31 answers

Wash New Clothes Before Wearing?

Is it important to wash new clothes before you dress your newborn child in them?

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I have sensitive skin and I know that babies have sensitive skin. I used dreft for my babies clothes. One thing I wish I had done though...don't wash them ALL right off....my dd was born early. so a lot of her clothes were the wrong season...I could have traded them in or passed them off to someone else if I had left tags on them! anyway they did go to family later. but there were some things never worn by my daughter that hung in her closet. lol. I still try to wash everything before anyone wears it--but sometimes on vacation etc. it can't happen. I am glad I did wash them for the sensitive skin stuff.

I do as I don't know what chemicals are on them and what people have touched them. It's a preference some people have, but I do not believe it is a rule.

Have a GREAT day!

S.

Most fabric dyes are set with formaldehyde (sp?). This is very common to cause rashes-

When I worked as a retail manager most clothing and bath/ bedding boxes would be received with health warning stickers due to the formaldehyde.

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I wash all my baby's new clothes before he wears them, for the reasons listed below. I did want to add my two cents on only washing a few items until you find out how big your baby is though...
I can understand how that is a valid point, but for me I just washed everything, and since all of our outfits were gifts and most people didn't leave us the gift receipts, I didn't think that possibley returning them was an option. I washed everything beforehand, whic was really nice because then i didn't have stacks and stacks of baby laundry to do AFTER the birth of my boy and could just focus on being a new mom. Also my sister had pointed out a REALLY good tip to me that I wanted to pass on - Baby clothes do shrink quite a bit the first time they are washed, some more than others. She told me to always wash before having the baby wear them, not jsut because of chemical residues and stuff, but also because then your baby will most likely wear it once, and then when you wash it it will shrink too small to fit them, and and cute outfit was basically wasted. If you pre-srink them, then your baby can wear them when he is smaller for a lot longer, instead of waiting for him to grow into something, and then out grow it as soon as it shrinks in its first wash. Good luck with your little one! Becoming a mother is SO FUN!

1 mom found this helpful

I would most certainly wash. Below is from an article that can be found at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/233417/should_yo....

There is loads of info on this subject on the web.

Formaldehyde in Clothing
Who doesn't enjoy shopping for new clothes or giving a loved one or friend a new sweater as a gift? Most people these days certainly do take a degree of satisfaction from purchasing new clothing, however, everyone should be aware that new clothes, towels or even sheets might contain toxic chemicals like formaldehyde. Formaldehyde? Yep, that's right, the chemical used in biology labs for preserving dead animals and body parts. But why would anyone put formaldehyde on clothing? There are several reasons that manufacturers use formaldehyde. It is believed that some of the chemicals help keep the fabric stain free, wrinkle free and disinfected. But more importantly, it should be made clear that formaldehyde is considered a carcinogen, a cancer causing agent.

Strangely enough, when clothes have a fresh, new scent to them, it's from the chemicals used during their manufacture. Some people have very sensitive skin and can break out in a rash from the formaldehyde and other chemicals without even realizing their rash is from the clothes. Even those people who don't have a reaction are at risk since continued exposure to carcinogens could increase their chances of contracting cancer. Therefore, all new clothing and fabrics in general should be washed prior to wearing or using them.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.!

Congrats!!! It's probably just me, but I washed everything in every in Dreft or Ivory first. Just wanted to be careful since I didn't know who had handled the clothes and/or how they were shipped. I know I sound neurotic, but I figured better safe than sorry.

Congrats, again!
L.

I just wanted to mention that I bought a big thing of Dreft before my baby was born, and now he is 11 months old and I still haven't had to buy another. And I love the smell of my baby's clothes and blankets just after they are washed.

I have sensitive skin and I know that babies have sensitive skin. I used dreft for my babies clothes. One thing I wish I had done though...don't wash them ALL right off....my dd was born early. so a lot of her clothes were the wrong season...I could have traded them in or passed them off to someone else if I had left tags on them! anyway they did go to family later. but there were some things never worn by my daughter that hung in her closet. lol. I still try to wash everything before anyone wears it--but sometimes on vacation etc. it can't happen. I am glad I did wash them for the sensitive skin stuff.

