New parents are full of concerns about what regular household activities may pose a threat or present problems for their newest family member. At some point the question about the best ways to wash baby clothing will arise.
Parents typically ask whether there is a certain type off detergent that they should use, whether it is safe to wash baby clothes with the rest of the family’s clothing and what special steps should be taken with cloth diapers if they are being used.
This is a valid concern. It is not atypical for certain detergents to irritate the skin of adults and older children, so it is certainly feasible that a baby’s tender and sensitive skin can be easily irritated by harsh detergents. There are several detergents on the market that are supposedly intended for baby’s clothing, but there is not much difference between them and other mild detergents.
The best choice for parents to make in this area is to purchase mild detergent that is free from added colors and fragrances and wash the clothing in that. If the baby does develop a rash or seems to be experiencing skin discomfort of any kind, the first thing to do is consult the family pediatrician. The doctor may simply recommend that a different detergent be used, but will also be able to determine if there is a more serious problem.
Washing Baby Clothes with Family Clothes
Some parents feel that the baby’s clothing needs to be washed separately from that of the rest of the family. The rationale for this is that the other family members’ clothing could somehow taint or contaminate the baby’s. There is no reason to worry about this and it is perfectly safe to wash baby’s clothes and bedding along with everyone else’s. The exception to this rule is cloth diapers. If parents are using cloth diapers and washing them at home rather than using a diaper service, they must be washed apart from everything else.
Cloth diapers are fading into memory, replaced by the more convenient disposable brands that are on the market. For families that choose to use these, however, there are some special considerations. The most sanitary way to utilize reusable cloth diapers is to contract a diaper service. This will take away the hassle of washing the diapers at home and ensure that the replacement diapers are sterile. For families that choose to wash at home, the previous paragraph details that they should be kept separate from all other laundry.
Storing the diapers until wash time must be done as sanitarily as possible. This means rinsing the cloth diaper in the toilet to remove solid wastes, then storing it in a pail until it is time to be washed. The pail should be covered to prevent odor and lined with a disposable or washable liner. The pail, lid, and liner should be cleaned whenever the diapers are and the soiled diapers should be washed at least twice weekly.
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