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Creating a More Sanitary and Germ-Free Nursery
Although your baby's nursery might look clean on the surface, the reality is that the germs that can cause a cold, influenza, or the rotavirus can easily thrive in this environment unless you take several proactive steps on a regular basis. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Buffalo at a New York daycare center determined that stuffed animals are especially difficult to keep free of germs. Researchers discovered that four of their five test toys still had living bacteria even after the stuffed animals had been cleaned and a few hours had passed.1
Tips for Creating a More Sanitary Environment
1. Choose Washable Products – One of the best ways to prevent germs from building up in your baby's nursery is to specifically select items that can be washed. For example, a playard gives you an easy way to keep your child safe and entertained, and they are washable (helpful tip-the high dryer heat setting kills influenza germs). This makes playards more convenient to keep clean and sanitized, so it is no wonder that they are so popular. It is also a good idea to choose upholstered items that have a removable and washable cover.
2. Plastic Storage Containers – The surface of plastic can be much easier to sanitize than wood, especially because you can spray it with antibacterial cleaners without needing to worry about ruining anything. However, studies have found that plastic that has any cuts or nicks in its surface can become a breeding ground for germs because it is difficult to clean inside of these imperfections. With this in mind, you should carefully inspect these containers on a regular basis and discard them if they become damaged.
3. Clean Your Child's Toys Regularly – Infants learn about the world around them by exploring it with their mouth. In other words, toys and other items are going to end up in your baby's mouth, so you need to make sure that they are as clean as possible. Keep in mind that disinfectants can remove germs, but it is also possible to leave behind residual chemicals. Due to this, it is best to clean everything in your child's room, including their toys, and then take a paper towel or wet cloth and wipe everything down one more time to remove any residue. Stuffed animals should be washed with hot water and then put through a high heat dryer cycle for 45 minutes.
There are several other important things to keep in mind, such as the fact that you need to clean the floor and rugs in the nursery several times a week. After all, babies spend a lot of time crawling, so you do not want to let germs build up on the floor. It is also a good idea to put antibacterial gel next to the changing table so that you can sanitize your hands after diaper changes in order to minimize the risk of contaminating other surfaces. Keep in mind that storing disinfectant wipes in the nursery will allow you to more quickly address any spills, but make sure that you keep them out of your baby's reach.
Holly Chavez is the author of this article. She recently attended a baby shower for a family member that received a really nice washable play yard that matched the colors of the nursery of her baby-to-be there. Moms at the party shared stories about keeping their nursery germ-free, and she found out that chlorine-bleach alternatives with peroxide kills germs - and are safe to use on colored clothing, too. She'll be using that little tip at her house!