Ten Tips for New Moms Who Are Bringing a Baby Home

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You’ve had nine months to prepare, then all of a sudden, IT’S TIME!  Your new baby is born and you’re coming home from the hospital. Hopefully you have set up a support system.  Think about who loves you most and can best help you deal with all the changes coming your way.  You’ll want someone who has nothing but you and your baby’s welfare at heart.  For example, my mom is someone that I could ask to do anything and I know I don’t even have to be polite about it.  She’ll still love me!  Try to arrange to have that key person available – make it easy for her to leave her daily life.

It’s a germy world out there.  Here are ten tips on how to protect your baby and improve your chances of having a healthy baby (and mom!).

1. Stock up on supplies you will need to clean and disinfect. It’s going to be a hectic time.  Your eating and sleeping routines will be interrupted and changed.  Your immune system will be weakened.  A new baby does not have a fully developed immune system and it is especially important to reduce the spread of germs.  Both you, and baby need to be protected.

2. Clean, clean, and then clean your house (the baby’s new environment) again. Your definition of “clean” will change dramatically the first time you see your baby at home.  You think your family room carpet is clean, until you lay the baby down to change their diaper and suddenly that beautiful creature is on that carpet.  You think your rocking chair is clean, until you see those tiny fingers touching it.

3. Disinfect. Cleaning is not the same thing as disinfecting.  When you disinfect, you actually kill germs on surfaces.    Disinfect all areas that will have a large number of germs.  In the nursery, that would be anywhere where you will be changing diapers – the changing table, changing mat, even the floors and walls in that area.  Make sure to use an EPA-registered sanitizing wipe or disinfecting spray.

4. Prevent cross-contamination.  Germs can be spread in many ways.  Direct contact, indirect contact, through the air, through food or water, or contact with animals.  Keep disinfectant wipes and sprays handy, so that after you change that diaper, or touch the diaper pail, you can immediately clean your hands and prevent transferring the germs to door knobs, walls, and eventually, your baby.

5.  Wash your hands, rinse, repeat.  Repeat, repeat, repeat. We hear it all the time, wash your hands to reduce the spread of germs – flu germs, colds, etc. The most common way to catch a contagious disease is by touch.   This is a critical time to follow the hand-washing advice!  Although soap and water is always preferred, you can also use hand sanitizer in a pinch.

6.  Set rules for visitors.  Make sure that visitors know how important it is to wash their hands thoroughly before handling the baby.  If someone is sick, ask them to wait until their health is improved before they meet your little one.  It’s difficult, but explain to them how important it is to consider the developing immune system of your child.

7.  If you are leaving the house with the baby, don’t forget to take your cleaning practices with you! While you are advised to limit contact with crowds during the first three months of your baby’s life, that doesn’t mean you have to stay home. Remember to wash your hands, disinfect public surfaces.  Clean, disinfect and rinse any borrowed items such as high chairs or strollers.  Pack your diaper bag with hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.

8.  Look at your toys for the baby with an eye for safety and cleanliness. Know choking hazards.  Make sure all toys have been cleaned and disinfected – picture them in your baby’s mouth, they will be there!  “In the first few years of life, babies put everything into their mouths,” says Robert W. Frenck Jr., MD, professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “Absolutely everything.” (from Web MD)

9.  Practice before the baby comes home. Practice with a friend and her baby, or use a doll!  Practice diapering, preparing a bottle, etc.  This will help you determine the placement of supplies to make it as easy as possible.

10.  Use the right water temperature and products for clean laundry. It is amazing how much laundry that little person will create.  You will go through an incredible amount of clothes, washcloths, and bedding.  While you have to be mindful of your baby’s sensitive skin, you also need to kill germs that may be in the laundry.  Hot water should be used as much as possible, not only to kill germs but to free fabric of any residual dyes.

It sounds funny to say but don’t forget to enjoy your baby!  This time is so short and your baby will be growing and changing constantly.  Don’t let the stress of trying to do everything perfectly get to you.  Your baby is the most precious treasure you will ever have in your life.  Enjoy!

Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

About Lysol’s Mission for Health: http://lysol.com/mission-for-health
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