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Washing Baby's Clothes Before Delivery

Get the scoop on why, when and how to wash baby's clothes to keep that newborn skin safe and happy.
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Updated
August 19, 2019
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You should definitely wash baby’s clothes, blankets and other washable items that will come in contact with their skin. It’s not necessary to do it before they’re born, but it’s a good idea to do it before they wear them. Why? Baby’s brand new birthday suit hasn’t toughened up yet! Their skin is sensitive and the finish that’s put on new clothes to make them look cute enough for you to snatch up can irritate baby’s virgin skin.

But it’s not enough to simply load all of baby’s gear in the washer and toss in your favorite lavender-scented soap. You should be sure to use a gentle, baby-friendly detergent—one that doesn’t include dyes or perfumes (scents), since those can irritate skin, too. Whether you use a baby-specific detergent or a gentle everyday one that omits these potential irritants is up to you—either should do the trick. Some parents double-rinse new baby gear. I didn’t and my daughter never balked, but she surely would have if she had irritated skin. When drying gear, skip the fabric softener and dryer sheets too.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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