8 Things to Deep Clean before Baby Arrives (Deep Cleaning Checklist)

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Getting your house ready and organized before the arrival of a baby is very important for your sanity in the first month. Here are 8 things to deep clean before baby arrives so you can spend as much time with your baby.

Bringing a baby home from the hospital is exciting and exhausting. The baby will keep you up all night with around a clock breastfeeding schedule, and on top, you will be recovering from a vaginal birth or c-section birth.

During the first few weeks, all you will want to do is catch up on your sleep. But, then, days will come when you won’t even have time to eat your lunch. No kidding! You can get really busy caring for your newborn that you will forget to keep track of time.

Those first few weeks are super busy, stressful, and exhausting. If you want your postpartum time to be more manageable, you will need to do some pre-planning.

In addition to getting the nursery ready for the baby, deciding what to wear at the hospital after birth, and what snacks to pack in a hospital bag, you need to get your house organized and deep clean before the baby arrives.

Let this article guide you on which area of your house to concentrate on for deep cleaning before the baby arrives before your nesting phase is over, and you become a couch potato until your labor.

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When to deep Clean House before Baby Arrives

Most pregnant women have an urge to deep clean house and get ready for the baby in the third trimester, a phenomenon known as ‘nesting during pregnancy.

An interesting 2013 longitudinal study on pregnant women revealed that pregnant women’s nesting behavior picked in the third trimester (1).

During pregnancy, this sudden burst of energy phase is a time to deep clean your house and get it organized, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning your house once the baby arrives.

While there is no solid evidence about why it happens, nesting behavior is attributed to peak estrogen level, which boosts your physical activity and energy level during the third trimester.

So, while estrogen is giving a boost to your energy, you want to deep clean and reorganize your house before the baby arrives.

The most common time for nesting is the week before your labor ad delivery. However, some pregnant women feel an urge to clean anywhere in the third trimester, or some do not feel about cleaning.

Is it safe to use cleaning products while Pregnant?

A few cleaning products are loaded with harsh chemicals that you need to avoid while deep cleaning the house during pregnancy. In addition, some of the ingredients used in cleaning products like heavy-duty oven cleaners are associated with an increased risk of congenital disorder.

Maternal exposure to certain chemicals in the long term has been associated with miscarriage, according to a study published in 2006 (2).

One-time exposure to chemicals may not be necessarily harmful to your unborn child, but why take a risk? While it is impossible to avoid exposure to environmental toxins altogether, but you can certainly take a step to reduce its exposure.

Cleaning product Ingredients to avoid while Pregnant

Try to avoid your exposure to cleaning products containing the following ingredients for the safety of your unborn child.

Glycol ethers

Glycol ethers are the main ingredients in a household oven cleaner. They are listed as 2-butoxyethanol and methoxydiglycol. Exposure to it has been associated with miscarriage, birth defects, and decreased fertility (3).

Phthalates

Phthalates are mainly fragrance ingredients and are not necessarily listed as one of the ingredients on a cleaning product.  According to a study published in 2019, prenatal phthalate exposure may increase the risk of congenital malformation in a male child (4).

Mostly room freshener and laundry products contain phthalate as a fragrance. Inhaling laundry perfumes all day long while pregnancy is not a good idea. Prenatal exposure to room fresheners is associated with asthma and respiratory problems.

Stay away from the spray and aerosol cleaners

Exposure to spray cleaners has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of asthma (5-6). Even when spray contains natural ingredients, it is best to avoid spray or aerosol cleaners during pregnancy. If you want to use spray cleaner, make sure to wear a mask and keep your window open.

Paraben

Parabens are usually found in personal care produces and household cleaning products. Parabens are hormonal disruptors. Maternal exposure to parabens has been shown to cause reproductive disorders in animal studies (7). There are no human studies to investigate the effect of maternal exposure to paraben.

Safety tips to consider for deep cleaning your house while pregnant

If you are deep cleaning your house before the baby arrives, here are some safety tips to avoid exposing your baby to harmful chemicals.

  • Keep windows open while you are cleaning
  • Wear masks to avoid inhaling toxic chemicals
  • Wear gloves and other protective gear to protect your skin
  • Do not use household cleaners containing glycol ethers, phthalate, paraben, sprays, or aerosol household cleaners
  • Always read the instruction on the label before use
  • Avoid the use of spray or aerosol cleaners
  • Get your partner involved in cleaning (at least for oven cleaning and bathroom cleaning)
  •  Use natural cleaning products where you can
  • Vinegar and baking soda or lemon and baking soda work great for the kitchen and bathroom.

