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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