3rd Trimester

Washing a ton of baby clothes? Good idea or no?

My Girlfriend keeps telling me that she needs to wash all the baby's clothes which have been donated or bought brand new. I understand all that but she spent all day Sunday washing and folding up clothes and then she said she has more clothes to wash! The baby isn't even born yet!!! 

My question is this: How many clothes does an average baby go through per week? I suggested she should be fine with washing 10-20 outfits plus his pajamas but she seems to think he will go through a ton of clothes in a short period of time. 

 Is she right or is something wrong with this picture?  From how it sounds that has different sizes of clothing so if it were me, I wouldn't worry about anything past 0-3 months right now...that stuff can get washed later on but thats just me. 

Re: Washing a ton of baby clothes? Good idea or no?

  • Babies go through A TON of clothes in the beginning. I used to leave the house with 3 extra outfits, and sometimes that wasn't even enough because he would spit up on himself. That being said, I wouldn't wash new things yet because you're not sure how big your baby is going to be. If you got a size that is too big or small for the season you're going to want to return it. I wasted a lot of money thinking my kid was going to grow really quickly and he ended up being in 0-3 until he was about 4 months old.
  • I obviously can't say how many clothes a baby goes through in one week, but when I spend a day with my nieces, they never finish the day with the same outfit they started with. Sometimes they are changed more than once, more than twice.

    Babies spit up, babies drool, babies have bowel movements that explode out of their diaper. I've seen poop all the way up my nieces' back a few times.

    I washed all of the clothes/bedding/linens over a weekend. It did take a long time, but it's all clean and ready to go now. I don't even have a lot of clothes (well, pretty much none) since we are team green! I will wash it all at once though when LO arrives and we buy clothes.

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  • There were times when I would put something on DS and it wasn't 10 minutes later that I was changing him because he spit up or peed threw or something.  Its a good idea to have things washed.  Like you, though, I didn't worrry about anything past 0-3 months right at first.

    Also, once baby is here, its hard enough to keep up on housework.  Between the dirty outfits, blankets, sheets and burp clothes (plus your clothing) you are doing quite enough laundry as it is.  Don't want to add running out of outfits or washing extra loads to it.  Might as well do it now when you have a little more times and sanity.

    I have a growth u/s next week.  As soon as I have more confirmation that its a girl, I'm washing her clothes in preparation.

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  • I swear there are days that we went through 10 outfits a day. But, like PP said, I wouldn't wash a ton before baby is born because you don't know how big they will be.

    I would wash everything that was donated or handed-down, but limit the amount of new things and leave the tags on the things you don't wash so you can return them if needed.

  • FTR, I never bought special detergent or washed his clothes separately. I just started using Tide Free and Clear and washed his clothes with mine. I also stopped using fabric softener sheets, but that was also because it irritated my skin.
  • I washed all my NB and 0-3 before I had the baby. The rest of the sizes I washed in batches when I was ready for the next size. I also never used special baby detergent. Just Free & Clear and dryer balls instead of sheets or softener.
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  • I did not have much clothes when DD was born, but the quickly changed. I would wash all the handme downs and donated clothes, but would hold off on washing anything new until you know the size of the baby. I would even ask DH or someone else in the family to wash new clothes while you are in the hospital.

    Kids do go through a lot of things, especially onsies. We never had any real outfits until DD was around 5 months old or so, because during the winter she was very comforatble in her onsies and a sleeper or a PJ.

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  • I'm washing all of the handmedown stuff and storing away in drawers.  For new clothes I am removing tags from the newborn and 0-3 month stuff only and the other stuff is in the closet with tags on.
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  • Just curious, baby clothes are super tiny, so how can they take up all that much room in the washer/dryer? I have a ton of stuff, but can fit it all into 1-2 batches, which hardley takes all day.
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  • Babies do get very messy. The newborn diapers do not do a good job of containing the pee and poo, so expect the clothes to get messy too, and what's more, they pee and poo almost every time they feed! It goes right through their system. So I am thinking 8 - 10 onesies, receiving blankets, clothes, .. unless you want to do laundry every day!
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  • image Tara415:
    Just curious, baby clothes are super tiny, so how can they take up all that much room in the washer/dryer? I have a ton of stuff, but can fit it all into 1-2 batches, which hardley takes all day.

    You also wash bibs, blankets, burp cloths, towels...it ends up being a lot. Which again is why I never did DS's laundry separate from my own.

  • I washed each size as I got to it. No need to wash way in advance IMO.
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  • i washed all my NB clothes in 1 load. then did a load of sheets and bedding. then a load of random blankets/swaddlers. i did not wash the bibs and burp clothes though. i may not. i may just use them without washing. she'll be fine. but 3 loads can take all day if you nap in between like i did! it was a sunday. that's my lazy day.
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  • I am washing everything that comes through the door. I got a lot of donated clothes that I wanted to super sanitize, plus the stuff from the store. I don't know how many outfits she will go through in a day/week, but I am not taking any chances. Plus I want to have lots of cute outfits to take pictures of her in, and for when people come to visit her. She got a lot of clothes so I am actually not even sure that she will be able to wear it all before she grows out of it to be honest.

