September is Baby Safety Month and as a mom of two, I can remember how terrifying the first few days at the hospital were with a newborn. I was blessed to have amazing nurses that helped me with the babies and educated me on the ins and outs after delivery. As a labor nurse, you’d think id have it down! NOPE! When you’re the one in the hot seat everything goes out the window. I decided to talk to you guys about some quick baby safety tips that can be helpful after delivery and during your stay in the hospital.
Tip #1: Keep both side rails up on the hospital bed & call light in reach
Babies are not born with sufficient amounts of vitamin K. This means that their blood does not clot and they have a high chance of bleeding (the vitamin K shot is crucial at delivery). For this reason, it is so important to keep baby from falling or hurting themselves. So after delivery, you may find yourself still feeling tired, in pain, and kind of out of it. This is why it’s vital to always keep your side rails up on the bed and prevent any accidental drops of the baby. You may be thinking I would never drop my baby! Just remember moms after delivery have lost substantial amounts of blood, are in recovery, and on pain medication. All of these things can factor into accidental drops. The call light should also be in reach so mom can call for help if needed.
Tip #2: Don’t fall asleep with the baby in the bed
This tip goes hand in hand with tip #1. Having a newborn is exhausting and the first few days at the hospital are definitely a learning curve. You are lucky to get 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep! It’s easy to fall asleep when you’re just resting. Exhaustion just completely comes over you. This is why the hospital provides a bassinet that can be placed at the bedside to keep Baby safe. If at any point mommas you feel just too exhausted, place baby in the bassinet and rest. Its what’s safest for you and Baby at that time. This tip also goes for partners who are holding Baby on couches and pull-outs. If Mom is resting and you are feeling sleepy, place Baby in the bassinet and take a nap!
Tip #3: Always keep the blue bulb syringe near the baby
When the baby is born, you may or may not have noticed the doctors and nurses use a blue bulb syringe to suction out the gooey yucky secretions from the baby’s nose and mouth. This bulb syringe is amazing and once the nurses teach you how to use it you’ll see what a great tool it is. Babies accumulate spit and have secretions all of the time. If it’s your first baby it’s a scary thing to see. The bulb syringe should be kept near the baby and their bassinet at all times in the hospital. This helps parents suction out spit-up, mucus, milk, and other secretions that could inhibit the baby from breathing properly.
Tip #4: Don’t put blankets or stuffed animals in the bassinet with baby
When the nurses bring the bassinet in, they should educate you on how to place the baby. Flat on the baby’s back is the safest position. They will also show you how to swaddle the baby and then instruct you to not put blankets or anything in the bassinet with the baby. This is an important step to continue to follow after discharge as SIDS is a global problem we are still facing today.
Tip #5: Familiarize yourself with hospital policies about who is allowed to be near Baby.
At my hospital, all staff that is handling baby will have a pink stork on their badge. You want to be sure to familiarize yourself with the hospital policy on who is allowed to interact with the baby and what security measures they have in place to keep Baby safe.
Hope you guys find these tips helpful! Feel free to drop any questions or comments about baby safety below!