If you are a new or soon-to-be mommy, you might be spending sleepless nights worrying about the several responsibilities that would come coupled with your little bundle of joy. It’s true. With a little baby in the house, you would now have to learn and take care of a lot of new things. Everything around your baby will need special care. So will their clothes.
You must have shopped for all kinds of cute onesies and dresses for your little one. But are you still confused about how to take proper care of the clothes?
You need not worry anymore. We are here to lessen that burden from your shoulder. Let’s find out how to wash baby clothes and take the right care of them.
Why Do Baby Clothes Need Special Care?
Before we rush into how to wash baby clothes, it is important to understand why cleaning and disinfecting your baby’s clothes are so necessary.
Babies have an immune system that is still in the process of development. They are more prone to get infected by the several microorganisms that thrive around us.
Infants even tend to develop allergies from certain ingredients of the detergents. Proper care must also be taken in choosing the detergent that you would use for your baby’s clothes.
Also, a newborn baby’s skin is sensitive and needs time to get accustomed to the environment. Hard chemicals might be harmful to them. Thus, washing your baby’s clothes requires more extra attention than washing adult clothing. The same also applies to cloth diapers as you would need a detergent that is safe for cloth diapers.
How To Wash Baby Clothes?
Preparation for washing is the first step of laundering your baby’s clothes. A series of steps follow that. From choosing the detergent to removing stains, here are some hacks and tips to help you tackle the baby laundry load.
1. Wash Before The First Use
A little baby is a joy to all. You must have bought a lot of new clothes for your baby and must be excited to dress your little doll in them. Also if your baby has an older sibling, you might be thinking of reusing some of their clothes for the newborn.
The best practice is to thoroughly wash and disinfect all new clothes and hand-me-downs before you begin to use them. You never know what pathogens have been in contact with the clothes. And you certainly won’t want your kid to fall sick.
2. Read The Instructions Before You Wash
Different types of fabric require a different way of washing them. Most clothes usually have a label attached to them with all the instructions on how to wash and dry that particular type of fabric. Reading these labels will reduce half of your stress. Now all you need is to follow the instructions properly.
3. Choose The Right Detergent
Detergents that we use regularly are made up of a lot of hard chemicals. They might be harmful to your baby’s sensitive skin. Thus, choosing the right detergent for washing your baby’s clothes is very important.
You will probably find a lot of brands of detergent to pick from. Try selecting a fragrance-free one. Babies may not like the strong odour. It would be better to look for the ingredients in the detergent. You wouldn’t want any strong ingredients to irritate your baby’s soft skin.
You can also concoct your own homemade detergent. This way you can be sure of all the ingredients that have been used in the detergent. You can easily find the recipe to make homemade detergent from the Internet, or ask for help from family elders, or even consult the paediatrician.
A word of caution: Whatever you choose for your baby, be it a store-bought detergent or a homemade one, make sure the detergent stays safely out of your baby’s reach.
4. Treating The Stubborn Stains
Staining of baby clothes is inevitable. Just knowing how to wash baby clothes won’t suffice. Puke, poop, or spit, you can’t escape the stain-causing problems. You need to have some tricks up your sleeves to fight the stubborn stains.
So, the trick is, treat the stain while it is still fresh. This will help in better removing them as old stains become more stubborn. Washing freshly soiled clothes would also help get rid of the foul smells.
It is better to treat the stains first before washing the clothes in water. This will prevent them from spreading to baby clothes and blankets.
5. Try An All-Purpose Stain Remover
All-purpose stain removers are easily available in the market. Whether the stain is due to milk, spits, puke, or even diaper leaks, these cleaning agents certainly come handy.
Another alternative is to use products with cleaning enzymes in it. Simply soak the clothes with stains in warm water for some time, and rub them off with the stain remover.
6. Try A D-I-Y Hack!
Pee stains are very common on baby blankets and clothes and are often hard to get rid of. Here’s a simple trick to solve that.
Use a dilute solution of ammonia to treat the stain. Just dissolve 1 tablespoon of ammonia in 1 cup of water and dab the mixture on the stain. Then use any stain-remover and wash the clothes. The stain will vanish in no time.
7. Fight The Baby Oil Stains
Baby oil often leaves greasy discoloured stains wherever it drips on the baby clothes. The easiest way to get rid of these is to use a bar of dishwashing soap. They are great to remove oil stains.
Scrub the area of the stain with the soap and a brush after soaking it in hot water. This will easily remove it. If the stain is a little tougher, you can use a pre-wash stain remover along with it.
8. Removing Food Or Formula Stains
The simplest hack to remove a food or formula stain is to use baking soda. Simply soak the clothes in lukewarm water and dab a little baking soda in the stained area, and scrub with a brush. The stain will easily come out.
If some discolouration occurs due to staining, leave the soda for a few minutes before washing the clothes. Repeating this for 2-3 days will lighten the discoloured area.
9. Pre-Soak Before You Wash
It’s ideal to soak the clothes in the water at a temperature that is usually mentioned in the garment labels. Typically for soaking clothes, a temperature of 35°C to 40°C is optimum.
It helps in disinfecting the soiled clothes and sheets and also aids in the removal of any foul odour. Soaking for about 15-20 minutes is also effective for better cleaning.
10. It’s Time To Wash!
You can either hand-wash all the clothes or opt for machine-washing. If you are using a washing machine then try to separate the delicates and other garments before you load the machine. Always select the gentle mode for washing.
After washing with detergent, rinse the clothes with fresh water to remove all remaining soapiness. It’s better to do a double rinse for newborns for extra precaution.
It might be a good idea to dissolve some antiseptic solution in normal temperature water and rinse the clothes with it after you have washed them. This will provide extra protection to your little one from a wide spectrum of dangerous bacteria and viruses.
11. Soft Clothes For The Soft Skin!
Sometimes, after the freshly washed clothes are dried, they become hard, which can feel itchy for the delicate baby skin. It can also result in rashes. To prevent this you can use a baby-specific fabric softener during washing the clothes. This will keep your baby’s garments and blankets fluffy and soft.
But softeners often have dyes as an ingredient, which can irritate the baby skin. Also, using fabric softeners on cloth diapers won’t be a good idea. It reduces their absorbing property.
12. Bask In The Sun!
Drying your baby’s clothes under direct sunlight has certain benefits as compared to using a dryer. The sunlight has germ-killing property, which helps in disinfecting the clothes in a natural way. Drying them under the sun is also effective in treating discolourations and stains.
But if you are running out of time, or it’s a rainy day, using the dryer is preferable.
After you have cleaned, washed and dried the clothes, you need to properly organise them in a dresser. Tossing them simply in a pile will make it difficult for you to sort them.
You can either fold them in stacks or buy baby-sized hangers to hang them in the closet. Keep the separate stacks for different types of garments. This way, it will be easier for you to pick up what you need without having to search for it.
Finally, It’s Time To Wrap Up
The daily laundry can be a challenging job when a little baby arrives at your house. It’s a bliss cuddle and play with the little one but things can sometimes take a messy turn. With pee, pukes, and poops, you will have to deal with an enormous load of laundry every day.
But with these smart and quick tips on how to wash baby clothes, you can become an expert in doing baby-laundry in no time. Simply follow the tips, and you can have extra time to spare for other work or to enjoy an extra cuddle with your little bundle of joy.