A recent Playtex survey revealed that having a clean and healthy nursery environment is a key priority for 65 percent of moms. Fortunately, keeping germ levels to a minimum in the nursery is likely easier than you think. Here are a few practical pointers to reduce germ exposure in your baby’s room.

The first step for minimizing germs is identifying germ hot spots, or frequently touched surfaces in the nursery that are likely to come in contact with waste from diapers or bodily fluids, directly or indirectly. These hot spots are where bacteria tend to gather and have the potential to easily spread. Typical hot spots include the changing table, toy areas and laundry hamper. By focusing on cleaning and disinfecting hot spots, you’ll be able to keep the nursery clean.

After locating the hot spots in your tot’s nursery, use EPA registered disinfectants or antibacterial products to clean the areas. Disinfectants can kill germs when correctly used. But once you’ve finished using a disinfectant, rinse the area with water to wipe away potentially irritating chemical residue before your baby’s skin comes into contact with it.

Now let’s concentrate on thoroughly cleaning the hot spots. The changing table is a big germ hot spot in the nursery since this is where germs are transferred from diapers to baby’s skin. I suggest developing a quick, mess-free changing routine and keeping supplies handy in your dedicated changing area. Getting rid of diapers in a hygienic fashion that seals away germs is a crucial step. Consider getting a product like the Diaper Genie Elite Pail, which features antimicrobial protection to inhibit odor-causing bacteria. Its double-lock design and five-layer refill help to seal odors and germs into the pail and out of your nursery. Diapers only touch the disposable film, not the pail. The Diaper Genie also offers a convenient foot pedal.

Another key hot spot is any area containing your little one’s toys. It’s best to sanitize the toys your child regularly plays with every few days or once a week. To kill germs on toys, use a disinfectant followed by a quick water wipe using a clean rag or paper towel with tap water.

Keeping the laundry area clean is also an important component in maintaining a healthy nursery. Dirty laundry, especially if it has come in contact with bodily fluids, can harbor great quantities of bacteria and even spread them to clean clothes through normal washing cycles. I recommend placing a separate hamper in the nursery to use specifically for heavily soiled baby laundry. These clothes should be washed using hot water, which aids in preventing bacteria from spreading in the wash.

Last, but certainly not least, remember to take special precautions when you or the baby is sick to limit the spread of illness to other family members and throughout the nursery. Disinfect nursery hot spots more frequently than normal, cover all of your coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands before making contact with baby.

Maintaining a germ-free nursery can become second nature for any parent with the right knowledge and tools. I encourage you to incorporate these tips into your nursery cleaning routine.

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