Staring at all the clothes your newborn has can lead to only 1 question - how can something so small need so many clothes? Whether you are an expectant parent or your little one has made their arrival, it’s not only an uphill battle to stay on top of the amount of clothes that needs to be washed, it’s also important to make sure you are washing them in the right way.
You may be thinking how can you wash a baby-grow in the wrong way? Well your little one has very delicate skin that can be irritated by rough clothes or the wrong detergents.
Choosing the right clothes
Here at Natural Baby Shower we always advocate organic cotton. Not only are there so many environmental benefits to using organic cotton, there are also benefits to your little one. There are no nasties or chemicals used in production and organic cotton is considerably softer on delicate skin. Organic Cotton garments also last a lot longer than standard farmed cotton so will help save you a few pennies in the long run by not having to replace items.
A top tip is to try to buy clothes of a similar colour and material so that you can easily chuck items all in together and save mountains of time by reducing the amount of separate washes you need to do.
Wash before use
This may sounds silly but you don’t always know what type of environment each item has been in before it got to you or the journey it has had. Baby clothes can easily pick up dust, dirt or other irritants in the fibres of the materials from the warehouse, shop or even your home.
A baby’s skin isn’t very tough, so they’re far more likely to experience irritation as a result of itchy fabrics or other minuscule irritants. For this reason it is always best to wash new clothes before your little one wears them to avoid any chance of irritation.
Choose a suitable detergent
The detergent you use is a key element to washing your little ones clothes. We tend to recommend using a non-biological detergent when washing newborn’s clothes, this is down to baby's having very delicate skin. Biological detergents contain strong stain-busting enzymes that could irritate baby’s skin, whereas non-biological detergents are still highly effective but are gentler on skin.
If your baby has very sensitive skin, it is probably best to switch to a baby-specific detergent. These are specially formulated for your baby's skin. Or to be on the safe side, you could always invest in an eco-friendly detergent which is designed especially for sensitive skin. It’s far milder and comes free of dye, colouring or perfumes – all of which should reduce the likelihood of a reaction.
Get the temperature right
We always recommend washing all clothes, even baby clothes, at 30c or 40c degrees. This is plenty hot enough to get rid of any stains or dirt in clothes, plus it will also save you money and the environment, win win!
The only exception here is when your little one is ill or a garment is heavily soiled, a higher temperature could be beneficial to blast any tougher germs that may want to linger around.
Keep them soft
A babies item will get a spin round in the washing machine 100’s of times in its lifespan so how can you stop it from becoming itchy and a bit lifeless? Well fabric conditioner is a saviour! A gentle hypoallergenic fabric softener will help keep your baby’s clothes super soft and snuggly for longer.
Just check the label before adding fabric conditioner to your wash: some baby clothes have a flame-resistant coating on them that can be damaged by fabric softener.
Stick to what you know
The standard rules that you have followed for every other wash in your life still apply. Separate out colours from lights and dark's to stop colours from running. Read the label to make sure you are treating the garment in the best way when washing and drying. You should also keep fire-resistant clothing in another pile, or the specific coating on these garments may be damaged if mixed with other items.
That’s it! That’s all you need to know to help tackle the pile of laundry with ease so you can spend more time making memories with your newborn, instead of with the washing line.