YES!!!
this is important for the whole family, not just babies. Most manufacturers do NOT wash after the dyeing process so all those chemicals are still on the surface. you've also got pesticides, etc from the fiber. and lastly, you've got dirt, bugs, etc from the factory. yes, you read that right about bugs. my husband used to manage retail and he said what they found in the boxes of clothes was really disgusting. Even if you don't get a rash, who really wants all that next to their or their family's skin? A vinegar rinse (instead of softener) on cotton items will remove any soap residue as well as everything mentioned above and there's no smell after the clothes dry.
I do agree w/the person who said to wait on most items. although you will be incredibly busy after the baby, you don't want to be stuck w/a whole bunch of clothes you can't return because you washed them. So, wait on the newborn sizes until you know how big she really is (and the doctors are frequently wrong!).

Hi M.,
I always washed my babies new clothes because it made me feel more comfortable and made the clothes softer. With most of that new stuff you can throw it all into one load so you don't have a lot of work to do. I still do that with anything new they get and they are 3 and 4. God bless you on your upcoming adventure. L.

Hi,
Congratulations on your upcoming arrival. I would say yes -Clothes have been handled by who knows what - machines/people. I just washed things a little at a time and stored them, so that they were ready when the baby came.

Congrats! About a week or two before my daughter was born I started washing all of my husband's, daughter's and my clothes in Dreft. My cousin's son had really sensitive skin, so I knew people in our family were prone to rashes. Sure enough, the first day after she was born, she had a rash from the sheets and blankets at the hospital. After I switched her to the clothes, sheets and blankets I pre washed at home, her rash cleared up and it was fine.

After a few weeks we switched to All free and clear, since it was cheaper and it worked great. We also used Bounce free and clear for fabric softer sheets.

Since our clothes were washed in free and clear we didn't have to worry about her snuggling up to our clothes and getting a rash. However when other people held her, we had to make sure we had one of her prewashed blankets between their clothes and her skin.

She may have been an extreme case, but as I am expecting another one, I figure we will do this all again and hopefully avoid any rashes.

Good luck and blessings on your litttle one!

M.,

I agree that you should wash them. I did with my first and we used Dreft. Then we found Arm and Hammer with no bleaches or dyes and use that for all of our clothes now (includeing both kids, 2 years and 7 months). If you just want to wash some of them, just do the 0-3 months clothes (and maybe a few newborn sizes). True you can't return things already washed but you could sell them to a consignment store of give them to another new mom. My first was very small and was in the newborn clothes for about a month (maybe even more). My second only wore newborn sized about 2 weeks. 0-3 is a better size because for most kids it lasts longer. I agree with another Mom that it is nice to have a bunch of clean clothes, towels, sheets, etc when you get home from the hospital. For my second, it was necessary because his dispers leaked a lot (something about boys I guess) so we changed his clothes 3-8 times a day for the few weeks.

You can wait to wash the 3 months and up clothes until you see how big your little one is and how fast he/ she grows.

That's my two cents. Best of luck with your upcoming little one.

Hi M.,

Congratulations! Yes, you will want to wash all the clothes before putting them on your child. The have a chemical on them from processing which can create a reaction and a rash on the baby.
I hope that helps.
L.

I generally do for the reasons already mentioned. Even if they come from someone I trust.

I agree with prewashing, and was using all free and clear for the whole family before my son was born, the last few months I have found another detergent that is the same price including brightner, both with no bleach or other cancer causing chemicles. I order them online, and the store also makes cleaning procudts that are naturally based and safe for pets and babys. I love them and they get things clean.
I am including a link if any one wants more info on this Idaho company:

www.ChangingStores.info

S.
Mother to Kai

Congratulations! M.
Little girls are so much fun to dress. We alway's washed them first. The problem we ran into is the baby clothes shrink really bad and the baby grows really good. If you can wash them, put them in the dryer just to knock out the wrinkles and reshape to air dry. Hmmm, sounds like a lot of work. If you leave them in the dryer, put it on low heat so they don't shrink too much. GL K. K.

I think it is a good idea to wash them.. however, only wash what you will use at the hospital and maybe a couple other things. Sometimes babies are born bigger thane expected and if you keep things with their packaging and tags you can exchange sizes if needed. Congrats and good luck!

Yes!!

Some clothing is treated with formaldehyde or other chemicals in an effort to preserve the fabric — plus, you just don't know where it's been ...

