It’s not new news that having a baby drastically changes your schedule and ability to get things done around the house. But there’s a big difference between hearing that information and living it. Refraining from cleaning can be a real challenge for some women. As a type-A personality, a mess causes chaos in my brain. I quickly feel overwhelmed and have trouble getting the smallest things done. I function best in an organized environment.
If you’re wondering how to do housework with a baby, know this: the postpartum period is NOT the time for deep cleaning. Leave that to pre-birth you! Thankfully, my pre-birth nesting was full of deep cleaning, so before our babies were born even the baseboards and the back of the refrigerator were shining. After they were born, I focused on light cleaning, picking up around the house, and doing the laundry as needed. Still, even getting these few tasks done was a big adjustment while also nursing on demand, changing diapers, and pretty much holding a newborn 24/7. Here are my top house-cleaning tips for new parents (you won’t be surprised to see babywearing in there!).
Tips For Housecleaning With A Baby
1. Delegate. The postpartum period is the SIX weeks after a woman has given birth. This time is meant for rest, recuperation, bonding, and plainly learning how to be a parent whether it’s our first child or the transition to two, three, or more. So DELEGATE!! Have your partner do the dishes, vacuum, walk the dog, etc. Older children should be helping as well and should have their own assigned daily chores. Kids can start doing age-appropriate chores as young as three years old.
2. Ask for help. A childbirth educator once shared with me that one of the problems facing new mothers in today’s society is the expectation that we play the role of hostess to an endless stream of visitors right after we’ve given birth. This rings true during the postpartum period but continues to be an accurate assessment throughout the first year. One way to avoid it is to prep your guests before they come. Print a cute sign like this to tape next to your front door:
Feel free to leave this sign up past the newborn phase! 😉
*This image is courtesy of The Leaky Boob.
3. BABYWEARING!!! Once you’ve taken the time to let your body heal from birth, you can start babywearing. It’s perfectly acceptable to get light house cleaning done while babywearing. Just be sure to avoid using harsh chemicals, which should be easy since there are a lot of organic options on the market these days. So vacuum, Swiffer, mop, dust, clean the kitchen, and wash/dry/fold laundry as needed while babywearing!
4. Do difficult chores while baby is sleeping or content in a swing. For example, squatting occasionally to pick something up off of the floor while babywearing is okay, but if you’re constantly doing it to pick up toys that your toddler has dumped all over the playroom, it’s exhausting and less than ideal.
5. Hire a cleaning service. If you’ve tried the above and you’re still wondering how to do housework with a baby, know that sometimes the simple answer is you don’t. Sometimes you need to call in the reinforcements! I come from a stock and era that says, “I’m not gonna pay somebody to do something I can do myself.” Despite this, my advice to you is to get over it. You’ll thank me for it later. A good cleaning service is worth its weight in gold!
What are your tips on how to do housework with a baby? Have you tried cleaning while babywearing? Leave a comment below and share your wisdom!