How to Overcome the Hygiene Issues associated with Weaning an Infant

Weaning is an important life event where an infant is introduced to solid foods generally after several months of diet consisting of only milk. During weaning, there are many adverse events that can take place as a result of the foods that are being introduced to the infant for the first time. Among these adverse events, infections that result from the germs residing in the food, due to germs that are present on feeding utensils or due to the germs that are present in any contaminated object used for weaning, can be devastating. Thus, addressing the hygiene issues related to weaning is highly important especially when considering that babies do not possess adequate immune mechanisms or normal flora in the gut to fight even some of the benign organisms.

Hand washing is the key

Washing hands can be highlighted as the most useful method of preventing germs from contaminating the foods or the utensils used for infant feeding and in this regard, one should remember to wash hands with soap and water before preparing foods as well as at the time of feeding. At the same time, the baby’s hands should also be washed before feeding.

Cleaning and sterilizing

The surfaces and the tableware should also be cleaned appropriately before utilizing the same during feeding. At the same time, the spoons, bowls, cups and other feeding equipment should be sterilized every day at least until the baby is one year old in order to prevent germs from attacking the immature immune system of the infant. Re-using the remaining foods from the child’s previous feed is not a good idea even if it is after few hours from the previous meal. At the same time, it should be remembered that when giving fruits and vegetables to the infant, those should always be washed and peeled, as it is the surface of such fruits and the vegetables that are most likely to harbor harmful germs.

Correct storage of foods

Similar to preparing and feeding the infant, storing the foods and the utensils are also important areas that need to be considered in order to protect the hygiene. Thus, it is necessary to store cooked and raw meats separately in the fridge while keeping them covered all the time. If kept in the fridge, cooked food should only be re-heated once and should be thrown away if not eaten within one or two hours. At the same time, re-heating should be done in a manner, which makes the entire constituents to become piped hot. However, one needs to make sure that the foods reach the room temperature before starting to feed the infant. In addition, when storing foods in the freezer, it is necessary to cool the same considerably before putting the foods in the freezer. Such foods should also be fully thawed before de-frosting.

If these precautions can be followed properly, maintaining hygiene during weaning the infant should not be much of an issue. However, it is necessary to understand that choosing the right food and always insisting on the quality of food can also help maintain the hygiene when weaning an infant.