It is usual for couples to get hyped up once they have found out that they are soon-to-be parents. They often buy clothes for their baby right after the gender reveal, even if they still have plenty of time to prepare. But, do they know when to wash baby clothes?
When should you wash your baby’s clothes?
The mixed emotions new parents probably feel seeing their newborn child and the overwhelming feeling of knowing that they are still inexperienced in parenting. One of the dilemmas parents go through is learning when to wash their baby’s clothes.
Given that babies have incredibly delicate skin, it is necessary that their clothes should always be laundered before you let your baby wear them.
The answer to the question “When to wash baby clothes?” often leaves some parents in a dilemma, but actually, it always depends on the decision of the mother. It is the mother’s instinct, like what most people say.
But in a more practical manner, the baby’s clothes are usually washed when the mother is nearing her due date or the terminal months of her pregnancy which is around 30 to 35 weeks.
Preparing clean clothing for your baby is crucial because, according to Dr. Donald Belsito of the Columbia University Medical Center, particularly infectious diseases may be passed through your baby’s clothing.
Why should you pre-wash your baby’s clothes?
We do not know where these newly bought clothes have gone through or what these hand-me-down baby clothes are from. Therefore, it is necessary that you pre-wash your baby’s clothes before letting them wear them.
You do not want to risk your baby’s health, right?
Frequently, these clothes are kept in the manufacturers’ warehouse before transferring to a store. Hence, these baby’s clothes have been exposed to various insects, bugs, and rodents that might transmit certain infectious diseases.
Moreover, certain clothes, such as baby clothes, are pre-treated with formaldehyde to maintain their freshness no matter how long the shipping takes. On the other hand, for hand-me-down baby clothes, you are not aware where or how long it has been stored that it might have collected dust and molds or have even been exposed to house pests.
Make sure that you pre-wash your baby’s clothes before the baby is born. There are a lot of recommended baby detergents that you can use for your baby’s clothing. It is advised that you check the care label instruction of every garment and wash it with the warmest temperature of the water.
Since the skin of every newly born baby is sensitive, it is better to be sure that you add an extra round of rinse whenever you launder baby clothes as their skin may get irritated even with gentle detergents.
7 tips to keep in mind when washing baby’s clothes
For new parents, you will most likely get astounded to know that you will have a pile of baby clothing almost every day, which you will have to wash.
There is a lot to consider when washing baby clothes, unlike the regular adult clothes where you can throw it in the washer and let it spin in a normal cycle.
Take note of these things every time you wash baby clothes or encounter newly purchased baby clothes.
Pre-wash baby clothes
Ensure that you pre-wash baby clothes may they be brand new or just a hand-me-down. Pre-washing baby clothes will help eliminate any mold, dust, and dirt, or some infectious diseases that may have been lingering on the clothing while it was in the shop.
It has been established that all babies have delicate skin that is susceptible to irritation, allergies, and rashes if they are exposed to unwashed clothes.
Consider using a baby-friendly detergent
It is not essential to buy and use a laundry detergent recommended for babies instead of a regular one. However, once you notice that your baby is experiencing skin irritations, that may be the best time to consider using a baby-friendly laundry detergent.
Always remember how sensitive the skin of the babies is compared to adults. You can opt to buy other alternatives, like a liquid detergent other than a powdered detergent. Powdered detergents tend to leave any remnants that eventually lead to skin irritation.
There is also a great alternative that is not only designed for your baby’s sensitive skin but can also be good for the environment. Try to invest in an eco-friendly laundry detergent that is often milder, free from dye and scent, which decreases the chances of irritability on your baby’s skin.
Check the care label instructions
Always check the care label instruction of every garment before washing to avoid damage as not all fabrics are washed similarly. Also, ensure that you take note of the drying instructions.
Sort the laundry
Sorting clothes is necessary when you do the laundry. Make sure that you separate the clothes according to their type, if it is a shirt or a pair of pants, and you also sort the dark clothes and light-colored clothes whenever you wash your baby’s clothes.
Once sorted out, you can wash your baby’s garment and set it in a lower heat temperature and set it in a gentle cycle. Although, not all baby clothes get messy. So you can opt to handwash the baby’s clothes.
Wash cloth diapers separately
People who are aware of climate change and want to preserve the environment in their own little ways would prefer using cloth diapers rather than disposable ones.
So, whenever you use cloth diapers, make sure that you wash them separately every time you do the laundry. It is pretty much evident why you should not wash cloth diapers together with the regular baby clothes, simply because you may expose them to germs and other dirt.
Wash cloth diapers by soaking them in a separate basin filled with cold water. After soaking, you have the options between handwashing it or throwing it in the washer and letting it spin in a regular hot cycle.
Make use of a fabric conditioner
It is always recommended to use a fabric conditioner every time you do the laundry. It helps soften the fabric by relaxing the fibers making it more comfortable to wear. Hence, softer fabrics are gentle when they touch our skin.
You can choose either between fabric conditioners that are intended for sensitive skin or specialized baby fabric conditioners. Either way, both work well, and it usually depends on your preference.
Switch the baby cloth inside-out
You will be washing your baby’s clothing more frequently than ever, so to prolong its life, always remember to turn it inside-out. And it is more recommended to hang your clothes by line drying to let them air dry. This is done to eliminate any harmful germs and bacteria that may be lingering in your baby’s garments.
Learn more essential tips and precautions when washing your baby’s clothes by watching the video below
5 Tips you need to know when hand washing your baby’s clothes
It is certainly recommended that you hand wash your baby’s clothes since it is not always that your baby’s clothes get very dirty compared to the adults. It can also help in prolonging the life span of the fabric.
It is just easy. All you have to do is to take note of the following tips:
Make sure your hands are clean
Our hands are the part of the body we frequently use. Therefore, it is somehow the primary source of germs and bacteria that we may transfer to baby’s clothes. Make sure that your hands are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
Check the water temperature
Ensure that the water temperature is not extremely high as it may alter fabric, causing slits and tears.
Consider the non-chemical detergent
You may want to consider a different laundry detergent when washing your baby’s clothes to avoid severe skin irritation for your baby. Make sure that you use an eco-friendly and non-chemical laundry detergent to secure the safety of your baby.
Pre-soak and post-soaking after the wash
Soaking for half an hour before and after washing your baby’s clothes is necessary as it helps kill the bacteria that has been staying in your baby’s garments.
Dry the baby’s clothes completely
Avoid putting damp clothes or not completely drying your baby’s garments as it may result in fungal infections. Air drying is highly recommended.
Watch the quick tutorial on how to handwash baby clothes like a pro
3 Tips you need to know when you machine wash your Baby’s Clothes
Though hand washing your baby’s clothes all the time can be time-consuming and exhilarating, you may opt to launder your baby’s garments with a washing machine from time to time.
Prioritize your baby’s clothes first
Washing machines can accumulate different kinds of germs and bacteria, and to avoid transferring them to your baby’s clothes, you must prioritize your baby’s clothes every time you do the laundry.
Pre-soak with non-chemical detergent
Before throwing the laundry into the washing machine, ensure that you pre-soak with a non-chemical detergent the pile of babies’ clothing in at least 35 degrees Celsius temperature.
Ensure to rinse two times
Rinse the clothes at least two times to make sure that the remnants of the detergent and the bacteria have completely vanished. Take note that there should only be water during the rinse cycle.
It is already given that all parents will make sure that they provide clean clothes and surroundings for their child, especially if it is newly born. Before the child’s birth, parents often go into training to learn more about parenting, such as when to wash baby clothes and so on.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.