Having a baby can be so constantly hands-on that you are left with no time to think about things, other than whether you will ever be able to sleep well again.
Here are a few tips on how to handle baby laundry, from your baby’s first days, till when your bundle of joy starts outgrowing clothes.
Preparing clothes before baby arrives
Washing baby clothes before they're worn is absolutely necessary. A baby's skin is very sensitive and absorbs much of what touches it. Whether it is the anti-wrinkle chemicals on new clothes or minute dust particles accumulated from storage, you don't want to take any chances. Wash also those other items, including towels, blankets and bedding.
Use a specialised clothes detergent and a gentle fabric softener to avoid irritating your baby's skin, such as Webbs Handwash Detergent, which can also be used in a top loading washing machine, and Webbs Fabric Softener; both are specially formulated for babies and also for those with sensitive skin.
Dealing with stains
Once your baby is home, the fun really begins. Everything that is meant to go into your baby's mouth will most certainly come in contact with their clothes, not to mention the assorted powders, lotions and oils. These stains can sometimes be difficult to remove.
When "accidental" stains do happen, it helps to rinse the stained clothing in cold water, then immediately soak in a bucket half-full with water and a capful of detergent to help prevent the stain from setting. For stubborn stains, apply Webbs Handwash Detergent undiluted directly onto the stain and wash at 40°C. It is best not to allow the garment to dry until you know for sure that the stain has been removed.
Cleaning up the baby poop
When baby poop gets on your child’s clothes it is certainly no fun to deal with. It helps to know what to do.
Soak the garment in a bucket half-full with water and one capful of detergent; Webbs Handwash Detergent is tough on all types of soiling. Soak for 30 minutes and, if necessary, apply undiluted directly on the spot before washing at 40°C. Do not dry the garments until you are satisfied with the outcome; rewash if necessary.
Treating stains while you're out and about
You can make your own on-the-go pre-treater. Make a 3:1 mixture of water and laundry detergent in a small spray bottle that can be carried around in your handbag, changing bag or in the glove box of your car. Spray the mixture on the stain and wash the clothes as soon as you get home.
Preparing outgrown baby clothes
Inevitably, your baby will outgrow all those adorable little clothes. When that happens, there are a few alternatives. If you are contemplating having more children, you may decide to pack them away for the next baby. If not, you may choose to host a baby clothing swap or donate the clothes to charity so that they will find a happy new home.
If you are planning to store the baby clothes for the next sibling, be sure to prepare them carefully. Some of the outfits might be delicate (like a Christening outfit) and will require special care, while other baby clothes can be packed easily. Wash them in the same way you did the first time with a specialised clothes detergent and fabric softener, then fold away neatly and pack in a moth-proof, hard container such as a plastic storage box.