Parents try their hardest to keep their children safe. There are so many potential dangers in this world that it gets hard to learn and remember every little thing that could cause harm to a baby. We all know the typical things such as keeping them away from household cleaners, medications, things that are hot, and anything else that automatically throws up those red flag warning signs inside our heads. Parents will go to any length to keep their little one as safe as possible. There is nothing a parent wouldn’t do for their child.
When it comes to parents trying to protect their young, life would be so much easier if there was a book or an app with everything that has the potential to become dangerous to a baby. Unfortunately, no such thing has been invented yet. A lot of parents hear certain things that could be dangerous but yet they ignore what has been scientifically proven to be dangerous to a baby because either they know someone who did it and their child was fine, or because they had other kid and nothing bad ever happened to them.
The thing is, just because nothing happened to a parent personally, it doesn’t mean it will never have the potential to happen to them. Just the fact that there are thousands of other parents who had a horrible thing happen to their baby should give parents enough reason to proceed with caution. There is not one single parent out there who is immune to having something terrible happen to their little one.
We have compiled a list of ordinary everyday things that can put a newborn in danger. Continue reading to gain more insight on the things that could potentially put your baby at risk.
24 Giving The Newborn A Bath
New moms, especially first-time moms, don't always know the proper care of a newborn's umbilical cord stump. Not knowing what to do can turn into a major health-related complication. Newborns are not supposed to be given a bath before their umbilical cord stump falls off naturally, which is approximately their first or second week of life. They should only be given a sponge bath. Otherwise, moms risk the baby getting an infection in the stump. Moms should also avoid touching the stump with bare hands, cleaning it with products, and picking at the stump to “help” it fall off. All these things can lead to the newborn developing an infection called omphalitis that could potentially turn fatal if left untreated. Signs of an infection are:
- A red and swollen base of the stump
- Continuous bleeding
- Dozing a yellowish or white colored pus
- Foul smelling discharge
- Appears to be painful to the newborn
If your little one develops any to all of the above symptoms, please contact your baby's doctor right away.
23 Soft And Fluffy Bedding
It seems like almost every other mom, especially first-time moms, want to get beautiful, comfortable, and fluffy blankets, pillows and other types of bedding.There are many moms who believe that since babies are just miniature human beings, that they need to sleep with blankets like everyone else does to help them stay warm at night. That is actually a misconception that can prove to be very damaging to a newborn baby.
Blankets are a very ordinary thing that is dangerous to a little one. This is because they can get tangled up in it which could block their airway and cause them to suffocate, or it can accidentally wrap around the baby's neck and choke them. Both of those things can either lead to the baby being deprived of oxygen for too long, which can cause them varying degrees of brain damage, or they could pass away without a sound. It's not worth the risk.
22 Using Second-Hand Pumps
While it may be alright to get some baby necessities used, as long as they are checked over thoroughly for an potential damage, there are some things that a mom should never buy that have been previously used by someone else. The main thing would have to be that moms should stay away from second-hand breast-pumps. This is because there are so many germs and so much bacteria that can get trapped anywhere on them, and those nasty things usually end up in tiny crevices that don’t allow these pieces be swapped for new parts or cleaned. There are some areas of these pumps that a mom cannot get to in order to clean it all the way.
The FDA said that it is impossible to completely clean and sanitize breast-pumps at home, even if a person were to try boiling them. Some of the bacteria and germs left on these pumps are enough to make a newborn sick because of their underdeveloped immune systems. There are some pumps that can go in the dishwasher on the top rack, although, a majority of them do not have that option. Before you go throwing your pump in the dishwasher, read the instruction manual, or find one for your pump online, so you don’t risk ruining it if that option is not available for your machine.
