I’ve not really thought about this too much until we went on holiday and Sophie the Giraffe kept getting thrown from J’s pushchair, or Mr Crinkledog was chucked head first into the mud in the middle of the Camel Trail.
It’s not that I’m a slummy mummy, I always give any new toys a good clean before J gets hold of them. I was quite particular about washing anything that went near J’s mouth, up until he was about 6 months old. Now however, things take a nose dive to the floor so often, that I tire quite quickly of wiping Sophie every time she hits the deck.
A friend of mine washes all her little one’s toys on a weekly basis, plus any time a toy unceremoniously dumped from the high chair or pram. This puts me to shame as I have no such routine (of course I will give a toy a good wipe if it lands somewhere dirty – see the case of Mr Crinkledog above). Does this make me a bad mum? I’d like to think not.
Another friend with 3 kids was extremely clean with the first 2 during their first years, and was more lax with the third, allowing her to roll in the mud as much as she liked. The youngest, now 3 years old, is the only one out of them all to have not needed antibiotics yet.
A short trawl through the internet (try putting ‘how often should you clean children’s toys’ into Google) will find a lot of people saying to wash toys daily, weekly, in the dishwasher, with a bleach mixture…. and others such as the baby and bump forum being a bit more realistic – with answers from ‘never’ to ‘whenever they get a bit dirty’. That suits me just fine! Some mums on the B&B forum were also saying how a few germs were good for the little ones and toughened them up. Am all for that, though am not recommending J should eat mud or that a toy covered in food should be left to fester for weeks on end.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that being clean is good, but being exposed to some dirt never did anyone any harm and we’ll all be better mums for giving our youngsters some exposure.
Does anyone else agree? How often do you wash your children’s toys? Would love to hear from you.