Babies are truly amazing and can enhance your life tremendously. When we think of babies, we think of tiny, idyllic clean humans.
If you have a baby or a toddler around the house, then you know about soiled diapers, muddy spots from outdoor playing, dirty sheets, spit-up on your clothes, etc. Let’s be honest, the list of dirty things when you have a baby or toddler is endless. As parents, it is our job to protect our precious little ones and keep them free from germs that could cause infection and illness. As our babies have underdeveloped immune systems, keeping things clean is key to having a healthy baby.
There is no way to keep them from all germs, but as a mom, you do the best you can. Sadly, most moms don’t even think about, or know about, the most contaminated items in their previous children’s bedrooms.
Here is a list of the germiest/grossest things that you may find in your baby’s room.
Research has shown that reading to your baby at a young age is beneficial in more ways than one. It creates bonding time, preps the baby to read on his own, boosts brain power, introduces emotions, and shows reading is fun. While the benefits are great, it may be surprising to learn that those board books parents read to their kids have a high concentration of germs. They are the same germs that contribute to illnesses such as sinusitis and pneumonia.
Changing tables are helpful and essential in a baby’s room. It is not a necessity but it is very convenient to have everything you need for diaper changes within in arm’s reach and in one location. Whether you use an actual changing table or changing pad, both are the place you change your baby’s poopy diapers and pee filled ones too. They make a breeding hotspot for germs like E. coli bacteria. Changing tables and pads should be wiped down with non-toxic disinfecting wipes after every use.
Children love stuffed toys for a variety of reasons. However, under the surface, stuffed toys harbor germs that may put your baby at risk of infection. Soft, cuddly toys are almost like sponges when it comes to attracting and retaining germs. They act as a reservoir for bacteria and transport germs from toy to baby. The best way to fight against infections and keep your baby safe from germs is to wash them every 3 weeks. Wash in hot water and dry them on high heat to kill all the germs.
Tummy-time is an important time in a baby’s life. It is their time to explore and discover the world around them. Babies spend a lot of young life crawling on their hands and knees. Parents often opt to have carpet or rugs on the floor for softness and comfort. But did you know that even when your carpet looks clean and spot-free, it may still have unwanted germs? Scientist have found carpets to be 4,000 times dirtier than the toilet seat. The number one thing that can be living in your carpet is Dust Mites. Dust Mites feed off the dead skin that is dropped by you and your family. They are a common cause of asthma and other allergic symptoms. Bacteria and Viruses, like the Norovirus that causes the stomach flu, can survive on uncleaned carpet for a month or more. Pollen and Mold are also things that may live in your carpet.
It is recommended that you vacuum your carpets or rugs at least 4 times a week. Carpet manufacturers recommend cleaning every 12-18 months using the hot water extracting method. It is a method of steam cleaning where the water temperature during cleaning can reach 230°F or more.
It comes as no surprise that toys are the germiest and grossest items in your baby’s room. Toys are things your baby touches every day and so do you. Toys touch the floor, the couch, other toys and everywhere else then goes straight to the baby’s mouth. Most of the time, washing toys every couple of weeks with soap and water and letting them air-dry is fine.
But what about those times when your baby’s toys have passed around by a gaggle of kids or at a play date with another drooly baby? These are the times to deep clean your baby’s toys by using a bleach wash solution (one-quarter cup of household bleach to one gallon of water or one tablespoon of household bleach to one quart of water). Toys should be washed, rinsed thoroughly and then allowed to air-dry. Note: Fuzzy toys are germ magnets and are harder to clean, so you might want to put these away during the next play date.
GERMIEST ITEMS YOUR CHILD TOUCHES
Here is a list of the Germiest items your baby may touch on a daily basis:
- Stroller– Strollers create a perfect environment for germs. When not in use they are usually stored in places that experience changes in humidity and temperature.
- Sippy Cup/Pacifier – Pacifiers have 1.5 times more germs than a toilet seat. Parents tend to clean it with their shirts when it falls on the ground.
- Diaper Bag – Diapers bags carry EVERYTHING! They are often placed on the floor when not in use and hands go in and out of them all the time without being sanitized.
- Television Remote – The TV remote is touched by everyone in the family. Babies love putting them in their mouths because rubber buttons make the best chewy toys.
KEEPING YOUR BABY’S ROOM HEALTHY
While your baby’s room may be the ideal place for germs to breed, parents can fight them by cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing these key items. It is important to remember that a certain amount of exposure to germs and messy areas helps build your baby’s immunity against tons of diseases. It’s okay to take measures to keep germs from spreading but do not attempt to eliminate your kids’ exposure to dirt altogether.