Protect Your Baby from Abduction
Page Updated on
November 24, 2007
One thing we often don't think about when we have a new baby is having our precious bundle of joy stolen from us. Kidnappings can happen anytime, anywhere, and even right under your nose. Typically, infants are abducted by individuals who want a baby of their own and have no intention of physically harming the child. Some intend to "sell" the baby, probably to parents who believe they are adopting the child properly and are victims of the scam. And, some we don't even want to think about.
You can take steps to protect your baby. Will other people think you're paranoid? Yes! Will some people be offended by your over-protective nature? Yes! Who cares? You shouldn't. Your baby is more important than the feelings of somebody you barely know or don't trust, and it's definitely more important than getting a reputation for being paranoid.
In the Hospital (during and after birth)
- Find out what security measures the hospital has taken.
- Keep your baby with you or a trusted family member at all times.
- Don't let the baby go to the nursery, exam room, into the hall for a quick measurement, or anywhere else without you or your trusted family member. (Even if the hospital staff insists that it's safe, you have the right to decide where your baby goes and who he/she goes with. Don't let them intimidate you.) If you aren't able to go with your child because you're still recovering, and you don't have a trusted family member or friend to go with the baby, insist that any necessary procedures be performed in your room. Most hospitals can comply with this.
- Keep your baby in your room, and put the basinet right next to your bed. You can even sleep while holding your baby by sleeping in a reclined position rather than laying down and building barriers around you with pillows, to keep the baby from falling out of the bed or slipping under your arm or between you and the bed railing (sleeping while holding my babies worked best for me, but pillow arrangement takes a bit of practice).
- You should be introduced to any staff member who will be assigned to your room or child. If somebody enters your room, and you don't know who they are and why they're there, press the call button and have somebody from the nurse's station come in to verify that this person is assigned to you and your baby.
- Take color photographs of your baby (including any birth marks) and make sure that you get the baby's footprints (which can be used like fingerprints to identify the baby) to help locate and identify your baby if he/she goes missing. Also make sure that you have documentation (either from the hospital or written down yourself) of your baby's birth information, measurements, and so forth.
- Don't call attention to the fact that you have a new baby. Save birth announcements for delivery by mail to friends and family only. Don't post announcements in newspapers or newsletters.
- Always lock your doors and windows, including the door between the garage and your house is you have an attached garage, even if you are just stepping outside to get the mail. Always carry a set of keys on you when you walk out of the house to make sure you don't get locked out.
- Only let trusted family members and friends into your home. If you don't know somebody very well, just recently met them, or don't personally know a person, don't let them in. Make excuses (you'll have plenty, such as "I'm exhausted" or "I really don't feel up to talking right now.") to keep from letting the person in.
- Never, never, never leave your baby in the car alone, not even for a few seconds. If you forgot your wallet in the house and you know for a fact that it will only take a moment to grab it off the kitchen counter and go right back out to the car, give up the idea of convenience and bring the baby in the house with you to get it. You should especially never leave your keys in the car or your car running with your baby inside. If somebody tries to steal your car, they end up stealing your baby too (this happens more than you think).
Out and About
- Never let a stranger hold your child.
- Always keep small children within arms reach and in your line of sight.