Keep Clean and Stay Safe - Hygiene Maintenance Techniques For Babies
Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash
While we, as adults, can sanitize or wash our hands every now and then as per the guidelines to fight the ongoing Covid19 crises, I am sure one common question that we, as moms, often have is how do I ensure that my baby is also well protected? The first and foremost step in having a healthy lifestyle for a baby is to make sure that the baby is hygienically well maintained. This will ensure that we are trying our best to keep all the germs away from contracting our little one. In this article, I will be talking about the various points essential for ensuring that your babies and their surroundings are kept clean and upto the mark.
- How to keep your baby's hands clean? This is one of my toughest tasks at hand since my little one constantly keeps playing with his hands and often keeps putting them in his mouth. While the ideal way would be to ensure that the hands are washed and are germ free, this however becomes challenging especially in case of infants and toddlers. A solution to this is to keep a baby hand sanitizer handy and ensure that the hands are completely germ free. I would recommend to opt for a baby alcohol free sanitizer and not use the regular sanitizers for your baby. You can also prepare a sanitizer for your baby at home by boiling a few neem and tulsi leaves in hot water for around 15-20 mins, then adding powder of camphor and alum (2 tea spoons) to this strained water of neem and tulsi leaves. Let this water cool down and then transfer it in a spray bottle. This DIY hand sanitizer can be sprayed multiple times on your baby's hands for disinfecting.
- Knack of doing a perfect baby laundry - Considering our weather conditions, doing the baby laundry regularly and correctly becomes very essential. Ensure that the clothes used for the baby, the sheets, swaddle cloth, baby pillow covers, baby towels, napkins, baby cloth nappies and bibs are washed daily. I use a mild baby liquid laundry detergent for doing the baby laundry. I prefer hand washing the baby essentials than using a washing machine. This is mainly because washing machine is also used for washing our clothes. You can opt for using the machine too for doing the baby laundry but before using the machine please disinfect it thoroughly by using Dettol. I use two buckets of warm water for washing the baby clothes and other essentials. First rinse the baby laundry through the detergent water and then twice rinse them through clean water, once with clean warm water and then with clean cold water. Dry it in the sunlight to ensure that all the essentials are perfectly dried. Ensure you wipe the cloth stand or cloth hanging string with a clean cloth before hanging the baby clothes. Once the clothes are completely dried, iron them, fold them, put it in the cloth folder and place it in the cupboard. This will ensure that the clothes remain completely clean till they are being used on your baby in the cupboard. For the soiled cloth nappies and cloth diapers, I also use a non fragrant detergent bar for cleaning before applying the baby detergent. This acts as an additional step to ensure that the soiled cloth nappies are odour free and germ free. Strictly avoid using any scented detergents while doing your baby laundry. Maintain a separate laundry bag for your little one.
- Baby's daily grooming routine- This includes baby massage followed by a warm water bath in the mornings and doing the baby hair wash using a baby shampoo twice a week. In addition to this, after every feed ensure that you wipe the baby face and hands with a clean hand towel or a napkin dipped in warm water. If the baby is on solids, ensure that you change the bib and baby clothes after every meal. Regularly cut baby nails to ensure they are kept clean and are trimmed. Use a soft cotton cloth to wipe the baby's ears immediately post the bath to ensure that they are clean thus eliminating any chances of ear infection. In the night at bedtime, do a light massage, sponge the baby with warm water and change the baby clothes and sheets.
- Sterilisation - Following a good sterilisation practice is a must for all your baby items. This includes feeding bottles, baby plates, spoons, cups and toys. For sterilizing bottles, other baby culinary and teethers, you can either use a steriliser or sterilize using the boiling method. You can check on YouTube different ways of sterilization at home. Would suggest to use a disinfectant for other items such as toys, walkers, strollers, high chairs etc. You can opt for a DIY disinfectant at home for disinfecting these items. This can be made by mixing equal proportions of distilled water and distilled vinegar, add a few drops of essential oil and that's it, your disinfectant is ready! Make it a habit to daily disinfect the toys at the end of the day (typically in the evenings) and place it in the toy basket. In case you are using a play mat, try to wash it on alternate days and disinfect it on other days using your DIY/disinfectant spray.
- Bedding routine - Clean the crib/baby bed every day. I use a small broom made out of peeled coconut leaves exclusively only for dusting the bed. Once the bed is dusted, cover it with a clean bed sheet, change the baby pillow cover on a daily basis. I would suggest to opt for light colored baby bed sets and baby sheets preferably in cotton. This becomes extremely helpful and it is easy to spot any dust or insects on your baby's bed. For areas where there are mosquitoes, you may opt for a mosquito net to protect your baby or use a baby mosquito repellent on the bed.
- Diaper routine - In case of infants and toddlers, make sure that they also get diaper free time on a daily basis for at-least 4-5 hours during the day. Personally, I would recommend parents to try using cloth diapers. They are much comfortable as compared to synthetic diapers and are also easier to handle unlike the traditional cotton nappies or langots. It is easier to wash and reuse the cloth diapers. At each diaper change interval, first wipe the baby's bottom with a handkerchief dipped in warm water and then pat the area dry with a clean handkerchief. Once the baby's bottom area is wiped off clean, put on a fresh diaper. For changing the soiled diaper, you may opt for a similar routine or use scent free baby wipes instead of handkerchief. Avoid the usage of synthetic diapers to bare minimum during the day. Ensure that you change the baby diaper regularly and in case of soiled diapers change it immediately.
- How to keep the surroundings clean? Make it a point to keep all your rooms dust free and clean. This includes daily sweeping and mopping the floor with a disinfectant. Use disinfectant to spray on window panes and glasses to ensure it is dust free. Weekly cleaning of ceiling fans, lights, cupboards and other household items with disinfectant so that it remains dust free. Other areas include alternate day changing the bed sheets and pillow covers in all the rooms, using multiple door mats and runners and changing them regularly helps in keeping your house dust and germ free. Usage of aroma diffusers, natural plants, scented candles, incense sticks and a lot of natural sun-light in the house will help to keep your house fresh.
Besides this, the mom and other family members should get into the habit of washing their hands with soap or using a hand sanitizer every time they have to either feed the baby or handle the baby. These are all simple and easy steps which if adhered to strictly will go a long way in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for both you and your babies. If there are any other practices that you are following for maintaining the hygiene standards at your home, do let us know in the comments section. Stay safe!
Payoni is an HR professional working with a manufacturing conglomerate. She is fond of painting and is an avid reader. Being a mom to a little prince, she also likes to share her first hand experiences through blogging. You can connect with her on insta at payoinsta and on Facebook and LinkedIn at Payoni Dhaker.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store