Baby laundry. It's not that hard to do, it's just that the volume and frequency at which you do it makes it seem overwhelming. The tiny clothes are so cute, but a full load of baby wash seems to have about 1000x the number of articles as an adult load. And thanks to spit-up, baby food, and other bodily fluids, it feels like there are million times more stains.
So, to make the baby laundry easier for myself, I follow 4 steps:
- I sort the clothes. For this, I have an upstairs and a downstairs baby hamper. You never know where your kid will be when it needs to be stripped down to its diaper, and you have to have a place to put the gross clothes that are now in your hand.
- Before I throw anything into one of the hampers, I treat stains with a stain spray. This includes burp cloths, blankets and sheets, bibs, clothes that have been barfed or pooped on…so, pretty much everything. I hang a bottle of stain spray on the side of each baby hamper so it's always handy, and I don't forget which articles need the extra help come laundry day. I reluctantly used a petroleum-based spray until Seventh Generation released a stain spray.
- I wash baby clothes separately from all other laundry because I prefer to use special detergent (cloth diapers are washed separately from the baby clothes). I like detergents that are formulated for a baby's sensitive skin but will also get out hardcore baby ick. I also want something that is plant-based but unscented, as I like my baby to smell like a baby and not a fake garden. Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent meets all of my criteria. It's also great for pretreating and soaking (see #4), which is nice because my previous detergent was only good for washing.
- If stains are really bad, I presoak. I use a bit of detergent on the stain, let it sit for a bit, then soak the item in cold water overnight.
Another thing about the Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent: it's designed for cloth diapers as well as clothes. I previously needed a separate product to launder cloth diapers, but now I can use the same one I use on the baby laundry. Anything to save me money, time, and confusion!