Here’s Why You Should Pre-Wash Your Baby’s Clothes (And How To Do It)
Your baby is almost here! There’s probably very little left to do but wait for the D-day.
As you are getting your baby’s clothes ready for their arrival, you might wonder, should you prewash your baby’s clothes?
This guide will answer this question for you.
Should You Pre-wash Your Baby’s Clothes?
A lot of parents believe that prewashing is necessary to protect a newborn’s sensitive skin from germs, chemicals, irritants, and all sorts of nasty things that could be in the clothes.
Because you can never be 100% sure where the clothes have been, can you?
Before baby clothes get to store shelves, they go through a lengthy process. After being designed and made, manufacturers usually treat them with formaldehyde to preserve their color and texture during shipping.
Once they hit the stores, they do not go on the shelves directly. Instead, brand new clothes are first stored in warehouses for weeks or even months until the season is right for them. Darker clothes may also be coated with azo-aniline dyes. These dyes usually wear off synthetic fibers like polyester and acrylic before washing.
Hand-me-downs are not that safe, either. There is no way to tell how long the clothes have been in storage or how much dust or mildew they have collected.
This is why you should pre-wash your baby’s clothes. It is just a much healthier practice that will go a long way to protect your baby’s sensitive skin. Plus, washing clothes softens them up, making them more breathable and a lot more comfortable on your baby’s developing skin.
Is Pre-Washing Really Necessary?
If you are reading this during the last few weeks before your baby comes, you probably already have a thousand other things going through your mind. The last few weeks can be overwhelming especially when you are also panicking every time you think about the delivery process.
So, is prewashing really necessary? Well, no. If you are not worried about your baby’s clothes being irritating to the skin, you do not have to prewash.
Plus, when newborns react to clothes that have not been prewashed, the reaction is usually quite mild. You will notice red itchy patches of skin and a little irritability but that’s it. It’s rarely a serious reaction.
Therefore, the choice of whether or not to prewash is entirely up to you. But if you notice your baby reacting to their first few clothes, it may be a good idea to prewash the rest of them.
When is the right time to prewash your baby’s clothes?
This is also entirely up to you. As long as you have lots of clean fresh clothes by the time your baby comes, you’ll be OK.
A lot of moms usually do a few batches of baby clothes every week. Staggering the washes like this over 2 or 3 weeks will have all the baby clothes fresh and prewashed by the time o are heading to the hospital.
How To Prewash Your Baby’s Clothes In 3 Steps
Step 1: Prepare The Clothes
Read the labels to know how the clothes need to be washed. Then sort them according to color and turn them inside out. As you do this, you should also be securing any zippers and snaps so they don’t come loose as you wash them.
Step 2: Carefully Choose Your Detergent
Most detergents have strong scents that are not suitable for babies. As a rule of thumb, go for liquid detergents instead of powders because powders may leave flakes that can be irritating to a baby’s skin.
There are special detergents that have been made specifically for baby clothes that you can go for. However, you can also get away with unscented detergents as long as your baby does not have hypersensitive skin.
Step 3: Wash And Dry The Clothes
The final step is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions as you wash the clothes. Usually, you will only need a gentle to normal setting with an extra rinse cycle on your machine. If you are hand washing, you need to confirm whether the manufacturer calls for hot or cold water. After you are done, dry the clothes and keep them somewhere airy (not closed off and damp!) as you wait for the arrival of your little one.
At the end of the day, the decision of whether or not to prewash your baby’s clothes is yours. However, if you choose to skip it, keep a close eye on your little one and watch out for tell-tale signs of any reactions to the clothes. If you notice anything, prewash all the other outfits right away.