By Zoya Gervis // SWNS
Seventy-eight percent of new parents constantly worry about exposing their babies to germs and other ‘dirty’ things, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 parents (with infants 0–6 months old) found 67% of respondents don’t think they clean their infant’s things as often as they should.
Considering the average infant will drop six things in a single day, parents are constantly picking up dirty essentials that their infants are then putting in or touching to their mouths.
Conducted by OnePoll in partnership with Philips Avent, the survey examined parents’ worries and cleaning habits when it comes to their infants
The poll uncovered the average infant will throw or drop an item 168 times in a single month.
As babies drop things like bottles and toys, 68% of the parents studied revealed they genuinely worry they are not cleaning things their little ones come in contact with as thoroughly as directed, while 76% are always worried about the cleanliness of the things their babies touch.
The biggest cleanliness culprits leading parents to worry are plush toys. A whopping 54% of the parents studied say they worry they are improperly disinfecting their babies’ plush toys.
But it isn’t just toys that parents worry about when it comes to proper cleanliness. Half of the parents surveyed revealed they aren’t convinced they are adequately cleaning their infants’ bottles, while 44% worry they aren’t properly cleaning the pacifiers their babies put in their mouths.
This worry about cleanliness stems from the fact that 57% of parents surveyed say their babies typically throw their bottles on the ground — resulting in parents having to clean them more often than they’d like.
Forty-eight percent say their infant tends to throw pacifiers on the ground, while 42% are always picking up toys their baby has thrown on the ground.
According to Dr. Natasha Burgert, pediatrician and spokesperson for Philips Avent: “Babies will drop things as they work on their coordination skills and experiment with their environments. Older infants will even drop things to get mom's attention! The problem is that when infant toys, bottles, and pacifiers fall to the ground, they can get dirty and come into contact with contaminants. I tell new families to be especially mindful about pacifiers because a pacifier goes into a baby's mouth. I recommend using a plush toy holder with a pacifier, like the Philips Avent Soothie snuggle. It allows parents to easily and quickly replace a dirty pacifier with a clean one, and the plush toy is lightly weighted to help keep the pacifier close to the baby.”
Unfortunately, when it comes to pacifier use, the study revealed that the majority of parents aren’t familiar with best practices.
Nearly half (49%) of the parents studied think it’s okay to use the same pacifier for over a month, when in fact, that is discouraged.
And three in 10 wrongly believe pacifiers can be cleaned in the washing machine while attached to a plush pacifier holder.
Keeping in mind the gaps in parental knowledge about how to properly clean and sanitize baby’s essentials, Philips Avent asked parents about the many ways they’ve tried to clean their babies’ pacifiers and found some interesting techniques.
While rinsing with soap and water was the leading method of cleaning (44%), it wasn’t the only cleaning technique parents said they use.
Forty-two percent of the parents surveyed say they’ve wiped the pacifier off with their hands while 36% have sucked on the pacifier themselves to clean it.
Research also revealed that the most common place where infants dropped their pacifiers was on public transportation (51%). Bathrooms (50%), grocery stores (46%), and other stores (36%) followed closely behind.
Dr. Natasha Burgert added: “It’s important to know how to clean different items thoroughly and properly to increase their longevity and to ensure they are safe to give a baby. Look for products that are easy to clean, like the Philips Avent Soothie snuggle. The plush toy and pacifier can be easily detached and cleaned separately and thoroughly. The pacifier can and should be replaced once baby has used it longer than one month.”
TOP 5 THINGS INFANTS THROW ON THE GROUND
- Bottle(s) 57%
- Food 53%
- Pacifier(s) 48%
- Toy(s) 42%
- Blanket(s) 19%
TOP 3 PLACES PACIFIERS ARE DROPPED
- Public transportation 51%
- Bathrooms 50%
- Grocery stores 46%