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14Nov 13

A first-time parents’ guide to cleaning the nursery

As many first-time parents soon find out, little babies are particularly good at making big messes. This means your nursery can harbour all kinds of germs in its nooks and crevices, which can make cleaning the nursery a daunting task for worried new parents.

Parents shouldn’t work themselves into a tizzy over sanitizing anything and everything near their little ones. Actually, experts say that some exposure to bacteria and viruses will help build up your child’s immune system. But this is no reason to let the filth pile high. Besides promoting good hygiene and preventing infections, keeping the nursery clean makes for a more comfortable environment to play and bond with your baby.

A first-time parents' guide to cleaning the nursery

A first-time parents’ guide to cleaning the nursery

The hot spots

So where to begin? If you have a changing table, wipe it down every day or more often if it is dirty with antibacterial cleaning products to prevent infection. Disinfectant wipes are really handy for wiping the vinyl pad, but they can be expensive, so for those on a budget a cloth and washing-up liquid also work well. It is important you keep this area clean and fresh after every use, but it is also important that no powerful cleaning agents are left behind on surfaces that your baby’s sensitive skin could touch.

Empty the nappy bin on a daily basis, and clean the inside of the bin as well, making sure you get into the hinges on the lid where bits of filth can accumulate. A disinfectant spray is useful here, especially if your baby has recently had an upset stomach. Nappy disposal systems are a more convenient option than a simple bin because you can fill it throughout the day without worrying about smells.

If you have any heavily soiled laundry, wash it on a high heat cycle to kill any bacteria. Wash these items separately from other laundry to avoid germs or mess from transferring.

For the cot, wipe down the vinyl mattress cover as well as the cot legs, frame and railings with a damp cloth and washing-up liquid. You can also vacuum both sides of the mattress with a brush attachment. Wash bedding once a week at 60º C; it is important you use a high temperature to kill dust mites which cause asthma and allergies.

Cleaning toys                    

Keep plastic toys and game boards clean with disinfectant wipes, particularly if your baby is teething to avoid any germs from being ingested. You can wash stuffed toys like teddy bears in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Another option is to put them in the freezer below 0º C for a couple of days because the germs can’t survive at that temperature.

You can clean bath-time toys in a bucket of water with a splash of bleach. For wooden toys, use a damp cloth and washing-up liquid, but do not use too much water as wood can warp.

In between all of this cleaning, remember to let your baby play, touch and explore without worrying yourself sick about germs. This is just as important for your baby’s development as hygiene is!

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