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20 Hygiene Guidelines That Everyone Thinks Are Okay (But They're Not)

One of the best parts of taking care of a little baby is bath time. It is a fun time for parents to bond with their baby while making sure they are being taken care of. However, bath time can also be one of the most dangerous times, as it only takes a second for a baby to get affected by water. There are also a lot of guidelines that come with how to keep the baby clean that if not done right could also cause damage. Once we break down the layers, it is clear hygiene is a lot more difficult that people once thought.

Hygiene also involves a lot more than just making sure they are outwardly clean. It involves keeping the world around them clean, and making sure their clothes are properly cleaned as well as the house. All of these things can impact the baby’s health and well-being.

When a couple becomes new parents, they follow a lot of the cleaning advice that is given to them by their own parents. Unfortunately, that information was also passed down from their parents. People think they are doing right, because that is how it has always been done. This could be a mistake because as time goes by, society's knowledge changes and gets better. We have found 20 hygiene practices that a lot of people think are okay but can actually be dangerous.

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20 Is There A 5 Second Rule? it's a myth

Almost everyone has grown up hearing about the five second rule. That if something drops on the floor, as long as you pick it up within five seconds, it will be alright to eat. The truth is, this is a myth and it doesn’t exist at all. Once an item hits the floor, it immediately picks up any germs that are hanging around.

Whether this is an issue is really up for individual debate. Some may read this and stop letting their little ones eat anything off the floor. Others, like me, see it as a way to build up the immunity and within limits, is perfectly safe.

19 Too Much Scrubbing

We know how important it is to make sure that our babies are clean, but that can lead us to scrub too hard. Little babies do not get that dirty, they are not rolling around in the dirt all day unlike their toddler counterparts, so we don’t need to scrub them too hard. You are mostly just cleaning up any blow-outs or spit-ups that may have happened throughout the day.

The skin of newborns and young babies is very thin and sensitive, it needs time to build up and get tougher. This means that if you scrub too hard you are bound to irritate their little bodies. A light wash is all that is needed.

18 Diaper Wipes Are only For Diapers

One of the handiest tools when it comes to babies is to use diaper wipes. They are so helpful to clean up messes and if you are a parent they are always within arms reach. It is easy for mom to go to grab one of these wipes if there is a spill that needs to be wiped off, and that includes a dirty face or hands of their baby.

This is a mistake and it could cause some irritation and rashes when used. Even the most sensitive wipes still have chemicals and other oils in them. These are fine for areas like the diaper area, but they should not be used to clean their face, hands or any other sensitive spot.

17 Dishwashers aren't that thorough

This one is a bit tricky and its kind of goes against what we are saying. This section is meant to imply that you should NOT use the dishwasher to wash your baby’s bottles or your child’s plates and cups. Dishwashers are a great invention, I am not denying that, and anything that makes your life easier when you have children is a blessing. However, according to one doctor, they make the dishes too clean.

A man named Dr. Gilbert states that when you wash your dishes by hand, it allows some microbes to remain on them. Not a dangerous amount but an amount that may help build your babies immune system.

16 Q-Tips aren't recommended for anyone

We are going to start off with one that may be popular knowledge, but there are still a lot of people out there who think this is fine. Every inch of our baby needs to be kept clean, and that includes their eyes. Dirt and wax can build up in there, so it is important to get it all out. A lot of people still reach for the box of q-tips when tackling this task.

These are not recommended for adults, so they are definitely not OK to use on a baby. The problem is that these items can accidentally be pushed too far into the baby’s ear which could cause damage. The best thing to do is just use your finger and a wet washcloth.

15 Sterilizing The Pacifier

The same rule applies with the pacifier. We are always told to sanitize the baby’s bottles, nipples and everything else that may go in their mouth. While this is a great idea to do when your little one is very small and just born, you don’t want to do it forever. You want them to be exposed to a small number of germs to increase their immune system.

Now, if something is really dirty than it should be washed, but a little bit of germs is unlikely to harm a baby and it may do some good to allow them to come in contact with it. There can be such a thing as too clean and it can be just as harmful.

14 Just Relax, it's fine

At the heart of the last few entries are to just relax mom! It is easy to get worried about our little ones taking in something that may not be clean, and we may cringe every time we see them jump in the mud, but it is all part of being a kid and they will be OK. A big concern a lot of parents have is when their child is licked by a dog.

This may seem gross, especially because dogs tend to lick them on the mouth, but it is normally nothing to worry about. Unless your child is allergic to dogs, there is really no reason to fret. It may make you cringe, but it is unlikely to harm your child.

13 Keeping The Window Closed

A lot of parents want to keep the world as sterile as they can in order to protect their little one. This usually involves leaving all the windows closed when they are at home. They feel like when they do this, it will keep any germs or bacteria from floating in. This is not true, and moms everywhere should open all of their windows.

By having an open window, it allows a bit of the outside world to come in. This means that your little one is exposed to the elements of the outside world but in a much smaller dose. Fresh air does everyone some good, and there is even some talk that it can help them sleep better so why not give it a try.

12 Clorox Wipes Are no good

Now we know that cleaning wipes are just as handy as diaper wipes, so we know that there are a lot of mom’s out there who use Clorox or Lysol wipes to clean their countertops. We think it is a win-win because they are easy to use, and they get rid a lot of ‘harmful’ bacteria. They may be easy to use, and they may get rid bacteria but that is not always a good thing.

These wipes can leave behind a residue that is filled with chemicals. You may not think this is a problem, but it may be a problem when your toddler starts licking the table. Sounds like a crazy thing to do, right? Well, your baby is definitely not a toddler yet if you don’t think this is possible.

