Bringing a newborn baby into any home is always going to cause a lot of disruption to everyday life. But by preparing your home in advance, the transition doesn’t have to be too disruptive.
Of course, your own daily routines aren’t priorities during this wonderful time. Preparing your house in readiness for your new arrival gives your child the best start in life. Tidiness, cleanliness and organisation are essential.
If your home is spick and span the day you bring your baby home, all your efforts can go into making the very most of this magical time. That’s why we’ve created a guide to preparing a home for a newborn baby.
Check your home for safety issues
Your newborn baby won’t be crawling for quite a while, but this doesn’t mean you can’t “baby proof” your home in advance. Make sure doors can’t slam shut — there are some useful gadgets that can help you with this. Remove trip hazards. And make sure there are no sharp edges anywhere in your home.
This is also a good time to rid your home of any potentially harmful cleaning chemicals. Wherever possible, switch to natural cleaning agents such as white vinegar, lemon juice and baking powder.
Get ready for the inevitable flow of visitors
It’s only natural that family and close friends will want to visit you and your newborn as soon as possible. Rather than rush around, getting your house ready for visitors, why not prepare before your baby is born? Clean your bathroom and make sure it’s well stocked with towels and soap. Stock up on tea, coffee and snacks. And work out where your visitors will sit.
Prioritise cleaning jobs
Ask your partner, friends or family for help with essential cleaning tasks. But if you have to perform these jobs yourself, prioritise them in terms of importance. After all, cleaning isn’t easy or pleasant during a pregnancy.
Among the cleaning priorities in your home should be:
- Toilets and sinks
- Door handles
- Carpets and floors
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive. Work out your own cleaning priorities, and make sure they’re attended to before your baby arrives.
Reorganise your kitchen
New parents always spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Whether they’re making up bottles or sterilising items, mothers and fathers need space, organisation and cleanliness. This is why it’s important to get your kitchen ready in advance.
Run down the contents of your fridge a couple of weeks before your due date. Once it’s empty, deep clean it with natural cleaning products such as white vinegar, lemon juice and baking powder.
This is also a good time to deep clean your kitchen. Empty cupboards and move large appliances — no area should be left unsanitised. If there are any surfaces that are particularly susceptible to spillages, line them with absorbent paper towels. This should make future cleanups a lot easier.
Spend time dusting
A new born baby doesn’t have a fully formed immune system. Even small amounts of allergens and pollutants can lead to illnesses and allergic reactions. This is why cleaning your home in advance is so important. Give a little extra attention to dusting. When a lot of dust is in the air, the chances of your baby breathing it in are significant.
Don’t use a feather duster or something similar to dust your home. This will simply redistribute allergens to other areas and rooms. Use a damp cloth or tumble dryer sheets to carefully collect dust. If you have a powerful, bagless vacuum cleaner with a range of attachments, use it to remove dust from carpet, curtains, upholstery and fabric. Check that your cleaner has a HEPA filter or an equivalent technology — to ensure dust doesn’t escape back into the room.
Get ready for a lot more laundry
As a new parent, you’ll be inundated with dirty vests, nappies, socks and outfits. You’ll be spending a lot of time washing your baby’s garments, so make sure you’re prepared. For example, make sure you have a large laundry hamper, otherwise you’ll end up with dirty clothes everywhere. Give your washing machine a thorough clean, and make sure your drying facilities (tumble dryer, clothes horse, washing line etc.) are in full working order.
Do as much laundry as you can during the weeks before your baby arrives. Ideally, you should start your life with your new arrival with an empty laundry hamper. It might also be a good idea to clean your baby’s garments in advance. Even if they’re new, washing them can make them feel more comfortable. Just ensure that the detergent you use doesn’t contain dyes or perfumes.
Get ready for mess
Raising a baby can be a dirty job, it’s a fact of life for a new parent. But you can make life a lot easier if you’re ready for quick, simple cleanups. Make sure you have a full range of cleaning products and tools in all the main rooms in your home. Non-perfumed, antibacterial wipes are very useful. Lots of paper towels, kitchen roll and microfibre cloths are also essential.
There’s a good chance that you’ll need to remove stains regularly. But it’s important to use a stain removal agent that isn’t potentially harmful to your baby’s health. An enzymatic stain remover is best, as it doesn’t rely on chemicals and it breaks down stains at a molecular level.
Make cleaning a daily routine
There’s no right or wrong way to clean your home before the arrival of a baby. As long as everything is clean and tidy from the outset, cleaning should be a continual process.
Preparing your home for easier cleaning now will make those first few weeks of parenthood a lot easier. Stock up on microfibre cloths and absorbent paper towels.
To tackle clutter — and there’s usually a lot during the first few weeks of a baby’s life — make sure you have bins in every room. Get people to tidy up after themselves as they go, rather than leaving mess and clutter until the end of the week.
Above all, make sure you enlist help with cleaning jobs from day one. Before your baby arrives, ask friends and family for help. You can even formulate a cleaning schedule if that puts your mind at rest.
Cleaning a house for the arrival of a new baby isn’t difficult, but it’s hard work. That’s why getting help is so important. But as long as you’re organised and cleaning the right areas, your baby’s first few weeks at home should be a joyful experience for everyone.