The First Month: Congratulations on Your Baby!

By law (and good sense!), babies cannot travel in any vehicle unless they are safely buckled into an approved child safety seat. This includes the trip home from the hospital and even short trips around town.

New baby cribs are much safer than older cribs. If you have an older crib, make sure that the openings between the side slats are no wider than three fingers, that the mattress is firm and fits snugly against the crib sides, and that the headboard and footboard don't have openings that could trap a baby. If a crib was built before 1978, it may have leadbased paint. Lead-based paint anywhere in a baby's environment can be very dangerous.

To avoid suffocation, do not put a pillow in your baby's crib. He doesn't need it, and it's dangerous. Should his face become buried in it, he would not have the strength to lift his head. When placing a baby in a crib, always lay him on his back, not on his stomach. Some parents use an electronic monitor in baby's room to alert them to trouble.

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