A baby learning to crawl is a wonderful milestone for every parent but it also means your once pristine house is about to become an out-and-out disaster zone. By this point in the first year of parenting, you’ve probably got used to turning a blind eye to the dishes in the sink and overflowing laundry basket, but with baby on the move you’re also going to have to contend with crayoned-on walls, mushed cereal in carpets and toys absolutely everywhere.
Some moms and dads (especially those with older kids) will take the mess in their stride, but for others it’ll prove a real cause for concern, as they worry about everything from how their house looks to visitors to their little one picking up germs. If this is you, don’t worry. We’ve put together a number of messy house with mobile baby cleaning tips that will make a big difference – both to your home and your mindset.
1. Always have Wipes to hand
If they’re not already, then Wipes are about to become your best friend. The key thing with cleaning and new parenting is not to let the house get out of control. Always having wipes handy means you can mop up baby food mess in a flash (before it dries and becomes the most stubborn substance known to man). And if your child has somehow got hold of a permanent marker, try using a Wipe with a bit of toothpaste on it. It works, we promise – just don’t ask us how. Wipes are also great for cleaning leather sofas – a couple of wipes and your sofa is as good as new.
2. Get down to their level
Babies spend a lot of time on the floor and while a few germs won’t hurt them (in fact, they can be beneficial), you don’t want them hanging out with too many. By getting down to their level you can see just how dirty things have got from their vantage point – and clean accordingly – and maybe spot some runaway items, too, that would be safer out of your now mobile baby’s reach.
3. Make cleaning a game
The best time to clean is while baby is having a nap but if you’re too exhausted (or one of those unlucky parents whose babies don’t nap) then try involving your little one by making chores into a game. Lots of young kids love the sound of a Hoover and will delightedly sit and watch while you tackle all those neglected nooks and crannies.
4. Have visitor zones
If it’s the thought of judgmental visitors that’s making you fret about your messy house with mobile baby, then prioritize the rooms that they’re likely to see – and shut the doors on the ones they aren’t. Everyone does it, we promise.
5. Have a tidy-up basket or box in every room
This is probably our favorite tip, as it’s easy way to unclutter a room – and can take just seconds. You’ll feel like Mary Poppins when you’re finished!
6. Open windows
The fresh air will help get rid of unpleasant odors and give you a blast of energy too.
7. Adjust your mindset (even just a little bit)
While an untidy house might seem like a sign that you’re not coping, what it actually means is that you’re an exhausted parent with a freely roaming baby who you can’t take your eyes off at the moment as they’re not yet house trained. If you can change your mindset just slightly, so you’re able to let a few more things go than you did, then you’ll feel all the better for it. As baby gets older, things will get easier and you’ll be able to devote more time to getting things exactly the way you want. Until then, embrace the madness – this bit goes all too quick!