Overloaded kitchen sides and a living room brimming with new toys are prerequisites for the first days and months of life with a newborn. Cleaning naturally slides as you spend every waking minute either sleeping with, feeding, or just staring at your new bundle of joy. Nothing beats it but, if you’re a naturally clean person, it’s surprising how stressful a messy house can become quite quickly.
Yes, you’re lost in your happy newborn bubble and the house doesn’t really matter, but before you know it, you might start feeling a little claustrophobic amongst the mess. And that’s not to mention all the visitors who are likely to be in and out! But, how exactly do you manage to juggle cleaning when you’re already so busy with your baby?
The good news is that, as many moms will tell you, there is such a thing as a clean house with a newborn in tow. All you need to do is change your approach in the following ways.
# 1 – Find ways to keep your baby distracted
Cleaning is never going to happen if you have a baby in one hand and a brush in the other. Trust us; that’s a juggling act that will only end badly. That said, most moms find that they’re only able to put their baby’s down during nap time which, as we all know, should always be reserved for catching up on your own precious sleep.
With that in mind, you need to turn to solutions that allow you to put your baby somewhere that they’re happily distracted while you tackle whatever needs doing around the house. There are a few options that can make a huge difference here, with playmats proving fantastic at keeping even tiny babies distracted while you get on. Buying a baby bouncer could also allow you to go hands-free while your baby entertains itself. Do note that these options do still require a watchful eye, but taking these items around the house with you as you clean can be a fun way to keep your baby close, while also tackling that growing pile of laundry, washing up or whatever else.
# 2 – Make sure to clean as you go
While you will likely have a large pile of cleaning to tackle as you first leave that newborn haze, it is possible to tackle cleaning as you go when the initial onslaught is behind you. After all, you have limited time on your hands now, so cleaning for a few minutes at a time here or there is guaranteed to work best.
Get into the habit of unloading the dishwasher every morning so that you can put plates and dishes straight in as they get dirty, or wipe down the side while you’re waiting for baby’s bottle to reach drinking temperature. Even just wiping down the bathroom after you’ve had a shower saves you from ever having to take longer than ten minutes or so away from the all-important task of playing with your baby.
# 3 – Develop a rota
Unfortunately, some cleaning chores, like making the bed and vacuuming, don’t exactly arise on an ‘as-you-go’ basis, making them easy to overlook with your attention so occupied.
To overcome this, develop a rota that helps you to keep on top of these tasks too. Something as simple as a list of to-dos that you roll from one week to the next is all it takes. That way, you can refer back whenever you find yourself with a spare moment, and ensure that you get straight on with whatever task comes next on that list.
# 4 – Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Even if you have the best of intentions, there are going to be days where your baby doesn’t want to be put down, or where you’re just too tired from the night before to even think about the house. In this instance, asking for help with your chores is the best possible thing you can do. After all, you might as well make the most of those visitors!
Even if you’re embarrassed to breach the topic, those guests are there to help you as much as they can. By simply asking if they would mind putting a load of laundry on or running a wet cloth around the kitchen, you can take a great weight off your shoulders. And, given that it frees you to focus on your baby 100%, that’s got to be a good thing.