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.

What you should know about humidifiers

What you should know about humidifiers

Looking at investing in a humidifier for your baby? Mom, Dani Silbermann, offers this advice on what you need to know about humidifiers.

The post What you should know about humidifiers appeared first on Living and Loving written by Living And Loving Staff .

What you should know about humidifiers

Looking at investing in a humidifier for your baby? Mom, Dani Silbermann, offers this advice on what you need to know about humidifiers.

The post What you should know about humidifiers appeared first on Living and Loving written by Living And Loving Staff .

What you should know about humidifiers

Humidifiers are great for combating winter sniffles and coughs. But when it comes to choosing which one to buy, it’s not as simple as just picking up the first one you see on the shelf.

As with all things baby related, there are a million different opinions on the type of humidifier you should use, and there doesn’t appear to be one clear-cut answer as to whether hot or cool mist is the way to go – which makes it all the more confusing for first-time moms when staring at the different boxes in the aisles of Dischem.

ALSO SEE: 8 tips for dressing your baby in winter

First things first, why use a humidifier?

We’re all too familiar with dry air in winter, and the use of heaters to fight the cold only exacerbates the problem. The result: itchy sandpaper skin, chapped lips, a sore throat, blocked sinuses, respiratory ailments and runny noses.

Enter the humidifier. This nifty invention adds moisture back to the air by using either warm or cool mist technologies. This can help babies breathe by reducing mucus build-up and opening the respiratory passages.

Cool mist versus warm mist

It seems that warm-mist and cool-mist humidifiers are equally effective in humidifying the air. The mist is usually room temperature by the time it reaches your child’s lungs, no matter what temperature at which it was originally produced.

There are, however, other considerations when deciding between warm- and cool-mist humidifiers:

Factors Cool Warm
Running cost Because the water is not heated before it is dispersed, these humidifiers typically use less electricity. These are more expensive to operate because of an internal heating element that boils water before releasing it (a bit like boiling a kettle all night).
Health Bacteria and fungi can breed in the water tank. Once multiplied, the humidifier can disperse these into the air, along with tiny dust particles and other impurities in the water.


So if your child suffers from allergies or asthma, it’s a good idea to use distilled water in the humidifier rather than tap water to reduce the risk of dust or bacteria. And frequent cleaning will also prevent the build-up of bacteria.

Warm-mist humidifiers generally disperse less, if any, of these organisms into the air. The minerals and dust in the water are not diffused along with the steam because the boiling process kills waterborne bacteria. But at the same time, warm moist air can encourage the growth of mould, so you need to clean the humidifier daily.



Noise Cool mist products can be noisy. If you’re worried about the sound, look for a humidifier that uses “ultrasonic” technology (these are virtually silent). These are silent.
Coverage These are a great option for adding moisture to large areas or even entire homes. Warm mist products work best in smaller areas, such as bedrooms or nurseries.
Maintenance and cleaning Requires frequent cleaning but the tank is much easier to clean.


Requires daily cleaning. Bacteria thrive in the presence of warm water so warm mist humidifiers can be a breeding ground for germs if not cleaned daily. These are more difficult to clean, as mineral deposits are often left behind during the boiling process.
Air temperature Cool mist can cause the air to feel slightly chillier than usual. Can be more comfortable during cold winter months because the steam warms the air.
Year-round use Cold mist humidifiers are great for year-round use, especially if your child suffers from chronic congestion (as opposed to only getting sick in winter).



Best suited to the cold winter months. If this type of humidifier is left to run for too long, it may cause overly high humidity levels in your home. This can cause condensation, which triggers the growth of bacteria, dust mites and mould. So be sure to ventilate the room when using warm mist for prolonged periods of time (open windows a little bit).


Safety No risk of burns or dangerous spills, especially when it comes to curious toddlers. If your child is mobile and/or sleeping in a bed (not a cot), then there’s a risk that they could get too close to the warm steam or spill the hot water.



Top tips 

  • If your humidifier has a humidity setting, you don’t want the humidity to go above 50% (this will encourage the growth of mould spores, bacteria, and dust mites). A humidity of 35 to 45% is optimal.
  • You may want to lay a towel down underneath the humidifier, because they can leak or cause a great deal of condensation, which will result in a puddle of water.

The most important factor is the daily cleaning

Remember, a clean humidifier remains a health benefit, but a dirty humidifier can pose a serious health risk.

If you’re going to be lazy when it comes to the daily maintenance, then a humidifier is not for you! I’ve had to throw out a humidifier because I left it standing with water in the tank for a few weeks.

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning directions.
  • Don’t leave the tank sitting with water for days at a time.
  • Do not re-use water that has been standing.
  • Empty the tank and wipe and dry all surfaces daily.
  • Once a week, use a 10% vinegar cleaning solution to loosen mineral deposits.
  • Change filters as instructed by the manufacturer (if relevant).

ALSO SEE: 10 myths about colds and flu

Available options:

Once you’ve decided on a warm, cool or dual model, then it’s actually a really easy purchase decision.

Two main brands are Elektra and Vicks. The nice thing about both the Vicks and Elektra options is that there is a scent pad slot. This helps with congestion.

Warm-mist options

  • Vicks Warm Steam Basic, from R569, Dischem
  • Vicks Warm Steam Premium, from R969, Dischem

Cool-mist options

  • Vicks Ultrasonic Large,from  R999, Dischem
  • Elektra Cool Steam, from R599, Dischem
  • Vicks Ultrasonic Sweet Dreams, from R999, Dischem (This model has a feature that projects bedtime images on to the ceiling, acting as a pretty nightlight.)

Dual functionality

Elektra Humidifier Dual Warm /Cool, from R999 Dischem

*Price ranges correct at time of publishing 


The post What you should know about humidifiers appeared first on Living and Loving written by Living And Loving Staff .

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