As an expectant parent your primary concern is the health of your unborn child – understandably so! Learning how to disinfect baby toys, using a baby-safe cleaning product, is a great way to protect your child, both immediately before they’re born, and later. However, for the continued health and safety of mother and child, there are other aspects of cleanliness during pregnancy that requires equal attention. This post covers two important aspects related to using all-natural cleaning products as part of a pregnancy-related disinfection protocol. We also share some helpful tips on how to go about implementing such a plan.
Pregnancy Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols
While young expectant parents are eager to learn how to sanitize baby toys, it’s important not to lose sight on what products to use, when developing a cleaning protocol. With the ubiquitous availability of a variety of chemical based disinfectants, the easy way to do it is to spray the toys, tabletops, and other touch surfaces, with those products. But that approach carries a huge risk of complicating the cleaning process. Chemical-laced disinfectants often leave behind harmful, yet unseen, residue which, when unknowingly inhaled or ingested, can cause further complications during pregnancy.
To implement a harmless and chemical-free disinfection process, it’s important to use safe cleaning products. And to do it right, you must focus not just on baby toys and the nursery, but on the entire environment in which pregnant and expectant parents live, work, and reside in.
Sanitizing Your Environment
During pregnancy, you are more vulnerable to the effects of an impure, non-sterilized or germ-infected environment. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
“Pregnancy causes changes in the body that could make it easier to get very sick from respiratory viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.
These changes in the body can continue after pregnancy.”
But COVID isn’t the only threat during pregnancy. Having a clean and well-sanitized environment is critical for people who are already pregnant or trying to conceive, those intending to get pregnant, or who are breastfeeding. It is also vital for pregnant individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions, those who have previously had challenges getting pregnant, or those who have experienced difficult pregnancies in the past. Because of a weakened immune system, pregnant individuals are at a higher risk from contracting a range of other respiratory illnesses too.
And one of the ways that those risks increase is when, during their pregnancy, individuals either inhabit, intermingle, or interact with contaminated people, things, or places. While learning how to sanitize baby toys, during your pregnancy, is important, it’s also critical to understand the benefits to the broader environment by using safe cleaning products during pregnancy. The choice of a natural-based cleaning solution, like hypochlorous acid, to disinfect and cleanse other aspects of your environment, is essential.
Properly disinfected baby toys and play items, using safe cleaning products, will keep newborn and soon to be born babies safe from viral infections. However, there are numerous ways that expectant mothers may fall ill during pregnancy; and those illnesses might inevitably pose risk to unborn or newborn children.
Here are some tips to help you protect your environment during, and after pregnancy:
- During pregnancy, the mother-to-be is at most risk from germs and viruses on touch surfaces, including tabletops, countertops, drawer handles, knobs of cupboards, and door handles and locks. As part of a routine cleaning exercise (daily, weekly), it helps to use a safe cleaning product, such as HOCL, to wipe-down all touch surfaces that you might handle during your pregnancy.
- Part of an environmental sanitization protocol, during pregnancy, must also include disinfecting certain food items that you purchase from groceries or food supply outlets. Scores of individuals handle fruits and vegetables in supermarkets or stores. There’s a high risk of virus and germ transmittal, from contaminated produce, to highly vulnerable pregnant individuals. This may happen simply by handling such produce. To prevent risk of such transmission, it’s important to wash and rinse fresh fruit and vegetables using a nature-based disinfectant, such as a HOCL solution.
- After learning how to disinfect baby toys, you’ll pre-empt the possibility of your child contracting illnesses resulting from germs and viruses that reside on the surfaces of those toys. However, those same germs may also find a home on household cutlery and crockery, which then exposes your unborn child to various diseases during your pregnancy. To shield your environment from viruses, bacteria and germs, during, and after pregnancy, you can use a Hypochlorous acid solution to wash and disinfect your dishes, tableware and cookware.