We washed everything in Dreft before the arrival of our baby, including sheets, blankets, car seat covers, stroller fabric — everything. It was a lot of work but after seeing how extra sensitive our daughter's skin truly is, I know it was worth the effort.

:)

As a general rule, I wash all new clothes before personally wearing them or dressing my child in them. I don't know where they were before I got them - in a dirty truck during shipment, on the floor in the stockroom, or even if they were previously purchased by someone and returned (and whoever bought and/or returned them could have had animals that me or my child could be allergic to). Plus, you never know what might be on the fabric that might be irritating to a newborn's skin, so I would wash the clothes in a mild (baby) detergent just to be on the safe side.

Absolutlely! There is a lot of residue in fabrics (sheets and blankets too) that can cause skin irritation of a new baby's skin. Use gentle soap without fragrances.

Yes - you never know where they have been, what type of sizing may have been used to keep them wrinkle-free, etc. Also, be careful what detergent you use. Baby skin is delicate and can't handle the chemicals adult skin can. There are fragrance and dye-free products available for laundry. Congratulations on your baby - June 30 is probably coming quick for you!

You should absolutely wash them first. My daughter developed horrible hives from wearing some never-been-washed clothes. Save yourself the trouble of ever having to go through it!

I feel it is important to wash before wear. There may be some stuff left on the fibers from manufacturing or handling that you won't want irritating babys skin.

I think it is really important to wash before wearing. There seems to be some stuff left on the fibers from manufacturing or handling that you won't want left behind. Also, who knows where they have been...Floor, stepped-on, etc.

Most fabric dyes are set with formaldehyde (sp?). This is very common to cause rashes-

When I worked as a retail manager most clothing and bath/ bedding boxes would be received with health warning stickers due to the formaldehyde.

Yes, try using Dreft, which is geared for newborns sensitive skin. I wash ALL our clothes even mine before I wear them. I agree with posters about chemical residue too. You have no idea if someone tried it on and returned it not to mention just not soft at all until they are washed !:)

M.,

It might be. Some people with sensitive skins do better with new clothes if they are washed before wearing. My son, who is now 27, still tends to break out on his back if he wears clothing with the new sizing still in it. I have washed his new clothing for years.

Newborns can probably be assumed to have sensitive skins.

Linda

It looks like I'm in the minority here, but I don't wash them first unless they are from a secondhand store (kid to kid, DI, etc). I have two kids and neither of their skin has been irritated by it. It does seem like lots of baby clothes shrink a little once they are washed (especially those 5 packs of onesies) So if you do wash them and have a regular size baby, you may want see if your baby when she is two months old can start fitting into some of the 3-6 month clothes.

Yes, please do wash all the baby's things before she comes. That includes any cradle or crib sheets and blankets. Most, if not all, of the fabrics are treated with sizing to help them look crisp and neat in the packaging, or to help hold their shape on hangers. This might be quite irritating to your little one's skin. Also, I suggest doing a double rinse on all lanudry for your little girl until she is about nine months or so. The double rinse helps make sure all soap has been removed before the clothes go into the dryer or on the line, and keeps them soft. If you want, you can add some hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle, which will help soften the fabrics more gently than commercial softeners (which I never use at all). Congratulations, and have fun.

I never did. My kids are fine, no rashes ever, no reactions, nothing.

I say yes, please wash all the new things for your newborn. Not only will the items become softer, but babies are not as strong as we are against these new germs they are rapidly exposed to right out of the womb.

Use Dreft, too! Any questions in person, or if you need some help understanding things with your newborn, I am a Post Partum Doula. I coach and teach so many things to new parents, as well as providing night care for tired new parents. I am also a Lactation Educator, so if you are breast feeding, I support and coach that as well.

There are so many things that come unexpectedly, so call for a coaching session, or a few weeks (up to 12 weeks old) of night care. I have them sleeping through the night by 12 weeks. Babies shouldn't need to cry at all. So, if any crying...you can email me at ____@____.com

Yes, I would wash the new clothes for your baby. I would use the detergent Dreft. I would also wash the bedding, blankets, birp clothes, etc. Congratulations on you new baby. They are fun but a lot of work. Enjoy her.

I do as I don't know what chemicals are on them and what people have touched them. It's a preference some people have, but I do not believe it is a rule.

Have a GREAT day!

S.

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