Where you and I have an experienced immune system that defeats bacteria, disease and infection every day, our little ones’ don’t. Your child is most vulnerable to disease and infection during the first two years of their life. Their bodies will become naturally accustomed to the world over time, but it’s still important to limit the amount of harmful substances they come in contact with.
Step one: clean with soapy water
Baby products are especially coated with germs because, well, babies are germy. They touch absolutely everything, their faces, their mouths, and anything they can touch. You don’t need a special anti-bacterial soap. Drop your baby gear in the sink or tub and give it a fair scrub with hot soapy water. This will do a majority of the cleaning.
Make sure you clean your items thoroughly. Babies can make messes everywhere. For example, get into the corners and crevices of that high chair to make sure you found every pea and noodle.
Step two: sanitize your gear
Sanitizing means using a special solution to specifically kill any remaining organisms. It’s important you follow step one first, because your sanitizer won’t necessarily remove dirt, grease and grime – and this is where germs can hide.
The simplest way to make a sanitizing solution is to mix one quart of water with ¼ cup bleach. Properly diluted to this degree, bleach is non-toxic, but if you prefer to avoid bleach, there are plenty of non-bleach-based sanitizing solutions you can buy.
Fill a sink with your sanitizer and dip your gear (bottles, nipples, toys, and anything that’s safe in water) into the sink. They don’t need to soak in the sanitizer, just sit there a few seconds. Then, let them air dry on the counter. If your items don’t fit in the sink for a dip, soak a rag in the sanitizer and completely wipe down the item.
Alternatively, you can use your dishwasher. The water in the dishwasher gets so hot that it functions like a sanitizer and kills everything. If your items can safely be washed inside, that’s your best bet. In this case you usually don’t have to do a prewash unless you really feel that the item is dirty.
Step three: store your items properly
If you’re washing an item to pack it away, make sure you pack them away in a manner that won’t ruin your hard work, especially if you’ll be packing them away in the attic or basement. Wrap loose items in plastic or cloth so they don’t pick up dust, germs and insects. Ideally, you want to place them a few inches off the ground to protect against potential water or rodent damage.
Written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.
Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.
Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!
For more information, visit www.woombie.com.
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