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Germ freak or hygiene conscious mum?

If you read my post about being a clean freak, you’d know by now my obsession about cleaning and germs and disinfecting pretty much everything that enters my house (people included if I could!) and items that my children come in contact with. But really if germs were not invisible and you could actually see them, would you not do that too?

When I was at the end of my pregnancy preparing for Leo’s arrival, I could not help but think about the importance for my newborn to be welcomed in an environment as much as possible germ free. I knew I was going to breastfeed him so knowing that I’ll give my baby’s immune system a boost against viruses (breast milk is filled with protective immunoglobulins that work to fight off bacteria and viruses) made me feel better but I felt that there was more I could do in order to protect him.

I started researching online and the only articles I could find were those where the real debate had wrongly switched over to the importance of choosing the right colour for the baby’s nursery rather than focusing on making our homes ready and igienically clean for the arrival of our little bundle of joy. When I searched for more specific information, few articles proved that my paranoia about germs wasn’t absurd. Bacteria for a newborn, whose immune system does not start to develop before 2-3 months, represent an actual risk that can potentially make a baby severly sick… and people need to know about that!

To me nesting meant not only making sure we had all the lovely little clothes cleaned and perfectly folded on a beautiful new white wardrobe filled with smelly cotton sheets and bunny soft toys BUT most of all, it meant making sure I was taking those extra precautions to ensure maximum protection from bacteria and viruses that normally exist around our house.

Leonardo eating sand at the beach, nice!

So what would you need to do in order to REALLY make your home baby ready? Hygiene expert Dr Lisa Ackerley offers the following advice:

  • Changing Mats – make sure that the mat is as free from bacteria as possible by using antibacterial wipes and after each nappy change avoid using baby wipes to clean the mat but again use an antibacterial product
  • Cots –Ensure bedding is hygienically clean by using an antibacterial laundry cleanser ( Dettol one for example, is proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria on rinse cycle temperatures as low as 15°C and it is dermatologically tested therefore ideal for children’s blankets, clothes, bedding, underwear and towels)
  • Surfaces – it is important to ensure that any surfaces where bottles or any other baby item (bib, dummy, etc) is placed are hygienically clean.
  • Hands – wash your hands before and after handling a baby and (if you don’t breastfeed) before preparing baby bottles. Ask other people who come and visit to wash their hands too before cuddling your little one

I don’t think people are actually aware of the importance to properly wash bed linen.  I came across an interesting article where Dr Pixie Mckenna (who you’d probably remember for presenting channel’s 4 “Embarassing bodies”) stresses about the fact that washing at 40 degrees does NOT kill bacterias in our laundry instead the risk is that germs are simply transferred from non-contaminated to contaminated items!

*horror in my face*

Since forever I’ve been using disinfectant gels, antibacterial hand washes, anti bacterial wipes and my latest addition is now  an anti bacterial laundry cleanser! ( my mom always asked me if I was using one). Think about when your baby has got a cold and what his sheets look like after a long night spent rubbing his itchy nose on his mattress to find some comfort. Don’t they deserve a very good clean?

By taking all this precautions, the question I ask myself is “Have I got it all covered?!?” Probably not but what I know is that in my little world I do my best to make sure maximum protection again germs  in my house is achieved.

Now that my children are a bit older washing hands with anti bacterial soap every time we come home is a must, wiping highchairs and tables with an anti bacterial spray or wipes is on order and the same treatment goes for the floor.

Check out my daughter’s reaction the first time she tries Dettol no touch hand wash. I created a monster haha

I’m aware that some germs could do some good and the fact that we live with 2 cats proves that I know how to find the right balance. But to the people who keep saying to me that bacteria is good for kids, I always reply that I’m sure my children have got plenty of other places where they can get germs from, so as much as I can, my house won’t be one of them.

*I was inspired to write this article by Dettol.  I was sent some products to try. Many of these products had already been used by our family and we already love them