Tips for Healthy Homes for Newborns

Tips for Healthy Homes for Newborns

7 Tips to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality For Newborns

There are so many things to be concerned about prior to bringing a newborn home, and one of the biggest worries is germs. This applies to surfaces in your home, but also what people are bringing into your home from the outside world when they’re coming to visit your growing family. But beyond keeping hand sanitizer scattered throughout your home and minimizing germs when you do go out, how can you protect your newborn from the air in your home? 

The Negative Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Studies of air pollutants show that the level of air pollution in our homes is two to five times higher than outdoor levels, and in some cases can be more than 100 times higher. While this may not immediately lead to adverse health effects, young children and newborns are particularly vulnerable to air quality.

In babies, dry air can lead to respiratory issues and be damaging to their skin. Additionally, mold and dust can contribute to breathing programs as newborn lungs are not fully developed when they come home. While there’s no official instruction manual for the first few weeks after you’re back from the hospital, there are things you can do to improve air quality in your home. 

Tips to Improve Air Quality in Your Baby’s Room 

      1. Stop using harsh chemicals – In recent years, household products and cleaning chemicals have become a growing source of air pollution. These products release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can lead to the formation of ground level ozone and particles. Just as adults will experience headaches, nausea, and itchy nose or eyes, exposure to harsh chemicals can have the same effect on your newborn when the particles are in the air. Switching your cleaning products to cleaner brands that emit fewer VOCs can improve the air quality in your home. Look for “green” or “nontoxic” cleaners, and try to avoid cleaning with kids in the room. 
      2. Clean the rugs and furniture in your home – Beyond the air in your home, textured or fabric surfaces like couches and rugs hold in dirt, dust, and pet dander that can be kicked up into the air. While avoiding carpet altogether is the best option for clean air quality, avoiding thick pile carpeting or rugs and having these fabrics regularly cleaned with help prevent build up. Certain vacuums also contain special filters that prevent dust from circulating back into the air, but professional cleaning with an extraction-based method will offer the best results.
      3. Weatherproofing windows to prevent leaks – Poorly insulated windows aren’t just bad for your energy bill, but can also allow air contamination into your home. Windowsills often absorb excess moisture, which can build up even quicker with poor insulation or leaky windows. Babies are particularly vulnerable to mold, and cleaning these windowsills regularly can help remove build up. Properly insulating your home also ensures that the efforts you’re making to clean the air in your home aren’t done in vain.
      4. Changing air filters regularly – In most homes, the air flowing throughout your house is regulated by an HVAC system and runs through a filter on this unit. Filters range in quality and what they filter out, but if even if you’re using the best filter on the market, you won’t see an improvement if you’re not changing it regularly. Each filter has its own frequency for how often to replace it, but at the very least, It’s recommended that you change your air filter every 6 months. You can use daylight savings time as a guide, and update this equipment when you change your clocks to easily remember. 
      5. Be mindful of the furniture you buy for your baby’s room – Babies. Put. Everything. In. Their. Mouths. This includes the furniture in their room. Just as we’ve learned how dangerous lead paint can be in the home, some new furniture with heavy lacquers can release gases and VOCs into the air. Start your search by looking at non-toxic cribs and furniture suppliers, as well as the type of wood that is used. A truly non-toxic crib is made of 100% wood with a food-grade oil finish. If you’re limited by budget, air out any new furniture outdoors for about a week, which will reduce the gases released in the baby’s room. 
      6. Maintain proper humidity – Earlier we talked about how dry air can be harmful to babies’ respiratory systems and skin. However, too much moisture can lead to unwanted bacteria, yeasts and molds. Depending on the humidity of your environment, using a humidifier or dehumidifier can help ensure proper amounts of moisture are in the air. The perfect balance is between 30-50% humidity, with 45% being ideal. A Hydrometer can be used to easily measure this, and both humidifiers and dehumidifiers should be cleaned regularly to prevent dust or mold build-up. 
      7. Clean the air with an air purifier – Now that you’ve implemented these steps to improve the air quality in your home, how can you actually clean the existing air? Addressing these concerns, at home air purifiers can increase the air quality in a given room. Each filter works differently, and some release harmful outgasses as they clean the air, so make sure you’re aware of the type of technology your device uses. Some devices are also portable, allowing you to move the device from your baby’s room, to a play room or nursery throughout the day. 

        Additionally, depending on your unique needs, certain filters have different particle size limits, so while some purifiers filter down to airborne viruses, others may only capture larger allergens. The G200 is the world’s only portable air purifier to emit cleanroom-quality air, allowing you to reduce the number of ultrafine air particles until 99.99999% of particulate matter is removed. 
In all the visible, physical things to be concerned about for your newborn, harmful airborne particulate matter can be easy to overlook. By taking the steps above, you can actively improve the air in your home, and protect the lungs of those you love in your home.