrate” (lose fluid) so easily.
Be very careful where you place your newborn baby, especially when bathing or changing your baby.
It is a good idea to have a safe area with a little ledge to prevent your baby rolling off the edge – if that is not possible, place a clean blanket or waterproof covering on the floor, and change your baby on the floor – at least that way – they’ve got nowhere to fall!!!! This is not as backward as it may sound – though it is not too great for your back! A lot of diaper bags come with a detachable padded waterproof working area – you’ll become an expert in no time. Of course the best place to do the nappy change is at the change table or the specially designated baby-care rooms, but this is not always possible.
Providing a safe environment where your baby sleeps – this includes SIDS prevention