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Babies are curious and can easily and quickly find themselves in harm’s way. It’s important to create a safe space for your baby, especially before they are mobile and begin to crawl. Baby proofing the space where you spend most of your time, your home, is a great starting point.
Strollers, highchairs and baby carriers are all pieces of equipment that you may purchase during your baby’s first year. Some items, like strollers, will be used well beyond the first year. Choosing equipment for your baby depends on their age and size. It is not safe to leave your baby unattended or leave your baby asleep in a car seat or stroller. Once you have reached your destination, place your baby on a safe sleep surface – even if they are only napping. Find out more information about equipment safety in this section.
As your baby develops and begins to be able to grab things and move, you’ll need to watch for choking hazards- especially when your baby starts eating solid foods. Young children’s mouth muscles aren’t well-developed, so you may want to avoid certain foods. Prepare foods carefully and make sure that you don’t provide food to your infant during car rides or while in a stroller. To keep babies safe, ensure their environment is free of any small objects, toys, debris or materials they may grab and place in their mouths.
As parents, you make many decisions every day to help keep your child healthy and safe. When it comes to sleep, your baby’s sleep environment is always important – day or night. Some sleep practices are safer than others.
- Put your baby to sleep on their back for every sleep, whether it's naptime or nighttime.
- Have your baby sleep on a separate sleep surface in the same room as you for the first six months.
- Be smoke, drug, and alcohol free- have another adult on hand to help with your baby if you have consumed anything that makes you less alert.
- Breastfeed- breastfeeding helps to prevent sleep-related infant death. Breastfeeding boosts babies’ immune systems- the more you feed the better the protection. Any amount of breast milk will help keep your baby healthy.
Babies have delicate, sensitive skin that’s easily damaged by sun. Learn how to care for your baby’s skin. See Sun Safety Babies for their First Year.
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken baby syndrome is brain injury that occurs when someone shakes a baby or throws a baby against an object. It is never okay to shake or throw a child. Learn more about shaken baby syndrome.
Last Updated: June 2021