Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
One of my friends visited me one fine day and there I was, sitting amidst the pile of laundry which needed to be folded. I am sure you all must be having 'The Chair’ where the clothes rest for a week until they are folded and go inside the cupboards. (I honestly feel, chairs have been designed for this sole purpose. Sitting on it is secondary. You don't believe me? You can sit on the damn floor but can you keep your clean laundry on the floor? Ah, you get me now). So coming back to my friend, she was taken aback seeing that huge pile and she decided to help me. Wait, not by folding them but by lending me her hand to get out of that pile. No prizes for guessing that she is not a mother yet! Babies and Toddlers, such small little humans they are but are so much capable of a 10-15 dress changes over the day. They wake up with one, spill food on it, change, poop, change, make mess, change, empty a bottle of paint on themselves, change, eat again, change again, got to go to the park, change again, come back covered in dust, change again. So by now, you guys have a rough idea about how many times we 'change'.
This has been the case from day 1, but then he was a baby who would spit up milk or poop accidentally. The frequency of 'change' goes up as one enters toddlerhood and man, that's just crazy. The moment you tell your toddler, No! Don't wipe it on your shirt. Tada, that's the moment he does exactly what you tell him not to do. Toddlers! They are just wired that way I guess.
Laundry - that's one thing every mother would agree takes a lot of time and effort other than of course understanding the nonverbal cues and cries of your little human, and this job is so, so important! Well for starters, if you don't do the laundry, you might fall short of 'change' the next day and more important is the hygiene and the detergent that goes into the process because that's one thing which keeps in constant touch with the little one's body. So as a new mom, many wonder how the child's laundry should be done, especially the newborns and the babies. So here I will be talking about how important it is really to use a special baby detergent for your baby's cloths.
As a new mom, I was naive and didn't know that such special products exist in anyway. It was quite late when I started noticing some dry rashes on my son’s body and we consulted a dermatologist, that I came to know how small little things can affect your baby. A newborn's skin is highly sensitive. They are not meant to handle the chemicals that go into a normal detergent. They need a little extra care. Our doctor thought the dry patches were due to the clothes not being washed properly or the detergent doesn't wash off totally from the cloths. Going forward with his suggestion, we decided to change our detergent and to my surprise, it worked really well for us.
So after all the reading and research (to the best of my ability), here are some things I would like to point out for new parents or the soon to be.
● Although many medical experts and researchers believe that baby's clothes can be very well washed along with the rest of the laundry and with a regular detergent until and unless the baby has some skin problems known. But for a newborn at least, it’s better to keep their laundry separate and if you are not sure of using the same detergent, make a change. What you really need is a detergent without chemicals, strong fragrance and fabric conditioner. You need one marked as ‘free and clear' detergent. There are some specially designed for baby's clothes. Do what you deem best, because it's really heartbreaking to see babies with rashes. ● Wash all clothes before it comes in contact with your baby. Sometimes, there are chemicals that are used while over sea shipping to keep the clothes crisp and safe from any bacterial growth. Besides, you don't know who holds them, where is it coming from and in what condition it was. So it's always better to wash before your baby wears them. ● Stick with one detergent, so that you know when any skin problems arise. Babies have sensitive skin and they need a lot of time to assimilate in the environment outside womb. ● Rinse it twice to make sure there's no residue of the detergent remaining. It's also better to use liquid detergent because that's easier to wash off. ● Babies who suffer from eczema, need special care in this concern because any residue of the detergent may trigger the redness and itching in them. In such sensitive cases, it is always better to be safe than sorry and make use of detergents especially designed for baby clothes. ● Detergents can cause dermatitis, which happened in my case. It's red, itchy, dry patches which don’t appear immediately but takes weeks to build on. In this case, it gets difficult to assess the reason because there's no immediate side effects. Hence, it is important to use a free and clear detergent not only for babies but you can make this change for the whole family. ● For parents using cloth diapers, make sure you wash them separately from the rest of the laundry and if possible sun dry them. Nappies should also be washed separately. ● Follow the wash instructions given on the tag of the cloth. When he was a baby, we had to take all that extra care for his sensitive skin. Now my baby has grown into toddler and I am just the same who suffers from obsessive cleanliness disorder. Laundry is just one part of the obsession but I have like the whole house to clean almost every day. We as a family, have shifted to free and clear detergent and now everyone's laundry is done together and that just saves a lot of effort. It's unbelievable how little humans can create so much laundry, but little changes can make you gear up for this ride too.