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A Guide to Newborn Safety for First-Time Parents: Birth to 6 months

Ally Ward is a neonatal nurse practitioner and mom of twin preemies, providing education and support to families of infants through clinical expertise, collaboration and compassion.

Here are Ally's tips to help you keep your baby out of harm's way from birth through 6 months!

What are top tips for newborn safety in the car?

  1. Car seats are primarily for transportation for infants

  2. Even though car seats are certified for safety, they are not meant for newborns to spend extended lengths of time in them.

  3. The angle of the seat and the propensity of the infant’s head to droop forward due to low muscle tone in the newborn create the potential for asphyxia or decreased ability to air to be inhaled and exhaled.

  4. Newborns ride in the car seat in a semi reclined position. This allows for the airway to remain open. It is important to make sure that the seat is installed in the car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The issue of positioning comes into play when the car seat is used as a carrier and the baby remains at an angle that is different than the angle when the baby is in the car.

  5. Do not forget the baby, seriously

  6. Some newer cars remind drivers to look in the backseat to check for the baby or child.

  7. Some people suggest placing their bag or purse in the backseat in order to ensure that the backseat is checked for the presence of the baby.

  8. Back seat always, r