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 REAL tips for new parents

5 real tips for new parents

Parents who’ve been there and done that share their top parenting tips for new moms and dads.

The post 5 REAL tips for new parents appeared first on Living and Loving written by Belinda Mountain .

5 real tips for new parents

Parents who’ve been there and done that share their top parenting tips for new moms and dads.

The post 5 REAL tips for new parents appeared first on Living and Loving written by Belinda Mountain .

5 real tips for new parents

Do we really need another ‘tips for new parents’ article? If you’re searching for that golden piece of advice that will create a peaceful and ordered home, and a baby who sleeps on cue and never cries, well then, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there is no ‘one size fits all’ set of rules to follow which will make being a new parent easy.

“Help!” you yell. “I’m overwhelmed and confused by all the conflicting advice out there – what must I do?” Never fear because we’ve spoken to parents who’ve been there before. We asked them for that one nugget of advice (the one that they only learned in hindsight) and summed it up here for your benefit. This is the pearls of wisdom we wish someone had shared with us when we were holding our squirming babies and wondering how on earth we were going to get through the next few months…

ALSO SEE: Top tips for first-time parents from experts

Forget your pride. Accept help.

You may have thought you had it all together before you had kids. A good job, an organised schedule, a beautiful home. And then a tiny human arrived and wham, everything went haywire. While it’s tempting to pretend you’re some sort of natural supermom or dad, this pretence helps nobody and actually ends up hurting you. Someone offers to look after your baby for two hours? Say, “Yes!” and take yourself off for a nap. A friend offers to drop off some meals? Wonderful. Remind yourself that your village is there to help you through this period (and yes, they actually want to), so accept whatever wonderful support that’s offered.

Find one trusted source of advice. Hone your instincts.

Try and block out the noise. Everyone who has had a baby before (and even those who haven’t) will tell you how you should be doing things. It may have worked for them, but this doesn’t mean it will work for you. After a while, you’ll be able to identify which person or information source fits with your outlook and parenting style, so take on their advice, and ignore everyone else’s. (Some medical aid programmes, like Fedhealth, offer free helplines which you can call with any paediatric questions you may have.) Finally, while it may be difficult at first, learn to sit quietly with your thoughts, and hone in on your parenting instincts. You were biologically designed to succeed at this, so listen to your gut.

ALSO SEE: No thank you, I did not ask for your advice

Don’t compare yourself to other parents.

Social media has made this extremely challenging. Every Instagram feed is filled with pictures of adorable sleeping babies wrapped in fashionable, pristine blankets, or mothers who are already back in shape just 8 weeks after giving birth! This is not real – it’s a brief snapshot of a moment, which was probably carefully constructed. Comparing yourself to your friend whose baby is already sleeping through the night will only add to the pressure. Stop scrolling, put your phone down, and walk away!

WIT (whatever it takes).

Those first few weeks of completely new sleep patterns are brutal. “Never put the baby in bed with you!” “Put them down awake, don’t rock them!” Everyone will have a piece of advice for you, but in the beginning especially, know that you have the freedom to do whatever it takes (WIT) to get them to sleep and, taking care of yourself in the process. Whether it’s baby wearing to the shops, bouncing on a Pilates ball in the dark or driving around the neighbourhood at nap time, know that you have permission to use any means possible to make those first few weeks easier for yourself and your baby.

ALSO SEE: 6 genius hacks to help you handle life with a newborn

Accept that it’s hard.

So much of our resentment as new parents has to do with how we perceived parenting before we had kids. Many people gloss it over or idealise those early months. But if you know deep down that it’s not going to be easy, and if you adjust your expectations when it comes to everything, from how much sleep you can survive on, to the neatness of your house, then you’re less likely to be disappointed.

Most of all, as you’re sitting in the dark at 3am with a niggly baby, just know that it won’t always be like this. It too will pass. It’s also important to acknowledge that there are a million other moms or dads around the world currently going through exactly the same difficult thing that you’re going through. You are not alone.

The post 5 REAL tips for new parents appeared first on Living and Loving written by Belinda Mountain .

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