Baby clothes - wash before use?

What it says on the tin -

Do you think that baby clothes should be washed before putting them the sprout for the first time?

Please give your reasoning, anecdotes, etc.

Do I think they NEED to be? No.

Do I wash them first anyway? Yes. At least until the kid is a few months old.

Reasoning: Fabrics are coated in “sizing” to make them behave for the assembly process. This makes them a little stiff. Plus they smell great after a wash in Dreft.

I don’t think sizing or stiff clothing is going to make baby’s limbs fall off. But I like putting soft snuggly things on soft snuggly people.

I always wash all clothing before use to get rid of the “store smell.” Plus some items feel stiff or scratchy, so a tumble thru the wash softens them up. Whether it was for my daughter as an infant or the new top I got myself last week, everything gets laundered.

I’m not a germophobe - I just like the feel and smell of my own laundry.

I would. New clothes smell like they’re treated with something. Maybe they’re not treated, but there’s a perfumey smell to them. Plus, they’re usually stiff.

My baby quilts are washed before baby gets them. It softens them up nicely.

i definitely would. also some dyes could come off on the kid and you could wind up with a red or blue baby.


That outfit may have been sewn together by loving grandmas that do it for the sheer love of fabric and a good feeling of a job well done just to pass the time in her retirement years. Or it may have been put together and folded up by an 11 year old on an assembly line that isn’t going to waste the extra minute of her break washing her hands after using the bathroom and risk the $2 a day.

It’s up to you. Point being - you don’t know who has had their hands on your stuff before it was yours.

Yes and only in Dreft. Because that is what my Mommy told me and I believe her. :wink:

I’m guessing yes, you should. IIRC a lot of new clothes are treated with formaldehyde or similar compounds—mfrs don’t want mold or moths or anything before they reach the consumer.

I got into the habit years ago after I started scratching while wearing a new/unlaundered shirt. Mom said I should and later, someone told me the formaldehyde angle.

I would imagine babies have more sensitive skin or maybe a less-developed immune system, so they’d be more susceptible.

Absolutely, for all the reasons above. When my (now) 17 year old turned 2, he received an adorable sweatsuit. I put it on him the next day as we were going to be outside (this is mid-November). That night when I undressed him, he had a rash wherever it touched his skin.

I can’t understand people that don’t wash everything they buy before wearing it.

Whether it’s for a baby or an adult, if it came from a store, it’s been handled by a gazillion people who may or may not be good at washing their hands, it’s got dust simply from being out on display, and there’s all the sizing and other stuff.

Yeah, but haven’t you ever gotten a garment, loved it, washed it, and it never looked that good ever again?

ETA - and surely you don’t take brand new dry clean only clothes to the dry cleaner before you wear them?

We wach for the resons mentioned, and, also, because one time my son had some kind of reaction with red splotches all over him. His mother has been very careful to wash clothes ever since then.

This. I’m completely skeeved out by the idea of people wearing clothes or (gak) using sheets or towels that haven’t been laundered.

heh. When I asked one of the maternity ward nurses what they used to wash their baby blankets and such, the answer was, “Tide, and lots of bleach.” That kinda eased my mind about the whole laundry thing. Now I just use unscented All for the baby stuff.

What about dry cleaning? I need an answer from the “must wash beforehand” people on this very important issue!

I don’t dry clean the clothes ahead of time. But so few of my “inner clothes” need dry cleaning–mostly for me it’s winter coats and suit jackets etc. I tend to handwash silk blouses and the like.

I always washed my babies’ clothes prior to wearing. Two reasons:

  1. the sizing and the dirt from the store.
  2. MIL smoked like a chimney and all the baby clothes smelled of it. Gag.
    I always wash jeans prior to as well-- a holdover from the days when new jeans were stiff and dark, dark blue–your legs would turn blue from the dye.

Cheap tops often are never the same after washing. :frowning: :mad:

Yep. I asked the same question at the NICU (neo-natal intensive care) and got the same answer. Dreft is, for most babies, completely unnecessary and much more expensive.

Almost all our baby clothes are hand-me-downs from my very hygienic sister in law, so I don’t bother washing them. The few new things that we get or are gifted generally do get washed first.

No, I’m not as adamant about dry cleaning. But now you’re making me think I should be! :slight_smile:

I have but sometimes it itches…I can usually tell within about a minute of putting it on. I haven’t done it in years.

But a baby is more likely to have a worse reaction.

The only time I buy things that require dry cleaning is when I neglect to check the tag while buying it. It goes through the wash like everything else.

Some people are superstitious about washing all the clothes and having everything ready before the baby arrives,but we took our chances about 2-3 weeks before the lil one arrived to wash and put away all her clothes.

We bought the Target version of Dreft, but honestly I tried to find every excuse in the book to use it up quick. I really didn’t like the smell and our baby didn’t seem to have any aversions to anything.

If you’re worried about the clothes not turning out right after you wash them, use some Woolite and run it on the gentle cycle. If the baby’s clothes get extra dirty I’d try to get it wet right away and spray Shout on it. Worked for many of those tough icky stains. But the gentle cycle or quick cycle worked great for us! (even with regular detergent)