Preparing your home for baby

Safe and sound ... you can make your home safe for babies even before they start crawling.
Safe and sound ... you can make your home safe for babies even before they start crawling. 

Clean and disinfect the nursery
It's important that the surfaces your baby comes into contact with are hygienically clean.

To start, it's important to note that cleaning and disinfecting aren't the same thing. Cleaning means physically reducing the soils and germs on surfaces, using soap or detergent and water, as well as scrubbing.

When you disinfect, you're actually killing the germs on surfaces. By using a sanitising wipe or disinfecting spray, you'll help reduce the spread of germs around the home.

In the nursery, this would include changing tables, mats, and other surfaces or implements that could have become contaminated through diapering or been exposed to other bodily fluids. This can also include floors and walls.

If the surface, toy or other item you're disinfecting will come in direct contact with your baby, be sure to rinse it well with clean water after you are finished disinfecting it.

"It's important to note that cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing."

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 adhere to when visitors drop by:
•    they must wash their hands thoroughly before touching the baby
•    the visitor can'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 afraid to ask that they wait until next time.

Chemical safety
•    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.

Nappy changing
Once your baby arrives, feeding and changing can seem to take up most of your time. In fact, 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.

It's important to have everything ready and within reach before you changes your child's nappy. This includes:
•    a clean nappy
•    nappy pins or fastners (if you're using cloth nappies)
•    a container of warm water and cotton wool
•    a clean, soft towel to pat your baby dry, or baby wipes
•    a waterproof changing mat or clean dry towel to place under your baby
•    a disinfecting product to clean and disinfect the nappy 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 changing table, always keep one hand on baby to prevent them from rolling off. It can help to give your baby something to look at while being changed - such as a toy - as they then wont wriggle or squirm as much.
•    Clean and disinfect the nappy changing mat and any other surface that you may have touched or contaminated during nappy changing (eg: 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.