When you bring home your newborn from the hospital, the responsibilities of caring for him while keeping your house tidy can be overwhelming. From feedings and diaper changes to laundry and scrubbing, your to-do list may be overflowing. Finding a balance with your time to ensure your home is clean and safe for your infant is crucial for the health and well-being of your family. A few creative strategies to clean up when your plate is full can help smooth the transition of raising a baby while keeping your home in tip-top shape.
Some concerns for babies when it comes to cleaning products are the harsh chemicals in cleaners, says Leslie Reichert, Boston-based cleaning expert and author of The Joy of Green Cleaning. “The majority of household cleaners sold in stores today are filled with toxins that are hazardous to children,” she says. “These cleaners can also cause chemical burns and rashes when they come in contact with our skin, and this can pose a serious problem for babies who are playing on the floor and putting toys in their mouths that have been cleaned with these chemicals.”
You can make homemade cleaning products that are safe for children and the environment. Reichert recommends a do-it-yourself cleaner that includes 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 cup distilled water, one-quarter cup hydrogen peroxide, six drops of tea tree oil and six drops of essential oil. “The vinegar is a natural way to kill bacteria and germs,” she says. “Put this solution in a spray bottle and you have a great anti-bacterial spray that won’t hurt the baby.”
Catch Up With Quick Clean Ups
Time is of the essence when you are caring for a new baby. It can be a lot easier to complete quick clean-ups throughout the day while you are waiting for a bottle to heat up or as your little ones coos at you while sitting in a baby seat or swing, says Donna Smallin Kuper, Michigan-based cleaning and organizing expert and author of How to Declutter and Make Money Now. Dust the furniture while watching your baby as she has some floor time, wipe down the kitchen counters and cabinets while heating up bottles and food, and vacuum with your child along for the ride in a baby carrier on your chest. “Stash cleaning products where you need them, such as under the kitchen and bathroom sink for easy access, too,” says Smallin Kuper.
As a new mom, it is likely you are swamped right out of the gate caring for a new baby. Cleaning needs to be done as a necessity and not for the benefit of others, says Clark Tomlinson, South Carolina-based cleaning expert with Capture Floor Care Products. “Many moms are concerned about getting their houses looking great before family visits their newborn,” he says. “Ditch the pressure and understand that your health and the child are the primary concern.” To keep your home safe and clean, Tomlinson recommends spot cleaning as needed. A quick spray of spot remover on your carpet, rug or upholstery can be quickly wiped up. “That will take care of most all milk, formula and juice stains quickly and easily,” says Tomlinson.