The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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1. Enroll your dog in an obedience class so he’ll be on his best behavior when the baby comes home.
2. Avoid major renovations if you’re living in an older home with layers of paint or varnish that could release harmful lead dust. (This is true throughout your pregnancy.)
3. Nix hot tubs and saunas; high temperatures can affect your baby’s development during the early months.
4. Get a dental checkup (gum disease is linked to premature delivery), but skip the X-rays.
5. Always wear your seat belt, positioning the shoulder belt between your breasts and the lap belt under your belly.
6. Paint the nursery with non-VOC paint and put in low-emission carpeting or hard flooring.
7. Install a ceiling fan in the nursery: Circulating the air in the baby’s sleeping area has been shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by 72 percent.
8. Stick nonslip mats in the bathtub and under area rugs.
9. Have your baby’s car seat installation inspected by a certified technician.
10. Place automatic nightlights throughout the house for late-night forays with a babe in arms.
11. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
12. Enroll yourself and your partner in an infant CPR course.