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When taking care of your newborn, you will need to follow some general safety tips. The number one rule is: Pay attention. That means reading directions, checking in on your child and getting a second opinion when you’re not quite sure. When assembling all of those shiny and exciting items you got at your showers and for newborn baby gifts, take extra care. When you bring the baby home from the hospital, for example, you will put him or her in a car seat for the first time. Many hospitals have special instructions about how to assemble a car seat safely and securely. Most new car seats are designed for the most secure fit possible, but it’s best to make sure your car seat is safe. If the car seat is secondhand or fairly old, talk to your nurse to make sure it’s appropriate for use. Put your car seat in the car well before your due date, and make sure you know how to use it properly.

Many new mothers bring home their babies and begin to worry constantly about leaving the baby alone. Some don’t even want to put the baby to sleep for fear of something happening when they aren’t around. The sleeping arrangement of your baby is up to you. A secure bassinet or crib is appropriate, and you may keep it in your bedroom for the first few weeks if you don’t want to leave your newborn’s side. Some parents prefer co-sleeping (falling asleep with the baby) but this has lead to SIDS in some instances, so be careful and talk to your provider if you have questions.

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