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Test Your Baby-Safety Savvy

  • A nap in the car is better than no nap at all, but experts caution against making car-napping a daily habit. Motion sleep, whether in a car, swing, or stroller, isn't as restorative as crib sleep because it doesn't allow for deep slumber. After falling asleep in the car, some babies will stay asleep while transferred from car seat to crib. If yours won't, try to keep driving, or park at home and pull out a magazine so that your baby gets at least a 45-minute nap.

  • You want your child to be cozy in her crib -- yet the official line from the American Academy of Pediatrics is to avoid blankets (due to suffocation risk) until your baby is 1 year old.

    What you need to know: Some pediatricians give the okay for babies as young as 6 months. "A small, crib-size blanket is fine for a child who can lift her head and can push it off or crawl out from under it," says Dr. Roche.

  • Gumming that bagel seems to be all your teething baby wants to do -- but is it safe with so few teeth? Will she choke?

    What you need to know: "By 9 months or a bit sooner, a baby is able to try all bready foods, as long as parents keep a close watch," says Jennifer Roche, M.D., a pediatrician in private group practice in Amherst, Mass. The number of teeth babies have really has no bearing on their ability to chew; gums are mighty strong on their own.
    --Emily Bloch

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