Housework can be time-consuming, whether it is the main part of your daily to-do list, or an add-on after a day spent in a job outside the home.
There always seems to be something to do and somewhere to wipe. Throw a new baby into the mix, and your time is squeezed even further while the mess factor increases by ten.
So how do you juggle the demands of caring for a baby with the essential work of keeping the house clean, hygienic and pleasant?
Lower your expectations…
Don’t dwell on your previously spotless, tidy – and childfree – home. You have a new demand now, and they are adorable, fascinating and constantly there. They must come first and your stream of health visitors, family, friends and baby worshippers should realise that.
Don’t tire yourself out making everything perfect for them. And most importantly, if your visitors offer their help to clean the house, take them up on it!
… but try to stay organised
Take advantage of the famed nesting instinct to get ready as much as possible before the birth. Health and time permitting, clean the house while you have the time and stock up with baby essentials. Make sure you have the hygienic basics covered, such as emptying bins, wiping food and bottle preparation surfaces.
Have plenty of spare baby gros and bed lined to avoid endless washing and work out how you are going to handle the dirty nappies – be they disposable or made of terry cloth.
Tackle things in chunks
Don’t tackle everything in one go when it comes to house cleaning with a baby. Do it in chunks, perhaps tackling one room at a time. Or allocate one or two evenings per week to the laundry. Tidy up as you go, rather than leaving it all to sort in one big tidying session. Try to multitask too – fold clothes while watching TV or chop vegetables while planning your next online shop.
Always have your baby’s safety in mind while cleaning the house. Place them somewhere safe where they can still see you while you clean, such as in a car seat or appropriate age bouncer. You could even place then in a baby carrier that straps to your body, so they can come along with you as you clean. Or time your cleaning sessions round their naps when you can place them quietly in their cot with the baby monitor on.
Avoid spraying cleaning products in the same room as the baby and keep products well out of their reach when not using them. Alternatively, treat yourself to a professional cleaner and take your baby out for a stroll while they get on with making your house sparkle for you and your new family.
Never too early…
Finally, use the housework to your baby’s advantage. Vacuum just before their naptime so that the white noise of the cleaner can lull them to sleep. Gove your baby a clean duster or plastic bowl to play with while you are cleaning and sing as you go around the house to keep them entertained. Or play peek-a-boo with your baby as you fold the towels. What better way to combine crucial bonding time with house cleaning with a baby?