Baby-proofing and cleaning your house for the new baby requires excellent cleaning skills and constant vigilance for baby safety issues. Here is a checklist which can be useful in preparing a safe, healthy, clean house for your first baby. In fact, this list can be expanded and modified for your specifics and used as a schedule for yourself, your maid, cleaning service, nanny and / or baby care-giver to make sure baby's health and safety are always accommodated and the healthy house for Baby is maintained.
Healthy House Cleaning for Baby
- Top to Bottom House Cleaning . Cleaning your home thoroughly is as important as assembling baby's crib. If you can afford it, hire professionals. When you bring baby home, you will feel wonderful that you have cleaned in advance to ensure a safe, clean home.
- Remove Pet Dander, Dust, Allergens . Use anti-allergens and vacuum carpets and do a thorough dusting. Use anti-allergen sprays to remove as many allergens as possible since newborns have not fully formed their immune systems.
- Finish or Contain Home Improvement Tasks . Any projects that did not get finished before baby's arrival needed to be finished and any extra dust and harsh chemicals need to be contained while work is on-going.
- Cleaning Products . Research and replace harmful chemical cleaners with choice environmentally-friendly brands.
- Easy-Clean Nursery Blinds . Remove curtains and drapes which collect allergens and attract dust. If this creates too much re-decorating, at least change these out in the nursery with blinds since they are clean easily.
- Sanitize Commonly-Used Household Items . Disinfect all the surfaces where baby hands tend to grab, or which you use regularly and may pass germs, such as items like the television remote and cell phones.
- Kitchen and Bathroom Surfaces . Use a non-toxic, sanitizing wipe to remove germs in danger zones like the kitchen and bathroom. Particularly in the kitchen, food-born illnesses pose a risk for newborns. Counter-tops and floors require daily attention.
- Enforce a Hand Washing Rule . Place soap, hand-sanitizers and clean towels at all the sinks in your home for you and your guests to wash hands before being around the newborn.
- Wash Hands Each and Every Time Needed . Moms and care-givers, remember to wash your hands after sneezing, using the bathroom or preparing food for yourself and for the baby.
- Sanitize Baby's Changing Area . Clean the table after each diaper change with an environmentally-friendly disinfecting wipe. You can use these sanitizing wipes on other furniture in the nursery, like the crib bars and railing.
- Disinfect All Feeding Items . Keep all baby feeding items, breast pumps and pacifiers clean, before the first use and after every use. Make sure to carefully dry the items as bacteria growth in moisture.
Baby-Proofing the House
- Pay Attention to Danger Spots . Babies grow up fast, so you need to plan ahead and make sure the house is safe for him or her to explore. Baby-proofing gadgets from the hardware store are reasonable and they provide such a safety benefit. Keep your eyes open for areas of your home that may be dangerous for your baby and that could benefit from a baby-proofing device.
- Remove Objects Attracting Baby . Babies love to put everything they discover in their mouths. Carefully go through each room of your house and remove any objects that can go into a baby's mouth. Keep close track of coffee cups, drinking glasses and reading glasses.
- Electrical Hot Spots-Cords and Outlets . Long electric cords can be tied or taped down so baby can not pull on them. Electric outlets in your house not in use need to have plug covers.
- Hard Edges . Check your home for furniture with sharp edges or corners, such as a coffee table. Put padding on the corners or even remove some pieces for awhile. Stabilize any unsteady furniture.
- Child Locks . You must install child locks on any and all cabinet doors found throughout the entire house, as well as the refrigerator door and toilet covers.
- Reachable Harmful Materials . When in use and cleaning, put harmful and hazardous substances out of baby's reach. Items such as cleaning or painting materials, grooming materials like razors, shampoos, nail polish remover, and so forth, should be secured.
Baby-Proofing the Nursery
- Crib . Ensure your nursery is safe for baby, starting with the crib. A new or used crib must have crib slats that are close together, less than 2 and 3/8 inches apart, so baby can not get his or her head stuck between the slats.
- Crib Bedding . Use only a correct size for the fitted crib sheet. A loose fit can become a hazard. The pillow-like crib bumpers also create a suffocation hazard so they should be avoided.
- Crib Placement . Windows can create problems for crib placement. As baby learns to pull up, there's a chance that he or she can accidently strangle on window cord blinds. If you must place the crib before a window with blinds, you can install a blind wind-up or cut the blind's cords.
It's impossible to have too clean a home for baby. Studies have proven that children with asthma and allergies did not develop immunizations due to overly clean homes. If you keep the house clean, you'll keep bacteria and viruses at a minimum. So stay vigilant and maintain constant organization and you will have a clean and safe healthy home for baby. Consider this checklist as the basis for your "Operating Instructions" to help you keep house through baby's first years!
(C) 2012 Elizabeth McMillian