I remember preparing for Ted’s arrival. Sure, we had to buy all the usual baby paraphernalia, create a shortlist of names, decorate the nursery etc etc etc…
But one thing that had slipped my mind, was to make sure the house was hygienic enough to bring a baby into. Now, I don’t mean the OCD kind of cleaning whereby 3 bottles of bleach are used just for the bathroom, but when bringing such a precious bundle into the home for the first time, when their immune systems are only just getting going, a certain level of cleanliness is required.
I must admit, I’m not one for cleaning usually, but in preparation and since his birth, I do now have certain levels that need maintaining.
So, if you’re preparing for a new arrival or just want to make your house as sparkly as it can be, here are my top (dad) tips. We’ve teamed up with Milton, who have over 100 years of experience in keeping homes clean and safe, to bring you our guide to keeping your home spotless, from the moment your baby arrives.
Get the house ready well before baby comes
You might think you’ve got ages until your little one is due to arrive, but a lot of us get caught out by babies who are determined to make an appearance earlier than planned. Most dads do their share of the housework anyway, but this is your cue to really step up and get everything shiny. Getting stocked up on the essentials early will mean you don’t have to trudge back and forth to the shops when you’d rather be at home looking after your new arrival.
Learn to tidy quickly
With a tiny one around, you won’t have a chance to clean the house top to bottom every couple of days. You’ll find yourself cleaning in between other jobs, maybe wiping surfaces while you’re waiting for the milk to warm up or cleaning the kitchen floor while you’re making dinner. It’s going to help if you’ve got something handy to reach for to do those little in-between jobs. The all-purpose cleaner you want to reach for is Milton’s antibacterial surface spray, which is good to go everywhere around the house, and in the bathroom.
They don’t stay still for long!
When your bundle of joy arrives home, they won’t be especially mobile. Many new parents are amazed by the stillness and quietness of those early days. Well, it doesn’t last! As soon as your little one can make its own way around, they will, whether it’s crawling on hands and knees or bum-shuffling across the room. They’ll be in contact with the floor A LOT, so it’s going to be worth your while to make sure there aren’t any nasties lurking there.
They put EVERYTHING in their mouths
You might not think of a plastic ring as a tasty treat, but chances are your little one will go through a phase where they want to put everything they find in their mouth – particularly when those troublesome teeth start to make an appearance. Milton multi-surface wipes kill germs on toys, soothers and teats – and are ideal to pop into a changing bag when you’re leaving the house, too.
Save time with sterilising
The first few days and weeks of being a parent seem to be a never-ending series of chores that you do over and over again. The less time you spend on these, the more time you’ll have to look after baby – or just catch that ever-elusive moment with your feet up while your little one has a snooze. Cleaning and sterilising bottles is one of those jobs that can become a real chore, so you’re going to want to spend as little time as possible doing it. Milton’s combi steriliser can be used in the microwave for with cold water to make sure your bottles are always ready.
Food gets everywhere
Once your son or daughter makes that transition from milk to solid food, you’re going to have to familiarise yourself with the trajectory of flying food. Even the best behaved little angels will throw something at some stage, and you’ll be amazed – and perhaps secretly impressed – at how far across the room a tiny child can launch a yoghurt-covered spoon or a lump of cheese. You’re going to have to learn your way around a highchair – go for one with a wipe-clean surface because the food gets everywhere.
Not everyone has your high standards
No matter how clean you are at home, there’s no way of knowing if they have the same high standards everywhere else. And even the most seemingly securely-attached soother can fall into a supermarket trolley or onto the floor at soft play. Even if you carry a spare (and most of us learn to have one or two tucked away for emergencies) you’re going to want to sterilise it – and quickly, if your little one needs a soother to calm down or sleep. Milton’s Mini Portable Soother Steriliser comes with tablets, works in 15 minutes and can be clipped to your pushchair or travel system to get the job done on the go.
Be prepared for anything
When your child needs changing, you can’t always wait until you get home – especially if it’s what we call a “Code Brown” in my house. And if you haven’t yet experienced the wonderful range of changing facilities around the country, you might want to prepare yourself for a bit of a shock. You can make it even less of an ordeal if you can clean every surface rapidly – no mean feat if you’re on your own with a wriggly baby in a confined space. Take along Milton surface wipes and antibacterial hand gel to ensure you don’t pick up any nasties while you’re doing the changing.