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Taking Care of Baby’s Belongings
Here are some ideas about buying baby clothes, and the best ways to launder them, so they are always clean, fresh and soft against that delicate skin. There are also ideas about caring for baby’s other belongings to be sure they are clean enough to go into baby’s mouth… because, as you well know, that’s where they usually end up!
- First of all, try to find baby clothes that are easy to care for. Look for easy-to-wash, quick-to-dry natural fabrics – such as 100% cotton – that will be soft against baby’s skin.
- Check care labels and avoid man-made fabrics that will cause sweating, and delicate fabrics that need a ‘special care’ wash program, or ‘hand washing’.
- Sewn-on decorations such as sequins or beads will be more difficult to care for – and could even be dangerous if they came loose.
Laundering baby clothes:
- Always wash new baby clothes before they are worn to get rid of any impurities that could irritate baby’s skin.
- Wash whites and colours separately, to keep whites white and colours bright.
- Use a wipe, or rinse items under running water, to remove any clumps of food, sick, or poo.
- Soak heavily soiled clothes before machine washing. You can bleach heavily soiled whites, but be sure to wash them really well afterwards to remove residual bleach.
- Use a good quality branded detergent – and try to find a non-bio one that is formulated for delicate skin.
- Use your usual wash cycle. Even a low-temperature wash with a good detergent should clean clothes thoroughly.
- Wash or clean new toys before letting your baby have them, in case of any impurities.
- If the toy is not machine-washable, you may have to wash it in hot soapy water or wipe it using a good cleaning product, then rinse it well with clean water. Be aware that some cleaning products are very strong, and even toxic – so not at all suitable for your purpose. Also avoid products and that are scented.
- Some plastic toys can go in the dishwasher, but check that water – or chemicals – cannot get inside.
- For a quick clean, a baby-wipe will do.
- Battery-operated or electrical toys must never be immersed in water.
- Most soft baby toys are machine washable (check care labels and avoid any that are not). Wash inside a pillowcase if there is any detailing such as embroidery or ribbons.
- Exposure to everyday germs can strengthen baby’s immune system, so you only need to clean toys about once a month – unless they are very dirty or have been handled by another child with an infection of some kind.
Dummies and Teethers:
- Clean and sterilise regularly, no matter how much they are used or handled… or by whom.
- Sterilise in boiling water or use a sterilising solution – following the instructions carefully.
- Avoid buying any that have ribbons or trimmings that cannot be sterilised as above.
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