Preparing for a new addition to your family is a necessary and intensive process. You must install child locks on cabinet doors, put hazardous materials out of reach, paint and furnish the nursery, while mommy’s waistline is constantly growing! Cleaning your house from top to bottom is just as important as stocking up on diapers. Do it well in advance so as not to endanger the health of mom or the baby, and hire a professional service if it helps you relax. Try to complete these cleaning steps ahead of time, invaluable in ensuring a clean and safe return home for your little baby.

• Remove all pet dander, dust and allergens. Newborns do not yet have fully formed immune systems, so take the initiative to kill as many homegrown allergens as possible. Vacuum all carpeted floors and dust thoroughly, especially those dark corners and hard-to-reach ledges where dust bunnies love to hide.

• If possible, remove curtains and drapes—the main dust collectors in the home. If it’s only in one room in your house, at least replace them in the nursery with blinds, as they dust off easily.

• Clean and disinfect all surfaces where babies’ little hands tend to grasp. The TV remote may seem harmless, but it’s actually full of germs that could cause illness. Use a non-toxic wipe or household cleaner to effectively kill up to 99.9% of germs in danger zones like the kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen, foodborne illnesses are always a risk, especially for newborns. Make sure all surfaces remain “clean enough to eat on” as food tends to touch these surfaces anyway.

• Place soap, water, and clean hand towels in all sinks in your home for guests to wash their hands before holding your newborn. No matter how awkward, enforce this rule, especially for young children, who carry lots of germs. Make sure each visitor washes their hands for at least 30 seconds before rocking the baby. Everyone, especially mom, remember to wash your hands after using the bathroom, sneezing, or preparing food for yourself or the baby. New moms, keep in mind that your child will quickly get used to the germs that live naturally on her body.

• In the changing table drawers, keep a supply of cleaning products as well as a generous supply of diapers. You’ll want to wipe down the table after each change with a disinfectant wipe or household spray. You can use these products in other areas of the baby’s room, such as the crib, where the baby will inevitably put his mouth on the bars and his little hands on the rail.

• Keep all feeding items clean, especially before first use, and ideally after each use. Boil new bottle nipples in hot water and throw away old pacifiers and nipples that are cracked or stained. Instead of using a harmful chemical like bleach to sanitize baby products, simply soak bottles, nipples, and breast pump accessories in water mixed with baking soda. Or, place used grocery items in a dishwasher cycle; high heat will kill most stubborn germs. Be sure to dry items very carefully, as bacteria love moisture.

• Get organized and stay organized. Constant vigilant organization is the key to managing a new baby and a clean home. Have a designated place for everything (formula, diapers, medications, disinfectants) and return everything to the proper place immediately after use and cleaning. Implement an organization system and stick to it in every room of the house, especially the kitchen, bathroom, and nursery. You’ll save time and energy by cleaning as you go, plus you’ll keep germs to a perpetual minimum.

Mom, listen. First, you must remain rested and healthy to care for your newborn. As difficult as it may seem, put yourself first and get some sleep so you can be the best possible parent your child deserves. It is also important to mention that it is possible to have a house that is too clean. Studies show that some children with asthma and allergies did not develop immunities due to overly antiseptic homes. So, use common sense and don’t go crazy. That’s the baby’s job.

Learn more about avoiding allergens in your home and achieving a healthy environment for your baby in our blog on the company’s Denver house cleaning website.