5 ways to rock spring cleaning—with your partner’s help

Who knew tidying up could be so romantic?

5 ways to rock spring
cleaning—with your partner’s help

Ahh…spring. The birds are chirping, the snow is melting, and the dust bunnies are preparing for your annual spring cleaning ritual.

Now that you’re a mama, let me fill you in. Things are going to go a bit differently this year.

In addition to your usual closet purge and dusting frenzy, there are baby toys and clothes that have been outgrown. There are bottles to be cleaned, windows covered in little finger (and face)prints that need to be wiped, and a little person making two more messes for every one that you tidy up.

Of course, this is in addition to the usual dirty diapers, laundry, and vacuuming that is constantly on your to-do list.


Despair not! Enlist the aid of everyone in your home and you will be kicking up your feet for an ice cold lemonade (or maybe something stronger) in half the time. It is everyone’s home, after all. That means everyone pitches in to share the work.

Whether you are spring cleaning or just trying to stayafloat amidst a sea of everyday housework, these strategies will help youdelegate wisely to optimize your time.

Now, give your partner a high five and knock. this. out.

Divide and conquer.

Sit down with your partner to decide which chores each of you loathe the most. After you take turns choosing, take over your partner’s most dreaded tasks.

In my house, my husband is in charge of taking out the trash, washing the cloth diapers, and, yes, taxes. Hey, I didn’t marry an accountant by accident. In return, I wash and fold the laundry, clean the dishes (most of the time), and make dinner…even if that means peanut butter and jelly and a glass of wine.

Play hot potato with your little spud.

Take turns keeping baby busy while one partner cleans and organizes.

Cleaning will gosoooo much faster if you aren’t constantly chasing after baby while simultaneously trying to tidy up. After all, baby is much more proficient at making messes than mama is at cleaning them.

When it’s your turn, take baby for a walk or head to the playground.

The time spent keeping baby occupied doesn’t necessarilyneed to be evenly split. In my house, my husband tries to soak up extra timewith our little one on the weekends (and I enjoy soaking up a little peace andquiet when I get into my cleaning groove).

Just remember, even though playing is fun, it can stillbe tiring. The person spending time with baby shouldn’t be made to feel guiltyor indebted. Alternatively, if you find that spring cleaning is more of atwo-person job, enlist a little extra help with baby from family or friends.

Recruit your rugrat.

Sure, baby may still be tiny, but it’s never too early to learn a few basic cleaning skills.

If baby is walking, teach him to put away toys and put trash in the bin.

If baby is crawling, let him polish the floors by fixing washcloths to his hands and knees…JUST kidding.

Baby may not be ready to accomplish any big tasks yet, but you can still request his input on which toys should stay and which are ready to be discarded. If your tot seems to have lost interest or outgrown any baby toys or books, now is the time to call a friend with a newborn or find your nearest donation spot.

Negotiate and motivate.

This step is crucial. No one wants to clean house…especially a house that is dominated by oodles of baby accoutrements.

That’s why it is so important to sufficiently motivate yourself and your partner.

If there is something you or your partner have been wanting, you both deserve it after working so hard to reach your cleaning goals.

Although each of you should be compensated relatively equally, your incentive does not need to cost money to instill motivation.

Put your heads together to think of how you both might like to be treated or pampered. If you play your cards right, you might even rediscover a part of your relationship that has been covered in dust for a while. Footrubs, Netflix, a hot bath, and a few other things come to mind. Who knew cleaning could be so romantic?

Stop, drop, and roll around…with baby!

Most importantly, as you are mentally going through your to-do list, rank your priorities.

What’s at the top of the list? You and baby!

As long as you have thebasics taken care of (like food and cleanishclothes), make a conscious effort every now and then to drop what you are doingand just enjoy your child.

There will always be a mountain of laundry, a pileof dishes, and dust bunnies under the couch. But your wee babe changes andgrows every. single. day. Soak up these precious moments right now.

And justthink, soon your not-so-little one may be helping with a bit of folding,dusting, and scrubbing. Now that’s adaydream I can spend a few precious moments on.

Keep in mind, if your home looks like a tornado (or toddler) blew through not five minutes after your big clean-a-thon, it’s all good. I mean, there’s always next spring.

Join Motherly

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

Keep reading Show less

Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play