When I became a mom for the first time, I truly could not believe how often my teeny tiny baby was going through diapers – and, more importantly, how explosive her bodily movements were. From projectile spit up to poop attacks that always escaped any diapers – our household was quickly turned upside down, and became a 24-7 laundromat to keep up with all of the baby-related laundry that would easily pile high each day. I thought, rather naively, that this phase of constant laundry and stains would end—until we entered the solid foods stage. Oh boy! It got worse and that laundry pile grew faster than ever before.
Because we try to be conscious about maintaining an eco-friendly household as much as possible, here are some of our top tips for easy (and eco-friendly) ways to keep your baby’s clothes clean on a daily basis.
1. Wear (Clean) Clothing More Than Once
Washing clothing too often isn’t good for its longevity in your wardrobe, and, of course, running your washing washer and dryer constantly isn’t exactly great for the environment either. If your kid has successfully made it through the day without completely destroying the outfit they have been wearing, don’t be afraid to set those clean items aside and have them wear them again. Even if it’s the next day, we won’t tell! Be proud of yourself for getting clothes on them at all.
2. Get Yourself Some Good Bibs
WOW. Babies eating solid foods is seriously NEXT LEVEL when it comes to mess. I couldn’t believe it! Every surface was suddenly caked with remnants of cookies, crackers and purees – and good luck keeping up with a clean floor. Oof! When my daughter started on solids, I immediately ordered a bib that covered her from wrist-to-neck, which was a lifesaver when she was still navigating how to get food from point A to point B (aka her mouth) extremely unsteadily. Even though we have not graduated to regular bibs, they’re essential for keeping food off of her outfits (which helps keep them out of the laundry pile).
3. Take Clothes Off Before Eating
This tip is obviously better suited to summer months (at least here in Canada), but if the weather is warm and I know my baby will be comfortable, I let her dig into her dinner with nothing on but a diaper. This way, she can go wild and deep dive into a bowl of pasta bolognese without any added stress on my end—especially knowing that her messy dinner fun will be followed by bathtime before bed!
4. Use Detergent That’s Free From Harsh Chemicals
We have always preferred to use gentle and scent-free laundry detergent, and were often taken aback by how many baby-related detergents out there are filled with overwhelming perfumes and lists of ingredients we could barely pronounce (let alone understand what they are). Sticking to using simple and gentle detergents is important to us, and we were really pleased to see that an easy-to-find major brand like Arm & Hammer has a baby detergent that’s gentle on skin and free of harsh chemicals, dye and perfume.
Upon receiving our first bottle to try out, we were pleased to find that the liquid was white and clear (like the harder-to-find detergents we normally prefer) and didn’t smell of anything at all. Arm & Hammer’s slogan is ‘the standard of purity’, and honestly that’s exactly what came to mind when I took a closer look at this detergent for the first time! In our household, we tend to wash our baby’s clothing along with ours, and were immediately excited to swap in Arm & Hammer’s Baby detergent as our new go-to for all of our laundry.
5. Try Spot Cleaning (Without Bleach)
This tip ties in with my first suggestion in this list, which encourages you to think twice before throwing something into the laundry pile before it truly needs to be laundered. Spills and stains are part of daily life—especially with a baby—but instead of taking something off and letting the stain sit, and potentially cause more permanent damage, try spot cleaning (without bleach). Just use a bit of soap, or even a small amount of a gentle detergent like Arm & Hammer’s Baby option. If you tend to the stain right away with a bit of soap, water and a gentle cloth, you might be surprised to see that worrisome stain disappear sooner rather than later, without much of a mark.
(Story by Editor-in-Chief, Gracie Carroll)
Please note this post has been brought to you in partnership with Arm & Hammer Canada, all thoughts and opinions are our own.