A common question asked by new moms: “Should I wash my baby’s new clothes?” There is no scientific evidence that wearing unwashed clothes can cause direct harm to the baby’s skin or health. However, we outline in this article why it’s safer to pre-wash clothes, as well as some helpful tips for washing your baby’s clothes.
We all know that a newborn’s skin is delicate and sensitive; the immune system is still gradually developing. This makes the baby more vulnerable to getting infections as their immune systems are not fully ready to combat. The new clothes can be a source of infection.
During the manufacturing process, clothes are usually sprayed with formaldehyde. It’s a colorless strong-smelling gas used in fabrics to preserve color and texture before clothes are washed. It’s a carcinogen and can cause skin rash especially to your baby’s soft skin. It’s important to observe your baby’s skin after wearing new clothes to check if they are sensitive to the detergent used as it differs from a child to another.
Softeners also might cause a sort of skin irritation for some babies.
Another important reason to pre-wash newborn clothes is that they are usually kept in storage warehouses before reaching retailers. This way clothes might be exposed to pests or carry dust and mildew.
Tips for washing newborns’ clothes
- Read the manufacturer’s label for the washing instructions.
- Button or zip the clothes before washing them as it preserves them during the wash.
- Wash them separately to avoid the transfer of bacteria from other family members’ clothes especially if someone has a job that involves dealing with harsh chemicals or hazardous material.
- Run the rinse cycle twice to make sure that no detergent traces are still lingering in the fibers of the fabric.
- Dry the clothes in the sunlight to get rid of any germs.
- If you want to hand wash some of the clothes, soak them first in hot water to kill any germs.