    It took me FOREVER to wash all the clothes because I separated them by color like I do my own clothes in case the colors ran. I got several huge lawn and garden size garbage bags full of hand me downs and then all the clothes from my baby showers, so I had a ton to wash. I have clothes for her from NB to 4T from all my friends and relatives, so I pretty much had to wash everything whether I felt like it or not because I did not want piles and piles of laundry sitting around. We are moving right after she's born too so everything can be packed away until she is big enough to fit in it.

    I am using separate detergent for her clothes. DH refuses to wash clothes and towels in anything but Gain so I got Free & Clear for all things baby. On some things I don't use fabric softener but on other things I use Purex Crystals because it is supposed to be gentle and also not effect the flame retardency on baby pj's and stuff, or effect the absorbency of towels/cloths. So I am trying it out.


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  • I washed everything (0-12 months) before my daughter was born and I was so glad I did. It was so hard to get laundry done once she was born, especially laundry that involved having to peel off stickers, cut tags, and remove tiny little plastic tag holders. Each washcloth and onesie in a pack is rolled up with pieces of tape and has stickers and little plastic pieces to hold it together. That requires attention and 2 hands, which I didn't have!

    Each time my child grew into her next size it was like a little gift I had given myself. It was nice to know that everything was ready to be worn. Plus, some things weren't true to size. If I had waited to open the 6 month Gerber onesies (which ran small), I would never have known to go ahead and use them at 0-3 months.

    I kept the tags in a box in case something didn't fit, but I never needed to return anything. Besides, I figured I'd just keep it all and use it on my next LO or pass along to a friend later on if a size didn't fit my baby.

    Babies do go through a lot of laundry. My daughter had no blow out diapers at all, but she spit up a lot. I went through about 3 shirts or onesies a day, plus I put her in a fresh onesie to sleep each night after her bath. Add washcloths, towels, blankets, burp cloths, and bibs (which you'll use every day) to that and you'll see how having it done ahead of time is always nice!

  • You'd be surprised with the amount of clothing babies use. I washed everything I was given as a hand me down. I was blessed to receive a ton of clothing from a friend!

    If you have things that are new that aren't 0-3 months, I would wait to wash them. If it's NB size you may have to exchange it for something bigger if you have a big baby. If the clothing is bigger than 0-3 months, you may want to wait in case it's not the right season.

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  • Most of my kids went through clothes very fast. Sometimes two to five outfits depending on my catching stuff on the changing table! Also you never know how big baby will be at birth. I have washed the newborn to six month sizes to have ready.Even if my LO is on the small side it helps to have stuff waiting.
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  • For those washing everything separate, I bought the Shout color catchers and they work great. Nothing ran. Now I didn't wash something red with something completely white, but for the stuff that have light and dark colors mixed on an outfit, I threw one or two in to make sure they stayed how they came and had no issues.
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  • I washed all the gifts I got from my baby shower. It helps with the nesting urge & now everything is put in place. I would just get used to doing laundry in general. I hear we'll have a lot of it!

    Also, thanks to the other people who mentioned taking more than one outfit when making an excursion. I had not even though about that. Oh my goodness this First-Time-Mom thing is going to be an adventure to say the least. 

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  • I've been washing all the clothes I've received, whether they be new or hand me downs. I just like to be prepared, plus who will have time to do laundry after LO is born? lol, I guess it really just depends on you, but so far all my clothes, receiving blankets, and anything else that can be washed is.... But I wouldn't/didn't spend an entire day doing it.
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  • My little guy went through 10-14 outfits, 8-10 washclothes, 2-3 towels, 2 sheets, 2 diaper pad covers, and 24 burp clothes in a week until he was about 3 months.  From then on, he used 7-10 outfits and 7-10 burp clothes a week.  I'd recommend washing a few NB and most of your 3mth clothing....start with the hand-me-downs and hold off on clipping tags on new clothing until you're sure you're going to need it.  I found that I got tons of hand-me-downs after I delievered and lots of people sent clothes after I had the baby....wound up with lots of duplicates or too many outfits in a certain size...if you keep the tags on, you can exchange for a bigger size.

    I sorted clothes into rubbermaid containers by size as I received them and made a note on my phone of what things I needed in different sizes, that way when I ran across a good deal while shopping, I knew if I was low on onsesies in 9mth or pants in 12mth, etc.

    I used Costco free/clear detergent and dryer balls on all of our laundry starting around 8mths pregnant so that it would all have been cycled through by the time I delivered and little man never had any skin issues.

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