How to Clean a Nursery

7 Clever Cleaning Tips for a Germ-Free, Baby-Safe Nursery

Baby nursery
Lumina/Stocksy United

Every new mother wants her nursery to be beautiful and clean, but keeping it that way can be harder than you imagine. Little babies are experts when it comes to making big messes, and keeping up with dirty diapers and soiled laundry can be difficult with a newborn in tow.

If you’re going to keep a clean nursery, you’re going to need a plan. Wondering where to start? Banish germs and stay on top of nursery grime by following these seven simple steps.

1. Create a sanitation station.

Keep nursery germs in check by storing sanitation supplies at an arm’s reach. Set up a tray near your changing table with antibacterial gel and paper towels. Cleaning your hands before you ever leave the changing table will protect your baby from germs and prevent you from contaminating other surfaces.

2. Have a plan for dirty diapers and heavily soiled laundry.

A good diaper disposal system is a nursery must-have, sealing in odors and waste and ensuring your nursery remains germ-free. You’ll also need a separate hamper for heavily soiled laundry. Very dirty items, such as soiled sheets or clothing, should be washed separately in hot water to prevent bacteria from contaminating the rest of your laundry. Using cloth diapers? You might want to invest in an eco-friendly diaper storage system to store dirty diapers between loads.

3. Identify germ-harboring "hot spots," and clean them every day.

Don’t have time to deep clean the nursery? Take a targeted approach. Stop nursery germs in their tracks with a daily once-over of their favorite haunts.

Frequently touched surfaces, like door handles and crib rails, and areas that see more than their fair share of yuck (such as changing tables and laundry hampers) provide an excellent breeding ground for germs and bacteria. A quick wipe-down with a disinfectant wipe delivers a knockout punch, eliminating germy messes before they have a chance to spread around your home. Just be sure to keep all cleaning supplies out of your little one's reach, and clearly mark disinfectant wipes, so they are never mistaken for baby wipes.

4. Change crib bedding at least once a week.

Chances are, you're already changing your little one's sheets more often than you'd like. (Gotta love those 3 a.m. diaper blowouts, right?) Still, you'll want to make sure your baby’s bedding gets changed at least once a week, even if it seems clean. Drool and minor diaper leaks can cause unseen bacteria to grow in your baby's crib. Dust and dirt particles can also settle on bedding, leading to skin irritation and allergies. It may seem like an unnecessary chore, but a weekly wash will go a long way toward keeping your baby safe and healthy. 

5. Sanitize toys regularly.

Since babies explore their world with their mouths, it's important to sanitize your little one's favorite toys once a week. Wipe each toy down with disinfectant, and then rinse them with water or a wet cloth. 

6. Use an eco-friendly cleaner.

Eco-friendly cleaners are not only better for the environment; they're better for your baby. Cleaning products are full of dangerous chemicals called VOCs. These common chemical compounds evaporate under normal atmospheric conditions, compromising indoor air quality. They can even make you and your family sick.

Why exchange one health risk for another, especially when there are so many better options? Parents can find a number of eco-friendly, safety-approved cleaning products in stores everywhere. Looking for a budget-friendly option? Try making your own baby-safe cleaning products using good, old-fashioned cleaning ingredients found in your own pantry. 

7. Keep floors clean.

Babies spend much of their time on the floor, which means regular cleaning is vital. This is especially true of carpet, which can quickly become a reservoir for dust mites and mold. If your nursery is carpeted, vacuum twice a week using a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. These specially designed filters trap dust particles, pet dander and other allergens, preventing them from being redistributed into the air.

8. Eliminate Clutter.

Less clutter makes for quicker cleaning. Need help containing the mess? You’ll find tons of tips for storing and organizing your baby’s toys and clothes right here.