3rd Trimester

Pre-washing baby clothes

How important is it really to use a special laundry detergent to wash baby's clothes?  Can I just use our regular detergent and not use fabric softener/dryer sheets?  Or maybe just run an extra rinse cycle or something?  I'm just wondering if the special detergent thing is about taking extra precautions or if it really is a necessity.  Any thoughts/advice?

Re: Pre-washing baby clothes

  • I'm not really sure since this is my first, but I've heard and read the same thing.  On the other hand, I use the All Free & Clear on a regular basis anyway, and that's supposed to be fine to use for a baby.  I remember my cousin saying something about special detergent because the perfumes and/or dyes can irritate baby's skin if it's sensitive, but I don't know how much it can really affect things.
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  • It's because you don't know how sensitive your baby's skin will be.  Free and clear detergent is not any more expensive than the other stuff.  IMO, seems like it wouldn't be worth the risk of my baby having a reaction just so I don't have to buy different detergent.  No, it's not guaranteed that my kid would react, but it's also not guaranteed he won't.
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  • Any Free and Clear detergent will do.  Babies skin is so sensitive at first that he or she may have an allergic reaction to the perfumes and/or dyes in regular detergent.   I don't think there is much of a price difference if you stick with a regular brand.  My mom swears that I should be using Dreft but my MW said any Free and Clear will work.  We use 7th generation.  I also found dryer sheets that are free and clear so I don't have to worry about static on the fleece!
  • I think I am going to use special detergent to begin with (you never know).  After a few months, I'll probably loosen up and use All F&C.

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  • I would just use a Free and Clear detergent. It's not a necessity but baby skin can be very sensitive and sometimes regular detergents are just too harsh for baby.
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  • yeah i wasn't sure either so i just washed all of her clothes and blankets and everything in Dreft just in case.
  • I already use purex free and clear so thats what I'm going to use, I also got free and clear softener as well.

    It seems silly but honestly better safe then sorry, you don't want your poor little newborn getting a rash =(

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  • Why don't you want to use the special stuff?  You don't necessarily have to use dreft.  That stuff isn't really good for baby afterall, but there are plenty of perfum/dye free detergeants that aren't too expensive.  Plus, the bottle will last a long time, because you don't need much per load.  I don't know how important it is, because I didn't try using regular detergeant until DS was maybe 6 mo and the pedi okay'ed it.  Maybe if you just wash the clothes with warm water and no soap, it would be okay?
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  • I also use a free and clear type laundry detergent (mine is 7th gen) and an all natural fabric sheet because I have extremely sensitive skin, so what I use should work fine for the baby.  Just a side note, I actually bought some dreft to try because it was what mom and grandma used, but the smell on it is really strong, it is perfumed and I could smell it even after I rinsed the clothes, and I broke out from it, so everyone is the house uses the same stuff now.  7th Gen and some of the other all natural ones also have a light scent from all natural sources, but it doesn't stick to clothes and the pediatricians I have talked to okay'd that as well, and again since I am so sensitive, there is pretty good chance if I can actually handle it baby can too.  One last note, if you google something like best detergents for cloth diapers or on some of the cloth diaper sites they have extensive list of detergents and what is in them and what are best for cloth diapers sine those are closest to baby skin and you don't want to ruin their absorption.  Found these lists to be very interesting and helpful for quick comparisons on all sorts of detergents, that may help someone out too.
  • Honestly, if it's really important and necessary for baby I have no problem using a different detergent.  Baby's health and safety are a priority Smile

    I was just wondering because I've been on strict bed rest for a while and won't be off it until next Thursday and LO is expected to arrive any time now because of complications I've been having (I'm hoping to make it at least a few days after being released from bed rest and my medications so I can at least get some stuff ready for LO before he arrives).  I haven't washed any of his clothes/blankets (the VERY few items we have because I've not been able to prepare for him) so I was going to ask DH to do that today when he gets home from work but we just have regular detergent and I really don't know how DH would do picking up specific laundry detergents, lol.  Silly reason, I know Stick out tongue  I'm just panicking now because LO will be arriving a lot sooner than expected and I really have NOTHING ready for him.

  • I'm going with Tide Free & Gentle..we'll see how that works out.
     
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  • I would wash them. No telling who touched them before you got them. I use Tide Free and Clear with Bounce free and clear...for which I have been using for almost a year. Apparently Tide Free and Clear is on approved baby cloths washing list somewhere.
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  • Hi I've washed mine in non-biological and with no fabric softener I wouldn't get too hung up on special powder.
  • If you use one that is specific for a baby to it doesn't mess with the flame retardent that is in some of the clothes like pjs. I have been using the All free and clear and I'm looking into buying the All Baby.
  • image csalagi:

    Honestly, if it's really important and necessary for baby I have no problem using a different detergent.  Baby's health and safety are a priority Smile

    I was just wondering because I've been on strict bed rest for a while and won't be off it until next Thursday and LO is expected to arrive any time now because of complications I've been having (I'm hoping to make it at least a few days after being released from bed rest and my medications so I can at least get some stuff ready for LO before he arrives).  I haven't washed any of his clothes/blankets (the VERY few items we have because I've not been able to prepare for him) so I was going to ask DH to do that today when he gets home from work but we just have regular detergent and I really don't know how DH would do picking up specific laundry detergents, lol.  Silly reason, I know Stick out tongue  I'm just panicking now because LO will be arriving a lot sooner than expected and I really have NOTHING ready for him.

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  • Thanks for all the suggestions and help, ladies Smile  DH actually stopped at the store on the way home from work and said he thought we needed laundry detergent since he noticed we were running low when he did a load the other day.  He picked up Arm & Hammer Free and Clear for sensitive skin because he said he thought it might be better for the baby than our usual detergent.  I [heart] him!  He has been so awesome this whole time I've been on bed rest.  We're washing some basic necessity outfits and blankets now and I'm FREAKING out realizing that this is really happening soon.  Yikes! I'm having a baby Indifferent
  • My SIL told me that she used dreft for a couple of weeks then said screw it & used her regular laundry detergent. 
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  • I never used special detergent. Just our regular Tide Cold Water for HE washers. I also use normal dryer sheets. *gasp* Both boys have no rash or allergic reaction and their skin is perfect. Do and use what makes you feel comfortable.
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