When you’re expecting a new baby, it’s impossible to fight that urge to clean everything from top to bottom. The “nesting phase” is an incredibly powerful natural biological instinct that expecting moms have – it’s a good thing! It’s important to be safe when you are very pregnant and not do any heavy lifting. It’s also important to stop and rest when you need to. Otherwise, if you’re not on bedrest or anything you can clean to your heart’s content!
When I was pregnant with my first child, I was surprised to learn that many of the commercial cleaners I had always used were actually full of toxic chemicals that could be harmful for my baby. Now, that may seem obvious at first – after all, why do we babyproof the cabinet with the cleaning supplies? But I’m not just talking about the dangers that can come out of ingesting the chemicals. Many commercial cleaners are harmful to people and animals when used as directed.
When you think about it, what you spray all over your home to clean and disinfect should be 100% safe. Babies put all kinds of things in their mouths, and we’re breathing in whatever we use all the time. Disinfectants, in particular, can weaken the immune system if we breathe them in too much.
These effects are substantial when it comes to you and I – can you imagine the difference it makes for a little baby? That’s why it’s so important to really check out all of the cleaners you use in the nursery in particular.
Instead of using harsh chemicals to clean your home, reach for natural options. Companies like Seventh Generation and Natural House manufacture eco-friendly cleaners that you can buy at the store – easy! You can also make your own cleaners for pennies out of ingredients you probably already have.
- Vinegar can be used as a disinfectant and also makes the best window cleaner I’ve ever used, natural or not. It smells a bit harsh, but the smell does go away pretty quickly. You can add lemon juice or essential oils if it really bothers you. When I clean with vinegar, I dilute it with an equal measure of water and add a few drops of tea tree oil…
- Tea tree oil has a very distinct scent – you pretty much either love it or hate it, but either way, there’s no denying its cleaning power. It is antibacterial and antifungal. Tea tree oil is even effective against MRSA, which is a strain of bacteria that has evolved to resist man-made antibiotics! Can you say awesome?
- Baking soda can be used to shine sinks and countertops and deodorize carpet and garbage cans. Add 5 drops of your favorite essential oil to 1 cup of baking soda and shake it up until the essential oil is combined well. You can use this mixture as a carpet deodorizer by sprinkling it on, letting it sit for 10-15 minutes and vacuuming. You can also sprinkle the mixture into garbage cans to deodorize them.
- While it’s not a necessity, a microfiber cloth can really come in handy when it comes to cleaning. They can be used dry or with water or natural cleaners. I often find that where I would usually need a little vinegar or soap, the microfiber cloth works great with just water! You can use these cloths anywhere from windows to your baby’s natural crib mattress.
Making your own cleaners can be a lot of fun! In fact, as long as you have vinegar, baking soda, essential oils and plain soap on hand, you can experiment with making all kinds of cleaning concoctions, all with natural ingredients that are much safer for your baby than standard cleaners would be. I’ve found that there’s really nothing I can’t clean with simple ingredients.
Whether you dive into making your own cleaning supplies or purchase natural alternatives, you’ll be making an awesome choice for your whole family when you ditch the toxic standard cleaners.
About the Author:
Sophie Evans loves using www.ecohomeinspired.com to find new products for her natural home. As a mother of two, she loves going on trips to Disneyland and the beach near their Balboa home. Coffee is her number absolute favorite indulgence – as a freelance writer, she enjoys working from Starbucks.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to clean safely.
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