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Washing Newborn Baby Clothes Before Using Them is a Must


Pregnant woman hanging rompers on clothesline, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Stephanie Dillig / STOCK4B / Stock4B / Getty Images

Q: Between baby gifts and hand-me-downs, I've gotten baskets full of newborn baby clothes. I'm wondering, do I really have to wash all of them before my baby wears them? The thought is completely overwhelming given everything else I still have to do before the baby gets here.

A: Yes, you must wash newborn baby clothes before you dress your baby in them.

With hand-me-downs, it can be tempting to skip the wash, but you don't know how long the clothes have been in storage, so it's best to wash them anyway. With brand-new baby clothes, washing is a must.

Before clothes arrive at a store, they are often stored in large warehouses and can be exposed to many different bugs and rodents. These pests can get in boxes and on baby clothes.

Baby clothes are also often sprayed with formaldehyde before being shipped; this is done to preserve the "fresh" look of the clothing. Chemicals are not something you want on your newborn's sensitive skin.

Now, on to your feelings of being overwhelmed with the amount of baby laundry. I've got good news; you can actually do all the baby laundry with your family's existing dirty clothes. The trick is to use an unscented laundry detergent and include an extra rinse cycle. When you throw the clothes in the dryer, opt for dryer balls instead of fabric softener sheets.

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