21 Putting Baby Powder On The Baby
For more years than we can remember, moms have been using baby powder on their little one's bum to help keep them fresh. It also has an appealing fresh and clean scent. Did you know that baby powder is dangerous for your precious baby girl or boy? That’s right, as of the past few years, we are no longer supposed to use baby powder, and not just on babies but in general.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has informed us that baby power, especially the ones with a talc-based powder, can cause breathing problems and severe lung damage in babies if they breathe in the tiny particles. Have you ever tried using baby powder without getting any of it in the air? It is almost impossible and even a tiny bit in the air is dangerous as well. If you are still using it, we advise tossing it out to prevent any further damage to your child’s lungs.
20 Heating Up The Bottle In The Microwave
Most moms, when they want to heat up their newborn's bottle, will boil it in water. Other moms try to take the easy way out and try heating up the bottle in the microwave, and depending on what kind of bottle it is and what kind of plastic it is made from - it can end up being very dangerous and unhealthy for a tiny baby. This is because heating them in the microwave can expose a baby to a bad chemical called BPA.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, BPA can mess around with a baby’s hormones as they grow older. While that may not sound like a bad thing, it really can turn out to be a problem. Hormones issues and imbalances, depending which ones it toys with, can cause a multitude of health issues.
A lot of mental disorders are triggered by chemical and hormonal imbalances. Other things like, for women, polycystic ovarian syndrome are caused by hormone issues along with many other conditions that can apply to both men and women. You won’t really know the problems that BPA has caused your child until they are older.
19 The Baby's Favorite Stuffed Animal
A lot of moms like to think that their newborn needs to sleep with their favorite stuffed animal when they are napping or sleeping at night. We tend to believe that it is comforting to our child. But that is something that has turned out to be a dangerous and sometimes even fatal thing for newborns or even babies who can not roll over completely on their own yet.
Putting stuffed animals into a babies crib can cause serious life-threatening problems because a baby has the potential to end up with their face pressed into the stuffed animal which will deprive a baby of oxygen, which can then lead to the baby suffocating and, in the worst case scenario, passing away in his or her sleep. It is as bad as putting the newborn to bed with blankets and pillows.
18 Sleeping In A Baby Swing
Doctors warn that when a baby sleeps in an upright position, their oxygen intake can be cut down. It is recommended to never let a baby sleep in a swing or in a car seat. Now it’s obvious that when you are going for a ride with your baby in the car that the baby is no doubt going to fall asleep, and that is perfectly fine, but you should never leave them that way for extended periods of time.
Swings are the same way, a baby will fall asleep fairly quickly in a swing, but just don’t ever leave them there like that, they can suffocate due to a lack of oxygen. Besides, car seats are to get from point a to point b, and baby swings are to comfort your little one for a short time, and not so that you can go off and forget about them for a while
17 Kissing The Baby’s Face
When a baby is brought into this world, the first thing people want to do - after taking pictures of course - is puckering up and give the baby a little peck on the cheek. This is sometimes okay, as long as you have just brushed your teeth, used an alcohol-based mouthwash, and cleaned and sanitized your own face and lips. This is because there are a lot of different germs and bacteria on our lips which are also connected to our mouth - which is filled with all kinds of nasty germs and bacterias.
We do not want to transfer any of those bad things on to the baby’s face because, with their weak immune systems, newborns can become very sick. Not to mention, there are way more cases then there should be regarding a baby developing herpes on their face from people just kissing their face because someone who either knowingly or unknowingly had herpes. To be on the safe side, no one should be kissing a baby anywhere on their face.
16 Hand Me Down Gear
There are so many moms that are unable to afford the ridiculously expensive baby furniture such as cribs, baby swings, changing tables, or walkers. Some moms would even get second-hand baby toys. Sometimes there is nothing wrong with that, as long as the baby gear is as close to new as a mom can possibly get. The only reason that these things can turn around and become dangerous to a newborn, or any baby, is because used items sometimes come along with a lot more wear and tear that we may realize just by looking at it.
There are times it may just fall apart in a spot that is very hazardous. Or like for a crib, if its the old drop side ones from a few years ago, those have the potential to have the rail fall down and the baby can get trapped between the rail and the bed, or a screw could fall out and make it a bit less sturdy.
