#1: Know where germs live
The real germ hot spots are the areas that come in contact with dirty diapers—or their contents—either directly or indirectly. The three major areas are the container you use to hold dirty diapers, the changing table and laundry hamper.
#2: Tackle the hotspots first
When cleaning, take care of the major germ hot spots first.
- Dirty diaper container: A container full of dirty diapers is number one on the germ hit list. Your best defense is a diaper disposal system that actually seals in odour to keep odour-causing bacteria in check.
- Changing table: Once a day, wipe the changing table with a disinfectant. Once the surface is disinfected, wipe with a damp paper towel to remove chemicals that can irritate your baby’s skin. To make things easy, you may also want to lay a receiving blanket over the changing pad and toss it in the wash at the end of each day.
- Laundry hamper: To keep bacteria from bodily fluids from spreading in your laundry, use a separate hamper for really soiled baby clothes and bedding. Your normal washing cycle won’t do the trick, so wash these items separately with hot water and chlorine bleach and use a high, hot setting to dry them in the dryer.
#3: Keep an eye on the floor and toy box as well
As your baby becomes more mobile, he may spend a fair amount of time sitting, playing or crawling on the floor, so try to vacuum or sweep often. Maybe you can institute a “no shoes” policy in the nursery so that people don’t track in dirt and germs.
Toys can become germ carriers when they come in contact with playmates’ hands and mouths, so you should wash them regularly. Toss fabric toys in the wash, and clean plastic toys with soap and water. Plastic toys without batteries can also be put in the dishwasher.
#4: Keep your hands clean
Your hands can spread germs that can live for hours on the things you touch, like doorknobs and light switches, so try and clean them as often as possible. Keep gel sanitizer and antibacterial wipes like WetOnes® in the nursery so you can clean your hands when you come in and when you leave.
Also try to handle only the outside surfaces of diapers to avoid touching what’s inside. Of course, it’s best to handle diapers for as little time as possible. A one-handed, or better yet, hands-free diaper disposal system is really helpful here.
#5: Have everything within reach
To minimize messes and limit the spread of germs, keep all your diaper-changing supplies within easy reach of the changing table. Diapers, wipes, diaper cream, a hamper and a hands-free, odour-controlling diaper pail should all be nearby.