Newborn Care

Pregnancy & Birth

Newborn Care

Infant Safety

Keeping your baby safe and secure is a priority for us in the hospital as well as when you return home. To protect the safety of your newborn at the hospital, we have a comprehensive infant security program.

Immediately following birth, infants and their parents receive matching identification bands with a bar code. It is the policy to scan and verify these bands whenever any staff member interacts with your newborn — whether in your room or the nursery. A photograph and high quality, readable footprints of the infant, are also taken.

Another important layer of security is a state-of-the-art electronic monitoring system. A lightweight sensor is attached to the newborn’s ankle. Any attempt to move an infant out of the monitored area toward an exit or elevator activates the security system, automatically setting off an alarm and locking all exit points leading from the maternity unit. Also, any unauthorized attempt to remove the sensor activates this signal.

At NewYork-Presbyterian, we want to work closely with you to make your care and your baby’s care safe. By getting involved in your care and the care of your baby, asking questions, and speaking up, you will help us achieve excellent outcomes.

You and your baby must wear your Hospital identification (ID) bands at all times while you are in the Hospital. Our staff is expected to review the information on your Hospital ID bands before giving you or your baby any medications, before tests, procedures, and X-rays, or when giving you your food tray. If the ID band comes off you or your baby or is unreadable, ask us to replace it.

General safety

As adults, it can be easy to not recognize everyday objects in our homes that could be harmful to your baby. Learning about how to keep your child safe at each stage of development is a great way to ensure your child grows up in a secure environment. Some things to bear in mind include:

  • Never leave the baby alone, especially near water or any area that doesn’t have guard rails. Never shake your baby. If you feel overwhelmed and cannot soothe your child, place the baby in a safe place and call for help.
  • Put window guards on all apartment windows.
  • Keep tiny objects out of reach of baby. Small round objects present the highest risk of choking.
  • Do not allow family pets near your baby without supervision.
  • Do not permit young siblings to play with the baby without supervision.
  • Discourage smoking in the home as it increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Wash your hands frequently and cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Secure TVs and other bulky items to prevent them from turning over.
  • Avoid crowds whenever possible.

Preventing burns

  • Never eat, drink, or carry hot food near your baby.
  • Always test bath water with your wrist or elbow before placing your baby in a tub.
  • Use power outlet protectors for wall outlets.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and anywhere else flammable objects are stored.
  • Place smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the hallway outside the bedrooms and one on each floor.
  • If you use a vaporizer, use cool water mist to avoid burns.

Sleeping safely

By following a few tips, you can ensure your baby has a safer sleeping environment.

  • Place baby on their back to sleep. Sleeping on the back reduces the risk of SIDS.
  • Crib bedding must be flat. Do not place pillows, toys, or extra blankets in the crib as they could suffocate the baby.
  • Do not sleep with your baby in your bed or while relaxing on the couch or chair.
  • Babies should be placed at the foot of the crib and swaddled.

Car safety

When in a car, your child should be seated in a car seat. It is not safe to hold your baby in your lap. A newborn baby should be in a backward-facing car seat until they are one year old and weigh at least 20 pounds. The car seat should always be in the back seat, preferably in the middle.

For more information, please consult with your doctor’s office.