Making sure your baby’s clothes are beautifully clean can often feel like an uphill battle, especially when you start weaning her on to solids.
And it is not just sleep-suits and bibs that you need to keep clean – what about those favourite toys that she insists on putting straight in her mouth?
Here are some top tips on caring for your baby’s belongings:
HOW DO I WASH MY BABY'S CLOTHES?
- It is always best to wash brand new baby clothes before they are worn – this makes sure any possible impurities are removed before putting them next to your baby's delicate skin.
- Separate the clothes out into whites and colours as you would do your normal wash. Remove any heavy soiling such as stuck on food, baby sick or poo with a wipe or by rinsing under a tap.
- If anyone in the household has been ill, your baby's clothes should be washed separately from any clothes or bedding that could be infected because bacteria can still spread during washing.
- Tough stains should be left to soak before washing. If you do use bleach on your baby’s whites, make sure they are washed and rinsed thoroughly.
WHAT DETERGENT SHOULD I USE?
All major brand detergents are thoroughly tested so are safe to use on a baby’s clothes. Some detergents have been specially formulated for use on baby clothes. Whatever washing powder you use, always buy a good quality brand and check for the British Skin Foundation logo on the packaging.
Buy practical fabrics
- Look out for clothing that is easy to wash and quick drying. Cotton is perfect for babies as it is breathable which helps to prevent them from sweating and is soft against their skin.
- Avoid buying delicate fabrics that have special care instructions; the last thing a busy parent needs is to be hand washing.
- Steer clear of clothes with details sewn on such as sequins. These make it difficult to wash and, more importantly, risk coming off and being swallowed by your baby.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR BABY'S TOYS
- Some cleaning products are very strong so avoid toxic cleaners or heavily scented products.
- If you are in a hurry, pop plastic toys in the dishwasher or give them a quick clean with a baby wipe.
- Take extra care with electrical or battery-operated toys and avoid submerging them in water.
- Soft toys that are suitable to be washed in a washing machine should be placed inside a pillowcase first.
- Toys that are not suitable for machine washing can be vacuumed to remove dust and dirt.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN MY BABY'S TOYS?
You don’t need to clean her toys every day - in fact it is better for your baby’s immune system if she is exposed to some everyday dirt and germs. A good test is whether you would be prepared to put the toy in your mouth – if you aren't then get cleaning.
However, if there is an infection in the household such as a cough or cold or a vomiting and diarrhoea bug, then you will need to clean them frequently to prevent the infection from spreading.
HOW TO CLEAN AND STERILISE YOUR BABY'S DUMMY
Dummies should be sterilised regularly, even if they haven’t been dropped or touched by anything other than your baby.
Make sure that any dummy you buy is suitable for either sterilising solution or boiling water sterilising.