Pregnancy-safe Cleaning Products

While it is best to use natural products as much as you can during pregnancy, like lemon, vinegar, and baking soda, to deep clean your house, few natural products are available in the market that could replace your conventional cleaning products.

Before you buy a cleaning product, check the toxicity level of the cleaning supply at EWG.org.  

Here are several brands that make natural all-purpose cleaning products safe to use during pregnancy and safe to use to clean baby products.   

All-purpose Cleaner

Seventh Generation Lemongrass Citrus Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner

Branch Basics All-purpose cleaner

Mrs. Meyers All-Purpose Cleaner

Method All-Purpose Cleaner Spray

DIY recipe

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 drops of lemon essential oil

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and store it in a dark place.

Surface Scrubber (Good for bathroom and kitchen)

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Surface Scrub Lavender

Baking soda

Floor Cleaner

Babyganics Floor Cleaner Concentrate

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface cleaner concentrate

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Seventh Generation Toilet Cleaner

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena Toilet Bowl Cleaner

DIY recipe

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup baking soda

Sprinkle baking soda inside the toilet bowl. Pour vinegar over it. Let it sit for 20 min and then scrub with a toilet brush.

Glass cleaner

Biokleen

Seventh Generation Glass cleaner

DIY recipe

  • 2 cup water
  • ½ cup white vinegar

Mix it in a spray bottle, spray it over a glass surface, and wipe it off with old newspaper.

Laundry Detergent

Branch Basics Laundry detergent

Molly’s Suds laundry detergent

Seventh Generation Free Clear Laundry Packs

Molly’s Suds Natural Oxygen whitener (natural bleach)

Woolzies Wool dryer balls

Molly’s Suds Wool Dryer Balls

Dish soap

Babyganics Dish Liquid           

Dr. Bronner’s pure baby unscented soap

Molly’s Suds dish soap

8 things to Deep clean before Baby arrives

Deep cleaning is a big job, and you probably can not do it alone and all in one day. So, make sure you start deep cleaning at the beginning of the third trimester because as you get heavier, you will not want to do anything.

Here is how to deep clean house from room to room, so it is not stressful for you.

1. Declutter

Before you start deep cleaning your house before the baby arrives, you might want to declutter first. Get rid of stuff you haven’t used in a while, like old shoes, clothes, magazines, toys, a closet, and old furniture sitting unused in a living room.

Getting rid of unused stuff will help you free up some space to store baby items or make a room to place a baby bouncer or baby walker in your living room or bedroom.

If you live in a small space, decluttering is very important before the baby’s arrival to make room for baby gear like a crib, changing table, travel crib, baby bouncer, and other baby gear.

Once you declutter, deep cleaning will be a little easy.

2. Dusting

Dusting each room one by one is the first thing you want to do. However, you can also choose to dust and deep clean one room at a time and move on to another; it’s all up to you.

Keep your window open when you are dusting. You want to use dust with microfiber clothe or wet cloth to avoid dispersing dust around the house. When cleaning the headboard of your bed, night tables, dressers, go in one direction from left to right in one stroke to minimize dust spreading.

You can use a Swiffer duster to dust off ceiling fans and a broom to get rid of cow webs at the corners of each room.

While dusting each room, don’t forget to dust off the drawers, doors, door handles, and doorknobs.

If you have curtains on your windows, you can plan to steam clean or wash them at a later date. If you have blinds and shutters, you can use this microfiber cloth attached to blinds/shutter cleaners. You can find those easily in a dollar store or Amazon.

Also, clean photo frames, tv screens, and all other glass objects with vinegar in a spray bottle or using these pregnancy-safe glass cleaners. Once you clean glass with spray, dry them using old newspaper lying in the house to avoid streaking.

3. Reorganize Drawers and Cabinets

While you are dusting, you also want to empty and reorganize each drawer and cabinet in your house. Empty drawers, wipe clean inside part or change the liner if you use one, and then put useful things back while decluttering.

TV cabinets usually get cluttered over time, so you might want to declutter and reorganize them to make room for future clutter.

4. Vacuum

After dusting, all the dust from your furniture is now settled on a floor, so it is time to vacuum the floor. Again, you might want to take it easy (to save your back) with a vacuum and let your husband help you with a vacuum.

Vacuum every corner of your house by moving furniture (where you can). You will be surprised to find your lost items underneath the sofa or behind tv cabinets.

You also want to vacuum upholstered furniture and remove the cushion’s cover for washing if you can. If you have a leather sofa, wipe clean it to remove any dust accumulated from dusting the house.

5. Clean the Carpet

If you have carpeted floors, you might need to consider professional steam cleaning before the baby arrives to remove dust and other allergens.

