Hygiene in the household and the food preparation is essential – germs in the nursery cannot be avoided, most of them do not harm your baby. Nevertheless, hygiene is of course important. With a few simple measures, you are on the safe side.
Germs are essential for the immune system
Babies and toddlers are more susceptible to infectious diseases than adults or older children because their immune system needs to develop. In the first three months, a baby is well protected against infection by the antibodies from the maternal blood, which it has taken via the umbilical cord and the placenta – doctors and midwives also call this “nest protection.”
After that, the child’s immune system must “learn” to fight germs. This requires contact with bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, and pollen. A completely germ-free environment would rather hinder this immune training. So germs in babies environment are by no means drama, important in dealing with them is a healthy mediocrity.
Babies and germs – Food hygiene comes first
In developed countries, morbidity and mortality among infants and toddlers have steadily declined over the past few decades, and are now lower than ever before. In addition to vaccination campaigns, good housing conditions, clean drinking water, and child-friendly food have contributed significantly to this.
To protect babies and toddlers from potentially dangerous infectious diseases, food hygiene has top priority today. Nursing mothers have it easy in the first months of their baby’s life. Although breast milk also contains a high percentage of germs, many of them are important for the healthy development of the baby and, for example, ensure that the natural intestinal flora can develop.
Breast milk also provides the antibodies against many pathogens. On the other hand, if the baby receives bottled milk or already has the first baby porridge, cleanliness is particularly important. Baby milk should not be prepared in advance – even if it is stored in the refrigerator, there is a high risk of bacteria multiplying in it.
Breast-pumped breast milk may be due to contrast; their antibacterial properties can easily be stored for a maximum of 72 hours and at a temperature of four degrees Celsius. However, this temperature limit should not be significantly exceeded, since, in a warmer environment, the number of germs in breast milk rises very quickly.
Sterilization of vials, teats, pacifiers
If vials and nipples are not thoroughly cleaned, they can quickly become a germ. During the first eight months of your baby’s life, you should have both regularly sterilized. Boiling in hot water for about ten minutes reliably kills all germs. The pot should be used during this time only for the baby bottles, teats, and pacifiers.
Some bottles can also be sterilized in the microwave. There are also special steam sterilizers on the market. Germs can not survive in the dishwasher at temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, it is not recommended to clean and sterilize the bottles exclusively in the dishwasher.
It is recommended to replace teat and pacifier at least every three months.
Germ traps in the nursery
Some other items in the nursery and the home may prove to be germs if not regularly and thoroughly cleaned. It also plays a role in that little children put practically everything in their mouths, what they get in their hands and explore their surroundings also otherwise with the mouth. Special attention needs for example:
When a baby or toddler lives in the apartment, entering the rugs with street shoes should be taboo. On the safe side, if you vacuum your carpets several times a week and treat them with a steam cleaner every two to three months, the hot water vapor can kill deeper germs.
- Soft toys,
Cuddly pillows, cuddly towels Over time, dirt and germs also accumulate on your baby’s cuddly utensils. When buying these things, you should make sure that they are washable at higher temperatures. A machine wash at a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius kills germs and should be done at least once a month.
- Changing tables and plastic toys
On the changing table, but also on plastic toys germs can accumulate over time. It is best to clean both regularly with a mild, non-toxic detergent. A mixture of vinegar essence and water has an antibacterial effect and can occasionally be used.
What happens if mom caught a cold?
If you, your dad, or other close relatives develop a cold or flu, your baby does not need special protection – contact with such germs is important for training the child’s immune system.
In the case of other infectious diseases, on the other hand, it may be necessary to have a mouth mask and also to disinfect the hands before you devote your time to your baby – your doctor or midwife will advise you on when infection protection is important. The usual – but not advisable – is to lick a fallen pacifier, as it can also carry or herpes viruses are passed on to the baby.
- Germs in the nursery cannot be completely avoided – contact with them is also important for the development of the child’s immune system.
- Food hygiene is particularly important for your baby’s health – vials and teats should be largely germ-free.
- In the nursery and the rest of the apartment, a normal cleaning is completely sufficient – disinfectants are not required.
- Breast milk should be at max. 7 degrees Celsius in the refrigerator, at the back of the bottom glass plate, in special containers (milk storage bags or cups) are stored to prevent germ multiplication.
- Storage in the door of the refrigerator should be avoided.
- When they breastfeed their baby, it automatically gets immunoglobulins and antibodies through breast milk – there is no better protection against disease.