What you need to know about Air Quality and how it'll effect your Newborn
When you’re holding your newborn baby, it can be overwhelming to think about just how small they are. You’re responsible for an adorable human whose head fits in your palm and whose shoes fit on your fingers. Everything about them is fragile, but each day they grow bigger and stronger. Not too long from now, they’ll be running around the house and picking themselves up after falls!
However, no one ever considers how small newborn baby’s lungs are. Every newborn starts out with alveoli in adult lungs. To make up for the difference, newborns are forced to breathe between thirty and sixty times per minute compared to our fourteen to sixteen breaths.
Taking so many more breaths per minute means that newborns inhale more air than any of us, whether it’s clean air or not. That results in low quality air having a greater impact on their health, especially considering that their lungs haven’t grown strong enough to fight off the foreign invaders in air that isn’t clean.
And being regularly exposed to low air quality doesn’t just cause coughs and sniffles today. Constantly breathing polluted air in place of clean air can impact their lung development. In some cases, newborns exposed to low air quality develop allergies and immune system issues in the future
As a parent, it’s no question that you want to keep your newborn safe. Indoor air can be up to five times as polluted as outdoor air, meaning that the lowest air quality your baby is exposed to may be in its nursery. Luckily, there are smart and easy fixes that can help your child not only sleep through the night, but grow up to be strong and healthy.
1. Be Selective About the Paint You Purchase
Every parent knows they should paint the nursery weeks before their newborn comes home. It’s obvious that your child’s first nights in your home shouldn’t include breathing in paint fumes. However, some paints can release fumes and harmful odor for months.
Any product that contains volatile organic compounds could be releasing toxins for anywhere from three months to a year after being used. These compounds lower air quality, preventing your newborn from breathing the clean air they need. This can result in respiratory issues in addition to other medical concerns.
To keep your nursery newborn-friendly and avoid the dangers of low air quality, invest in paint clearly labeled as “No-VOC” and “No-Odor”.
2. Purchase Environmentally Friendly Furniture
Preparing for a newborn means buying a lot of furniture. From cribs to changing racks, it can easily feel as if your house has become an advertisement for the nearest baby supply store. And while the process of shopping for your newborn can be fun, keep in mind that not all products are created equal.
Some baby furniture can release harmful gases such as formaldehyde. These gases lower air quality and can cause future health issues such as lung irritation, asthma, and cancer. Dangerous fumes primarily come from certain paints and finishes. To avoid any risk, purchase furniture that doesn’t contain pressed woods or heavy lacquers. Your newborn will thank you!
3. Regularly Change Air Filters and Monitor AC Units
With the stress of raising a newborn, basic home maintenance easily falls to the wayside. Laundry and dishes may pile up, which is entirely understandable for any new parent. However, in the interest of maintaining clean air and the best air quality possible, regularly check your air filters and AC units.
First and foremost, regularly cleaning and updating filters ensures that they’re doing their job to the fullest extent. Secondly, it allows you to check for harmful growths like mold and mildew, which can sneak into the air and irritate your newborn’s lungs. If mold spores make it into your home, a coughing newborn is around the corner.
4. Invest in a High-Tech Vacuum Cleaner
As silly as it may sounds, not all vacuum cleaners get the job done! To be sure you’re getting the vast majority of particulate matter out of your house, invest in a HEPA Filter Vacuum. When left on the ground, particulate matter can work its way through the air and into your newborn’s lungs. Once there, it can cause irritation and a variety of respiratory issues.
Luckily, HEPA vacuums can remove 99.7% of those particles, meaning both you and your newborn will enjoy the benefits of clean, high quality air. And for the best results, change the bag before it’s half-way filled, as full bags are less effective at filtering out the harmful particles!
5. Install Air Purifiers in the Nursery
Google air purifier and you’re sure to find hundreds of options. From HEPA Air Purifiers to Carbon-Activated and Ozone options, there’s no shortage of approaches to improving air quality. However, some air purifiers clean the air more effectively than others. We’d recommend opting for an electrostatic filter. They rely on an electric charge that causes particles to stick to their filter. Better yet, you rarely have to replace them and models like the WYND Air Purifier can filter up to eight liters of air per minute.
6. Deep Clean Your House
Every new parent is obsessed with childproofing their home at one point or another. They keep harmful cleaning products out of arms reach and make additions ranging from locks to baby gates. However, very few take the extra step of making sure their home is free of common air pollutants.
In order to have clean air for your baby to breathe, avoiding the effects of low air quality, be sure to clean areas like windowsills that are often overlooked. Various forms of mold are likely to grow in the crevices of our homes and these can easily become airborne nuisances. Newborns are especially at risk of reacting to mod, so it’ better to be safe than sorry! Even if you can’t see the mold, it may be there.
7. Test Your Home’s Air Quality
At the end of the day, you need to be informed to make smart decisions regarding your newborn’s health. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, testing your home’s air quality can bring you one step closer to having clean air. No one benefits from low air quality, but newborns are especially at risk when exposed to it. Using indoor air quality trackers like the Wynd Air Quality tracker can help you keep track of the particulates in your air so you can take make sure your newborn is breathing the best air wherever she is.