Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming at how a tiny little baby can have sooooo many things. Toys? More than they can chew, literally. Not to mention the countless bottles, teats, puree bowls, silicon pacifiers, rattlers and tummy time toys.
As our babies grow, they will continue to collect more “stuff”. Since babies tends to put everything in their mouth, sterilization is key.
What is the best way to clean their toys?
Plastic & Rubber Toys, Board Books & Activity Center
Wash plastic toys with hot soapy water. You can use a toothbrush or toothpick to get out the gunk if it is stuck. If you have not invested in a UV sterilizer, you can also put these toys inside the bottle sterilizer after it has been being washed.
Pacifiers and toys used during teething should be put aside and ready to clean the second it touches the floor.
If the teether is a toy that is filled with water, wash it with soapy water to clean. As for disinfecting, it may not be suitable to boil it in water so try using a bottle sterilizer or, UV sterilizer.
Toys that are made from wood will get soggy and rough once it is in water. Instead, wipe wooden toys with a disinfectant mixture (scroll below for recipe) then, wipe away the residue with a clean cloth.
Simple Recipe for Disinfectant Mixer:
50/50 mix of white vinegar and soapy water (try diluted baby soap with water)
After wiping the toy down with the disinfectant mixer, use a damp cloth in clean water to remove the residue.
This will also work well as a general wipe for all baby related products: strollers, crib, car seat and larger scaled toys such as the Jumperoo or other activity station for baby.
Stuffed animals, cloth books, tummy time blankets, and other knitted toys can be spot cleaned with a baby wipe or put in your washing machine. Whatever it is, do not put fabric toys that have electric components inside the washing machine.
If you have a UV sterilizer, you can place your fabric toys inside for a thorough sterilization after being spot cleaned.
Hollow Centered Toys
These toys are the most common to get moldy because water can seep through the porous opening. Together with the right temperature and bacteria, it is a mildew breeding ground.
Most recently, there cases where popular baby toy Sophie the Giraffe was found to have mold growing on the inside.
What is the best way to clean this type of toy? Soak the toy in a 50/50 mixture of hot water and distilled white vinegar once a week. This helps to kill mold creating backteria. Also, be sure water is properly drained from the inside of the toy after washing in a well-ventilated environment.
For toys such as like metal rattles, trains, trucks, cars you can soak these items in a bleach dilution. Afterwards, wipe down these metal based toys with a disinfectant mix (see above) and a damp towel.
Recipe for Bleach Dilution
Use a tablespoon of bleach diluted in a quart of water
How often should you clean toys?
‘Everyday toys,’ such as your baby’s favorites, or the ones you keep in the diaper bag should be cleaned once a week. Toys that have a lot of saliva or gunk should be cleaned immediately, as well as:
When baby is recovering from an illness like diarrhea or a cold
After a play date since other children have put your baby’s toys in their mouths
If the toy hasn’t been played with in a while (it’s probably collecting bacteria)
How to keep their play mats clean?
1. Water to Wipe the Mat
When baby is crawling, expect their playmat to be full of drool. Using the disinfectant mixer, spray and give it a good wipe down. And during the time baby is crawling, keep shoes out of the play area, such as make the home a no-shoes indoors policy.
2. Nontoxic spray cleaner
DoTerra has an all-purpose cleaning concentrate, “On Guard Concentrate” that can be diluted to create a non-toxic spray for the play mat. This concentrate is based on the “On Guard” oil blend that is designed to support healthy immune and respiratory function, rotects against environmental threats, supports the body’s natural antioxidant defences. Once “On Guard” concentrate has been diluted with water, spray on the mat and wipe away the residue with a clean towel.
3. Handwash the pieces
Take the pieces apart and hand wash them with dish soap (or any mild soap) in the sink and allow them to dry.
What types of baby-safe cleaning products should I use?
Although chemical disinfectants and sanitizers are essential to control communicable diseases, they are potentially hazardous to children, particularly if the products are in concentrated form.
Alternative or less toxic cleaners are made from ingredients such as baking soda, liquid soap, and vinegar are less evasive, however you may have to scrub harder.
Although the ingredients in homemade cleaners are not all are nontoxic. Treat them as you would any other cleaner, with caution.
How do I clean my electric steam steriizer?
Sterilizers should also have a cleansing once a week to remove all the limescale collected on the metal part. How to do this? First off, every sterilizer is different but the concept is the same.
1. Empty the sterilizer and take out the base where the metal plate is located.
2. White vinegar completely over the metal part and leave for between 30 mins and 24 hours, depending on the extent of limescale. Then begin to scrub gently removing all the gunk.
3. Cleanse it off with water and continue to remove any left over gunk. By this time the metal part should be like brand new.
4. Wash the inside of the sterlizer with baby soap and wipe dry.
5. Assemble your sterilizer back, turn it on and run it for one cycle before use.