Most parents, even first-time parents, know the basics of child-proofing a house: including checking for sharp corners, stowing easy-to-grab items higher up, and adding child locks to cupboards, drawers, and doors. However, other parts of your home need an update for a baby that you might not realize, including your plumbing. Follow these simple tips to help your plumbing handle everything your new bundle of joy throws at it.
1. Know How to Use Cloth or Disposable Diapers
The sheer amount of disposable diapers your child will go through in a day is astounding, which is one reason many parents opt for cloth diapers instead. However, if you choose cloth diapers, bear in mind that the toll on your plumbing will be slightly higher, as you'll be doing a lot more washing and drying to clean the diapers.
One important thing to note is that cloth diapers may be harder to wash in hard water, and hard water can also cause discomfort for your baby's sensitive skin. Consider adding a water softener to your home around the time baby arrives, especially if he or she tends to break out in itchy rashes.
And remember that no matter what type of diaper you end up using, the diaper itself should never end up in the toilet, and neither should supposedly "flushable" baby wipes, which can clog your plumbing and require a visit from a plumber to remove.
2. Take Care of Your Washing Machine
Welcoming a baby to your household often means more household chores, especially laundry. Your baby will likely go through several outfit changes per day, and depending on how much your baby spits up, so will you. Make sure your washing machine is up to the task by cleaning it thoroughly with baking soda and vinegar. Failure to clean the machine regularly causes mineral buildup that reduces its lifespan and efficiency.
If you use cloth diapers, make doubly sure your washing machine is in mint condition: you should wash your baby's diapers separately from the other laundry, and since diapers need to be changed every two hours, you're adding a lot of extra work for your machine.
Along with washing the diapers whenever they're dirty, you should run the diapers through an extra-hot, detergent-free cycle every once in a while to remove minerals, stains, diaper cream, and other buildup.
3. Check Your Water Heater's Temperature
When you give your baby a bath or fill up his or her bottle with tap water for formula, you want to make sure the water is the right temperature. You should always check the water yourself first, but you can avoid the danger of scalding water by setting your water heater's temperature a few degrees lower.
Don't set the heater too low: doing so can introduce the possibility of legionnaires' disease, a type of pneumonia that spreads solely through contaminated steam and mist. Aim for around 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burns and keep your water safe.
4. Fix Leaks Before They Grow
When you have a new baby in the house, plumbing leaks are more than an inconvenience. They can also foster mold and mildew growth, which can take a toll on a baby's fragile immune system. Plus, the cost of leaks add up over time, and you can't afford the expense now that you have an additional family member.
If you suspect you have leak behind the drywall, get in touch with a plumber who can inspect the area and make the necessary repairs.
5. Know a Trustworthy Plumber
No matter how fastidious you are about protecting your plumbing, you're bound to need some plumbing help every once in a while. Find a plumber you trust who can make repairs affordably, quickly, and effectively to protect your wallet and your baby's health. If you live near Miami, 1A Florida Plumbing, Inc. is happy to help. Get in touch anytime for emergency plumbing repairs, maintenance, and more.