Baby and health questions tend to worry all parents, especially new ones. If you begin thinking about these issues before the baby arrives, you will be ahead of the game. Baby and health preparation is key in arming yourself with vital information that could help you handle any situation easily.
While you are still pregnant, search for a pediatrician that you feel comfortable with. Each doctor has their own style when dealing with patients. You will be getting a great deal of advice and information from this person regarding your baby and health so make sure you are compatible and agree on major issues. Choose someone that you feel you can communicate with easily and openly.
Baby and Health – Selecting a Pediatrician
First, make a list of 4-5 potential pediatricians. When looking for these, ask your regular doctor, other friends, family members and consult referral sites for recommendations. Consider location when making this list. Because you will have regular doctor visits during the first year of your baby’s life, the doctor’s office you choose should be convenient for you. Also, compare your list with your insurance company’s and make sure your choices are covered within your health care network.
Once you have compiled a list, begin the task of setting appointments and meeting with each doctor. Use these visits to get acquainted, ask important baby and health questions, and get a feel as to how the office is run. Check out all their policies and know how they handle after hours emergencies. Is the staff friendly and helpful? Do you feel the pediatrician will be able to give you expert guidance and support? Look for all these things and more during your visit. Make notes about each pediatrician after you see them as this is helpful in avoiding confusion later on.
Do not make this decision lightly. Your pediatrician is your “go to” person when it comes to your baby and health. They will be administering vaccines, seeing your infant during illnesses, and for check-ups.
There are several other things you can do prior to the big day to insure a smooth transition for the whole family. Preparing your home, knowing how to operate important devices, gathering information and thorough cleaning can help in creating a healthy and safe environment for your new one.
Preparing the nursery for baby and health while pregnant is not only great fun but very important. This is a great time to baby proof while decorating. Make sure that the crib you use meets all safety standards (check the internet for information) and that the mattress fits the crib. There should not be any gaps between the mattress and the side rails. Assure that the crib and all other furniture is sturdy and does not have any loose hardware. Take the time to learn how to properly use items including everything from furniture and nightlights to thermometers and first aid kits before the homecoming date. You’ll be glad you did when the time comes to use them.
Since your baby will not be moving around much during the first few months it might seem silly to install certain safety precautions in your home while pregnant. However, since your priorities will be focused elsewhere once the homecoming takes place, it might be a good idea to go ahead and get this task out of the way.
You will need to consider outlet covers, safety locks and latches, gates, window guards, safety netting, cord stops, anchors and brackets, knob covers and more. Try buying a few of these at a time so the cost doesn’t hit you all at once. Of course, none of these products will work if not installed properly so make sure that you read all instructions and take your time. Take a crawling tour of your home and look for possible hazards such as unstable furniture that could easily turn over. Remember that as your baby grows so do household hazards so update your home’s safety as needed.
Many parents do not prepare the car seat prior to coming home from the hospital. This is a major safety issue in regards to your baby and health because it is estimated that as many as 80% of car seats are improperly installed. Take the time to do this right prior to your delivery date. If you plan to use the car seat in multiple cars make sure they are equipped for them.
Don’t assume that installation is quick and easy. It is usually just the opposite… frustrating and time consuming. There are actually inspection locations throughout the USA that offer free services so check the internet. Sometimes local fire departments and hospitals offer this as well. Taking advantage of these services can insure that your baby will have a safe and healthy ride.
Here are a few other things to consider:
Some hospitals offer CPR classes geared toward infants as well as other newborn first aid classes. Most of the time there is either no or very minimal cost and the knowledge you get about your baby and health is invaluable.
Think about the air quality in your house. Before the baby comes is a great time to improve air quality. You can do this by cleaning or replacing carpets and air filters among other things. If you plan to paint, do it before baby comes.
Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they are working properly and the batteries are good.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a website that is helpful to many parents. Here you can check on product recalls and register to receive valuable product information via email.
Make sure you have a list of important phone numbers at your fingertips. This includes doctor’s office and poison control.
Baby and Health – Conclusions
Ultimately, parents want to feel comfortable when caring for their baby. A healthy environment is an excellent start. It takes a lot of work to get to that point but through diligence and preparation on your part it can be accomplished. Getting these things done during that exciting nine months tends to yield a certain peace of mind. Hopefully, because of your efforts, you will be ready and well equipped to deal with your baby and health.