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Tips for Doing Your Baby's Laundry

One of the great mysteries of motherhood is how someone so tiny can produce so much dirty laundry. You'll have plenty of time to ponder that question while washing mountains of dirty onesies and tiny socks. Because your baby's skin is delicate and his clothing is bound to be stained by all manner of substances, doing his laundry may require more care than the general family wash.

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Prewash Everything

It's impossible to know what chemicals linger on new clothes and hand-me-downs, so it's wise to prewash every piece of fabric with which your newborn will come in contact. You may skip prewashing for bulky items that won't have much contact with the skin like outerwear, suggests HealthyChildren, but do wash all bedding and towels you'll use on Baby. Prewash your nursing bras and any blankets you'll use to cover yourself and your baby while nursing. Wash the cover of your baby's car seat on a gentle setting and allow it to air dry.

Get Organized

You received a mountain of onesies at your baby shower, so it seems impossible that they'd all be dirty at once -- until you can't find any clean ones in his closet. Keeping your baby's wardrobe organized in clear tubs or drawer organizers helps you spot when supplies of certain items are dwindling. Stashing a rolling laundry cart in his closet helps you transport dirty clothes easily, which is especially helpful when you're recovering from labor or carrying your baby. Set an alarm on your phone whenever you put a load of laundry in. You can do load after load without losing time in between because you didn't hear the cycle end.

Know Your Stains

Different stains require different treatments, according to "Better Homes and Gardens." Clothing with protein-based stains -- those left by substances including breast milk, feces and spit-up -- should be soaked for at least 30 minutes in a tub containing cold water and a laundry detergent that includes enzymes. To beat urine stains, combine 1 tablespoon of ammonia and 1 cup of water, advises "Better Homes and Gardens," and dab a cloth soaked in the mixture over the spot. Soak cloth diapers in cold water overnight, and washing them separately from other clothing.

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Don't Stress About Detergent

It's nothing but the best for your baby, but that doesn't mean you have to shell out big bucks for pricey baby-only detergent. In fact, according to HealthyChildren, you can probably wash your infant's clothing with the same detergent you use for the rest of your laundry. Do avoid soap flakes, which can affect the flame retardants used to treat baby sleepwear. Test out different brands and types of detergent if you notice redness or irritation on your baby's skin, and double rinse his laundry.

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