New parents have a lot of things to consider when it comes to bringing a new baby home for the first time from setting up the nursery to figuring out a good rhythm with the sleep schedule. With all of the items you have on your checklist for the home and baby, you don’t want to forget about indoor air quality which can impact your baby's breathing. After all, newborn babies spend most of their time indoors during the first year of life so it is crucial to make sure your home air system is as clean as possible for your bundle of joy's arrival. Read on to learn about indoor air safety tips for your new baby.
What you can do to make your home & indoor air quality safe for a new baby
Adjust the thermostat to settings that are comfortable for a baby
According to verywellfamily.com, you should make sure your baby's room is set between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. A baby who is too cold will be uncomfortable and very fussy and then overheating a baby's room can increase the chances of SIDs. You should also consider what your baby is wearing to go to bed at night - the more layers and if they are swaddled up means they will need their room on the cooler side. If you just do a basic onesie then you can have the room be on the other end of the spectrum, closer to 72 degrees. As a general rule of thumb, if you are uncomfortable then your baby is likely uncomfortable. We also highly suggest you look into a room thermometer specifically for the nursery to be able to check this specific room in your home. For more information, read the verywellfamily.com article here which is updated regularly for the most accurate information on nursery temperatures.
Increase home ventilation to improve indoor air quality
Increasing home air ventilation is important not only for your baby’s health but also for yours by allowing fresh air to come into the home and thus allowing indoor pollutants out. This is especially important to do if you have done any recent home renovations or painting in the home to make sure any toxins in the air can leave. It is recommended to increase air ventilation by regularly opening windows and screened doors in the home, turning on fans, including exhaust fans, to increase airflow and movement, and lastly by cleaning the air with a dehumidifier to reduce mold in the home. All of these tips combined will help increase home ventilation which in turn will keep your indoor air healthy for you and your new baby.
Keep air filters changed & clean
A baby’s respiratory system is very fragile so it’s important for the health of the baby to regularly change air filters in your home to keep dust, dander, and germs at bay. You don’t want your newborn to breathe these in as they may cause allergies and obstruction to their breathing. Changing your air filters regularly will help keep your air clean and help you sleep at night knowing that this is one less thing to worry about. How often you need to change your air filters will depend on a number of factors from if you have any pets in the home, to if you smoke, and how many people are residing in your home. As a new parent, you will have less time and energy to go to the store regularly so make it easier on yourself and get started on an air filter delivery plan with FilterTime today. For a list of FilterTime’s frequently asked questions about air filter subscriptions and our services check out the FAQs page here.
Use a HEPA filter vacuum
Along with vacuuming your home frequently you should consider investing in some HEPA filters for your vacuum. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air and these types of high-efficiency vacuum filters allow for the smallest of particles such as dander, pollen and dust mites to be picked up. Remember to vacuum frequently depending on the number of people and pets in your household.
Reduce pet dander as much as you can if you have pets
Reduce pet dander as much as possible by regularly vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum, regularly washing and bathing your pet along with brushing them regularly. Do not forget to deep clean and vacuum any surfaces that your pets may sit on like beds or couches where dander can get trapped easily. You may want to consider taking them to the groomer if you think they are in need of a good haircut and bath before the baby is due and if you do not have time to do so yourself. For more information on reducing pet dander in the home to help with indoor air quality read our blog post here.
Invest in a humidifier
Investing in a humidifier for your home and nursery is a great way to reduce colds and keep your baby healthy, especially if they are born during the winter months. Be sure to regularly clean and disinfect your humidifier to keep mold and bacteria at bay since this will hurt indoor air quality and potentially harm your child. For a list of the best humidifiers for 2020 check out this article from babylist.com here.
Purchase non-toxic furniture for the nursery
Unfortunately, today’s furniture has a lot of harmful chemicals and ingredients. These can include formaldehyde, flame retardants, and VOCs also known as volatile organic compounds. None of these chemicals are safe for your baby or good for your indoor air quality as they release harmful toxins into the air and are unfortunately even found in some brands of nursery furniture. To make sure your nursery furniture is safe and non-toxic choose brands that use organic wood and are Greenguard Certified. For more information on Greenguard Certified nursery furniture check out this article here from gentlenursery.com and stay safe!
Other new baby home safety tips
- Hire a cleaning service close to the due date to deep clean the home
- Put off any home remodeling projects before or after the due date to eliminate any toxic chemicals
- Clean and sanitize your window sills regularly to get rid of dust and mold
- Install black-out curtains and fan in the nursery to help baby sleep and reduce chances of SIDs
- Double-check that fire alarms are working before bringing your baby home
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm, if you do not have one already, and double-check to make sure they are working properly
- Childproof your house before bringing the baby home
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