The moment you hold your newborn baby in your arms for the first time you fully realize how precious and fragile life can be. This little itty bitty human is relying on you for everything. It’s up to you to keep them safe and healthy.
There are so many things that happen in these first few months that set the stage for what’s to come in the following years. After getting through the infant stage a few times myself, I’ve learned there are five key ways to invest in the health of your newborn.
A Safe Crib Mattress for Safe Sleeping Habits
Your newborn will spend more time sleeping than they will awake for the first year or so. With that in mind, the crib should be a primary focus. Start by selecting a safe crib mattress.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents look for a firm sleep surface. While some crib mattresses may seem a little too firm, that’s by design. A firm mattress decreases the likelihood of suffocation. You’ll also want to look for a crib mattress that are free to chemicals and easy to clean.
Want the most bang for your buck? Look for a double-sided crib mattress that’s firm on one side for infants and a little softer on the other side for older babies and toddlers.
ALSO: When you lay your little one down to sleep on their safe, firm mattress make sure to lie them down on their back. That’s by far the safest sleeping position for a baby. Following these best steps now will help protect your baby as they grow into a toddler.
After you’ve selected a safe mattress, next consider the bedding that goes on top of it. We now know that the only thing that should be in the crib with a baby is a fitted sheet. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for a safe sleeping environment state that nothing should be put in the crib with the baby
As your baby grows into a toddler the rest of the bedding will come into play. Sure, there’s a good chance that non-organic bedding and towels will have little effect on your baby’s health. But there’s also a possibility that the chemicals used to create non-organic fabrics could do harm. We just don’t know enough yet to say for sure. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution when it comes to a baby.
Whip Up Natural Baby Food
Nothing is better for a newborn than mother’s milk. But eventually, your baby will expand their palate to solid foods around the six-month mark. That’s when you really have to start paying attention to every ingredient.
Even with all the FDA regulations and safeguards, unhealthy ingredients can still sneak into baby food and baby products. An alarming study released earlier this year found that 80% of baby formulas tested contained arsenic.
Like bedding, the best option is to go with organic baby food that’s 100% free of pesticides. Many parents are also playing it safe by selection non-GMO (genetically modified) baby food.
Of course, anyone who’s gone grocery shopping in recent years knows that organic food it’s cheap, especially when it’s made for babies. The solution – make your own baby food. I’ve come up with homemade baby food hacks that are real sanity savers. The key is to keep it simple. Use organic fruits and vegetables that are easy to blend and don’t worry about fancy equipment at first.
Check for Recalls Often
Sometimes you don’t have to invest money to protect your newborn, but you do have to invest time. Checking for recalls is the perfect example. If arsenic is discovered in a type of baby food or the FDA finds lead in a toy the Consumer Product Safety Commission will put out a recall. They have a recall list online that’s updated daily and arranged by date.
Set Up Playdates Sooner Than You Think
Socialization is extremely important for all human beings, even the smallest of us. Socializing with others helps babies begin developing essential communication skills, and they’ll begin picking up behavioral cues.
Go ahead and start lining up playdates while your baby is still an infant. By the time they are one year old your baby should be parallel playing with others. Keep in mind playdates are also just as beneficial for moms. It gives you a chance to connect with your peers and share advice.
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