Pregnancy involves a lot of planning, from what to wear, to how to raise your child, to what you'll need for the nursery. While you're getting ready to welcome your baby into the world, you should also be making sure that your home is a safe environment.
Even if you think it's effectively baby-proofed, there are many common household items that can pose a danger to your baby without you even realizing it. Here are five baby hazards you may not have noticed during your efforts.
1. Soft bedding and stuffed animals
Sure, you want your baby to be as comfortable as possible, but cluttering your baby's crib with soft blankets, pillows and stuffed animals can pose a suffocation risk. All your baby needs is a soft, firm mattress, a tight-fitting mattress pad and sheet, and warm sleeping clothes to be cozy at night. Don't allow any soft bedding or toys in the crib until after baby's first birthday.
2. Hand-me-down toys and gear
Hand-me-downs are helpful, but they might not be the safest for your baby. Missing or broken parts could be hazardous, and they may no longer meet safety regulations. It may be best to err on the side of caution and buy new items if you're unsure.
3. Bath gear
Bath seats and toys can be safe when you're there to supervise your baby in the bath, but they can cause drowning if your baby is left unsupervised for even a minute or two. Never leave your child alone in the bath—these seats aren't made for safety.
You might think your dog would never harm your baby, but accidents can happen. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 100,000 children under age 10 are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for dog-bite–related injuries. Always supervise children around animals, and teach your child how to handle animals.
5. Your purse
Letting your baby play with your purse can be a nice distraction when there aren't any toys around, but there are many items in there that could be dangerous if your child puts them in his or her mouth—everything from keys to medicines to makeup. Keep your purse out of reach and keep plenty of safe things to do in your child's diaper bag.