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.

7 steps to successful night time potty training

7 steps to successful night time potty training

Are you considering weaning your little one off her night nappy, but you’re not sure how or when? This expert advice could help… By Thobeka Phanyeko

The post 7 steps to successful night time potty training appeared first on Living and Loving.

7 steps to successful night time potty training

Are you considering weaning your little one off her night nappy, but you’re not sure how or when? This expert advice could help… By Thobeka Phanyeko

The post 7 steps to successful night time potty training appeared first on Living and Loving.

7 steps to successful night time potty training

Educational psychologist Cara Blackie says the right time to wean your little one from her night nappy would be when the daytime routine and need for nappies has been addressed with your toddler. “When your child no longer needs a nappy during the day, you can then slowly start introducing the idea of not using the nappies at night.” It’s important to remember that children are different and there is no ideal age when your child will be ready to go without a nappy at night. If you notice your child has been waking up with a dry nappy and expresses that she no longer wants to wear a nappy to bed, this could signal that she feels ready.

ALSO SEE: Make the night-time potty training process easier for both you and your child with these handy tips

Don’t rush

It’s important to progress slowly from no daytime nappies to no night-time nappies. Cara suggests waiting to see if your toddler is wetting her nappy at night as this will tell you if she’s able to go the whole night without going to the bathroom. “Once that cycle is assessed, parents need to introduce the idea of waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. This should be done while still using nappies,” she says. Wearing a nappy to sleep at this stage still gives your little one a sense of control and avoids embarrassment. “Parents would need to do this for some time, until it becomes a routine,” she adds.

Be prepared

Waking up to soaking sheets and an upset child can be unsettling, but accidents do happen so it’s a good idea to be prepared. “Invest in a mattress protector, as this makes it much easier to change the bedding,” advises Cara. It’s also a good idea to have a change of sheets and duvet close by so the process does not take too long at night.

Don’t delay

You may be tempted to leave the nappy on until you’re completely sure that your toddler is ready to be weaned off the night nappy, but the only way you’ll know for sure is if you take the nappy off at some point. Establishing a good toilet routine and making sure your little one doesn’t consume any fizzy drinks after 6pm will help you feel more prepared and less anxious about taking the next step.

Do expect accidents

Cara suggests keeping the lines of communication open with your toddler and reinforcing positive behaviour. Try not to get upset when your little one slips up. You could even go as far as rewarding good behaviour using a star chart. This is one way of encouraging your toddler to stay dry. Instead of dwelling on the mistake, let your little one know that it’s OK to make mistakes and move on. She also cautions against putting too much pressure on your little one. “If your child is not ready, you need to take a step back and wait a while before trying again in a few months.”

ALSO SEE: 7 common mistakes parents make when it comes to bedwetting

Don’t be stressed

It’s natural to feel frustrated, but try not to show it as your little one could take your disappointment badly. “Patience and understanding is what is really needed,” says Cara. It’s also important to know and understand the root cause of bedwetting as this can reduce frustration. “If you can see your toddler is getting upset, you need to communicate that you can see she’s getting upset and that she can try again.” If your little one can see you’re calm, she’ll also remain calm and stay motivated.

Have a routine

Having a routine in place will set your little one up for success, and Cara explains that having a consistent bedtime routine is key. “Avoid giving your child liquids an hour before bedtime and encourage your tot to go to the toilet before you tuck her in to ensure that her bladder is empty.” Cara also recommends waking your toddler during the night to establish a night-time routine, which will prevent bedwetting. This will become second nature to her with enough practice, and she will soon be going to the toilet without you having to remind her.

ALSO SEE: 5 ways to set a smart toddler routine

When to worry

When your toddler has been consistently dry, but suddenly starts to wet the bed again, there’s cause for concern. Cara says this may indicate distress. “Parents would need to think carefully about what changes may have occurred, as the bedwetting may be emotionally directed.” If you’ve tried all these techniques with no luck, Cara recommends seeking medical attention.

Night training must-haves

  • Cuddlers Pants make it easy for your toddler to go to the potty himself, offering independence and confidence.Available from takealot.com for R119.
  • Pampers Active Baby Pants have an extra sleep layer to keep your little one dry for up to 12 hours. The pull-up feature is also perfect for night-time training. Available at Baby City from R154.99.
  • The Snuggletime mattress protector will help you stay prepared and protect your toddler’s bed from night-time slip-ups. Available at Baby City for R139.99.
  • Huggies Pull-Ups are great for night-time training. Available at Baby City from R89.99.

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