For tiny humans who don’t walk, talk, or feed themselves, babies require a surprising amount of cleaning. From explosive poos to milky overflows, and ear wax to fluff removal, we have the lowdown on how to keep your baby, and all the paraphernalia that came along with it, clean and hygienic at all times.

Sterilize for the First 12 Months

When I became a parent, I discovered that kids have a magic switch. They are born with what is called passive immunity, which comes from the mother. Breastfeeding keeps this passive immunity around for longer, but they are still susceptible to all the germs. That is why having a baby bottle sterilizer can save an overtired momma’s life. Bottles, sippy cups, and pacifiers should all be sterilized until your little one is 12 months old. At that point, they are building natural immunity by licking the ground and eating bits of bark, so you can relax a little on the sterilization.

Clean Their Ears

Another fun fact you might not have known: Baby ear wax can be super smelly. Whatever you do, don’t stick a cotton bud in to fish it out as this can damage the inner ear. Instead, gently clean their ears with a washcloth while you are giving them a bath to minimize wax build-up.

De-fluff Your Baby

Another baby-related mystery is the fluff. Somehow, babies manage to get it wedged in between their toes, between their fingers, and even in their little neck folds. I guess logically, it must be from all the super-soft fluffy baby clothes and blankets, but it is still mind-blowing that every time you have finished de-fluffing your baby, they seem to have gathered up a bit more. It is worth a regular check to keep on top of this, or you may start to get your baby confused with the teddy bear Great Aunt Josie gave them.

Carry Wet Bags at All Times

It isn’t enough to have a spare change of clothes in the car. Where are you going to put the ones that have been sprayed down with browny-yellow stains like a hose from your baby’s bottom? It is essential to have a waterproof, stink-proof bag to secure the mess while you transfer it from wherever you got caught to your soak bucket at home.

Buy Your Preferred Soak and Stain Remover in Bulk

Further to this topic, you are going to need LOTS of stain remover. Throwing everything in your washing machine just doesn’t quite cut it. Instead, give everything a good soak in a bucket with some stain remover beforehand. You may even need to do a spot of scrubbing with some soap and a nail brush for stubborn stains. Then, after you have run a load through your washing machine, try to hang it in the sun to dry. The sun is a natural bleach and stain remover, so drying in the backyard will help you keep things fresh.

Don’t Use Scented Baby Products

With all these bodily fluids flying around, I can see how it would be tempting to invest in some floral-scented baby bath soap or moisturizer. Hold back. Fragrances can irritate your baby’s skin and also interfere with the natural bonding they do with their parents. Experts advise that parents hold back on using strong scents on their skin while their babies are little. Besides, is there anything better than that newborn baby smell?

As a seasoned expert, I can guarantee that these six tips will help keep you and your baby fresh, clean, and sweet-smelling.