Does choosing a particular laundry detergent for baby clothes really matter? Many parents believe this to be true.
When a new baby comes home, the laundry seems never ending! Even if you use disposable diapers, you'll still find that each day ends with a pile of clothing, bed linens, wash cloths, burp rags, and more. If you use cloth diapers, you can expect to double or even triple your laundry.
Parents often worry about choosing the type of laundry detergent for baby clothes. Because of this, they often switch to gentler detergent brands for their family's clothing or at least for their infant's clothes. Should you do the same? That depends.
- If you are already using baby detergent, does it work? If so, you may want to continue using it for the first few months anyway.
- Does the baby detergent you use really get your child's clothing clean? If not, then you may need to switch to a regular detergent, or you may simply need to add an additive to the wash.
Making the Switch
If you are tired of buying two different types of laundry detergent, maybe it's time to make the switch from a baby detergent to a regular one. If you do this, keep the following points in mind:
- Wash one or two pieces of clothing first, and let your baby wear them. If you don't notice any allergic reactions or irritations, then it may be safe for you to begin washing all of her laundry in the regular detergent.
- Choose a liquid detergent as opposed to a powdered detergent, as the liquid will be less of an irritant to your baby's tender skin.
- Choose a regular detergent that doesn't have colors or added scents which could irritate your infant's skin.
- If your baby has been diagnosed with an allergy or a skin condition, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema, you may need to stick with the baby detergent until he is a bit older.
- Wash cloth diapers separately from all clothing, including baby's clothes. You should always wash and rinse these in hot water. Rinse twice to make sure they are completely clean.
- Even though you are using the same detergent for your baby's clothing as you do for the rest of your family's clothes, you should still wash his clothing separately. Perfumes, colognes, dyes, and everyday dirt from other clothing could irritate baby's skin.
- Popular brands, such as Tide and Cheer, that have dye and fragrance free versions of their detergent have been found to work well for baby clothes.
Choosing Laundry Detergent for Baby Clothes
If you do want to stick to laundry detergent for baby clothes, which brand works best? There are actually several brands that are billed as safe for baby clothing. You may want to try each of these to see which ones you prefer. They include the following:
- Ivory Snow-Many parents love this detergent, and they claim it really does get clothing clean. It comes in a gentle powder form that has a nice, clean smell. If you can find it in your area, you may fall in love.
- Dreft-This is another baby detergent that has been around for years. It comes in a mild, pleasantly scented liquid.
- All Free and Clear-Although not specifically designed as a baby detergent, All Free and Clear is a great alternative. Since it contains no perfumes or dyes, the chance of skin irritation is small. Keep in mind, however, that without the perfumes, you won't have that nice clean smell.
Even a detergent that appears to work well for your child can suddenly create a problem. When this occurs, switch to another brand for awhile and see if your child's skin condition improves. If not, contact your pediatrician for other ideas.