Babies, cute and cuddly, are total germ magnets. They often cycle from putting their hands in their mouths to touching everything then back in their mouths again. Babies interact with what’s around them through touch and taste. So as a parent, it is essential to protect them against germs and disease. When it comes to toys made for babies’ mouths, absolute cleanliness and safety are incredibly crucial. When parents realize how much germs and bacteria their child’s toys can acquire, the first thing they’ll think of is how to clean and how to sterilize teething toys properly.
Cleaning vs. Sterilizing
The first thing you must learn before learning how to sterilize teething toys is knowing what’s the difference between cleaning and sterilizing. It is essential to understand the difference between cleaning and sanitizing before cleaning your baby’s teething toys. Cleaning removes most germs by using soap and water to wash away anything on the surface. However, sanitizing kills most bacteria on objects like baby toys and can stop germs from reproducing. Always remember that you should first clean before you sanitize, you can do this by removing any visible dirt from a baby’s toy with soap and water, then rinse and sanitize.
Tips on Sterilizing Baby’s Teething Toys
- Boiling water
The most basic tip in knowing how to sterilize teething toys is by boiling water. This process is a long-established, tested, and proven method safe for the babies. To kill the bacteria, boil the toys in water for at least 5 minutes and allow them to completely cool before letting your baby use them again. This method works best for teething toys made of hard plastic and wood. However, not all toys can withstand heat without melting, so please check labels and tags before attempting this method.
- Baking soda and water
Another safe option is using a mixture of water and baking soda. First, get your baking soda and mix it with water. Use the mixture to clean and wipe any surface dirt that can be found in the toy. After thoroughly cleaning the toy rinsed it and made sure that there are no traces of baking soda left and when it’s dry and clean, you can let your baby use the teether again.
- Water and white vinegar
This method might not be the most popular option because of the smell it leaves on the toy; however, it is one of the safest and one of the most effective ways to sanitize your baby’s teething toys. Firstly, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar. This method cleans the teething toys of your baby naturally without leaving any toxic chemicals left on the teether that could harm the baby if swallowed. To utilize this method, add the mixture of the water and white vinegar on a piece of cloth and wipe it on your baby’s toys. Alternatively, let the teething toys be left on a mixing bowl with the mixture. Once it’s dried, you can now return it to your little one.
Another tip in learning how to sterilize teething toys is to use a dishwasher, but usually, it is not recommended to clean teething toys with the use of a dishwasher. You must remember that it is important to consider that not all dishwashers are thoroughly clean. Some may leave unwanted soap residue that your baby could swallow. So, you have to make that the dishwasher you are using is safe for the baby. You must also check that the teething toy is cleaned well before handing it back to your little one.
- Steam and cold water sterilization
The last tip we could share to establish your knowledge of sterilizing teething toys is through steam and cold water sterilization. This method might not be accessible to everyone for it requires an electric steam sterilizer, but for those who want to invest in this method, it is a convenient way to sterilize your baby’s toys. Simply fill your sterilizer with a small amount of water, cover it, and wait for the water to boil and turn into steam. But also keep in mind that not all teething toys are suitable for steam sterilization, so you must check it before putting it in unto the sterilizer.
Making sure that everything is always clean is not easy and is often quite tricky. However, since your child uses teething toys throughout the day, it is important to ensure that they are always clean and sanitized while ensuring that you avoid using toxic chemicals or other cleaning materials containing toxic residue. As parents, it is important to know how to sterilize teething toys and to do this process regularly so that your little one stays happy and healthy. Get more tips on teething.