- Immediately following the birth of your child, most mothers typically breastfeed. Some take to using breast pumps and feeding bottles to extract and store mothers’ milk for later use for their young infant. To prevent the risk of contamination, wash those devices and containers with safe cleaning products, like HOCL sanitizing solutions. Because these products are made from natural ingredients, like table salt, water and house-hold electricity, they pose zero risk to both nursing mothers and their infants.
One very important aspect of cleaning and disinfecting the environment during pregnancy relates to your clothing, bed linen, and sheets and drapes. Whether it is your pajamas, leisure clothing, or sheets and pillowcases, or whether it’s curtains and window shades – they all require proper disinfection. Washing all clothes and linens in a Hypochlorous acid-based disinfectant is the easiest way to sanitize the environment during pregnancy.
Sanitizing Baby Toys
Whether you know it or not, as an expectant parent, your world is likely to quickly fill-up with baby toys and play things of all shapes and sizes. From soft and chewy things, to plush cuddly dolls and animals – they’ll be everywhere. And unless you quickly learn how to sanitize baby toys, you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed by what to do if those toys get infected with viruses or germs.
During your pregnancy, you’re likely thinking: So, why should you have to clean and disinfect your baby’s toys? After all, how risky can toys be, especially when used by someone of a tender age, who’ll never contaminate the toys? Well, there lies the problem.
The risk from baby toys isn’t specifically that your newborn will infect the toys, and make them risky for others in the home. Quite the contrary! The risk to your babies’ toys often emanates from elsewhere – and not necessarily (though that too is a potential risk!) from your baby. Here’s one scenario to consider:
As a soon to be parent, it’s likely that you’ll “show off”, to visiting friends, family and well-wishers, all the toys and play things that you purchased for your expectant arrival. Some of your visitors may touch and handle those toys for extended periods. Because viruses and germs often travel through human contact, there’s a risk that they’ll transfer themselves on any surface (toys) that a contaminated person (e.g., via hand contact) handles. When that happens, bacteria find a new host – your baby’s toys, and may reside there for hours, weeks, or even months[i], if not dealt with effectively.
Each year, viruses and bacterial infections are the leading cause of child morbidity and serious ear and throat infections. Given that bacterial colonization is a preliminary step to such infection, it’s vital for expecting and new parents to get familiar with how to disinfect baby toys. Having that knowledge can not only make your environment safe for the new arrival, but it can also protect expectant parents from contracting illnesses that may jeopardize the health of an unborn child during pregnancy.
Here are some tips to help you protect your babies’ toys during, and after, pregnancy:
- Where possible, limit the opportunity for individuals (other than close family) to handle baby toys. Especially during pregnancy, when expectant mothers are more vulnerable to infections, the risk from 3rd-person transmittal of germs and bacteria is elevated.
- If, despite your best efforts, someone has come into contact with non-absorbent baby toys, the use of safe cleaning products during pregnancy is highly recommended. Use a natural disinfectant, like a hypochlorous acid-based cleaner, to spray those toys, and then wipe them with a clean cloth.
- Allow the toys to dry before packing them away and keeping them in a safe place.
The advantage of using safe cleaning products for pregnancy, such as HOCL, to treat and cleanse baby toys, is that they leave only minimal residue on toys. Unlike bleach-based cleaning supplies, that require toys to be rinsed after disinfection, simply wiping non-absorbent baby toys with a paper towel is more than sufficient.
It’s Easier than you think!
Luckily, accessing safe cleaning products for pregnancy, whether before, during or immediately after, isn’t a huge challenge. You can now buy HOCL-making machines that you can easily install in your home and produce an unlimited supply of hypochlorous acid for all the pregnancy-related cleansing and disinfection procedures discussed here. Produced using all-natural inputs, these products are harmless for adults, infants, pets, and expecting mothers. Best of all, they don’t contain harsh chemicals, and leave no dangerous residue upon use.
Other Uses of Hypochlorous Acid
We said earlier that hypochlorous acid is a general disinfectant. These are the other things that hypochlorous acid can be used to disinfect:
- Food Produce
- Surgical/Medical Equipment
- Household furniture and fittings
- Toilets and bathrooms, among others.