Baby’s Home! Time For Some Serious Germ Fighting

Baby Home Germ Fighting large

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Your new little bundle of happiness can’t fight off germs like the adults in your home. That’s why it’s important to ramp up your germ fighting efforts as soon as the happy day arrives. 

An important first step before washing any baby item: Wash your hands! Your germy fingers are the biggest threat of infection.

Bottles, Nipples, Pacifiers and Plastic Toys

Before using them the first time, and after every use, take items completely apart and follow these steps:

  1. Rinse them under running water. Any temperature is fine.
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  3. Place all pieces in a closed-top basket or a mesh bag in the dishwasher using hot water and heated drying cycle. Afterwards, if they’re still damp, let them air dry. 

If you don’t have a dishwasher, rinse everything thoroughly, then follow these steps.

  1. Fill a bowl or container with hot soapy water. Don’t let the items sit in the sink because the sink may be crawling with germs.
  2. Use the hot soapy water and a baby-item-only brush to clean each item. Don’t use a sponge or wash cloth; they may be loaded with bacteria. 
  3. Squeeze water through the nipples to be sure they get clean.
  4. Rinse everything thoroughly and allow items to air dry on a clean dish towel or clean drying rack. If you dry the items, use a clean dry dish towel. Damp or previously used towels can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
  5. Thoroughly clean the bowl and brush and allow them to air dry also. 

The lids of formula and food containers also may be loaded with germs, along with the can opener you use to open them. Ditto for the scoop and other items you use with powdered formula. Clean each of these items them before opening/using by following the steps above.

Sterilizing items with boiling water or bleach is not necessary.

Wash your hands! Your germy fingers are the biggest threat of infection.

Baby’s Clothes

All those cute clothes, blankets, bibs and soft toys you’ve bought or received as gifts have passed through many hands before making their way to you and your little one. That’s why it’s important to wash them before using.

The washing machine is fine, as is the detergent you use for the rest of the family. But if you think doing so irritates your baby’s skin, try a milder “baby” detergent (or a hypoallergenic/fragrance-free “adult” detergent). And because soap flakes have been shown to strip away the flame retardant on sleepwear, a liquid detergent is your best bet. A mesh laundry bag will keep tiny socks from disappearing.

Spit-up and baby poop stains will show up shortly after your newborn arrives. Ideally you should rinse soiled items as soon as the accident happens, then soak them in some water and detergent. A good stain remover (in a spray bottle or stick) deserves a spot in the baby’s room as well as the laundry room.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

Small Steps: Stock Up Your Fridge
When preparing to leave on a trip, pump extra breast milk in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer in sealed, tightly closed containers.