Getting ready for baby
There are so many things for an expectant mum to think about, from clothes and names to preparing the nursery and regular hand washing. We’re here to help you with tons of easy tips and advice about getting your home clean and ready for your little one’s arrival.
Once baby arrives
When you bring your baby home to the nursery, there are so many new tasks that will become part of your daily routine. The following information explores need-to-know information to help keep your new baby happy and healthy.
Protecting your baby from germs
One of the most important factors in keeping your baby healthy is protecting him or her from germs. This is particularly important for a newborn as they’re not yet fully developed. There are simple, effective ways that you can protect your baby, like regular hand washing. Apply an effective hand sanitiser to your hands before coming into contact with them. You just need to make these routines a standard part of your day.
Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is one of the most effective ways you can help prevent the spread of harmful germs. Your hands continually pick up germs from things you touch, including other people, pets, raw meat and dirty nappies. If you don’t wash your hands, these germs could then spread to your baby.
Friends and relatives will be so excited about cuddling your new arrival, but it is important that they wash their hands before they do.
Use a hand sanitiser to help protect your family from germs on their hands if soap and water are not available.
Always wash your hands again as soon as you are have finished doing things like feeding and nappy changing.
Cleaning and disinfecting the nursery
It is important that the surfaces that baby comes into contact with are hygienically clean. To start with, it's important to note that cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing. Cleaning means physically reducing the soils and germs on surfaces using soap or detergent and water, in combination with scrubbing. When you disinfect, you are actually killing germs. By using a sanitising wipe or disinfecting spray on these surfaces, you will help reduce the spread of germs around the home.
In the nursery, surfaces that need to be regularly disinfected include changing tables, mats, and other surfaces or implements that could have become contaminated or that may have been exposed to other bodily fluids. Sometimes this can include floors and walls.
If the surface, toy or other item that you are disinfecting will come into direct contact with your baby, rinse it well with clean water after you have finished disinfecting it. Remember to wash your hands after cleaning and disinfecting, and especially before touching your baby again.
Strategies for visitors
There are two primary "rules" you should stick to when people come round to see your new baby.
- They must wash their hands thoroughly before touching the baby.
- The visitor shouldn’t see the baby if they have a cold or other illness/symptoms, or if they could be contagious (for example, if someone in their own home is sick). Don't be embarrassed to ask that they wait until next time.
Using cleaning products
- Use disinfectants safely. Always follow the instructions on the product label carefully
- Store products out of reach and sight of children, or safely locked in a cupboard
- Store products in their original containers and never remove product labels
- Dispose of empty containers according to the instructions on the label
- Never mix cleaning products. Products that are normally safe when used alone may emit harmful fumes if mixed with other products
Once your baby arrives, it can seem like you spend your whole time feeding and changing. Babies may use as many as 12 nappies a day! The following guidelines can help you prepare and perform your baby's nappy changes efficiently and safely.
Gather supplies first
Being well prepared makes life a lot easier when it comes to newborns, and this goes for nappy changing as well. Have everything ready and at hand when you’re about to change your baby’s nappy. This includes:
- A clean nappy
- Nappy pins or fasteners (if you are using cloth nappies)
- A bowl of warm water and cotton wool
- A clean soft towel to pat baby dry
- A waterproof changing mat or clean dry towel to place under your baby
- A disinfecting product to clean and disinfect the changing mat and any other surface that may have been contaminated when changing
Safety during nappy changing
- The safest place to change a nappy is on a changing mat or towel on the floor. That way, if your baby wriggles or rolls they cannot fall and hurt themselves. If you are using a raised nappy changing table, always keep one hand on your baby to prevent them from rolling off.
- A toy or hanging mobile is a great way to keep your baby entertained while they’re being changed and keep them from wriggling or squirming.
Nappy changing steps
- Unfasten the soiled nappy and hold your baby's legs up by gently grasping both ankles with one hand. Remove the soiled nappy and place it out of reach of baby.
- Wash your baby's bottom thoroughly using cotton wool and warm water. Gently wipe from the front to back. Wiping back to front can spread bacteria and cause urinary tract infection.
- For boys, it is a good idea to place a clean nappy over the front while changing in order to prevent them from urinating on you or anything else.
- Once you have finished wiping, pat your baby dry with a clean, towel.
- If your baby's umbilical cord stump has not fallen off yet, fold down the waistline of the nappy to help keep that area dry.
- Clean and disinfect the nappy changing mat and any other surface that you may have touched or contaminated during nappy changing, such as taps
- Make sure you leave the surfaces dry.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly after changing your baby's nappy to help prevent the spread of germs.
Taking Baby Out
Always remember to wash your hands before touching your baby, and don’t be embarrassed to ask others to do so too. Keep a hand sanitiser in your bag in case you don’t have access to soap and water.
Avoid contact with people who are ill, especially if they’ve had a tummy upset in the past 48 hours. Don’t be afraid to say no to those who ask to hold your baby.
Clean and disinfect nappy changing surfaces and any other surface that you may have contaminated after a nappy change.
Pack your bag to include the things you need for on-the-go feeding and nappy changing
- Supplies to bring:
- Nappies and wipes
- A bag for dirty nappies
- Hand sanitiser so you can kill the germs on your hands when you don’t have access to soap and water