It’s hard to imagine what parenting will entail before your little one arrives. You’re inundated with stories about sleepless nights and strange baby afflictions, and everyone around you reiterates how much your life will change, but until your little bundle arrives, you’re relatively clueless. What the hordes fail to mention though, is that a couple of weeks into your new baby’s life, you’ll be completely overwhelmed by the seemingly endless pile of foul-smelling laundry that your precious child will produce!
Shakil Ahmad, Manager of fabric softener brand Personal Touch, offers 5 handy tips to tame the baby laundry beast:
1. Scrutinise the products you use in your washing machine, just as you do with your bath time products. Harsh laundry products can irritate the little ones skin, so use only sensitive products.
2. When your child is in the first year of its life, there are countless tiny items that require washing on a regular basis. Mittens to stop scratching, little socks to keep toes warm, tiny bibs to catch dribble and beanies to cover their bare heads. To keep track of these little bits, purchase an inexpensive laundry bag to hold them all. The items will still get cleaned rigorously, but will remain together until you’re ready to hang them up to dry.
3. Treat all stains prior to putting the items in the wash. Ideally, as the mess happens, use a stain remover liquid, a fabric soap bar or even paste made with washing powder and a little water to treat the stain. Put it aside until your next load of baby washing. Don’t forget that once the washing is on the line outside, the sun acts as a natural stain remover. Allow for additional drying time to make use of the sunlight, and often baby laundry takes a little longer to dry due to the nature of the fabrics.
4. Be sure to Velcro bibs and hat fasteners together prior to loading your machine. These Velcro ends can attach to other pieces of clothing causing snags.
5. If your load is full of soiled items of clothing that smell awful, put a tablespoon of vinegar into the drum with the load. Vinegar is a very effective odour neutraliser.
“There are many aspects of parenting that overwhelm new moms and dads in the first few months, make sure that laundry isn’t one of them,” concludes Ahmad.