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Parents vs. Germs: 5 Steps to a Healthier Home

Parents vs. Germs: 5 Steps to a Healthier Home

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Germs. The mere mention of this word is enough to send new mamas and dadas into a spin. Tiny beings have undeveloped immune systems and are much more susceptible to the viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. As such, when you proudly bring your little bundle of joy home, it’s your top priority to protect tiny bub from the pesky microbes that infiltrate even the cleanest home.

Although you may be tempted to stick your little munchkin in a plastic bubble to keep germs well and truly at bay, there are a number of much more practical steps you can take to ensure your home is healthy and safe.

Remember: A clean home makes a healthy home. 

1) Do the laundry

Picture of laundry

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that your laundry pile is going to rocket when you have a baby on board. Blankets, clothes, bibs, towels and soft toys are all fabulous hiding places for potentially dangerous germs and bacteria. As such, they need to be washed often and washed well.

Since your baba (hopefully) spends a large amount of time sleeping, one of your top priorities should be to ensure the cot is clean. Sheets and bedding will be exposed to all manner of leaks, spills, dribbles, and drool. Make sure they are changed and laundered at least twice a week in hot water (more frequently if bub is ill).

All baby clothing and belongings should be washed separately from the rest of the family’s stuff for the first few months to avoid the germs adults come into contact with in the wider world being transferred to baba.

Unfortunately, laundry of bambino’s clothing does not end with washing and drying. Some experts advise ironing all clothing to eliminate any loitering bacteria. If you want to be super safe, it is probably worth running the iron over everything; at the very least baby will look smart.

If you don’t have a helper and all this washing and ironing sounds too much to bear, consider using a laundry service. Auntie Cleaner offers a fantastic laundry service. From as little as $3.00 per item, they will collect the dirty stuff from your home and return it freshly laundered and ironed without you needing to lift a finger.

2) Disinfect germ magnets

Picture of a rubber duck

The bad news is that bacteria and salmonella can live for up to one month, so it’s critical that you disinfect the things baby comes into contact with on a regular basis. But what are your top priorities?

Toys and playmats

Make sure you disinfect baby’s toys, rattles and play mats on a regular basis. Try and keep soft toys to a minimum. Dust mites and germs love them almost as much as bub does. The furry friends that do survive the cut should be placed in bags in the freezer or sent for a quick spin in the clothes dryer on a regular basis to kill any baddies.

Make sure you disinfect baby’s toys, rattles and play mats on a regular basis. Try and keep soft toys to a minimum. Dust mites and germs love them almost as much as bub does. The furry friends that do survive the cut should be placed in bags in the freezer or sent for a quick spin in the clothes dryer on a regular basis to kill any baddies. 

Highchairs

A 2007 study by the Hygiene Council found Coliforms, bacteria that indicate a surface has been contaminated by faecal matter, raw meat, soil or unwashed vegetables, on 60% of home high chairs. Yuk! Further research by Microban tested restaurant highchairs in the US and found concentrations of bacteria, E. coli, staph aureus and enterococcus faecalis, as high as 1,200 bacteria per square meter; given the fact that the average public toilet seat has just eight bacteria per square centimetre, that’s pretty shocking stuff. Subject to leaky nappies, dirty little fingers and copious amounts of uneaten food, high chairs have high levels of dangerous bacteria that you don’t want to subject your littlie to.

To be on the safe side, disinfect your highchair after every use and clean restaurant highchairs with a disinfectant wipe before you stick your child in.

Rubber yuckies

Although you may think of the bathtub as a safe haven from germies, sadly, children’s bath toys are not the squeaky-clean fun you may think they are. Your cherub’s bathwater is full of dirt, microbes and all the other nasties that leave bub’s body after a good hose down. Bathwater is quite literally a bacteria soup that your little one’s toys swim in. In the damp, warm environment of the average Singaporean bathroom, these toys very seldom have chance to dry out, creating the perfect breeding ground for mould and bacteria colonies.

If the thought of your precious offspring bathing with bacteria-laden duckies turns your stomach, make sure you disinfect them on a regular basis. In addition, you should ensure all bath toys are completely air dried after each use and should avoid any toys with small holes, crevices or creases in which germs can loiter. If you do notice any slimy scum or black crud on your kid’s toys, stick them straight in the bin.

3) Get the scrubbing brush out

Picture of a scrubbing brush

Instead of fretting about germs, take positive steps to keep the dust bunnies at bay. There are a number of risk zones that you should pay specific attention to:

Kitchen

According to the Global Hygiene Council, kitchens are an even bigger source of bacteria than the bathroom. Food-borne illnesses, in particular, represent a huge risk to little people, so it is essential that your kitchen is cleaned to within an inch of its life. Kitchen surfaces and sinks should be cleaned on a daily basis to the extent that you can, quite literally, eat your dinner on them. Once baby starts to crawl, you’ll need to pay equal attention to the floor. Make sure surfaces are wiped down before bottles and pacifiers are put on them and don’t place any of bub’s things near raw or uncooked food. The cloth you use to clean with is just as important that the kitchen itself: the average dishcloth can contain as many as 4 billion breeding germs!

At least once a week give your kitchen a really through clean, including the floors, tiles and fridge.

Bathroom

For obvious reasons, the bathroom is one of the germiest places in the home. Disinfect the loo, sink, tub, shower tray and floor on a regular basis. If someone in the home has an unsavoury lurgy, use a stronger disinfectant because some stomach viruses can be extremely hard to kill.

Don’t clean with the kids in the room. While you may be tempted to kill two birds with one stone and do a bit of disinfecting while baby rolls around on the kitchen floor, think twice. A lot of everyday household cleaners often contain powerful chemicals that you really don’t want bub to inhale. Do the cleaning when the littlies aren’t around and fully ventilate the room. 

If you don’t have a helper, you may find yourself facing a never-ending struggle to keep the germs at bay. Make your life easier by hiring a regular cleaner. @bsolute Cleaning is a Singapore-based part-time maid and cleaning company that offers thorough once-a-week cleaning services from as little as $388 SGD per month, leaving you free to enjoy time with bub.

 

 

 

4) Wipe the handies

Picture of hands being washed

 

No baby would be complete without their hand, thumb or finger stuck in their mouth. Unfortunately, these same cute little digits are home to countless bacteria and germs. Make sure you give you little’s one’s hands a quick wipe over with a baby wipe a few times a day and regularly trim fingernails.

 

5) Clean your airducts

Picture of an air conditioning unit

 

Babies are sensitive to airborne allergies, mould and airborne bacteria. These contaminants can cause allergic reactions and spread illnesses. Consider buying an air purifier that incorporates a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter, which can effectively removed 99.97% of the pollen dust, animal dander, and bacteria that is found in the air. Also install high-quality filters on your furnace and air-conditioning units and replace them frequently. Make sure you thoroughly service and clean your air conditioning units on a regular basis. Use professional air-conditioning service providers, such as E Home Services to ensure cleaning is safe and effective.

 

Getting rid of germs around the home may seem like a Herculean task but, as long as you keep on top of things, you really don’t need to lose sleep over it. Some exposure to germs is a standard part of everyday life and, in fact, necessary to the development of baby’s immune system.

 

 

This post is sponsored post. However, the words and opinions are completely my own.

Can’t be bothered cleaning? Check out our guide to maids in Singapore.

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