Babies are inherently talented when it comes to finding dirt and germs. Their curiosity for the world is their driving force when they are bebopping around the house. That’s not to say that they don’t have things that they watch out for, like their own little buddies. These buddies are their discovery companions – their toys.
Generally speaking, your baby toys are going to get as much exposure to dirt, grime, and germs as your baby, so these baby toys will need to be cleaned thoroughly and regularly. How is this done? Is there a specific approach parents should take? At B. toys, our priority is to create well-designed baby toys to help develop children’s unique personalities. Part of our work is to help parents maintain these precious companions for years to come. Below you’ll find four ideas to consider with regards to cleaning and disinfecting your baby toys.
1. Set a Schedule
Parents with babies understand that almost everything during this point in life needs to be set to a relatively specific schedule. Babies thrive when they know what to expect and what’s happening next, so it can help when feedings and naps occur at the same time every day. For example, you probably already have a set day or days when you do your baby’s laundry. You could decide that this is also the day when you should wash your baby’s toys, particularly if some of them can be tossed into the washing machine with the clothes and towels. Regardless of what day or days you choose, incorporating this into your routine will make it much easier to remember to do it in the first place. This becomes one of the many things that we do for our little ones as parents!
2. Keep An Eye On Things
Adding the cleaning and disinfecting of your baby toys into your routine is a hugely positive step, but you can only plan so much with your little ones. We all know what it’s like to see our baby come around the corner with some sort of stuff all over their clothes, their hair, their face… and their baby toys. In fact, this may happen on an almost daily basis! As long as you do this throughout the week, you shouldn’t be overwhelmed when that scheduled day for baby toy cleaning arrives.
3. Toy Type Determines Cleaning Approach
Although it may seem obvious, sometimes overtly thinking about how each type of baby toy should be cleaned is helpful for planning purposes. The first step is classifying your baby toys. Which ones can get wet? Which ones cannot? Which ones can be laundered? These are simple but important questions to ask. After all, you’re not going to put your child’s building blocks in the washing machine, but how will you clean and disinfect them?
Here are some of our tips and tricks:
- Plush toys – washing machine and dryer if the toy is not too delicate.
- Plastic toys – dishwasher, as long as they can handle rigorous cleaning cycles.
- Electronic and wooden toys – disinfectant wipes only, as they cannot get wet.
Check all of your toys for specific cleaning instructions, but we would suggest that you should clean all of your baby toys at least once per week depending on usage. If your child has only picked a particular toy up for a few seconds during the past week, it’s probably not that critical that it be washed. However, those toys that are constantly near your child need cleaning at least this often, if not more, depending on your own circumstances.
4. Types of Cleaners
As important as when and how you clean your baby toys is what you use to clean those toys. Generally speaking, you should avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach which can damage the baby toys and potentially cause other problems.
In terms of specific types of cleaners that could work, it once again depends on the type of toy you’re cleaning. For plush toys that you’re going to clean in the washing machine, you can use the same detergent you use for your child’s clothing. For plastic toys that can get wet, dishwasher soap is going to do the job for the most part, although you may still have to clean some trouble spots by hand. For wooden toys and electronic toys, disinfecting wipes should handle the bacteria that need to be eliminated, as these cannot get wet.
Overall, cleaning your baby toys is critically important! A clean environment is a safe environment for your child, and a healthy child is a happy child. Given that you’re a parent or caregiver, you should also trust your instincts – if you think a toy needs to be cleaned, you’re probably right! In the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing and enjoy watching your family grow and thrive!