Keep Your Baby Safe

Caring for a little one is such an all-encompassing job that it's easy to miss potential hazards. Here are the biggest childproofing mistakes you may be making -- and how to correct them before it's too late.

Ignoring Crib Dangers

Risk: While we all know that putting an infant to sleep on his stomach increases the risk of SIDS, a number of other baby sleep hazards are not as well known. For example, leaving pillows, comforters, and stuffed animals in the crib, or letting your baby cosleep with a parent or another child increases the risk of suffocation. Using an ill-fitting mattress can also lead to suffocation if your baby becomes wedged between the mattress and the crib frame. And a baby can strangle himself on a crib sheet that's too big for the mattress.

Remedy: Keep soft objects out of the crib. Buy a firm, snug-fitting mattress (you should fit no more than two finger widths between the mattress and the crib side). Don't have your baby sleep with a sibling. And if you cosleep with your baby, move the bed away from the wall and detach the headboard to reduce entrapment dangers, or get a cosleeping crib that rests at the edge of your mattress.

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