I have three children which means I have weaned three times. Next to potty training weaning is probably one of the messiest periods of parenthood. I am about to start potty training my youngest … pray for me!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Gemma, I run www.theorganisedmum.blog a housekeeping and lifestyle blog with the sole purpose of making running a home easier for parents.
When my first baby was born 12 years ago I was overwhelmed by the amount of housework that having a newborn created … my house went from tidy to chaos … think Primark in the sales! So I sat down at my kitchen table, wrote a housekeeping method on the back of a piece of paper and stuck it on the fridge. I have followed it since! It only takes 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week (you get the weekends off … so you can actually spend time with the kids instead of tidying up after them!
12 years on there are tens of thousands of people following along!
OK, back to weaning ...
The lovely people at Tidy Tot have asked me to give you my top tips when it comes to weaning and cleaning when you have a baby!
Let’s deal with weaning first … I quickly learnt the foods that were the hardest to get off clothes: banana stains a questionable colour, Weetabix hardens to something akin to concrete and anything tomato based is a nightmare and should not be allowed near anything white!
Here are my suggestions to help you not be constantly cleaning when you're weaning!
- Absolutely 100% buy a highchair that is simple. I know the temptation is to buy a really fancy one but they can be hard to clean. By my third child, I was buying the most basic one possible and was quite often found hosing it down in the garden!
- Speaking of highchairs and yes I know I am writing this for Tidy Tot but seriously I honestly wish I had one when I was weaning my kids … get a Tidy Tot! If you haven’t yet discovered, babies have devised a brilliant game which involves dropping as much food off their high chair as humanly possible. The Tidy Tot is wide enough that they can’t do this … floors all over the world breathe a huge sigh of relief … the family dog on the other will be gutted!
- Get your baby into the habit of washing their face and hands at the end of a meal. Better to get them into the habit now rather than you having to chase them around with a wet wipe before they smear yoghurt all over the sofa! I did this by giving them a clean warm face flannel at the end of every meal, which they would mess around with whilst I cleaned up the food.
- Save the messiest meals to the end of the day and go straight from high chair to bath … because they will end up with spaghetti in their hair at some point!
- A little word on stubborn stains … sunshine is your friend! If you end up with tuppaware or baby clothes that have annoying stains on them then wash them as you usually would and either hang them on the washing line on a sunny day (clothes) or put them outside (tuppaware/plastic shopping boards etc) and let the sunlight do its work! It has miraculous powers!
Ok so now for my top tips to keep everything ticking over at home when you have a baby.
First things first, you need to be kind to yourself and realise that mess and babies are linked, they go hand in hand. No one expects you to have a Pinterest perfect home.
- Everyone who follows The Organised Mum Method (we have the rather catchy nickname: TeamTOMM) spends 30 mins a day cleaning … But if even finding this time is hard (maybe you have a velcro baby) then split the time up. Try 2 x 15 min chunks or 3 x 10 min chunks. I promise you that you will get much more done than you thought you would in such a small amount of time. Cleaning doesn’t have to mean spending 3 hours on a Saturday blitzing the house from top to bottom. Little and often is just as effective. Actually in my mind, it is better because you are constantly staying on top of stuff.
- Get a slow cooker. Now I know that slow cookers have a bit of a reputation for being old-fashioned kitchen gadgets that languish at the back of the cupboards but I promise you they are capable of GREAT things. Did you know you can cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker? I quite literally lift the lid, put in a whole chicken, whack in some herbs (no oil needed) cook it on low all day and it produces the most amazing results! It takes 30 seconds to prep but means that at the end of the day you have a nutritious evening meal already done! Plus we all know that the early evening can be a very busy time with babies, so anything that makes this time of the day easier is a win in my book
There are loads of great slow cooker recipes on the blog and I would love it if you popped over and said hi!