Hygiene for New Babies
The addition of a beautiful new baby to a family literally turns one’s world upside down. Suddenly, things we took for granted - time, organization and (above all) sleep - can become elusive. Yet we somehow feel more energized to tackle a plethora of responsibilities, including keeping our home hygienic and our baby well-groomed.
Consider Natural Cleaning and Skincare Products
While bleach and other harsh chemicals kill germs and whiten surfaces, why not consider gentle yet efficient cleaning products? One popular cleanser among parents who love essential oils, is Thieves Household cleaner, which contains a blend of essential oils, including clove oil, and which is meant to be diluted. To keep toxins at bay, avoid cleaning and skincare products with fragrances, antibacterial soap (which has been linked to antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption), and stain-resistant furniture spray. As far as skincare is concerned, when choosing shampoos, lotions, creams etc. for your baby, avoid those with parabens and sulphates. The latter is a common ingredient in gels and shampoos, since it makes products ‘foam up’
Daily Care for Baby
Many parents love giving their baby a gentle shower or bath. Between baths, make sure to clean baby’s face and head with a cotton ball dipped into lukewarm water. Do not use soap on the genitals; for baby boys, just rinse the area with water and for females, use a wet cotton swab to clean between the labia. To clean the eyelids, wipe from the inner to outer corner, using different cotton balls for each eye. To clean ears, use a cotton ball to wipe around the ear area; do not stick swabs into the ear to avoid possible damage.
Before your child is one year old, clean their gums and teeth at least once a day with a soft wet towel and when they are aged 12 months or older, use a soft toothbrush and water. Wash your hands before cleaning the umbilical cord with a little water, gently drying the area afterwards. Do not cover the cord to enable it to dry and heal faster.
Make sure to clean any surfaces your baby is in contact with frequently - this includes sheets, pillowcases, sofa covers, rugs, etc. Steam cleaners are great for rugs, killing bacteria without the need for toxic products. Bedding should be changed at least two times a week, including the mattress bad. Bumper pads should be washed once a month.
Most new parents will find that keeping baby well-groomed and the family home clean, is a matter of instinct. Still, it is important to spend time on finding gentle, non-toxic ways to do so. The use of essential-oil based products, organic skincare and, sometimes, just water, will go a long way towards ensuring that your baby is safe and sound, far away from disease-causing bacteria.
Article contributed by Sally Perkins of Stitch and Sew Blog