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Bringing home our second child, as a newborn, was challenging.
Now I have to admit I’m not a clean freak or one of those sterilize, clean, wipe down the area thrice a day kind of Mommies. I am a careful Mommy but not an obsessively protective one.
Bringing our daughter home from the hospital was easier as we just had Hubby and self at home. With our son, though, we have had to be a little more careful as big sister was an eager 4 year old who already loved him to bits and wanted to do everything with him. To keep the little one safe, we decided to implement a few ‘rules’ to especially as our excited big sister went off to preschool each morning!
If you’re having a new baby soon and you have an older offspring (who is still a baby, preschooler or elementary school goer) who is excited about baby’s arrival, the first six tips are just for you. The last four tips are some ‘baby musts we’d observe with Dottie and Little Man :
1.When Little Man was born, Dottie was instructed to only kiss his arm or his leg and not his face.
2. As soon as Dottie would come in from preschool, I’d sit little man in his baby bouncer in the bathroom and give Dottie a good ‘sterilize away those preschool germs‘ bath. Unless she was bathed, she wasn’t allowed to hold her baby brother’s hand especially as he loved to chew on his fingers!
3. We would make sure we’d wash Dottie and Little Man’s clothes separately in the washing machine. I know the wash cycles and washing detergents clean out any potential ‘germ travels’ but we preferred to play safe.
4. When we did go out as a family, I always made sure I carried a travel size hand sanitizer to keep both the children’s hands and arm areas clean. (We wouldn’t apply the sanitizer on the palms also but also on the forearms I still do this even though I have a 6 year old and 2 year old in tow.)
5. For all those preschool events and parties where the Mommies would sit in with the kids, I’d attend them with Little Man in my Infant Carrier as it would keep him close to me, with less exposure to the excited little preschoolers who’d want to see Dottie’s baby brother. Another big plus is it doesn’t give room for any of the other Mommies to ask to carry him around. (Now ladies, I can assure you that this is NOT being obsessively protective…it’s being careful!)
6. I always made sure I had a separate set of feeding utensils set aside for Little Man and would make sure Dottie did not use any of the bowls or spoons.
7. Now I know using wet wipes are the easiest way to clean down a baby right after he/she has pooped. I admit that I would do this any time Little Man pooped in the night but I would suggest that you wash your baby’s bottom and anal area under running water during the day… especially after he/she loads a diaper with poop. I can assure you that you will see that he/she will never suffer from diaper rashes. Both my babies are testament of that!
8. Make sure you clean areas your baby is around frequently. It may look like your baby’s crib rails, baby essentials table top, bath tub etc look clean but you’re really better off giving all of this a good scrub-scrub and wipe down even if it’s just with a dust-cloth and on those non wood surfaces, with warm water and a teaspoonful of vinegar. (Try to stay as natural on your cleaning products as you can especially with a new baby at home.)
9. If you have toys that you use to entertain baby with or have toys that your infant plays with, ensure you wash and clean them frequently. A good wash in the machine with a teaspoon of vinegar would do the trick for cloth based toys while plastic rattles, toys etc can be soaked in warm water with a spot of anti-bacterial solution or sprayed down with some organic baby cleaning products. To dry these out, nothing beats a good few hours in the sun to complete the disinfecting process.
10. Last but not the least, make sure you keep washing your hands throughout the day. Scrub them out with soap and make sure you clean them properly under warm (or hot) running water. (To make sure you’ve done it long enough, sing the Alphabet song as you wash your hands….that’s what Dottie was instructed to do! Sing it in your head if you’re shy to do it out aloud!!)
And finally remember that there’s only so much you can do to keep your child safe, humanly.
Psalms 91 says that when you make the LORD your everything, He will ensure that no sickness will come near into your dwelling place.
9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling
(Psalms 91: 9,10)
Trust God to oversee everything concerning your child.