Vigilant mother

Now that my baby is mobile I feel really afraid that I can’t protect him from ordinary household dangers. Where do I even start?

The trouble with a newly mobile baby is that they have no idea about what is safe and what isn’t. So you are right to be concerned, because babies are deceptively quick when they become mobile, and it can only take a few seconds for things to get very difficult. So your first job is to learn to watch your baby every moment. The days of leaving a contented baby to play in the cot are over. Realise that caring for this busy person is a full time occupation, and that you need to be particularly aware of how distracted you get when you are tired or busy. If you are cooking or doing a job that requires your full attention, you must make sure that baby is secure. So having baby in the kitchen strapped into his high chair and playing a game such as banging a spoon on the table, is a good option. This is also the time to become friends with the old fashioned play pen. However, even if baby seems secure you really should always be in the same room. The telephone is a big danger, because you can be distracted long enough by a pleasant call to be unaware of what baby is up to. Television and radio programmes that engross you are also an area to be concerned about, since baby can wonder off while you are being entertained.

Make sure that you are careful about what you dress baby in. Ensure that clothes are not too long over hands and feet, as this can cause accidents if baby gets entangled. Socks are a bad idea on a baby who is learning to walk, especially if the floors are tiled or wood. You need to find soft shoes with non-slip soles to encourage walking and keep baby safe. Clothes should not be flammable, and cotton and other natural products are the best. Anything that dangles is out – remove drawstrings from trousers and jackets, and put away your dangly scarves.

This would also be a good time to get acquainted with first aid procedures. Knowing what to do in an emergency can be very reassuring for a worried mom. Make sure that you collect all the emergency numbers that you might need – your local doctor, ambulance service, poison hotline, and any others you think may be useful in a crisis. Display them in a prominent place, such as on the fridge, so that they are easy to access should you need them. Prompt action can make a big difference in a crisis, and you may find that your mind does not work that well when there is a fraught situation, so easy access is important. +27 (0)81 885 4683 

*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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