Babies clothes may be little but with all the spit-up, drool, poop, pee and meal-time mess, they can go through anywhere between 2 to 5 outfits per day! These stains are not just reserved for clothes alone. You will find them on crib mattresses and sheets, burp cloths, towels, soft toys and on your own clothes too! Now, close your eyes and mentally think of that laundry pile. Pre-parent days, laundry could easily be reserved for weekends but post-baby, laundry days are almost every day!
So, let’s find out how you can begin your journey of transforming from a regular-once-a-week laundry doer to an everyday super-parent with some effective laundry tips.
Baby Laundry Tips for Parents
1. Pick the right detergent
Babies have sensitive skin and most times that means that your regular detergent may be too harsh and may harbour chemicals you do not want near your baby. Find a detergent specially formulated for baby clothes that is scent-free, colour free and gentle.
2. Wash new clothes before you make your baby wear them
It is very important to wash any new clothes you buy or receive as gifts for your baby because they may carry infectants from the manufacturing factories or may have germs from the store they were in. While clothes may look new and clean, by sheer virtue of them being in a store and handled by various people, they are likely to attract and retain dust and germs which can irritate baby’s skin.
3. Invest in the right aids
Invest in a mesh bag for socks, bonnets and other items that are so tiny that they keep going missing. Socks can easily crawl into a sleeve of a shirt or up a pant trouser in the washing machine so mesh bags keep them all in one place.
4. Pick the right fabric softener
In the past, fabric conditioners and softeners were avoided for babies but now with better and specialised baby-friendly softeners available, you can make sure that the clothes you dress your baby in will not chafe against your little one’s delicate skin. Fabric conditioners soften the cloth fibers, making baby clothes more comfortable. No more, scratchy, irritable materials for your little angel. Just make sure to pick one that is mild and gentle, and you’re good to go!
5. Spot clean immediately
For sudden accidents, spot clean a stain with baby wipes. Keep a pack of baby wipes in every room and in your car too. Treating a stain immediately can prevent it from setting into the cloth fibers and becoming a stubborn stain that will require a lot of scrubbing later.
6. Do not use bleach on baby’s clothes
A stain on an immaculate white one may have you reaching for that bottle of bleach but don’t do that! Bleach is a harsh chemical which can cause skin rashes in babies.
7. Keep baby’s laundry separate from the rest of the family
For the same reason as using a mild detergent for babies, baby laundry needs to be separated. Adult detergents may contain chemicals that baby skin cannot handle and it is best to steer clear from them. Sure, washing separately may be tiresome but you’d rather not expose your baby to these chemicals!
8. Follow instructions on the clothes tag
While it may be tempting to toss all clothes into your washing machine, remember to read labels first. Baby clothes are mostly cotton, cotton blends, and fleece and have specific washing instructions, some of which need different methods of washing.
9. Spray off crusty stains
Being a parent will mean that you will at some point have to wash poop off your baby’s clothes, which will often dry up to leave an unpleasant crusty mess on clothes. To avoid contaminating the rest of your laundry pile, you will have to wash it off first.
10. Clean cloth diapers separately
If you’ve chosen the cloth diapering route, make sure you invest in a diaper bin so that you can clean them all at once. However, use the above tip and spray off or rinse the poop or pee off before tossing into the diaper bin.
Now, with your laundry game sorted out, you will have more time for baby bonding and some precious extra moments of sleep (subject to your baby’s moods and the next big stain, of course!)