11 Bathing Baby Every Day

There is a myth going around that we need to be bathing our babies every single day, and this is not true. Baths are great, and if your little one needs one as a part of their nighttime routing than you don’t need to give it up. However, you should stop actually washing them every day. Just let them play in the water.

Unless they are running around in the mud, babies don’t actually get that dirty, so they don’t need a scrub down every single day. The constant use of cleaning products can wear down their skin and leave them with dry skin which can be irritating. Every other day will do just fine, and they will live.

10 Let’s Talk About Clean Air

Now, since I have told you that it is a good idea to leave the windows open in the house, you are probably on Amazon right now trying to find the best air purifier to make sure the air is clean and not too dirty. Save your money, because you don’t need the most expensive one out there.

Unless your child, or someone in the house, has some pretty severe allergies a cheaper version will do just fine. It will still catch all the larger particles, but it may leave the smaller ones. Just remember we are trying to build up their immunity, so this is not necessarily a bad thing.

9 Watch The Skin Folds

Babies come in all shapes and sizes, and this can determine what kind of hygiene care they need. We all love a chunky baby, they are just too cute. However, a chunky baby comes with some rolls in their body and the creases in these rolls can be a problem. It is important to make sure we really clean in these rolls at each bath, even if it is just with water.

They are also known for trapping in moisture, which can cause a rash and a pretty uncomfortable and fussy baby. It is always a good idea to make sure these areas are dry at all times. Corn starch can help keep these places dry and rash free.

8 Bathing The Baby Too Soon

We love bathing our babies so much that we can’t wait to do it. While we are pregnant we daydream about bathing our little one and how much fun it is going to be. This means that a lot of people are really keen and anxious to give their baby their first bath. It is still common place to give baby their first bath when they are in the hospital, but maybe we should be telling the nurses to wait.

When the baby is in utero they are covered with a substance called vernix which helps protect their skin. A lot of the time babies are born with some of this remaining and it should be left alone instead of being washed off. It is the best moisturizer in the world and it is all natural so let it soak in and do its job.

7 Too Many Products

One of the things you will probably stock up on when pregnant is bath products for your little one. See, you really are just that excited and it doesn’t help that they all smell so good. You will also probably get a lot if you have a baby shower, because people know that mom’s need this type of thing. However, sometimes less is more and this is one of those times.

Baby’s skin is new and fresh when they are born. It has never had anything put on it, not even clothes, so we don’t want to be loading up all of these cleaning products right away. A little bit will go a long way and they don’t need to be used at every bath.

6 The Laundry Matters Too

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Hygiene is about a lot more than just cleaning our baby. It is also about their environment and how clean it is. Laundry is something moms know very well and when you have a newborn you do a lot of it. It is important to make sure you are washing their clothes correctly. When it comes to small babies, mom should always be using a laundry soap that is specifically designed for fresh, new skin.

Babies have never worn clothes before, so if that is not new enough, we want to make sure that what their clothes are washed in has the least amount of chemicals. If you use regular soap it can be too harsh for their skin and it may cause some irritation.

5 Using The Right Products!

With so many products on the market today it can be hard to make sure we are using the right kind for our baby. The choices are overwhelming, but the options are not created equally. When trying to find the right kind of shampoo or soap for your little one really takes the time to get to know the ingredients. Don’t just go for the flashiest bottle, as tempting as that may be.

Make sure the product has a lot of natural ingredients and that it has the least amount of chemicals. Sometimes it is impossible to know which one is best until you try a few and see how your baby’s skin responds to it.

4 Temperature

The temperature of your baby’s bath is very important, and it can cause the most anxiety in a mom. You don’t want the water to be too cold, or too hot. If the water is too hot it can cause burns as their skin is just that sensitive. A good trick I was taught was that you wanted the water to be about the temperature of warm milk if you were going to drink the milk.

We are so used to setting up a bath for ourselves that we may not even realize that it is too hot. They now make these handy little thermometers that can help mom determine if the water is too hot or too cold.

3 Plain Old Fear

We stated earlier that the bath can bring out a lot of anxieties for mom and dad as they are very worried about the combination of their little baby and water. It is true, accidents happen in the bath and it doesn’t take a lot of water for disaster to strike. However, too much fear can actually make it worse and it is much better to stay relaxed when bathing your baby.

History has taught us to be cautious of the bath, because we have all heard the stories, so we assume we have to be on edge all the time. However, as long as you take the precautions and never leave your baby alone the chances of something happening are drastically reduced.

2 Changing The Diaper Too Often

Now we come to the dirtiest part of your baby, their bum. We saved this for last because it is the place you will clean the most throughout your day. A lot of moms have been taught and told that they need to change the baby’s diaper as soon as they wet it. This is true for a dirty diaper, but wet diapers do not need to be changed that frequently.

Diapers have come a long way and they are able to hold in a lot more than they used too. When you change a diaper too often, you are exposing your baby to the chemicals in the wipes more than you should be which can cause irritation.

1 Letting The Diaper Sit

However, there is a fine line between when is too long for your baby to be sitting in a wet or dirty diaper. Some babies have no problem letting mom know if they need their diaper changed, but some are quite content, and it doesn’t bother them that much.

Stinky diapers need to be changed immediately, or as soon as possible, because this can cause a pretty bad diaper rash. Wet diapers, while they may not need to be changed as often, still can not be left for a long period of time. Mom will need to work with her baby and decide what is the appropriate time for them to stay in the same diaper and for how long.

References: RD, Parents

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