Your little one and germs

May 13, 2017

Your little one and germs

If you’ve got a baby that’s just beginning to crawl and cruise on her own, then you know that there’s no limit to what they might put in their little mouths: anything from a chew toy to dirt is fair game and all filled with germs. Mom might be grossed out but for baby it is a lesson in taste, texture, and a whole lot of new and interesting information about her environment. And don’t worry momma: some experts believe that a baby’s natural inclination towards all things yucky is actually a good for them. Being exposed to germs and bacteria can fortify her immune system, making her better equipped to fight off infections while growing.

Don’t get overly carefree, though. Always exercise some caution when dealing with babies and germs. There are lots of microscopic ones that are not really harmful, but others potentially are. Read on and learn a bit more about about the germs that you don’t need to worry about and the ones that you should steer clear from baby:

NO WORRIES ABOUT. . . crumbs and pieces of food from the floor, carpet or rug. If your floors and stuff are cleaned on a regular basis (at least twice a week), the germs you will find there aren’t likely to be harmful - no matter how stale that Cheerio is.

STEER CLEAR FROM. . . toys, items like baby carriers or bits of food that are damp or that have fallen onto wet surfaces such as an abandoned teething toy or sucked-on cracker. Things like mold, mildew, and bacteria absolutely love moist areas and they could make your baby sick. A great way to avoid this with your baby carrier is to use drool and teething pads that will keep your carrier dry and germ free.

NO WORRIES ABOUT. . . baby bottles, nipples, and pacifiers that haven´t been sterilized. You can boil them in water or use pricey equipment to make them sterile but there's realy no need to.  Scrubbing them in hot, soapy water should suffice. 

STEER CLEAR FROM. . . baby leftovers from breastmilk, formula, and jarred baby food. Any of your baby's saliva left clinging to the nipple of an unfinished bottle or the spoon with which you fed him (the saliva transfers to the jar) is definitely a plece where germs will flourish. How to avoid this? Fill bottles only with the amount you know your baby will eat in one sitting; spoon jarred food into a separate bowl and save uneaten portions in the fridge; throw out any leftover food or drink 

NO WORRIES ABOUT. . . pets. You might worry about your dog licking your baby's face but there's no need to. Studies show that babies exposed to pets during their first year are less likely to develop allergies to animals when they grow.

STEER CLEAR FROM. . . what you might call pet debris (uneaten, wet food; chew toys and poop). How to deal with this? Just pick up any residue of uneaten meals from the floor; put the litter box far from baby's reach as well as your pet's chew toys. 

NO WORRIES ABOUT. . . grass from the backyard or sand from the beach. Nibbling on what the outdoors have to offer won't hurt baby and she'll get a chance to make natural discoveries on her own (like for example, grass is anything but delicious). Be sure to reinforce it saying "yucky!" or "gross!" and move on to another diversion. 

STEER CLEAR FROM. . . stuff that has fallen onto the ground outside in areas where there might be dog poop, human saliva, cigarette butts, and other garbage (as well as pesticides, fertilizers, and other toxins that certainly aren't good for baby or mama). Should your baby drop her pacifier, don't give it back. Always carry a spare one when your out. 

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