Hygiene plays a crucial component of a baby's overall care. Practicing a good hygiene is extremely important to keep your baby happy and healthy all the time.

Eight essential hygiene rules for your baby. Here are eight simple good hygiene practices to adopt when you have a baby.

  • Washing your hands with a good antibacterial soap is essential for removing harmful bacteria and germs that cause colds, flu, diarrhea and other infections. Be sure to dry your hands properly and wash your hand towels regularly. It's especially important to wash your hands before feeding your baby, after handling raw food, after changing a nappy or going to the toilet yourself, after touching pets, after touching anything dirty such as dirty nappies, rubbish or food waste.
  • You don't need to clean the house every day from top to bottom with disinfectant, you just need to pay particular attention to the surfaces that are most likely to harbour germs and bacteria. Focus on the areas that have a lot of contact with food, bodies and hands, such as bathrooms, kitchen benches, tables, crockery, cutlery and glassware. You need to be cleaning these properly. Use hot water with detergent for crockery, cutlery and glasses, while kitchens and bathrooms will need a thorough clean with a good disinfectant. Pay particular attention to taps, toilet seats, benches and door handles. Dry surfaces as well if they are not in a well-ventilated area with natural light.
  • Babies love to put things into their mouths, and toys are often the closest thing to hand. Be sure to regularly give your child's toys a clean with a good disinfectant. Wipe hard plastic toys down and make sure you rinse them thoroughly or put plush toys through the washing machine.
  • A good bath is essential for keeping your baby clean and tidy, but you need to make sure you are not over-washing as this is damaging to your baby's sensitive skin. In the first year of your baby's life a full bath is necessary only two or three times a week. Check out our step-by-step guide to bathing your baby.
  • These are three areas that need some special attention. Always keep your baby's nails well-trimmed so that they can't scratch themselves — the best time to trim them is when your baby is asleep. Be sure to use baby-sized nail clippers and not to cut the nails too short as these will hurt your baby.
  • Only wash the outside of your baby's ears, never the inside, and never insert cotton wool buds into your baby's ears. If your baby is unhappy and touching their ears repeatedly, this could be a sign of infection — be sure to get this looked at by a medical professional.
  • Clean any dried mucous from your baby's nose, as this can cause difficulty breathing. Use a damp wash cloth to gently remove the dried mucous. A nasal syringe may be needed to help remove excess mucous, but consult your baby's health practitioner before using one of these.
  • Be sure to keep your baby's eyes clear of any dried mucous. Use damp cotton wool to gently clean their eyes and seek medical attention if you notice your baby's eyes are irritated.

Why you don’t need to kill germs on hands – just wash them off…

The “best” and “easiest” way to remove germs is with soap and water An excellent article sprang into life, inspired by a simple question from a four year old girl. Claire asked “Why do we need soap?” The answer, published on The Conversation website is well worth reading… The response, published as part of the splendid Curious […]

The “best” and “easiest” way to remove germs is with soap and water An excellent article sprang into life, inspired by a simple question from a four year old girl. Claire asked “Why do we need soap?” The answer, published on The Conversation website is well worth reading… The response, published as part of the splendid Curious […]

The “best” and “easiest” way to remove germs is with soap and water

An excellent article sprang into life, inspired by a simple question from a four year old girl. Claire asked “Why do we need soap?” The answer, published on The Conversation website is well worth reading…

The response, published as part of the splendid Curious Kids series of articles came from Mary-Louise McLaws, Professor of Epidemiology Healthcare Infection and Infectious Diseases Control, UNSW.

Soap has a fun element to it of course, wrote Professor McLaws – it sometimes smells pleasant and you can blow bubbles with it. But crucially, “…it also keeps you healthy because it makes it easy for us to remove germs.”

Removing pathogens by washing

There are good and bad germs, she explained: the latter or pathogens can cause illnesses. We can’t see them because they’re too small. But her advice was clear.

“The best and easiest way to remove bad germs is washing them away with soap.”

Professor McLaws advised that hand washing should always take place when you’ve been to the toilet, after blowing your nose, before helping prepare food and before eating.

And the object of the exercise – perhaps surprisingly to some – is that the aim is not to actually kill the harmful germs at all.

“If you’re not a nurse or a doctor you don’t need to “kill” all the germs on your hands. You just need to wash the germs away. Soap is amazingly good at doing this.”

Curious Kids: why do we need soap? »


How to wash your hands

Here’s TEAL’s fun video, showing you how to undertake a really effective hand wash. Teach it to the kids!

 

Free downloadable handwashing themed resources for preschool and nursery children

Here’s the link to the PDF documents that will help to educate and entertain the children in your care: they all have a hand washing theme. They are free to use and distribute for everyone. Have fun!


Teach hand washing to children – it’s the most important lesson they can ever learn!

Hand washing is the most important lesson a child can learn and acquiring it is an essential lifelong skill. A Kiddiwash Xtra or KiddiSynk portable hand washing sink can be positioned right next to the sand pit – helping to ensure that children dramatically reduce the risk of infection as they finish play.

The Kiddiwash range of warm water hand wash units are perfect for smaller hands – and are ideal where a portable solution is required.

Whether you require a larger wheeled unit such as the KiddiSynk, or the ultra portable Kiddiwash Xtra, you can ensure that all children in your care are able to wash their hands whether inside or out.


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