Something the covid era has really sunken into me is that germs are every, and a lot of people don’t properly wash their hands.
Why wash baby clothes before use in Australia?
Even though the baby clothes, and other textiles are so cute to look at, they’re all probably teeming with nasties due to how many hands, and chemicals touched it prior to you lovingly folding them while you’re nesting.
Inside the womb, the baby is in a fairly sterile environment, and as soon as they breech they’re exposed to so much more. With their evolving immune system, it’s our responsibility as parents to make this adjustment easier on their little bodies.
For example, it's a common practise, especially for cotton textiles, to spray formaldehyde that's found within the finishing agents to prevent wrinkles in the textiles such as clothing, and bedding. Even in Australia, there is an acceptable amount of formaldehyde traces allowed in infant clothing but due to how much contact on my son's skin these textiles will have, I want to thoroughly clean those chemicals away when I'm able to.
Check the washing instructions
Just like your lovely tencel, satin, and silk bedding, these little garments are likely to have specific washing instructions on the label.
Can you wash baby clothes with regular detergent?
Look for a laundry detergent that is made specifically for infants, and ditch the softener. Newborn skin is extremely sensitive so just like skincare, we’ll stay clear of products with fragrances.
We’ve bought two highly recommended baby laundry detergent, and will be checking his skin for any signs of irritation after wearing something using it. If no irritation, we’ll keep using that one.
Can you wash baby clothes with regular load?
I chose to wash all the baby’s textiles separately to our normal loads of washing so none of the bacteria transfers over to those cute onesies, protect his sensitive skin, and also the maximise the load using the baby specific laundry detergent. I soaked all the clothes whose washing instructions allowed it for 30 minutes to kill off the bacteria, and then put it in the washing machine.
Give the dryer a break, sun dry is best
Did you know that sunlight is a natural disinfectant? In our backyard we have two drying rack but we bought a third to handle the baby’s clothing only. As my husband has sensitive skin, we do the recommended washing of pillowcases every 2 days, all other bedding weekly, and mattress cover monthly so the second drying rack is for bedding, and the third is for our clothes.
Sanitise your hands before packing away
What’s the point of being so careful when washing if you’ll just to transfer nasties when you’re folding them into their drawers? Ensure you use hand sanitiser before handling your baby’s clothes.