Before having a baby, I was warned by many other parents about how much laundry I would end up doing. It wasn’t necessarily that babies need a lot of clothes or that they get that dirty that often. It was more that they will spit up a lot on their own clothes as well as on yours. It is also that they are unpredictable when it comes to how many blowouts they will have. You may also have situations when you are taking off one of their dirty diapers, and then, you accidentally get some of their pee or poop on their clothes. Then, the baby can no longer wear that onesie or shirt anymore, and you have to soak it and get it ready for the wash. Or, another situation that may arise during a diaper change when you are changing them: they suddenly decide, oftentimes reflexively, that they want to take one of their little feet or hands and shove it right into the dirty diaper. Then, while you are trying to block them from getting into that dirty diaper, the smear ends up happening. Voila: there, you have another situation of yet another piece of dirty clothing that you have to wash.
Also, when other parents warned me about how much laundry I was going to be doing as a parent, no one warned me that baby clothes and baby cloth items cannot be washed in the same way that I wash my own clothes. What I mean by that is, these items often times will say, wash in cold water only, wash on delicate cycle, do not tumble dry, do not put in dryer; not dryer safe. Why is this the case? Well, for the clothes, it’s because the baby clothes will shrink. They are already so small. For the other items? I have no freaking clue. These baby companies need to get their crap together and actually make their cloth items washer and dryer safe. Stat.
So what the hell are you supposed to do? You’re just supposed to air dry everything? When did having a baby and her clothes become so unbelievably high maintenance? I don’t even do this for over 99% of my own clothes! And I am an adult!
Not everyone has the luxury of having an outdoor space with clean, crisp air where they can just line dry clothes and hang them up in the midst of sun and nature. Some of us actually live in urban areas where we dwell in apartments and cannot line dry our clothes and have them be nice and soft and fluffy once they are dry. We don’t even have a rack to hang clothes to dry. When we have the occasional item that needs to be air dried, I will usually hang it on a clothing hanger and then put it on the shower rod in the bathroom. But I can’t really do that with the baby’s clothes because they are so small and would just fall off. So what we have ended up doing is just putting all of her wet clothes out of the washer all around the dining room table and chairs to dry. And sadly, once they are dry, they are not soft and fluffy. Some of them are actually a little bit rough, as sad as that sounds. It depends on the material of the item, but some of them really are just not soft… At all. And that makes me sad given the original state the clothing item was in. Luckily, most of those items, after a few days in her drawers, get a little bit softer by the time she wears it. So in the end, it’s not so bad. But it is definitely not in its original baby soft condition.
So yes, you can add this to the list of things that I was not anticipating when becoming a new parent. No one warned me how high maintenance baby clothes and baby cloth items would be to wash. And don’t even get me started on the lounger covers and how hard they are to take on and off, not to mention baby chair covers. Those items also need to be air dried. How riveting and fun for new, tired, sleep-deprived parents.