Once you become a parent, nothing is more important than keeping your baby healthy and safe. You baby-proof the house, strap them into their five-point harness, and wipe down every surface. All the while, your little one is trying to put every conceivable thing in their mouth.
Ask any mom, and they’ll share one disgusting hand-to-mouth story or another. It’s part of life with baby. And then … there’s taking your baby out of the house. Baby has all of their stuff, you have all of yours, and you’ve got to navigate a dirty outside world on top of it. What’s a mom to do? Check out these simple steps for when you’re out in public with your little one.
Four Tips for Babies On the Go
WASH YOUR HANDS
“The most common way of spreading infectious disease is by touch,” says WebMD. Wash your hands before picking your baby up, after diaper changes, and when you walk back into the house. If you don’t have access to the preferred soap and water, the next best thing is hand sanitizer, so keep some with you in the baby bag. But be diligent about its use. “You need to rub your hands together vigorously for about 20 seconds with hand sanitizers,” says Robert W. Frenck Jr., MD, professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center via WebMD.
“Give yourself a break, and make baby a lot more comfortable, with a shopping cart cover.”
MAKE CARTS & SEATS FEEL LESS ICKY (AND MORE COMFY)
The grocery store can be an overwhelming experience with a baby, and it all begins with the shopping cart. First, they are breezy, cold, and hard: not terribly comfortable for baby. Then, those handles! The handle sanitizing wipes at many grocery stores are a reminder that lots of grubby hands have touched them. Give yourself a break, and make baby a lot more comfortable, with a shopping cart cover. These nifty covers are often multi-purpose, and include pockets for storage so your baby things are never far away. Here are a few options.
Comfort & Harmony Reversible Cozy Cart Cover: This cover features a sweetly designed, reversible pattern. And colorful Taggies are integrated into the front to give babies a tactile experience while they sit. It’s also designed for safety and comfort, with soft padding and a snap closure for shopping carts and high chairs. With three large pockets for storage, you won’t have to dig through the diaper bag for frequent-use items. There’s also the Playtime Cozy Car, which is basically the same thing, without the reversible part. Instead, there are two interchangeable toys, as well as loops for attaching baby’s favorite toys from home, so baby stays occupied while you shop and dine. Both fold up into their own little travel pouches.
Cool Wazoo 4-in-1 Neoprene Cart Cover: This cover was designed by mom and inventor Ginelle Mills, and was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank. It covers outdoor swings, restaurant high chairs, and shopping carts, and it even converts to a changing pad. Its neoprene material offers a gentle cushion without bulk and wipes clean easily. When it’s not in use, it folds up for simple storage.
CLEAN UP WHERE BABY WILL BE SPENDING TIME
Carry along some antiseptic wipes to clean up the surfaces where your baby will be spending time — particularly meal time. For instance, “when you’re dining out…wiping off the highchair and table are good ideas,” says WebMD. Many restaurants also offer stick-on and/or disposable placements that cover the surface your baby may be eating on.
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Even when you’ve done all you can, your baby will still be exposed to the wild. You may even catch them putting something “story worthy” in their mouth. But keep this in mind: “Babies have immune systems that are more resilient than you might think,” says Frenck for WebMD. “We’re exposed to hundreds and hundreds of antigens a day…the fact is that our immune systems do very well in protecting us.