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It has been a long winter, and you have spent most of your days entertaining baby indoors. The mess and grime has piled up, and the sunshine is shedding light on the need to clean up and clear out unwanted items. Here are some tips to clean safely with baby in tow.

Household cleaners are highly toxic and hazardous for young children. Many cleaning products also give off dangerous fumes. It is your responsibility as a parent to read labels and try to find the safest products for your little ones. The labels that have Cautions or Warnings are less toxic than the ones that read “Danger” or “poison”. Mixing cleaning products or using more than one on any surface, can be very dangerous. When a company represents itself as “green”, it doesn't necessarily mean its safe for babies.

Make sure you keep all products out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet. When you are using toxic products, keep your house well ventilated. Never leave a container or bucket of cleaning liquid unattended for even one moment.

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When you do decide to start your cleaning campaign, schedule it while your baby is napping or at daycare. If you need to clean while your baby is awake, keep your baby strapped into his baby stroller or highchair with a toy or a snack. If you have an extra hand, ask someone to take your baby out in the stroller to the park or a walk, so you can concentrate on the cleaning without worrying about baby.

When your child gets a little older, you can let him 'help' you clean, when you are doing the organizing or sorting. If you dare, give your little one a spritz bottle with water and a rag, and let him clean his toys on the deck or in the backyard. Your child will be thrilled to do cleaning like Mommy, and it will keep him busy for a while.

If you are cleaning outdoors, make sure your yard is enclosed, or keep your baby in a baby stroller while you do the cleaning there. Cleaning is important for your peace of mind, but the safety of your child should be a priority!

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