How to Wash Baby Clothes-Tips and Tricks
PREPARING YOUR BABY'S CLOTHES
As a first-time parent, it is normal to be cautious about everything that concerns your new baby. The period before your baby comes filled with many expectations and preparations. At this point, you may have visited several stores and online shops and purchased a wide range of products from several baby collections.
But before your little one gets here, you might be wondering, "Do I have to wash new baby clothes?" The answer to this question is definitely YES. It is crucial to wash baby clothes before your baby uses them.
WHY YOU SHOULD WASH NEW BABY CLOTHES
Many people wear new clothes straight from the shelves after removing the tag. Perhaps they might think the new clothes aren't dirty since they have never been worn and are still wrapped in paper.
While an adult could get away with wearing clothes right off the shelves, it isn't the same for babies. With baby clothes, you have to be a bit more careful. Some clothes are stored in places with harmful chemicals that could irritate the baby's skin. With hand-me-downs, you don't know if the previous owner had a skin infection or if the clothes caught mold in the storage area.
Though such things as storage and chemical exposure are the same as happens with adult clothes, babies are too sensitive to endure its effects. So, it is advised, even if it is considered a mandatory precaution, to pre-wash baby clothes.
Washing newborn clothes before use is crucial and can help eliminate any potential irritants or bacteria that could harm your baby's tender skin. This way, you're looking out for your little one before they even get here.
BEST TIME TO WASH BABY CLOTHES
Baby skin is sensitive. So, pre-washing baby clothes, including blankets, sheets, towels, and anything else that will come in contact with your baby's skin, is essential.
The best time to start washing baby clothes is before your baby's arrival. You can make a batch of each cloth set and start washing them week by week. With that, it won't become a burdening chore for you, and you will be able to manage it easily.
A baby's clothes need to be clean and fresh when your bundle of joy arrives, so you should wash them at the right time. Washing them too early may cause dust to gather on the clothes, which could irritate your baby later. Clothes kept in storage also lose their freshness and may become musty.
On the other hand, you don't want to put off washing baby clothes for too long because as your baby's due date approaches, you might be too tired to do any laundry.
So, when is the right time washing baby clothes? Somewhere between 32 to 36 weeks of your pregnancy should be fine. This way, you can be ready even if your baby comes earlier than expected. You can start by washing a few baby clothes each week and packing them in a clean bag.
This way, the work won't stack up against your availability. However, make sure you use a baby-friendly laundry detergent. However, most of the detergents we use for our own clothes are seemingly baby-friendly detergents. But if you want to have an upstream approach, you can consider looking for soft and light chemical-based detergents, which are supposed to be baby-friendly detergents.
THE FIRST WASH: HOW TO WASH BABY CLOTHES?
Washing baby clothes for the first time might seem confusing, but the following steps can answer you in detail on how to wash baby clothes.
Choose a Suitable Laundry Detergent
Washing baby clothes with the wrong detergent can have severe effects on your baby's delicate and sensitive skin. Where possible, use detergents specifically meant for babies and infants. Otherwise, stick to a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, gentle detergent because fragrances can irritate a baby's skin.
Also, try to resist the temptation to use dish soap as a laundry liquid, as it may also irritate your baby's skin.
Sort the Baby Clothes
Before washing, you should first sort the baby's clothes by color. Clothes with similar colors should be washed together to avoid dark colors staining them. For instance, our "Skulls and Batman" white baby outfit should be set aside and washed with other white clothing items.
You should also ensure that the buttons and zippers are secure, then turn the infant's clothes inside out to prevent the material from fading.
Before washing, put smaller clothing items like socks and bibs in a mesh laundry bag to keep them from getting lost in the wash before your baby gets to wear them.
Wash and Hang the Clothes to Dry
Follow the washing instructions on the label of each clothing item, rinse and hang them out to dry.
WASHING BABY CLOTHES AFTER YOUR BABY IS BORN
Washing tiny newborn clothing might seem daunting at first, but with time you'll find it's not as hard as you thought. Here's a short list of steps to follow to make things easier.
Read the Manufacturer's Instructions
The makers of baby clothing usually provide instructions on cleaning each item. For instance, we recommend that our Biggie Smalls - white baby onesie is washed in cold water and dried in the sun.
So, before you wash stained baby clothes, you should check the label on each piece of clothing and follow the directions for cleaning. This can make your baby's clothes last longer.
Soak in Hot Water
If the material or the manufacturer's instructions allow it, soaking baby clothes in hot water before washing is an excellent step to follow. The hot water can help to get rid of germs or bacteria.
Wash Baby Clothes Separately
You might be using a strong detergent to wash your clothes, which might be unsuitable for the baby. Baby clothes are often recommended to be washed separately with special baby detergents that leave fewer residues and are, therefore, less likely to irritate the skin, although they are often more expensive than regular detergents.
When you wash your baby's clothes separately from adults and even older children's clothes, you might be able to save money as you would not need to use a more expensive detergent for your entire family. However, you don't have to separate loads of washing if you use a hypoallergenic, gentle laundry detergent for all your washing.
STAINS, STAINS, AND MORE STAINS!
Most of the stains on baby clothes come from food such as breast milk, which can attract dangerous bacteria. Baby oil is also another common staining culprit.
To remove these stains and prevent the multiplication of harmful bacteria, you can pre-soak the baby's clothes with white vinegar, which is a good natural disinfectant, and stain remover before washing with baby detergent.
Also, it is usual for babies to spit up. You can sprinkle baking soda on spit-up to prevent it from forming yellow stains.
You could also invest in stain-proof baby clothes. They are easy to maintain, and you won't need any stain remover to clean them.
IMPORTANT SAFETY MEASURES WHILE WASHING BABY CLOTHES
Baby laundry is delicate, and you should take certain precautions when handling them to prevent damage. They include the following:
Hang dry baby laundry in the sun. Natural sunlight removes dampness and kills germs on clothes.
Wash baby's clothes separately from cloth diapers.
If you suspect any skin allergies, seek professional medical advice on how to wash baby clothes.
Avoid the use of dryer sheets and fabric softeners for baby clothes.
Don't use chemical-based detergents.
Read and follow the instructions on the baby's clothes to avoid damaging the material.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can Baby Clothes Be Washed in a Washing Machine?
You can wash baby clothes in a washing machine as long as the directions on the label allow it.
What Kind of Detergent Should I Use to Wash Newborn Baby Clothes?
You should use a gentle baby detergent to wash baby clothes. These detergents are often fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. They are unlikely to irritate your baby's delicate skin. Harsh detergents are unsafe for babies.
What Is the Right Wash cycle to Wash Baby Clothes In?
Use a gentle wash cycle and cold water setting to keep the baby's clothes intact and soft. Using the hot water setting might lead to shrinkage.
Can I Put Baby Clothes in the Dryer?
It's okay to dry a baby's clothes in the dryer if the instructions on the label allow it. You can dry the clothes with low heat to avoid damaging their clothes. You could also consider hanging the baby clothes out in the sun to dry to avoid any risk of shrinkage.