For other floor carpets in the house, spot cleans them with a carpet cleaner.

6. Mop Hardwood Floor

You want to steam or mop clean your hardwood floor once you are done with carpet cleaning.

7. Deep clean your Bathroom

If you regularly clean your bathroom, you might not have much built up in your shower or bathtub. In this case, simple vinegar and baking soda mixture will brighten up your shower tiles or bathtub. Your bathroom tiles and grout can also be cleaned with vinegar and baking soda.

If it has built up, you might want to ask your partner to spray it with bathroom cleaner while you stay away from it until the air clears out with an open window. Then, your partner can scrub the tiles later on with a scrubber and clean them.

Next, you want to wash your shower curtains if they are expensive. If not, you might want to change them that will give your bathroom a fresh look.

You also want to wash or change bathroom rugs. You can collect all the washable rugs from the bathrooms in your house and laundry them. If rugs are not washable, you might want to change them.

If you haven’t yet decluttered your bathroom cabinets, this is a good time to do that, so you have space for baby bathtubs and baby bathroom essentials.

Also, clean your bathroom cuddly, toothbrush holder, soap dispensers, shower head, and soap tray.

Next clean vanity, faucet, toilet with natural all-purpose cleaner (do not use spray) or soap and water.

Clean your glass mirror with the vinegar-water mixture and wipe it with old newspaper.

Clean exhaust fan with vacuum and wash HVAC vent cover with soap and water.

8. Deep Clean Kitchen before Baby Arrives

woman standing in a kitchen
Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Deep cleaning, organizing, and stocking your kitchen is prioritized over anything else before the baby arrives. But, trust me, it will make your postpartum life manageable.

Oven

First, you want to deep clean your oven. If your husband is willing to help, he can use a commercial oven cleaner to clean the oven following the direction of the product. You might want to step out of the house when he is spraying and cleaning the oven to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals.

Your partner should wear protective gear during oven cleaning. For example, keep the window open for air circulation while you are spraying the oven and cleaning.

If you have a self-cleaning option in your oven, your husband can run that cycle while you are out of the house to avoid exposure to a toxin released from the oven.

Stovetop

If you have an electric stovetop, plug off the stove first. Next, pour vinegar-baking soda mixture and let it sit for a few minutes—Scrub surface with sponge or cloth. Then wipe clean with clean water 2-3 times.  

If you have a gas oven, then remove grates from the stovetop. If they have oil build-up, you might want your husband to spray it with oven cleaner in a backyard or garage and clean it outside.

Otherwise, you can use a vinegar-baking soda mixture to clean in your kitchen.

Exhaust hood and fan

Oven top exhaust hood and fan are the nasty spots that will require some muscle and good scrubbing to deep clean. Again, a vinegar-baking soda mixture and good scrubber will get rid of greasy build-up.

For the exhaust filter, put it lower rack of your dishwater two times, and it will be good as new.

Microwave

Microwave is easy to clean. Take a microwavesafe bowl. Fill it with water and add a few slices of lemon. Microwave this mixture for 2-3 minutes to loosen up food build-up inside your microwave. After microwaving is done, carefully remove the hot bowl (don’t burn yourself while removing) and wipe clean the inside of the microwave.

Wipe clean exterior and keypad of the microwave with lemon water mixture that you removed from the microwave.

Dishwasher

Run self-cleaning cycle to clean the dishwasher. Or you can run empty dishwater on a hot cycle with vinegar and baking soda (2:1 ratio) to remove soap scum and residue.

Refrigerator

Empty your refrigerator and clean each rack and tray of your freeze with soap and water. Then, you can remove the vegetable bins and wash them in your sink.

Disinfect and clean rubber gasket with vinegar-baking soda mixture.

The freezer section of the refrigerator is usually messy. So, take out the frozen food and defrost your freezer once it is defrosted, wipe-clean interior, and restock frozen food.

Throw away expired frozen food that you have totally forgotten about. While cleaning the freezer, you want to think about restocking your freezer with breastfeeding-friendly freezer meals that will come in handy in the first few days after the baby arrives.

Here is a very affordable eBook on the make-ahead breastfeeding-friendly freezer meal plans with easy-to-follow recipes.

Small appliances

Countertop appliances should be wiped clean with a wet cloth. For the toaster, remove the tray that catches bread crumbs and wash it with water and soap. Also, turn the toaster upside down to get rid of bread crumbs from inside.

Pantry and Cabinets

Empty pantry and cabinets. Wipe clean inside trays, change the liner if you are using them, and air it out. While you are restocking the pantry, get rid of expired canned food or other food items sitting in the cabinet or pantry for a long time.

