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How and when to wash newborn baby clothes

While there’s no hard-and-fast rule on the best time in pregnancy to wash baby clothes, the expert consensus is that all baby clothes should always be washed before they’re worn. Newborns have sensitive skin and it’s not known who has handled bub’s clothing before you purchased it.Here are some simple steps to follow before you start washing:Read the washing instructions on the label – some things like swaddles and sleeping bags have specific washing methods.Choose the right laundry detergent. Go for something lightly scented, or not scented at all. There are specific ‘sensitive’ detergents, but the experts say just regular laundry detergent is fine.Pop tiny socks into laundry bags so that they don’t get lost in the wash.It’s a good idea to wash newborn clothes separately from other clothes, just to keep the chances of dirt from other clothing settling on them and possibly causing irritation.Most experts agree that there’s no need to use fabric softener or dryer sheets on baby clothes.

The nesting instinct kicks in pretty early for some mums, and by mid-pregnancy, they’re itching to get those baby clothes washed, folded and neatly tucked away in the drawers and wardrobes. But is there such a thing as washing them too early? Will that fresh, just washed smell and feel fade before bub arrives?

Generally, that fresh-just-washed smell should last a good couple of weeks, maybe even up to a month or more. It all depends on how the clothes are stored, and if they have access to air movement. It’s really difficult to pinpoint a timeline, so if you’re concerned about the clothes being a little stale when your bundle arrives, it’s best to wash them as close to your due date as possible.

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