Your baby may look like a precious, innocent angel when he's asleep in his crib, but remember: that's not all he does in there. Aside from the obvious diaper-wetting and food spit-ups, your baby's sleep surface may be covered with sweat, drool, skin particles, dust mites, and any other number of germs that like to harbor in dark, wet environments.
While not all germs are necessarily dangerous for you or your child, it's important to keep crib spaces clean and wash baby items like crib fitted sheets and baby sheet protectors on a regular basis, even if they appear spotless to the naked eye.
Here are a few more tips and tricks to help make sure your baby's crib is free of icky germs.
Always buy doubles (or triples)
We all know and expect that accidents can happen. When they do, it's best to strip both the waterproof crib sheets and the baby sheet protector immediately and throw them into the wash before any leaky drippings have a chance to soak into the mattress itself. Have a spare set on hand so you can make the bed fresh and put baby (and yourself) back to sleep sooner rather than later.
Clean the mattress
Every once in a while, you'll want to do a deep clean of the mattress and crib itself with a mild detergent and water. Allow it to dry completely, then sprinkle with a bit of baking soda to eliminate any lingering odors. Vacuum the mattress and the surrounding crib space before you put it back in place.
Keep baby clean, too
Infants should get two or three baths a week to stay clean. Find a perfect bath temperature that's warm, not hot, and fill the tub with no more than two or three inches of water. Use baby-friendly soaps and cleaners -- and a rubber ducky helps, too.
Germs are to be expected in any young child's life -- in fact, research suggests that a little bit of dirt can help build a child's immune system. But don't put your baby to rest in an unclean environment. Be sure to mark a regular cleaning date on your calendar and stick to it to ensure a good night's sleep for everyone.