There so just so many things that could go wrong with previously owned baby gear, so it may not be worth the risk. However, it is understandable that sometimes this may be a moms only option. If that is the case, check the item very thoroughly.
15 Using A Changing Table Without Straps
A lot Of parents change their babies in all sorts of places, wherever is convenient at the time. Especially when they are out and about and there is no place to change the child. But they most likely have a changing table at home as well, for when they are able to get to it. Most changing tables are built with the safety of the baby in mind. They should all have good padding on them, as well as straps to protect him or her from falling off of the table. If for whatever reason you have a table that does not have straps then either get another one or install them yourself.
No Matter how tiny a baby is, he or she can still roll off of a table. Also, you should have everything you need to change the baby right there with you at the table so that you do not have to stop to get anything because the child should never be left there alone. So, please, ALWAYS make sure your baby is secure on the changing table.
14 Soaps, Shampoos, And Detergent, Oh My!
Phthalates are chemical found in plastics, such as the kind you see when you buy certain scented care products and they are reported to cause cancer, birth defects, and developmental issues. It is best to use products that are fragrance-free. Not to mention, there are certain products that can cause allergic reactions in newborns, and some of these can be fatal.
When it comes to soaps, shampoos, detergents, and creams, you should never use the same products you use on yourself. Always check and make sure that what you buy is meant for babies. It may also be a good idea to talk to your pediatrician and ask them which products they would recommend for you to use on your baby's sensitive skin. Don't forget to read labels and warnings, you can never take be cautious enough when talking about a precious little child.
13 Making The Newborn Pose For A Photo
Moms are notorious for wanting to have their newborn pose in all different positions because they think it is so adorable. Some moms will try to contort their precious child in different, and sometimes unnatural, ways that newborns really shouldn’t be in. They are completely fragile with frail bones that have not fully hardened yet. If these poses are not done in a correct manner, they can become very dangerous for the baby.
This includes propping the baby’s head in its hands, balanced on one arm, and even when they are swaddled but made to sit upright. There are too many other positions that could cause them harm to be named. The entire reason these are dangerous is that the baby could accidentally fall and get hurt or even suffocate. For a newborn, even being deprived of air for less than a minute could turn fatal. They are extremely tiny, and it doesn’t take much for them to get injured. Even if you have other kids and have propped them in those positions before, that doesn’t mean that the risk isn’t there.
12 Using The Tatas To Feed The Baby
Breastfeeding can be an excellent choice when it comes to feeding your newborn baby. It is actually preferred over bottles, however, there is one advantage to bottle feeding which, in turn, leave a disadvantage for using the girls as the main food source. The issue that happens for far too many moms, is that it is hard to tell your supply is low sometimes, which could lead to the baby not getting enough milk. Unfortunately, when that happens the baby usually ends up becoming malnourished.
It can also be hard to tell if a baby is actually malnourished at times because sometimes their weight does not drop. Surprisingly, babies can also gain weight while not getting enough milk - which is very strange because we would believe the opposite to be true and just look for the baby to drop some pounds in order to tell if everything is okay. Instead, look for some skin discoloration, lethargy, or lack of interest in things. There are tons of other symptoms that can indicate if they are eating enough.
11 What's The Water's Temperature?
Hot water and newborns, hmm, this should be a no brainer. What might feel like warm water to us, might be scolding hot to a baby. Their skin is in no way as tough as an adults skin. They are so precious, so fragile. It does not take much at all to burn a child in a tub. This is part of the reason you are supposed to put them in a newborn tub. You do not submerge them in water, you just wipe them down with a washrag. But if you are going to put them in the water, it is best to keep it between cool and warm.
Another thing you can do before bath time is to put some water in their tub, and make it between warm and hot, and then let it sit long enough so that by the time you give the child a bath, it will be at room temperature. Please, always double check your baby’s water.
