Whether it’s your finger, a cleaning cloth, toys…everything goes into baby’s mouth. Here’s a guide to keeping babies safe(r)…

It’s in her mouth again! Cleaning up around baby

Baby bottles and cutlery

Clean as soon as possible after use (try not to let the milk or baby food dry up and crust). Use hot, soapy water — you may use mild dishwashing liquid or a specialised cleanser. Scrub it thoroughly while it’s immersed in the hot, soapy water, then rinse thoroughly and let it air dry, before putting it away.

Pacifiers and teething toys

These are designed for long “stays” in baby’s mouth anyway. Sanitize them thoroughly by submerging them in boiling water for approximately 10 minutes once a day or every other day (especially if you have multiples that you can rotate for use on alternate days). Always inspect the toys afterwards to ensure they were not damaged in any way that could pose a threat to your child.

Stuffed toys with no washing instructions

Shake them out/vacuum favourites daily. Otherwise, you can clean them once every few weeks. Combine ¼ cup of water with 4 tablespoons of baking soda. With the assistance of a clean towel, wipe down the toys thoroughly. Work the baking-soda solution into the fur and leave it overnight in a room with a breeze (to avoid that not-dried smell). Brush well the next day (sun it if necessary).

Stuffed toys with washing instructions

Place stuffed animals in a pillowcase and wash on gentle cycle in a washing machine. Then, tumble dry on low heat (or dry in the sun).

Plastic toys

Wash baby toys that are plastic and durable against heat in the dishwasher. Place the toys in the top rack of the dishwasher, and set the washer to heat dry setting. You can also wash them in the recently cleaned kitchen sink. Use diluted dishwashing liquid.

Bath toys

Remove bath toys from the bathtub after each bath and drain them of water after each use — they can accumulate a layer of soapy scum otherwise. To disinfect and clean the toys, fill your kitchen sink with warm water and ¾ cup of bleach. Scrub the toys rigorously with a brush, rinse with clean water and allow to dry.

Toys with batteries

Always remove all batteries before cleaning any electronic or voice-activated toy. With a washcloth, dip it into a soap mixture of laundry detergent and water and wring it almost dry. Gently scrub the surface of the toy, then rinse with a clean, damp cloth. Allow the toy to air dry completely in a warm, dry spot.

“Surface clean only” toys

Similar to electronic toys, wipe the surface of the toys with a damp cloth and soap mixture, then wipe the soap off with a clean cloth and let dry.

Contributor Stephenie Ng works with Helpling, a home-service provider offering cleaning and other services.

Photo: INGimages

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