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 Baby on Board
Baby on BoardRTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm

Episode 7: Balancing family life

Zeenat and Zaheed Manjoo

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When your baby starts to move around every room can be a hazard unless you take precautions.


Around 4000 children are accidentally poisoned every year.
Do not store medicines, cleaning products or chemicals near food.
Ensure all medicines, cleaning products and chemicals are locked away, out of sight and out of reach of children.
Whenever possible always buy medicines that have child resistant containers.

Keep cigarettes, tobacco and matches out of reach too.

Use smoke detectors and check on regular basis.

Keep remote controls up on a high shelf as small batteries from them can be easily swallowed.

Don't drink any hot drinks with your baby in your arms, i.e. Tea

Any tablecloths should be removed for first 6 years.

Baths: Scalding is one of the most common accidents, therefore put cold water in first. Never leave your baby alone in a bath - a baby can drown in 2.5cm of water in seconds.

Travel cot/playpen: Should be 2ft deep. Mesh should be very fine which cannot trap fingers. The top padded rail should be covered with a strong fabric.

High Chairs: Most accidents happen when Children fall out. Use a harness which goes over both shoulders. A crotch strap is essential and wheels must be lockable.

Stair Gates: Act as a barrier to prevent your child from falling downstairs - they can also fit into doorways.

Fire Guards: These should have a top as well as sides with hooks so it can be fixed to the wall.

Cooker guards, electric guards, kettle guards, cupboard locks are necessities in every home.



Often problems develop when parents, out of love for their babies, unwittingly discourage them from learning how to self-soothe to sleep. For instance, during the first few months of life, it's probably okay to bring your baby into your bed at night or let them sleep in a cot in your room. But beyond four months of age, try not to bring them into your bed to settle them to sleep. If bedtime struggles and night time wakings are reinforced with a trip to mum and dad's warm and cosy bed, it will become an accepted and expected routine.

Help your baby learn to sleep by adopting a consistent daily routine.

Remember your baby is a miracle, a gift, a challenge, a daunting experience all wrapped up in one. Having a baby is a life changing event so go easy on yourself and remember how privileged you are to be a parent.

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