Children's Health

Keeping your baby safe and sound

Dr Paul Pulchny

As a parent, you do everything in your power to keep your baby safe. But with so many products and recommendations related to caring for babies, it can be overwhelming and difficult to determine what’s safe and what’s not. Bayhealth Family Physician Paul Pulchny, DO, shares his suggestions for what you should and shouldn’t do in terms of caring for your baby.

Products to avoid

All homeopathic teething rings, medications, and related products. “They aren’t regulated, adverse reactions have been noted, and the teething rings also have been identified as choking hazards,” he said.

Rolling walkers. “They take away from the child’s need to learn to actually walk,” explained Dr. Pulchny. “Rolling walkers also interfere with their ability to learn and recognize a sense of balance, which is critical for learning to walk.”

Practices to avoid

Using shoes designed for infants once your child is ready to start walking. “You need to invest in sturdy, lightweight shoes with a good sole,” said Dr. Pulchny. “The infant shoe soles are typically too thin to provide support for balance, but you also need to watch out for shoes with soles that are too thick.”

Anything that encourages sleeping with infants in bed. “Babies need to sleep in a crib, with a fitted sheet only,” said Dr. Pulchny. “No blankets, no bumpers, and no stuffed animals or toys should be in the crib. Also, you always need to place them on their backs to sleep for naps and at night.”

Not reading safety instructions for strollers and car seats. “You need to read the instructions and make sure you always properly secure your child.”

Feeding Safety

Bayhealth is Baby-Friendly®, meaning we educate mothers on breastfeeding or formula feeding their babies. Dr. Pulchny said when selecting bottles, you need to make sure the nipple is providing the proper flow. “Infants need a low-flow nipple,” he explained. “You’ll know when it’s time to switch to a higher flow if you notice your baby is having trouble getting the liquid through the nipple.”

Once your baby starts teething, it’s very important that you check the nipple. “If it looks like the baby is chewing on the nipple, move to a sippy cup. You don’t want pieces of rubber to break off and become a choking hazard,” said Dr. Pulchny.

Once your baby is ready to transition to solid food, you should start with soft, pureed foods that are easily gummed. “The single pouch products that contain pureed foods, yogurt, etc., are good options,” said Dr. Pulchny. “Don’t give them nuts or anything else they could choke on at this stage.”

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