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The "New Baby" Sweep

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 115

Lots of things we overlook in our day-to-day lives can create a harmful environment for a newborn. If you have a new baby in your future, now's the time to perform a "new baby clean sweep!"

Deep cleaning the whole house

Usually the "white glove" test is reserved for mother-in-law visits. But it's essential when you're bringing home a newborn. Things like dust, mildew and mold can wreak havoc on a baby's respiratory system. This is a good time for those projects you've been contemplating, like cleaning the air vents, removing cobwebs and wiping walls, counters and cabinets clean. Get out the white glove-literally-for washing window sills, baseboards and tile and wood flooring. Use a non-toxic cleaner for washing every surface in your newborn's (and your) room.

Going au natural

Harsh chemicals have no place in a baby's lair. Think of everything that touches your newborn's skin as potentially entering his or her body. Here are some common sources of unhealthy chemicals: cleaners like bleach and spray disinfectants, air fresheners, even wet wipes. It is possible to find natural versions of most household cleaners. You can even go online and find recipes to make your own. Remember to keep windows open whenever possible to let breezes in and chemical agents out! New fabrics, carpeting and bedding, towels and baby clothes should be cleaned at least once before contact with a new baby's skin. Look for fabrics that are all-natural, like 100% cotton!

Blowing away the smoke!

Adults or family members who smoke should do so outside the home. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of SIDS, respiratory infections and asthma. Even bringing a baby home to a house where people used to smoke is risky, so make sure to wipe down walls, countertops, and clean fabrics to ensure a totally smoke-free environment. Ask visitors to your home to step outside if they need to smoke.

Use baby-friendly personal care items

A lotion is not a lotion is not a shampoo when it comes to babies. Certain lotions and even skin ointments for rashes can be loaded up with chemicals. Watch for products with phthalates and parabens, which can show up in shampoos and lotions meant for use in the nursery. These are hormone-like substances that can have long-term effects on a baby's health with regular use. Choosing safe, non-toxic personal care products is always best. You can search the Internet for "non-toxic," "organic" and "healthy" baby care items and find a whole host of solutions.

Sweeping out bugs and spiders

Babies are far more at-risk than adults from spiders and insect bites. Scorpions in Arizona, Black widows in Queen Creek, brown spiders, fire ants and wasps can deliver a life-threatening dose of venom in seconds, putting your little one at risk. Performing a "sweep" of your home and outdoor property is the first step to removing unwanted pests. Next, it's a good idea to call a pest control professional to look in all the suspect nooks and crannies where spiders and bugs are likely to hide.

Getting rid of EMFs

There is still some controversy over the risks of living in a high-EMF zone. If you have large power lines over your home, you are likely receiving a healthy dose of electromagnetic waves. You can limit your newborn's electromagnetic field exposure by moving all things electronic from the nursery, from toys and clocks to bed lamps and even baby monitors. Do yourself a favor and unplug unneeded devices in your room as well! Put as many barriers as you can between your new little one and electric home appliances.

Neutralizing pet dangers

If you have a cat, you will want to clean any surface in the home where she roams...countertops, dresser tops, and any surface in baby's room. There are organisms in the kitty litter box that can be transmitted to a newborn, introducing him or her to the possibility of contracting toxoplasmosis. It's a good idea to set up a pet-free zone for the first 3-6 months of a baby's time at home, and wash your hands regularly if you're changing the cat box or feeding your furry feline. With other pets, clean up hair and residue that might end up being carried from your skin or clothing to your new infant.

Clearing carbon monoxide risk

A chimney, a malfunctioning furnace, or a portable heater can be the source of carbon monoxide fumes. Since these fumes are tasteless, odorless and invisible, they can produce deadly results long before they're discovered. Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a must in your home once baby's on board! A chimney sweep can also inspect a furnace or chimney for problems like leaks and blockages.

For "Nervous Nelly," first-time parents, the first few days after bringing home a newborn can be downright nerve-wracking. But following these simple steps can bring peace of mind and a few extra hours of shut-eye, not to mention a great, healthy start for your bundle of joy!

There are dangers, risks and hazards around most homes, that can impact the health of a newborn baby...scorpions in Arizona and throughout the west, black widow spiders and bugs with a venomous bite; dirt and grime that can be unhealthy and even harbor bacteria; chemical-based cleaners, detergents and disinfectants in the baby's immediate surroundings; second-hand smoke that can lead to childhood asthma; lotions, ointments and shampoos with hormones and toxic substances in them; electromagnetic field exposure due to electronics inside the home and electric wires outside; pet-introduced organisms that can make baby ill; and even dangerous, harmful carbon monoxide fumes from a blocked chimney or malfunctioning furnace or heater. By performing DIY pest control and a thorough sweep of your home before bringing baby home, and even calling on a pest control professional like TruForce Pest at, you can ensure a healthier, happier infant and you'll sleep better too, knowing you've done everything you can do to protect your little one.

Source: EzineArticles
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