Hygiene Issues to consider when Weaning

As your baby develops their needs change and this means that you will need to start introducing solid foods to their diet. This stage, called weaning, usually begins at around six months and is an exciting time as you will get to try lots of new textures and flavors with your baby. However, you will need to consider more than just what foods to try, you will also need to think about hygiene issues. Here is an overview of some of the hygiene issues that you will need to take into consideration during the weaning phase of your baby’s development.

Appropriate equipment

It is usually best to buy equipment that is specifically aimed at babies of weaning age. This is because these are generally made of plastic, a material that is easy to clean. Using adult cutlery and crockery can causes problems in terms of hygiene because they are made of materials that can crack, chip and scratch. Damaged areas often build up bacteria and are harder to sanitize.

Food preparation and storage

One of the biggest things to think about when weaning your baby is how you prepare the food and store it. It is important to prepare any food on a clean surface and to make sure that all fruit and vegetables are fully washed. All food should be thoroughly cooked and babies should never be given raw or under cooked fish or meat. Once prepared, baby food should be kept covered and stored in a refrigerator or freezer and not left lying around.

Sterilization

Even when your baby has moved on from the breast or bottles, it is still important that you continue to sterilize any equipment used to feed your baby, such as spoons and bowls. This will help to prevent infections by removing bacteria form the equipment. All equipment should be thoroughly washed before being sterilized. Most sterilizing units will require sterilizing fluid or tablets.

High chairs

One aspect of hygiene when weaning that parents often forget is the high chair. This is the place where your baby is likely to eat but can be a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned properly. It is vital to clean the high chair after every use and make sure that you get into every crevice.

Weaning is an exciting stage in your baby’s development but it is important that you fully understand the importance of good hygiene both with food preparation and the cleaning of all equipment.