If you’re preparing to be a first time parent, you might be understandably cautious about bringing your precious little bundle of love into your home. With their undeveloped immune systems, babies are prone to picking up germs and viruses, and you’ll want to make sure your home is as hygienically as possible.

But with this guide to what you should clean before baby comes home, you can safely welcome the new addition to your family:

Avoid harsh cleaning products

With their toxic chemical ingredients, many store bought cleaning products can be harmful not just for your new baby’s health, but for the health of your entire family. Instead, use combinations of distilled white vinegar, baking soda and lemons, to name but a few natural ingredients, to hygienically clean your home and remove stains.

Dust from top to bottom

Dust may irritate your baby, so go from every room in the home dusting with a microfiber cloth, starting at the top and working your way down. Don’t forget to dust window blinds (a damp sock can work wonderfully well for slatted blinds), picture frames, ceiling fans and so on. Once finished, vacuum up the floors and mop where appropriate.

Cleaning the floors

Begin by vacuuming carpets, rugs and even hardwood or tiled floors before mopping with a natural cleaning solution – you can make your own using vinegar, water and lemon juice or buy a store bought product. If your vacuum has a HEPA filter, so much the better. Get into all the corners and don’t forget about baseboards.

Getting your bathroom hygienically clean

Use only natural cleaning products, but be sure that what you choose has the ability to properly disinfect the toilet, faucets, handles, vanity tops and other commonly touched items and surfaces. Be sure to check all around the toilet for mold and mildew, which can be eliminated using the same natural cleaning products.

It’s worth pointing out that for many parents and parents to-be, hiring a cleaning service is the most effective way to ensure that your home is naturally, but hygienically clean before a new baby enters the premises.

Kitchen cleaning

Declutter from surfaces as much as possible to make cleaning easier, and provide your home with fewer places for germs to hide. Clean out your refrigerator and freezer ready for the storage of baby bottles and other items. Then, meticulously sanitize all countertops, sinks and other commonly touched items and surfaces.

Cleaning your dishwasher

Take out any removable racks, and shelves etc. to clean in hot, soapy water in the sink, before replacing them and setting a cup of white vinegar on the top shelf and running a hot water cycle.

Cleaning your washing machine

Add two cups of distilled white vinegar to the liquid detergent dispenser and run a cycle on the hottest water setting, before wiping down the perimeter around the washtub and giving the exterior a quick wipe over with hot, soapy water.

It can be stressful and tiring for any new parent when they first bring baby home, and cleaning might be the last thing they feel like doing. Hire a professional maid service instead, and enjoy your first few days and weeks with baby, safe in the knowledge that your home is hygienically clean and safe for both you and baby.