Your reading list of books with "What to Expect" in their titles made it sound so easy. Your favorite mommyblogger — and you never expected to have a favorite mommyblogger — has somehow figured everything out. Your friends have reassured you that you're doing fine, but it didn't feel fine when you were wiping pureed sweet potatoes off your toddler's face, off the walls and...wait, it's on the dog too?
"You have no idea. My life has changed so drastically since having this little one here," Sandra told us, gesturing to her one-year-old daughter. Since she started crawling, little Londyn has learned that their apartment is filled with so many new and exciting things to lick, chew, and drool on. Trying to keep every surface clean is an ongoing challenge for this working mom, especially since she'd rather spend her free time with Londyn — not cleaning up after her. Fortunately, Sandra has an appointment with Sarah, the Apartment Therapist, and she's about to learn how something else can do the hard work for her.
How do you clean caked-on food grime?
One of Sandra's biggest challenges is Londyn's high chair... because only a fraction of Londyn's food ends up in her mouth. The rest is used to splatter-paint the plastic tray and straps. An effective way to keep baby surfaces clean without using harsh chemicals is a simple box of Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda. Sprinkle some onto a damp cloth, and gently scrub the seat and the tray to remove both new spills and those stubborn caked-on ones. Then wipe all of the surfaces again with a clean, damp cloth.
How do you batch clean a day's worth of stuff?
Let's face it, whichever toy your little one has in her hand is immediately going into her mouth. A smiling plastic giraffe? In the mouth. A brightly-colored teething ring? Mouth. Your phone? OK, no, let's move that up here. If you wash as she chews and drops her toys, you'll essentially be her lady-in-waiting all day. A better use of your time is to let them soak in a holding bath and then batch clean them at the end of the day. Just sprinkle four tablespoons of Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda into a quart of warm water, allow it to dissolve and then add her toys throughout the day. Let them soak until naptime, give them a quick scrub, rinse them in fresh water, let them dry, and they're fresh and ready for— Wait, yep, the giraffe's back in her mouth.
How can you dust surfaces without using a chemical cleaner?
You might not be ready for her to start walking yet, but she's already pulling herself up, climbing on the edge of the sofa cushions and standing at the window sills. To keep window sills, shelves, and other surfaces dust-free, save the dryer sheets after you do your next load of laundry. Because they're anti-static, they make effective dust cloths and can keep surfaces clean and ready for her little hands. And not only do they clean dust, they buy you some time by repelling it for a while.
Any new parent will benefit from letting someone else do the hard work for them. Put a box of Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda to work while you spend more time on the fun stuff.
This post was created by Apartment Therapy's Creative Studio with our partners at Arm & Hammer™.
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