Home & Work Environment

Safe Sleep Environment

You can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), suffocation, and other sleep-related causes of infant death by creating a safe sleep environment for your baby. Babies should always sleep on their backs, alone in a crib, with no blankets, pillows or other objects. Keep your baby’s bed close to yours during the night, but don’t share your adult bed with your baby. Check to make sure the baby’s crib or bassinet meets current safety standards.

Never put your baby to sleep in a car seat, stroller, carrier, or swing. Your baby could suffocate.

Newborns usually sleep about 16 hours a day, but may only sleep for 1-2 hours at a time. Babies do not have regular sleep cycles until about 6 months of age. Different babies have different sleep needs. Talk with your baby’s doctor if you have concerns about your baby’s sleep.


Return to Work/Childcare

Many moms know whether or not they will go back to work and/or need childcare before their baby is born. Before you decide, make sure you know your options. Find out how much time your employer will let you take off when you give birth. You might also be able to work from home or work part-time as you get to know your new baby.

Home Safety

Make your home safe for your baby. Take action by checking the safety of where your baby will sleep. Drowning is a leading cause of death among children, including infants and toddlers. Secure any pools, tubs, buckets, and other places with water in your environment. Store emergency numbers in your mobile phone, and keep copies of emergency numbers in easy to see places.

Check that you have the basics to care for your baby. Too many products may overwhelm you. Remember that your baby really only needs food, shelter and you.

Baby Walkers: Many parents think that walkers will help their baby learn to walk. But they don’t. Walkers can actually delay when a child starts to walk. Baby walkers can also cause serious accidents, burns, drowning, and poisoning. Don’t buy or use baby walkers.


Car Seats

You can’t bring your baby home from the hospital without a car seat. Before your baby arrives, you will need to buy a car seat and install it property.

California law requires infants and children under 2 years of age to ride in a rear-facing car seat until the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall.

Never leave your baby alone in a car, even if they are in a car seat. Because of risk of suffocation, don’t use car seats to put your baby to sleep.

Healthy Environment (Toxin Avoidance)

Some chemicals or hazardous materials in your home can have harmful effects on babies. Toxic products like pesticides may be found in food, bug sprays, weed killers and flea or tick shampoo.

Harmful substances in paint and cleaning supplies can be absorbed through the skin or breathed in.

Lead poisoning is most common in young children and is most harmful to children because it affects their developing brains. Lead is found in many products we use every day – sometimes even in toys and some imported candies. It’s also in the paint in many older houses, in some dirt, and dust. Your baby’s doctor can review risk factors for lead poisoning and may recommend a blood test to check for lead poisoning.

Hazardous materials include:

  • Lead and other heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • Synthetic chemicals
  • Cleaning products
  • Bug spray
  • Fertilizer

Check the warning labels if you have cleaning and maintenance products where you live.

If you think you or your child has been poisoned, call 911 or California Poison Control at (800) 222-1222.