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Everything your baby comes into contact with needs to be handled with utmost care. Properly cleaning your baby’s items helps keep them safe for daily use for your baby’s continued health and development. Today, we’re covering the most common types of items your baby will come into contact with on a daily basis and how to make sure they’re germ-free for tiny hands and mouths.

Bottles
When you purchase new bottles, rings and nipples, take five minutes to sterilize them in boiling water before using them for the first time.

Whether you go with glass or plastic bottles, the first thing to note is that bottles are single-use only. Once your baby finishes their bottle, anything left in it should be discarded and the bottle set aside to be cleaned. The saliva left behind on and in the bottle and nipple can lead to the development of bacteria. Clean the bottles in hot water with soap or run through the dishwasher before using again.  Alternatively many people use an electric bottle sterilizer or a  microwave sterilizer

Fabrics
Your baby’s skin is incredibly sensitive. Any fabric products you purchase, be it clothing, towels or bed linens, should be washed before their first use. This extra step removes anything that could have transferred onto the fabric during production or transport that could irritate your baby’s skin. After that, soiled items should be washed in hot water using a very mild, gentle detergent. Look for one that contains no dyes or perfumes or other common allergens. Skip on additional products like fabric softener, since they can cause rashes. If you want to take an extra precaution, you can rinse items twice before drying.

Another fabric to consider is cloth diapers. If you choose to go with cloth or fabric diapers instead of disposable ones, just wash them separately from the rest of your laundry on hot water. Some experts recommend two washings for a deeper clean — just be sure to remove any solids as soon as you remove the diaper from your baby to help avoid stains.

Toys
It may seem like quite the chore, but keeping your baby’s toys clean is another important step to keeping them healthy. While toys may have different directions for proper cleaning (check the packaging when purchasing new toys) most made out of plastic can be washed just like bottles — in hot, soapy water in the sink or in the dishwasher. When shopping for fabric toys, look for those that are machine washable, which will make them easier to clean more regularly. Some people use sterilizing tablets/solution to clean their baby’s toys.

Teething Accessories
Anything that has been in your baby’s mouth, like a pacifier or other teething object should be cleaned daily to remove saliva, food remnants and any dirt or germs. They can be cleaned just like most toys in hot soapy water or sterilizing solution, just check the instructions to be sure. Make sure they’re rinsed well before giving them back to your baby.

Make sure all your baby’s favorite things stay clean to keep them happy, comfortable and well. Follow these simple steps and you’ll fall into a routine that works for you in no time.

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