Baby Laundry 101
There’s not much that smells better than a newborn baby. The clothes, the hair, that irresistible sweet and sour neck! Aww…
But with their arrival comes a surge in laundry. Parents have the task of finding products that remove stains and odors without irritating baby’s skin. These tips will help you tackle the task:
Remove all tags from new clothes, blankets, and sheets. Make sure you check for stickers too. If you leave stickers on your clothes, the adhesive will melt into some types of material, leaving a permanent scratchy crust spot on those cute new outfits.
Sort through hand-me-downs thoroughly. Hand-me-downs can sometimes be stained or moldy from sitting for a long time. Since you don’t want your new baby wearing moldy clothes, you could try washing these clothes separately with hot water, detergent, and, optionally, vinegar. Make sure all mold is gone and that there is no lingering smell of mildew. It may take a few washes and don’t get upset if you can’t save them all. Hot water or (for white or pale clothes) chlorine bleach will kill all the mildew, though harmless stains might remain. Wash a final time with the rest of your baby’s clothes.
Wash baby’s clothes as you would any other clothes. It’s best to use fragrance-free, dye-free detergent, sometimes called a “sensitive skin” detergent and skip bleaches, softeners, and stain removers. Tide Free and Clear, and Method are all great detergent choices. Watch out for detergents with strong perfumes or bleach because they may irritate baby’s delicate senses and skin.
“Fragrance-free” generally means without any fragrance, while “unscented” can mean either without fragrance or with only mild fragrance to mask the sometimes-odd smell of active ingredients. Either may well be fine, but all else being equal, go with “fragrance-free”.
Keep baby’s dirty clothes in a separate basket. Baby will go through laundry quickly in the early days due to diaper leaks and spit-up, or maybe just because you wanted to see him/her in a different outfit. If baby’s clothes are kept separate and organized, it’s easier to keep track of them and know when you’ll need to wash more.