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.

5 things to consider when choosing a family car

5 things to consider when choosing a family car

Director of #CarseatFullstop, Mandy Lee Miller, gives advice on how to choose the perfect family car.

The post 5 things to consider when choosing a family car appeared first on Living and Loving.

5 things to consider when choosing a family car

Director of #CarseatFullstop, Mandy Lee Miller, gives advice on how to choose the perfect family car.

The post 5 things to consider when choosing a family car appeared first on Living and Loving.

5 things to consider when choosing a family car

Choosing a family car is not as simple as walking into a car dealership and picking the one you like. There are some key points you need to consider:

Does the car offer full three-point seat belts on all seats, ISOfix points and top tether points?

While not all car seats require a three-point seat belt, ISOfix and top tether points, there are some that do. If you are choosing your first family car, it’s worth buying a car that has all three available. This will mean you can choose the safest car seat you can afford, without having to worry about whether it will work safely in your car.

There are very few car seats that can be secured using a lap belt. From infant seat to full-back booster seat, a three-point seatbelt is the only safe option for the majority of seatbelt-installed car seats. Another thing to check is seatbelt length, as many seats require you to route the car’s seatbelt around the back of the seat to safely install them.

ISOfix points will be clearly marked in the back seat of the car with a small image or a tag with the words on it. They are square metal brackets, either exposed, or in the crease between the back rest and seat of the rear car seats. These brackets allow some car seats, or their bases, to easily click into the car, securing them without the need for the car’s seatbelt. While ISOfix is not safer than using the car’s seatbelt, it does remove the chance of human error when installing a car seat.

While not many car seats in South Africa require a top tether, those that do can’t be used without the top tether point. This is usually found on the back of the car’s seat and should be clearly marked. Be sure that you don’t mistake a luggage hook for this top tether point. If you are unsure, check the car’s manual.

 ALSO SEE: What to look for when buying an infant car seat

Where are the airbags in the car and are you able to safely switch them off?

The front passenger seat is the most dangerous of all positions in a car. However, if you are a parent traveling alone, putting your baby in the rear of the car can be daunting. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents, so if having your little one in the rear of the car is going to distract you, put your baby on the front seat. Most new cars will allow for this, provided the airbag can be safely switched off.

Side air bags are not the same as those in the front. Curtain airbags provide additional safety for all passengers in the car, and have been tested for safe use with car seats.

ALSO SEE: 4 car seat mistakes you didn’t know you were making

Does the car have adaptive cruise control?

This may seem like an odd item to have on the list when looking for a family car, but when you consider the substantial difference the speed you travel has on crash forces, it should be less so.

The Transport Accident Commission of Australia says a car that slams on brakes at 60km/h will take 45m to stop. At 65km/h that same car will still be moving at close to 32km/h after 45 meters.

Adaptive cruise control with collision warning can keep you from going over the speed limit if you are momentarily distracted and it can also slow you down if traffic appears ahead. It can sense a potential accident if the car in front of you suddenly slows, alerting you with lights and pre-charging your brakes.

Another great safety tech to keep an eye out for is lane-keeping and blind-spot technologies. You will be amazed at how often the car will give you a little shake to let you know you have drifted from your lane, and what a difference a little indicator light in your side mirror can make – letting you know there is someone in your blind spot, when you are trying to navigate through traffic.

What is the car’s hands-free offering?

According to the ITF Road Safety Annual Report, 25% of car crashes in South Africa are directly related to cellphone usage. Never underestimate the danger you are putting yourself and your family in when you “quickly” respond to that urgent text or access your maps. Find a car that offers a fully integrated, voice-activation system. The system should allow you to do almost everything while keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

ALSO SEE: Moms, these 5 car-safety tips can save your life

How spacious is the car?

If you’re planning to have two or more kids, or if you are a social family who’ll be lifting friends, consider investing in a seven-seater car. Installing multiple car seats, particularly fitting three seats across, while possible with persistence, can be a real challenge. Having a solid third row of seats with full seatbelts can make all the difference to safe travels.

If you or your partner are particularly tall, and you would like to keep your child safer for longer in an extended rear-facing car seat, you need to consider the space between the rear and front seats in the car. You would be surprised at how many cars simply can’t accommodate an extended rear-facing car seat.

What is the boot space like? Is there room for bikes and bags, spare clothing and a pram? If you invest in a seven-seater car, ensure that the back-row seats can fold completely flat, providing a true extension on the storage space.

The post 5 things to consider when choosing a family car appeared first on Living and Loving.

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