Is it possible to be too clean? More and more studies are coming out that suggest, yes. This is especially true for parents who are raising up children in very sanitary environments compared to those growing up in “barnyard dust” as one study called it. Let’s take a look at and try to find a balance to keep our homes clean but not too clean when you have a baby.
I will admit I like this writing assignment today because I am raising my daughter here on our farm and this week we are having a constant supply of mud being tracked in our home from outside. No matter how many times I wash our floor, muddy paws will keep tracking it back in. I’ve given up… for now. And maybe other moms should too. It’s good to have a clean home, but I’ve been researching today about how too sterile of an environment can cause more lifelong damages to a child than a little dirt here and there.
Germ Exposure Has Benefits
Exposure to germs can help strengthen a child’s immune system and also protect them from developing asthma and allergies. So maybe don’t be so quick to wash that pacifier when it hits the ground. Hold off on the hand sanitizer when simple warm water and a little soap may do the trick. Not all germs are going to harm your baby. As your baby’s system grows and adapts to the world, he or she will go stronger when exposed to some germs.
Tips For Cleaning
Not everything needs to be bleached down, or Lysol sprayed. Let’s look at some other alternatives to cleaning.
- Vinegar and water – This is one of my favorite mixtures to clean with. I know there will be no harmful chemicals leaching into the air that my child and I breath, nor will it harm any of our pets if they accidentally drank it. Vinegar will kill a lot of bacteria and germs without going overboard by making it completely sterile.
- Lemon Juice- Not only does lemon juice smell nice, but it also destroys mildew and mold, cuts through grease, and shines up hard surfaces. Since you won’t want chemicals around your baby, lemon juice is a good option for cleaning.
- Olive Oil- You probably know that olive oil is a healthy oil to use for cooking meals. But what you might not know is that olive oil also makes a nice polisher and cleaner. For an even deeper natural cleaning, use vinegar with olive oil.
Cleaning Tips for New Moms
Since first-time moms won’t have other children to help clean, you will need to learn to clean by yourself. But if you keep things simple, cleaning can become a fun chore. Let’s look at some cleaning tips for first-time moms.
- Have lots of cleaners around the house. By keeping lots of cleaners around the house, you can quickly clean up messy places right away. You will also be saving time by not searching the house for cleaners. If possible, try keeping one natural cleaner in each room, or at least a couple of rooms.
- Try to clean when your baby is sleeping. When you become a first-time mom, you will want to spend lots of time with your baby. So instead of trying to clean while your baby is awake, take advantage of those hours when your baby sleeps. If you can’t get it all done before your baby wakes up, then wait until your baby falls asleep again.
- Skip unnecessary tasks. Even though you may want to clean everything in sight, it is important not to overwhelm yourself. Try sticking with the most important tasks instead. It is also important for your child’s health (and yours) to not completely sterilize your home.
- Clean a little every day. You don’t have to take a whole day off to clean if you want a clean house. Instead, try cleaning a little every day. When you stay ahead with cleaning, cleaning becomes that much easier. Setting goals can also help motivate you. Goals could be to clean an hour each day, clean six days a week, or to clean each time your baby sleeps.
It’s ok not to overdo cleaning your home. Your baby will not only survive but may even thrive in a house that is not sterile. My friend who has both biological children and adopted children from another county said that her adopted children who grew up in mud huts seldom get sick. This is not to say that your house should be as dirty as a mud hut, but it is a good concept to keep in mind.
I hope this article helps some moms to relax and take a break from constantly trying to keep a clean house. Enjoy your little ones while they are still little. Dust and dirt will always be there for you to clean, but they won’t be little forever. It’s ok to lighten up on the constant cleaning. Good luck and happy cleaning!