How To Get Housework Done With A Baby & Toddler

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How to get housework done with a baby and a toddler.

How To Get Housework Done With A Baby And Toddler

Do you ever have days when you just feel overwhelmed and exhausted with what needs doing in your home?

Do you ever question how on earth you are meant to care for a toddler and a baby (and for some, older children as well), plus keep the house clean, have food on the table and STAY SANE?

Oh my gosh that was my life just a few years ago!

My youngest was born one week before my oldest started part time kindergarten here in Australia.  There I was with a newborn, a toddler, who was only 18 months old and a 4 and 1/2 year old.  I was exhausted!

Bonus: Download a free home cleaning cheat sheet that will show you how to have your home looking clean and tidy with minimal effort and time.

how to get housework done with a baby and a toddler

Like many of you, I wanted to have a clean and tidy home and yet “doing it all” felt discouragingly impossible at times!

Well here are a few ideas that helped me keep up with the housework (most of the time) AND care for my kids during that season!

1. Adjust Your Expectations

Yes, life as you know it, changes after having a baby!

Mums of little ones, remember this is one of the most tiring and challenging seasons of parenting, be kind to yourself often!

I know, I had very high expectations of myself and what I wanted to achieve each day during that season.  It’s called perfectionism and along with lack of sleep, it messes with our mental health.  I would often feel frustrated by the end of the day, at how little I accomplished in terms of tasks.  Getting a teething baby to sleep after a hour or more of crying, just didn’t feel as satisfying.

But one of the healthiest ways for us to respond to changes in our lives is by adjusting our expectations.

It is perfectly ok to decide that certain household tasks will not get done as often as they use to be.   Like me, you may even find that you don’t ever want to make cleaning and tidying up as much of a priority as it once was.

Instead focus on the most important tasks to do each day:

  •  meals
  • dishes
  • floors
  • laundry

Tasks like changing sheets, cleaning bedrooms, dusting etc. can wait.

Shortcut Tip :  Get into the habit of writing down your top 3 tasks for the day. Complete those tasks first and anything else is a bonus!

Make your planning more enjoyable by using a pretty to do notepad like these:

Floral To Do Notepad ShippedFloral To Do Notepad ShippedPrintable Floral To Do Lists DownloadPrintable Floral To Do Lists DownloadA6 Floral To Do Notepad ShippedA6 Floral To Do Notepad Shipped

2.  Make Tasks Simple

When you are caring for a baby and a toddler, one thing you are definitely short on is time.  Gone are those long chunks on time when you could actually get housework done with a baby.  Now you can count on, rarely having both baby and toddler asleep at the same time.

What you do have though is small pockets of time available.  Even 10 minutes can be used to clean the bathroom and toilet, (Remember the first idea! You are not aiming for perfection.) or give the kitchen a quick sweep.

Instead of completing housework in one go, break it up into smaller tasks.  Have 2 minutes, you can clean the bathroom sink and so on.

Remember, a load a day keeps the mountain of washing away!

Do a load of laundry or two every day rather than leaving it for a big washing day.  Small tasks throughout every day are more practical than finding a hour or so to get housework done.

Another useful strategy is to get into the habit of associating one task with another.  For example, while I am waiting for the kettle to boil in the morning I put the dry dishes away from the night before.  Maybe changing a nappy is associated with emptying a bin or having a shower with re-filling the toilet rolls.

Shortcut Tip: Store your cleaning products and cloths where they are needed.

I make this easier for myself by having cleaning supplies stored where I use them, though out of reach of little ones.  For example, I keep a pile of old cloths under the bathroom sink to give it a quick wipe over when it’s looking grubby.  That can be often with two boys who like to play in the sand and mud.

3.  Delegate

Ask for help!!

Share the responsibility of housework with your partner, older kids, extended family members or pay for a cleaner.

I know some of us can feel embarrassed sharing with our friends that we have our Mum come and clean our house once a week.  Or even letting people know we have a cleaner.

Let me tell you, if a cleaning service was free, almost every women would have one!  Amen, sister!

Shortcut Tip: Ask nicely for help rather than nagging, complaining or criticising.

Realise, some partners may not be helping out because they are not aware or don’t know what to do.  Communicating openly and respectfully with each other helps.

Other times there are set ways of doing things in your relationship that started way before the arrival of kids.   Those patterns may not have changed even though your workload and responsibilities have.  That is more difficult to solve and may require talking with an experienced counsellor.

4. Priortise Sleep

Ok, I admit I was one of those Mums who used the baby’s nap time to get housework done.

What would have been much healthy for me?

Sleep or a nap, for sure.

Taking care of babies and toddlers is TIRING!  Often your goals for keeping up with housework can be thwarted by low energy levels.  You are simply too tired to plan your day and do things more efficiently.

Shortcut Tip: Priortise sleep.

Even though it may not feel like it makes a difference, taking a nap during the day and getting to bed earlier at night helps.

5. Keep Your Baby Or Toddler Busy While Doing Chores

how to get housework done with a baby and a toddler

Some possible ways are:

  •  Wear them in a sling and do a few jobs hands free.
  • Use the high chair and give them a few things for them to play with.
  • Use a playpen.
  • Have a bucket of toys that come out during cleaning time.
  • Encourage real play.  For example, a few clothes for the toddler to try folding or a cupboard in the kitchen for them to pull out kitchen items to play with.
  • Put on a short children’s video.

Bonus: Download a free home cleaning cheat sheet that will show you how to have your home looking clean and tidy with minimal effort and time.

Check Out These Other Helpful Posts:

Secrets of Organised Families

10 Easy Ways To Organise Kids Toys

Printable Chore Charts: What chores can your kids help with?


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