If you need a sign that it’s time to mop your floor, it would probably be after seeing the colour of your sweetie’s knees after he’s spent the day crawling around the house. But should you start scrubbing, or shrug your shoulders?
Health visitor Anne White points out, “Your baby actually builds his immune system by fighting germs.” Studies show that exposure to germs “teaches” your little one’s body how to ward off disease, and reduces his risk of developing allergies.
If your body didn’t have germs to fight, it could start reacting to harmless things such as dust mites and pollen instead. While it doesn’t mean you need to be a slave to cleaning agents, here are the things you should be most particular about...
Your hands are a superhighway for bugs, so wash them regularly — especially after diaper changes and before you handle food. Encourage your little love to do the same by holding his hands in yours, rubbing soap between the fingers for 20 seconds, before rinsing thoroughly.
Keep your kewpie’s bottles (and even his cutlery and pacifier) sterilised until he is a year old, as bacteria multiplies in milk particles. Always scrub it thoroughly with a bottle-brush before sterilising.
Be scrupulous about the areas where you prepare food, and where your young ’un eats. Germs thrive in a damp environment so use an antibacterial spray and dry it with kitchen paper.
Living room floor
Newborns have a natural sucking reflex as well as a heightened oral sense, so they will often “test” objects with their mouth. This could be any innocent-looking item, from coins to toy cars, which they might choke on — so, vacuum or sweep regularly.
After bath-time, overturn the tub, so that it will dry properly. Bath toys, especially those that squirt water, can get really germy because they stay damp. So, scrub them with a brush every few weeks and replace these toys every six months.
Wipe your sweetie’s changing mat after each diaper change with anti-bacterial spray. Tie all dirty diapers securely and bin them.
UV rays from the sun destroy germs, so it’s fine to let your little dynamo crawl around on dry ground. But if it’s an area with sand, ensure that you’ve removed all mouldy twigs or leaves, which are laden with bacteria.