Congratulations on optimally protecting your child against many serious, long-term, or fatal illnesses throughout your child’s most vulnerable time of life. Breastfeeding will continue to protect your child from illness, stimulate your child’s immune system, comfort your child when ill, protect mother from breast and ovarian cancer, assist with mother’s weight loss, and nurture your relationship with your child . Breastfeeding although less effective due to the addition of solids is still important for your child’s health and safety. Breastfed babies are less likely to be obese and the longer you breastfeed the more protected they are.


* Pacifiers should not be placed on a string around babies neck. Avoid necklaces.
* Water beds, bean bags, plastics, balloons, ribbons, drapery cords and small objects are the greatest threat.
* Be near baby when feeding food- chop up foods that may occlude airway such as hot dogs, grapes, fruit skins, and carrots.


Brush teeth and gums with a soft toothbrush. Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Bottles and the drinks placed in them may cause cavities if used incorrectly.
Breastfeeding does not cause cavities even when used to put baby to sleep.

To prevent cavities caused by bottle feeding follow these rules:
No naptime or bedtime bottles and do not allow infant to walk around with bottle in mouth.

Honey and corn syrup may cause botulism (serious food poisoning which is usually fatal) in your infant until about a year of age (Breastfeeding decreases but does not eliminate your child’s risk of this illness).

Ask your Health Care Provider if fluoride is needed especially if you have weaned or if your water is not fluoridated.


IMMUNIZATIONS continue to be important. Your child needs his or her next shots at ages 12-13 months and at 18 months. Breastfed babies have a stronger immune response to the immunizations they receive.

CAR SAFETY~~Use the car seat every time for every ride, Recheck installation prior to every trip.

Water, pool, and bath safety~Watch your baby! Put safeguards in place if you have a pool. Pool safeguards include: Fences completely around the poolside. Self closing/locking gates. A pool alarm and gate.

* Install GFI’s on all outlets near a water source.
* Apply safety latches to cabinets, drawers, and doors.
* Poisons, medications, soaps, dishwashing detergent, and cleaners should be placed well out or reach and/or locked up.
* Place gates at steps. Low windows or those accessible by furniture need safety gates/bars
* Check smoke detectors regularly.
* Install safety outlets on all accessable eletrical outlets.
* Table cloths and cords to lamps or other appliances need to be out of reach.
* When cooking, turn pot handles to the side out of reach.
* Drapery and blind cords are secured out of reach.
* Keep toilet lids and bathroom doors closed.

(Different babies grow at different rates.)

Begin to teach baby the word, “No!” Remove baby from temptations/unsafe situations and/or remove the temptation and say, “NO!” Baby learns best by being gently shown and not by punishing. If you find yourself about to hit or harm your baby, call a friend, family member or a hot line for help.

Things your baby may do:
Say “ma-ma” and “da-da”( Promote babies speech by naming, objects on walks, pictures in books and body parts.)
Shy away from new faces and people.
Stand when holding on to couch or chair.
Sit, crawl and poke fingers into tiny openings.
Bang two objects together.

Babies like:
Large balls, and rolling toys
Playing with old boxes, stuffing objects into and out of them.
Listening to music and gently dancing.
Going for walks and seeing the outdoors
Reading stories and looking at books.
Bedtime routines.

Copyright by Christine Betzold NP IBCLC 5/01