You also want to make a list of what you have in your pantry so you can restock it for the postpartum period. You want to restock on healthy nonperishable food items such as canned beans, pasta sauces, pasta, noodles, legumes, dry beans, dry fruits, dehydrated fruits, breastfeeding-friendly snacks like granola bars, protein bars, lactation cookies, coconut water, juices, snacks for kids and other food items that you are routinely using for cooking or snacking.

Restocking the pantry will make your life easier postpartum.

Clean the countertop and sink

The countertop can be easily cleaned with soap and water. The kitchen sink, the faucet may need a good scrubber and vinegar-backing soda mixture.

Kitchen floor

Kitchen tiles can be cleaned with soapy water. Have your partner help you clean the kitchen tile. Be aware of slipping hazards with soap and water on the tiles.

The rest of the things like garbage bins and recycle bin cleaning should be done as well. You also want to declutter your garage to make room for baby stuff like a stroller, summer toys.

How to get your house ready or organized for a Newborn?

When you bring your baby home from the hospital, they will eat-sleep-poop (and, of course, cry!)  on repeat mode. So, when you have a plan and dedicated place to do all three in your house, you are ready to bring the baby home.

Dedicated Place for Baby to Sleep

You need a dedicated place in your room or nursery for your newborn to sleep when you bring them home from the hospital. They will be sleeping for almost 12-18 hours a day, so getting a dedicated non-toxic crib or crib alternatives is what you need. Some moms also opt for bed-sharing on a non-toxic bed mattress. Regardless of what you decide to get for your baby to sleep on, get it all installed around 7 months in case the baby decides to show up early.

A place to Comfortably Breastfeed or bottle-feed your Newborn

You will be feeding your baby every two hours if you decide to breastfeed your baby, so you need a comfortable nursing chair for those long hours of breastfeeding during day and night. Having a dedicated place to breastfeed makes it a stress-free and enjoyable experience. 

Also, the baby likes a quiet and dark room while feeding, so set up your nursing chair away from the window.

If you decide to bottle-feed your baby, make sure you have baby bottles, bottle sterilizers, and formula on hand.

Changing table

In the first few days after bringing a baby home, you will feel like all you are doing is feeding and changing your baby’s diaper. YOu can get away with buying only changing pad but having a changing table with space to store diapers, wipes, and lotion makes diaper changing duties very easy and stressless. Most importantly, changing table saves your back from banding while diaper changing.

Clothes for Baby

Baby needs a couple of organic onesies, bodysuits, swaddles to keep them warm in the first few weeks, so don’t go overboard buying fancy clothes for your newborn. You definitely need more diapers than baby clothes in the first few weeks.

Bouncer

A bouncer chair to lay your baby on is a life-saving baby gear to have in the first few weeks. You can leave your baby in a bouncer and go for a quick shower or washroom break. They are great when you want to take a break from holding your baby.

Conclusion

I hope this article has given you the right direction on getting started on deep cleaning before baby arrives. There are also many other things that you need to do before bringing the baby home. Check out this ultimate guide on things to do before a baby is born.

References

  1. Marla V. Anderson, M.D. Rutherford. Evidence of a nesting psychology during human pregnancy, Evolution and Human Behavior,Volume 34, Issue 6,2013,Pages 390-397,ISSN 1090-5138, ttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2013.07.002.
  2. Figà-talamanca I. Occupational risk factors and reproductive health of women. Occup Med (Lond). 2006;56(8):521-31. doi:10.1093/occmed/kql114
  • Correa A, Gray RH, Cohen R, et al. Ethylene glycol ethers and risks of spontaneous abortion and subfertility. Am J Epidemiol. 1996;143(7):707-17. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a008804
  • Motoki N, Inaba Y, Shibazaki T, et al. Maternal Exposure to Housing Renovation During Pregnancy and Risk of Offspring with Congenital Malformation: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):11564. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-47925-8
  • Sherriff A. Frequent use of chemical household products is associated with persistent wheezing in pre-school age children. Thorax. 2005;60(1):45-49. doi:10.1136/thx.2004.021154
  • Leynaert B, Le moual N, Neukirch C, Siroux V, Varraso R. [Environmental risk factors for asthma developement]. Presse Med. 2019;48(3 Pt 1):262-273. doi:10.1016/j.lpm.2019.02.022
  •  Guerra MT, Sanabria M, Leite GA, et al. Maternal exposure to butylparaben impairs testicular structure and sperm quality on male rats. Environ Toxicol. 2017;32(4):1273-1289. doi:10.1002/tox.22323

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