Your Questions About Baby Care

Helen asks…

Are you supposed to wash baby clothes before letting baby wear them? What detergent to use?

Arissa is only a day old but we waited until she was born to buy clothes and pretty much everything she needs.

So the question is,should we was store bought clothes before a newborn wears them? With what type of detergent? And do we have to wash socks/mittens that we have to use to keep her from scratching her face when she cries?


The Expert answers:

Yes, wash them all. You need to use a mild detergent. I use ALL Free and Clear, seeing as Dreft has fragrance that irritates my daughters skin.

Downy has a hypoallergenic fabric softner out, too, now.

Ohh, and use Clorox 2, the dye/fragrence free kind, it will keep all her little clothes looking brand new.

Sandra asks…

Wash newborn baby clothes?

I am pregnant with my first baby, and trying to get all of the baby shower gifts put up… Do you have to use baby gentle detergent, or can you use like the organic fragrance free detergent? I am asking because the special baby detergent is so expensive!! I was just wondering.. Also, do all the stuffed animals need to be washed as well? Thanks!

The Expert answers:


First– you can use ANY mild fragrance and dye free detergent. They are all the same– full of chemicals– with different marketing strategies. Dreft, Tide Free and Clear, All Free and Clear, etc are all pretty much the same thing. If you use a lower chemical product like Mrs. Meyers or Seventh Generation then you will reduce the chemicals. All will have roughly the same result. If your baby turns out to be sensitive to one of these, then make the change. Yes– Dreft is outrageously priced.

Next, DO NOT WASH EVERYTHING!!! One of the main nesting behaviors for new moms is to un-tag, wash and put away everything you have received. Resist. Just do a few things. After the baby comes you will find yourself doing a lot of laundry for many reasons– like the fact that you will have a limited wardrobe that fits and that you are attached to one special baby blanket and outfit. So there will be time to do laundry later. Most moms find that they have more clothing than their baby will ever wear– things are out of season and are outgrown before being worn, things are not as easy to dress baby in, things are not the style you like, etc. All of these things can be returned or consigned if unused. Unused and still tagged clothes fetch a higher price/exchange at the consignment stores. Obviously the returned items need to still be tagged as well. You can also keep things and re-gift them.

You do not need to wash stuffed animals before your baby gets them In fact, your baby won’t put one in their mouth until they are about 4-5 months old. Also, if you wash it in detergent, you are just covering one set of chemicals with another, so it’s kind of a moot point. Again– stuffed animals in good shape are more easily consigned.

Mandy asks…

Hey moms……baby clothes question?

I have ALL of my baby clothes.From newborn to his recent outgrows at 2y/o. And every outfit, i find a reason that it means something to me and wont part with it? They all in great shape! Good brands.????

So how many of your kids clothes did you keep for memories?

Did you give yours clothes away to a needed friend or family? Or sell them? I am not planning on having another child for another 5-6 years? Keep them that long for my next little boy?

The Expert answers:

We kept VERY few pieces. Only those that truly had a memory associated with them including the shirt we took him home in from the hospital, his first pair of pajamas, his first Robeez shoes (they look so tiny now!), his first pair of baby socks and one pair of shorts. Everything else we gave to friends and charity. Of the pieces that were pricey, we sold them as a lot (by size) on eBay. We took so many pictures of him that we probably have a photo of every outfit he wore from day one to about 2 years old.

The reality is, even if you have another child, styles, fabrics and colors all change, and let’s face it; everyone can use the extra space!

Michael asks…

Mummies… How much baby clothing did you buy?

I’m not quite sure how much newborn clothing I will need for when my baby boy comes… We’ve just started buying stuff now after finding out the sex and just wondered roughly how much I will need for a newborn. Tops, bottoms, babygrows etc… We don’t want to over-spend and have lots of stuff that never got used.

Thanks all x

The Expert answers:

As other people have said, wait to buy stuff until you find out how much people will give you. Not that you are “expecting” it, but still. If you don’t get all that much functional basics. I would say you will need 8-10 long sleeve onesies, some (about 6) shortsleeve onesie (fall & winter are chilly, 8-10 pants, 12 sleepers, lots & lots of socks, and maybe 5 “out and about” outfits. I overdid it, and still overdue it on a catastrophic level. I am then left with bin upon bin of stuff she has never worn or only worn once.

Here is a pretty realistic checklist for you to refer to, very helpful.

Betty asks…

How many clothes do you need for the baby for the first 3 months?

I have like 8 newborn onesies, 2 pair newborn pants, 1 pants shirt outfit, 12 newborn bodysuits short sleeves, one fleece newborn, then 0-3 mnts 5 warm onesies, 3 outfits with pants and shirts, and 4 boudsuits w/sleeves, You think that would be enough for first 3 months or I need more?? I know your proly gonna say I have a lot for newborn, but thats from my baby shower, and I cannot return anything cuz I don have any receipts!!!

The Expert answers:

It is alot for a newborn but it’s okay. After your baby out grows them you can put them to use by giving them to people in need or something like that. Anyway, that should be more than enough clothes for your baby. Babies grow fast and if you get anymore clothes she probably won’t get a chance to wear them before she out grows them. What I do for my kids is just get them enough clothes to last them about three or four days. Well that’s what I do for my youngest ones because they grow quick. Once they out grow them I replace them. However with my older kids I tend to buy them a few more outfits because they don’t grow as quick.

Good luck and congrats with your new baby!

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