10 Bundling The Newborn Up
Moms always worry about whether or not their baby is warm enough, especially since we have now all learned that we are not supposed to let a little one sleep with a blanket - or anything else actually. Because of that, some moms put layer after layer of clothes on their baby, especially at night. Moms should never really put layers on a newborn. They need to be dressed appropriately for the temperature that they are in. At night, if a mom is worried that her newborn is too cold, she should make sure to just turn the heat up a little bit and have them sleep in decently warm pajamas that cover their arms and feet as well.
The reason it can be dangerous for a newborn to be over layered, or too hot, is because they can actually overheat and that can be fatal to a newborn. A mom would never leave her child in the car with the windows up on a summer day while she runs into a store quickly (although, moms should never leave their babies or young children in a car alone; even if it’s only for a moment). Overlaying your newborn can become just as bad, but over a longer period of time, and the end result could still turn out the same.
9 Leaving The Newborn On The Couch
After a lot of the other things we have mentioned in this article, it should be a no-brainer that a mom should never leave her newborn alone if there is even the slightest risk of getting hurt. So, why do you think that leaving a baby on a couch or chair, regardless if they are asleep or awake, has the potential to be dangerous? This is because newborns can fall off the furniture or end up suffocating if they are left alone.
We know, newborns cannot roll over, so how could they possibly fall? The answer to that is simple - newborn babies still wriggle around which could ultimately cause them to inch their way toward the edge. The way they could accidentally deprive themselves of oxygen is because all they have to do is turn their head the wrong way or accidentally put their face against the back or arms of the sofa which increases the chance of the baby smothering. Another word of warning is that they should also never be placed on their tummy for the same reasons as stated above.
8 Placement Of The Car Seat
This should be something that is common sense for most people. Plus, there is at least one warning in a car that a child’s car seat should never be placed in the front seat. It also usually says it in the instruction manuals for most car seats. Unfortunately, there are some people who either do not read these warnings, or they blatantly ignore it. Inside most cars, the warning is placed generally on the front passenger side sun visor. This is a very dangerous and potentially fatal thing to do. The reason for this is because if someone were to get into an accident, or even if it deploys on its own, an airbag could crush or suffocate a tiny newborn. There is also the risk of the baby breaking something.
An airbag inflates in approximately 20 to 30 milliseconds, and it launches toward you going about 30 mph. If you have been lucky enough to have never been hit with an airbag - good for you! If you have, you know how much damage they can do and how much they can hurt. The only time it happened to me, it was enough to force to break my one arm and fracture the other since I automatically tried to put my hands out in front of me. So, imagine what this could really do to a baby. Be safe, and not sorry, just put the car seat in the back like the instructions tell us too.
7 Letting A Young Child Hold The Newborn
When you kids see their brand new little brother or sister for the first time ever, and see everyone else holding the baby, they want to join in on the action too. After all, they are the older sibling now. Mom's usually let their other child hold the newborn because they think it is incredibly adorable and it would make the perfect photo opportunity as well. Is this really the smartest thing to do? Not really, because little kids have usually never even come close to holding a baby before - unless you want to count their baby dolls.
There is always the risk that the older sibling could accidentally drop the baby. There have been stories of kids purposely dropping the baby as well. There is also the chance they could also accidentally squeeze or hug the baby too tight either really hurting them or smothering them. It is nice to want to include other children after the baby is born, but it is not the safest thing to do.
6 Walking Away At Bathtime
When you give your newborn a bath, you are supposed to just wipe them down with a nice soft baby wash rag, and of course, there are special little tubs for them. You should be right there standing over them as you gently wipe them down.
One thing you NEVER do is walk away and leave the baby in that tub, even though these tubs are only enough to get their skin wet, they can slide down and drown in just a little puddle of water. It may sound like a no-brainer, but unfortunately, there are many parents who have been guilty of doing just that, and sometimes with good intentions, maybe they just needed to grab the soap or baby shampoo, but either way that's all it takes for a tragedy to strike.
