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Preparing for a Baby

There will be a lot more baby posts coming in the future as I’m expecting my first baby in July. I will now know what it’s like to be a mom and deal with kid clutter on a personal level. I feel like I’m part of a club now and my life has a BC (before children) period.

While I was preparing my nursery I knew I needed to wash everything my baby came in contact with because the manufacturing process introduces chemicals into clothing, toys, and bedding. What I didn’t know is that chemicals like formaldehyde are found in household products, including products that could be in my baby’s room.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, found formaldehyde in household sources such as carpets and permanent press fabrics. Their recommendation for reducing exposure includes providing fresh air and washing new permanent press clothing before wearing.

Think of all the new things you’ve brought into your home for the baby. Unless you’re buying organic, non-toxic items, everything newly manufactured has gone through a chemical process. This means the furniture, mattresses, carpeting, clothing, and even new toys need to be aired out and washed, as appropriate, before baby comes into contact with them.

When setting up your nursery, unpack everything from plastic to let it air out. Open nursery windows to let products off-gas. Wash all fabric items in a detergent free of dyes and perfumes. Even clothing you’ve stored or picked up second hand should be washed to reduce allergens for your baby.

Clean new and used toys as well. Fisher-Price recommends washing small plastic toys (without batteries) in the dishwasher or by hand in a sink full of warm, soapy water. If you can’t submerge the toy due to size or non-submersible parts, clean the surface with soap and water, then wipe with a diluted bleach solution and let air-dry.

There are a lot of unknowns with babies but at least you’ll know that the nursery is more baby safe after washing and airing out your baby products.

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