Expecting a new baby is a good chance to make sure your home is safe and ready for your growing family.
Knowing you have prepared a safe and welcoming place to bring your baby home to is important and means you can focus on getting to know your little one.
When it’s time to bring your newborn home, you want to be sure the house is safely set up and the best time to do this is before they actually arrive.
Once your baby starts to crawl, you will need to do double check again that your house is safe for when they are on the move.
Every home should have smoke alarms on each floor of the house and in the main living area.
Fire safety is another good reason to keep your home smoke free.
Work out how you and your family would escape in case of a fire. Make sure each adult knows what ‘their job’ would be and talk through your plan with older children.
Carbon Monoxide Safety
Carbon monoxide poisoning is very serious and can be fatal. It is caused by faulty gas or other heating fuel systems. It is particularly dangerous because you cannot see, hear, smell or taste it.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a risk if your home has;
It is very important to have a carbon monoxide detector and check it works every week.
Make sure your heating is serviced regularly. If you live in rented accommodation your landlord must provide detectors and regular servicing.
Check the temperature of your water at home. If you are able to set your hot water thermostat it should be at 60 degrees. Higher than this and there is a risk of scalds and burns.
Whilst you are pregnant you can begin to look at risks to children in your home and garden.
A Safe Nursery
There is no rush to get a nursery ready for your baby – it is advised that babies share a bedroom with their parents until they are at least six months old.
Babies should only sleep in something that has been designed for a baby to sleep in. This is because it reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Cot Death).
Their cot or crib should be kept clear of anything other than bed linen. This keeps your baby as safe as possible as they sleep.
If you are buying a second hand crib, cot or pram;
The room temperature in your home should be around 16 – 20 degrees celsius to make sure your baby does not get cold or overheat (which increases the risk of sudden infant death).
During your pregnancy get a room thermometer so you can get an idea of what the temperature is in different parts of your home.
Safety Around Pets
Pets are an important part of family life. When your family is growing it is important to think about how you can be sure;
When you are pregnant, hand washing is even more important than usual. It protects you and your baby from harmful germs. Get in the habit of washing your hands after being around your pets and always before eating.
Start thinking about how you will keep pets separate from your baby when you cannot supervise them. Preparing early means you and your pet will be able to get used to the new ways before baby arrives and your pet is less likely to be jealous.
If you have a pet that needs exercising who will help with this in the early days?
If you plan to walk a dog alone with your baby;
However lovely your pet is remember animals can never be totally trusted. Something may frighten your pet. They may be accidentally hurt and they react by instinct. Do not leave your baby or young child alone with a pet.
If you feel worried and want more advice you can speak to your midwife.
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of the Healthy Child Programme team.
You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below.