So, please, always stay within a fingers touch away, with your eyes on your child the whole time, make sure you have everything you need for the bath before you ever start.
5 Animals Who Love To Cuddle
Felines are beautiful and gracious creatures who can become a member of a family easily. No one really realizes how easy it is for a cat to accidentally put a newborn's life danger until they read or hear about another mom's horrific story. Moms who do have a beloved feline at home should never leave the cat alone with a sleeping newborn. This is because, for some odd reason, cats sometimes end up laying on the baby's head.
Since newborns are not capable of rolling over or being able to move the family pet off of them, the kitty has the potential to suffocate the baby by blocking the baby's airway. If the cat has access to the newborn's crib, if possible, keep the door closed to whatever room the baby is in - after making sure the cat is not in there, of course.
4 Using Crib Bumpers
Almost everyone knows what a crib bumper is and either had one themselves for another child they had, or they know someone who has used them. We were all told that they were needed for the wellbeing and safety of our little ones. It was meant to keep the baby from either hurting his or her head on the crib bars and to keep them from getting limbs caught in between the bars. However, we now know that there is no actual evidence that they really helped with either of those things and that they can be more dangerous than helpful.
After being evaluated and studied, it was found that sometimes the baby could accidentally suffocate oneself by having their tiny face pressed against the bumper and the crib mattress, or they can somehow manage to accidentally get wrapped up in them and choke. They were supposedly pulled from the market, but that does not stop parents from obtaining them because they sincerely feel that they need to have one in their child's cribs for protection.
3 Not Cleaning Up After The Newborn
Have kids and trying to get the house to stay clean and clutter free can become a very challenging task at times - especially when they get older and if you have more than just that newborn to care for. It is something that needs to be done, however, because there is always the chance that someone could accidentally trip over them and fall. This doesn’t seem harmful, right? But now imagine that your little one is lying innocently on the floor, what would happen if you were to accidentally trip and fall onto on the baby. Something so simple, and also an accident, has the potential to turn fatal.
No one really thinks about those things until they read someone else’s story where that same scenario has happened to them. If you were to search, “Mom (or dad) falls on top of the baby,” you would be horrified by the stories that you may find. People like to think that something like that would never happen to them, but if it's already happened to one person, it had the potential to happen to anyone.
2 Using Bath And Baby Oils
In recent news, it is now being said that it is no longer safe for us to use baby bath oils or even regular baby oils that some moms are fond of using on their little one. That is because these oils contain an ingredient called hydrocarbons. This ingredient can cause pneumonia-like conditions, irreversible lung damage, and it can even turn fatal to a newborn, or any little baby if they were to accidentally get this substance into their tiny little lungs.
A lot of the things we grew up believing are safe to use on a child, are being evaluated and we are learning that these products can actually do more harm than good. It is not really worth the risks. If you are adamant about continuing to use these oils on your newborn, read the ingredients carefully and make sure this ingredient is not used in it.
1 Mom’s Best Friend
Dogs easily become a part of the family. They are typically so lovable and loyal to their owner and usually also to all or most of their owners family. Some dogs turn out to be just fine around a new baby who was brought home for the first time. They sometimes even become very protective of that baby. But not all dogs feel the same way.
There are actually some dogs who seem jealous of all the attention that baby is getting, specifically if they are getting less attention from their owner. That at times can cause some dogs to become aggressive which can lead to the dog acting out, that rings even truer if the dog also has food aggression.
Not to mention that are over 100,000 cases each year of children under 10-years-old needed to be taken to an emergency room for dog-related injuries. Most of these attacks actually happen in places the dog is more familiar with such as being at home. Plus, dog food and some of their toys can turn into a choking hazard for a little one. As a mom, if you notice your dog becoming aggressive toward your baby, you may have a major decision to make.
Sources: HealthyChildren.org, JustHealthyLifestyle.com, AmericanPregnancy.org, Parenting.com, FDA.gov, BabyCenter.com, CarAndDriver.com