Newborn skin is delicate and the same is true for a baby’s immune system. A number of chemicals, fragrances and dyes that don’t affect adults can have very different effects on a newborn and this is highlighted by a range of symptoms such as skin irritation, dryness, chafing and rashes. That’s why it’s generally a good idea to separate newborn baby clothes and only use laundry detergent that is specific to babies, and therefore fragrance and dye-free.
However, this rule might not need to be applied when it comes to babies that have passed the newborn stage. Not to mention the fact that washing anything baby-related in a house that already separates whites from colours in a wash can be incredibly time-consuming and make it very easy for the person doing the washing to feel trapped in an unending cycle of dirty and clean washing.
Therefore, after considering the opinions and experiences of a number of mothers and fathers, this article will try to establish if there are any negative repercussions to washing baby and adult clothes together.
Do you need to wash clothes separately?
The short answer is no. Though it is advised, many mums and dads find it a lot easy to wash their baby clothes with their normal load, so long as the whites and colours are separated and the clothes are all placed on a gentle wash. Numerous couples have tried this and found no issue just as those that do separate clothes have found no issues, meaning this first point boils down to personal choice.
Perhaps an important thing to remember is that if you or your partner is involved in a profession that puts you into contact with high levels of germs or a number of harmful chemicals, for example weed killer, then it is generally best to separate your clothes. As well as this, if clothes are heavily soiled or dirty then it is also a better idea to separate your baby’s clothing and blankets from the rest of the washing just as a precaution.
If you still feel unsure about combining the wash but want to fill the washing drum in order to save money, you can try washing your baby’s clothes and blankets with your own pyjamas, socks and underwear to see how it goes. The fact that they all benefit from a soft and gentle wash anyway is a plus!
If you wash everything together can you use normal detergent and fabric conditioner?
If you decide not to separate the washing then changes to your detergent will have to be made so that you do not cause irritation or rashes on your baby’s skin. As baby detergents are fragrance and dye-free then its best to a normal detergent with the same qualities. As well as this it is important to buy non-bio as this way you’ll ensure any harsh chemicals have been removed and that the detergent will be more sensitive. See some of the best washing powders for sensitive skin here.
With regards to fabric conditioner, it is best to avoid it, as it normally contains a number of chemicals that will be too harsh on the sensitive skin of a baby.
Are there any benefits to doing a combined wash or a separate wash?
Regarding a combined wash the main benefit is that it saves time therefore frees up your day. Furthermore, what might be easy to forget is that by combining you baby’s washing with the rest of the houses’ washing you get to save money on the water and electricity bill.
Separating your baby’s clothing from the main wash it does make it easier to organise after it has been washed as washing everything together usually results in something getting lost or everyone’s black socks getting mixed up. By separating your baby’s clothing you can ensure that nothing gets muddled or lost.