If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait to receive all the new baby clothes friends and family send your way. Or even if you went on a baby clothes shopping spree of your own you might be wondering, should I wash newborn baby clothes?
When it comes to new baby clothes, there is some debate on whether or not to wash them before using. Some believe that washing them is unnecessary since they are brand new, while others feel that it is important to clean them before dressing their baby.
Baby Clothing Washing Tips for the First Time Mom
A load of laundry is one of the most common household chores. But when it comes to washing baby clothes, there are a few things you need to know.
Here are a few pros and cons to washing baby clothes so you can make an informed decision.
Pros of washing baby clothes
- Get rid of any chemicals
Baby clothes can be bought in store or online, but many people don’t know where these clothes come from before they hit the shelves. They are handled by lots of people and in various environments before they reach you and your baby.
When you wash your baby’s clothes, you are able to get rid of any toxins or chemicals that may be on them. This is important because you want to make sure that your baby is not exposed to any harmful chemicals.
Additionally, washing your baby’s clothes can help to keep them clean and free from bacteria.
- Make them softer
One pro of washing baby clothes is that it can make them softer. This is especially true for new clothes that might be a little stiff. Washing them will help to loosen up the fabric and make them more comfortable for your baby to wear.
Cons of washing baby clothes:
- Detergents can irritate skin
You want to be sure you’re using a detergent that won’t irritate your little one’s skin. There are specific baby laundry detergents.
They are formulated to be more gentler without harsh additives and ingredients. And while they may be more expensive many parents feel that they are worth it.
- May cause shrinkage
The washing process in general can cause clothes to shrink especially if they are made of natural fibers like cotton or wool. Some baby items need to be hand washed or washed in cold water.
Paying attention to the care tags on clothes can save yourself the headache of dealing with shrunken garments.
Recommended: How To Organize Baby Clothes
When Should I Wash New Baby Clothes?
You might be surprised to learn that you can actually start washing baby clothes as early as you want! There’s no need to wait until closer to your due date. In fact, it’s often recommended that you start sooner rather than later. This is one of those tasks you can do while preparing to bring baby home.
One reason for this is that newborns tend to go through a lot of clothes in those first few weeks. Between spit-ups, diaper blowouts, and accidents, you’ll be doing a lot of laundry! It’s better to have a head start on those inevitable loads than to wait until the last minute.
Tips for baby washing clothes
- Use a mild detergent
Always use a gentle detergent on baby clothes. Stick to gentle, hypoallergenic formulas specifically designed for baby clothes. Choose a detergent that is free of fragrances and dyes.
- Avoid fabric softener
Its always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to your baby’s health and comfort. While fabric softener products are marketed as giving your clothes a scent boost and keeping clothes free from static, you really want to reconsider using them on baby clothes.
Babies skin can be sensitive to the chemicals in fabric softeners, and they can experience redness, itching, and rashes after coming into contact with clothing that has been treated with fabric softener.
In addition, fabric softeners can actually make clothes more susceptible to dirt and grime. The chemicals in fabric softener can create a build-up on fabrics that makes it harder for dirt and grime to be removed during laundering.
Finally, fabric softeners can shorten the lifespan of your baby clothes. The chemicals in fabric softener can break down fibers over time, causing them to become weaker and more likely to tear or pill.
- Use the delicate cycle on your washer
With a little bit of know-how, you can easily figure out how to wash your baby’s clothes in the delicate cycle without fear of shrinking them.
As mentioned earlier, first, check the care label on the clothing. If it says “machine washable,” that means it can go in the washer, use the delicate cycle.
However, if the care label says “hand wash only” or something similar, then you’ll need to take special care when washing those items.
Next, sort your baby’s clothes by color and type of fabric. Whites can go together, but colors should be kept separate to prevent bleeding.
You can also air dry the clothes or put them in the dryer on a low setting.
A note about hand me down/thrifted/reused baby clothes:
If you’re receiving hand me down clothes or thrifted clothes, you definitely want to wash them. Regardless if you are sure of the source or not, its always good idea to wash these clothes.
One thing to keep in mind is that babies tend to spit up and have accidents more often than adults. This means that their clothes can be stained with things like formula or urine. Be sure to pretreat any stains before washing the clothing.
In conclusion, while it is always recommended to wash new baby clothes before wear, it is not necessary. Lots of parents choose to do so for peace of mind. If you do decide to wash new clothes before dressing your baby, be sure to use a gentle detergent and avoid any harsh chemicals.
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