I remember just how unprepared I felt when my wife and I had our first child—now about twenty-five years ago. At that time, I knew my way around the garage and around the house, but I didn’t know anything about how to care for a baby, and there was a big learning curve when it came to thinking about her health and safety—specifically with the water and air she was exposed to.
But I learned, eventually. And along the way I picked up a few tips when it came to safety. Here they are, courtesy of my trial by fire.
Tap water and formula don’t mix.
Well, they mix fine, but it’s not a good idea to use dirty tap water for the formula you’re feeding your baby. Your body might have adjusted to know how to process the minerals in typical tap water, but for your baby you should demand more. That can mean a water filter you keep in your fridge, but, given how much you’ll be needing clean water, you might consider installing a filter on your faucet. Also, replace the filter for your fridge water often.
Air quality is key.
So you have different agents contributing here—not just your typical carbon monoxide and smoke, though those are hugely important. But consider the diaper pail: if left unfiltered those dirty diapers can release harmful bacteria into the air that could make your baby sick. So you want to make sure you get a new air filter installed so that you protect the air, or a carbon air filter to deal with strong odors. And, yes, check the batteries and the functionality of every carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector in the home. Carbon Monoxide is very harmful to adults, but more so to a child.
Depending on your home and what region you’re living in, you want to pay attention to how much humidity is in your home. For example, in the South, you’re likely going to have a high humidity percentage. Again, high or low humidity might affect adults somewhat, but, for a baby, this could be a huge problem. Too little humidity and their throat and noses can dry out, making breathing difficult. Too much humidity, and that could lead to excess fluid. So gauge your humidity levels with a humidity thermostat and install a humidifier or dehumidifier depending on the readings.