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Having a baby with allergies can really feel so scary and isolating at times. When my 4-year-old daughter Daisy was a baby I would often stay home, as it was far easier than going out and facing disappointment in restaurants. Or dealing with the fear of being in someone else’s home and seeing our FPIES allergy triggers everywhere. If you’re someone who likes to stay home, as I did, to help your own anxiety, then these are my top tips for keeping your home safe for your allergy baby.
Become a shoes off household
When people visit ask them to leave their shoes at the front door. You can buy a shoe rack, or a small ledge, for them to leave them on. Even a basket will work well for guest shoes. Then you can tidy it away once they leave. Shoes carry germs in anyway, and are not hygienic in the household environment. Although my husband blinking loves to wear his through the house!
Switch up your flooring
Consider changing out your carpets for something easier to clean and maintain. Engineered wood floors can provide a great way to get a beautiful floor, without the price tag of real wood.
The main benefit of switching out your carpet is that you can clean engineered wood floors easier than you can a carpet. You can clean it over with a vacuum and then a mop, but avoid using a steam cleaner or harsh chemicals.
Have separate food preparation areas
In our kitchen we have always aimed to have separate food preparation areas, as Thomas and I have always consumed some of Daisy’s trigger foods at meal times. We have had a separate set of wooden utensils, and a separate wooden chopping board, to ensure that cross contamination doesn’t ever occur. This helped to keep Daisy safe and I would wash up, and clean the sides down, in between preparing her food and then preparing our food. Good hygiene is crucial to keeping your home safe for your allergy baby.
Keep your home nice and clean
This one is a little harder when you have a baby or toddler at home but extra important. Sweep or vacuum after your have enjoyed trigger foods, and ensure that surfaces are cleaned down thoroughly after every snack and meal.
It can be hard not to fixate on keeping a clean home, and something that I found really helpful was having a cleaning routine for the main areas of my home. This helped me to avoid obsessing, and also reassured me that my home was clean, even after my little one had left toys and food strewn everywhere.
Prepare snacks and food at home
When you feel up to venturing out of home be sure to prepare your snacks and food at home. You’ll be able to feed your little one safe in the knowledge that you know their safe foods, and triggers, and have prepared their food accordingly.