Having a new baby is an immensely rewarding and an exciting time for new moms, which also comes with a tremendous responsibility of caring for this bundle of joy. At this time, protecting a new baby from illness and infection becomes more important than ever, after all, new-borns are particularly vulnerable as their immune system is not yet fully developed.
Dettol has over 80 years’ expertise in hygiene and an enduring interest in protecting new-borns and infants from infection. That’s why every year we reach over 8 million new mothers around the world with hygiene education.
We work with a variety of partners from charities and NGO’s to health care professionals such as paediatricians and midwives and various governmental organisations in over 40 countries around the world to reach new moms and inform them on basic yet powerful healthy hygiene habits to protect the health, not only of their new arrival, but their whole family. Within South Africa, Dettol has reached over 3.5 million moms in both the government and private health sector, informing them of these basic hygiene habits. Helping moms understand basic hygiene is incredibly important as every year over 800,000 children die under the age of five due to Diarrhea, a disease that can be prevented by the practice of good hygiene.
Our aim is to support new Moms, to help them keep their families healthy and teach them how some small interventions can be hugely impactful and provide protection to all in their family.
At Dettol we passionately believe in the power of hygiene education, it goes to the very core of who we are, because it helps protect families from illness and helps to give new babies a healthy start to life.
Baby Hygiene Tips for a New Mom
Congratulations, you are now a new mom!
Feels so wonderful, doesn’t it - to be able to finally call yourself a mom? But bringing your sweet one into this world is just the start of an even lovelier journey. There’s so much to learn and so many fun moments to be had. Mommy-hood requires lots of time, attention, and patience to make sure your bundle of joy is well cared for. And at the end of the day, knowing your baby is healthy makes it all worth it. Your newborn will be growing and changing rapidly over the next few months. To support you through this journey, Dettol has compiled some simple but effective habits, recommended by doctors and health practitioners around the world, that can help you keep your baby safe and protected. These helpful hints and tips have been compiled by Dettol, but always consult your doctor regarding matters relating to your baby’s health.
Bringing Your Baby Home
It’s definitely exciting to finally be able to bring your baby home. But that also means your baby is going to be introduced to a new environment. Babies are particularly susceptible to infections because their immune systems are still developing.1 Many infectious diseases, including some
that may lead to child death, can be prevented through good hygiene in your home, starting with healthy handwashing habits.1,2,3
Some helpful tips:
Wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap: 4
- Before breast feeding, after changing a nappy, going to the toilet or when coming home from outside.
- Washing your hands frequently and correctly helps to prevent the spread of germs to you and your baby.2
- It is important to clean and disinfect all surfaces in your home like door handles, the bathroom, toilet seat and flush handle, taps, kitchen work tops, appliances, utensils and cloths, light switches, telephones, rubbish bin lids and water storage containers.1 Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces to help protect your baby from infections.1
Hygienic nappy changing helps to protect you and your baby from infection.1
To prevent nappy rash: 6,7
- After the first week, your baby will wet 6 or more nappies per day, make sure that you change them as often as possible to make sure that the soiled nappy doesn’t stay in contact with baby’s skin for very long.
- Clean your baby’s genitals gently but thoroughly after changing.
Things to remember:
- Bacteria can live on surfaces for a long period of time.1 Use the before and after rule; make sure you clean and disinfect your changing mat or any surface you may have touched before and after each change.1
- The before and after rule also applies to washing your hands! 1
- Wash your baby’s soiled clothing separately from other clothing.1,8
Babies are extra adorable at this age because their teething grins begin to develop as the first milk teeth start to show. During teething, babies tend to chew on anything that they can get their hands on. That’s why it is important to clean and sterilize anything that may find its way into your baby’s mouth.9,1
Some more things you can do at this stage: 10
- Give your baby a teething ring to chew on.
- Rub sugar-free teething gel on their gums.
- Give them something healthy to chew on such as fruit or vegetables
- Offer them a cool sugar-free drink, preferably water.
- At this stage, your baby will most likely start putting his hands in his mouth all the time, so see to it that his hands are kept clean by regularly washing them with soap suitable for baby skin
Your little one will give you clear signs when he’s ready to move beyond liquid-only nourishment.11 What he eats is just as important as what he eats it with, and what he eats it on. The World Health Organization advocates cleaning food areas, and frequent hand washing.1
Here are a few hygiene basic tips for healthy feeding: 1
- Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap before preparing their food.
- Ensure food preparation areas are hygienically clean. Using a clean cloth, wipe kitchen surfaces with a surface cleaner and disinfectant such as Dettol Multi Purpose Cleaner.
All too soon, your baby will become anxious to explore their world. He will begin with crawling and then start getting up and holding on to low tables for short walks around the house.12
Some things you might want to do at this point:12
- Look around your home from your walking child’s eye level. Update childproofing to keep pace with his new movement skills.
- Don’t confine him in his stroller or playpen too long. Give him enough time to practice walking each day.
- Have a daily walk and let your baby walk alongside you and his stroller. Though you’ve been keeping your house clean, now is the time to give extra attention to the floor as your explorer will spend a great deal of time on it! Dettol Multi Purpose Cleaner will help keep the area clean and disinfected.
Your baby will grow up in your world before he or she will grow up in his or hers. But the older he or she gets, the more there is to discover and explore and with Dettol in one hand, you can relax a little knowing your family will always have a happy and healthy place to come home to.
Here’s a quick guide to some products you can use to help keep your baby’s surroundings and things clean:13
1 The Hygiene Council. Setting the Hygiene Standards for a Healthy Home: A series of practical recommendations from the Hygiene Council to help improve hygiene standards in the home 2008. Available at http://www.hygienecouncil.org/Portals/1/pdf/Hygiene_Standards_ Booklet.pdf. Last accessed 13 April 2015.
2 Curtis V & Cairncross S. Effect of washing hands with soap on diarrhoea risk in the community: a systematic review. Lancet Infect Dis 2003; 3(5):275-81.
3 South African Every Death Counts Writing Group. Every death counts: use of mortality audit data for decision making to save the lives of mothers, babies, and children in South Africa. Lancet 2008; 371:1294-1304.
4 The BC Centre for Disease Control. Hand Hygiene: washing your hands properly is the best way to stop the spread of infections 2016. Available at http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/preventing-infection/hand-hygiene.
5 Fuls J et al. Alternative Hand Contamination Technique to Compare the Activities of Antimicrobial and Nonantimicrobial Soaps under Different Test Conditions. Appl Environ Microbiol 2008; 74(12):3739-3744.
6 Baylor Scott and White Health. Keeping your newborn safe and healthy 2016. Available at: http://www.sw.org/HealthLibrary?page=Newborn%20Booklet,%20Easyto- Read.
7 Women and Children’s Health Network. Poos, wees and nappies 2016. Available at: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=114&np=122&id=2272
8 Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Safe and Healthy Diapering to Reduce the Spread off Germs 2016.
9 Baby Centre. Your Baby’s First Teeth 2016. Available at: http://www.babycenter.com/0_teething-your-babys-first-teeth_11243 bc.
10 NHS Choices. Tips for helping a teething baby 2014. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-andbaby/ pages/teething-tips.aspx.
11 Baby Centre. Introducing solids 2016. Available at: http://www.babycenter.com/0_introducing-solids_113.bc
12 WebMD. Your baby’s first steps 2016. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/your-babys-first-steps.