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Laundering Your Baby's Clothes

After a baby arrives, it can seem as if the laundry doubles! Many parents think they need to use baby detergent to clean their little one's clothes. And when a newborn's skin is sensitive, this can be true.

But if baby detergent isn't getting rid of stains and odors as well as you'd like, it might be time to switch to a regular liquid detergent. (Liquid detergents can rinse out easier than powder detergents, so might be better for sensitive skin.)

Unless your baby has allergies, eczema/atopic dermatitis, or another condition causing sensitive skin, washing your little one's clothes with the rest of the family's clothes isn't likely to irritate your baby's skin.

If you switch from a baby detergent, test wash one piece of your baby's clothing with a color- and fragrance-free detergent. If you notice a skin reaction, stick with baby detergent for a little while longer. Whatever detergent you choose, avoid anti-static products or fabric softeners, which often have chemicals and fragrances that can irritate skin.

Note: Cloth diapers do need to be separated from your regular laundry because harsh detergents can cause diaper rash. Wash these with mild baby detergent in hot water and be sure to double rinse each load.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: June 2017

Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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