Doing laundry becomes a daily thing with a baby around thanks to the unpredictable messes they create, making the washer and dryer invaluable assets. Experts emphasize the importance of regularly washing baby clothes, and it’s not just about aesthetics. Dermatologists point out that a baby’s skin is still developing its natural protective barrier, which makes it vulnerable to things like infections and irritants like allergies.
How to Wash Baby Clothes
With washing baby clothes being a critical step in ensuring a baby’s health and well-being, parents need to know when to dive into the laundry pile. According to experts, it’s best to wash baby clothes before the little one sports their outfit of the day. It helps eliminate dust, dirt, or residues, ensuring comfort for the baby.
Now, the question arises: what to wash and how much? According to pediatricians, washing all newborn clothes and a couple of 0 to 3 sizes is a good idea. As the baby grows, washing the clothes should continue as they will keep needing them. Doing so regularly allows parents to avoid unnecessary stress about having everything washed and ready.
The Washer and Dryer Are Crucial
When it comes to the nitty-gritty of washing, parents don’t need anything fancy. A gentle detergent that is labeled for babies will do the job. A standard washing machine with delicate cycles, mild stain removers, and laundry baskets are also among the basics that all parents should have. Things that can and should be skipped include bleach, fabric softeners, and fragranced detergents because they can irritate the sensitive skin of the baby.
To make the washing process even more seamless, parents can follow a step-by-step guide. Sorting the clothes by color and fabric is important for preventing color bleeding and maintaining fabric integrity. Checking and pre-treating major stains helps avoid challenges in stain removal. Parents should also be cautious not to overload the washing machine and make sure to use a gentle or delicate cycle for thorough but gentle cleaning.
What to Do After Washing
After the cycle, parents should perform a double rinse of the clothes to ensure the removal of all detergent residues that could irritate the baby’s skin. When drying, they should opt for a low heat setting or air drying to prevent damage to delicate fabrics. Before dressing the baby in freshly laundered clothes, parents should inspect them for sharp buttons or snaps that may pose a safety risk.
In the whirlwind of baby care, mastering the art of washing baby clothes is a small but significant victory for parents in ensuring their little one’s comfort and health, as well as their own peace of mind.
Any parent’s instinct is to hold, care for, and even snuggle with their newborn. However, this may do more than just tend to their baby’s needs. According to research published in an online journal, a simple physical touch can help shape the DNA of a baby.
More About the Snuggle Research
There are surely many decisions and moves that new parents must do early on with their babies. This study emphasizes snuggling or comforting contact with the infant. A team of scientists from the University of British Columbia in Canada worked with the parents of 94 newborns. They asked them to keep a log of their touching and cuddling habits with their babies from the time they were five weeks old. The researchers also kept records of the behaviors of their newborns, such as how much they cried and slept.
Four and a half years later, the same researchers took DNA samples from the kids to analyze one very specific biochemical modification, called DNA methylation. It affects how genes express themselves and how cells mature. The gathered data showed that the DNA methylation of the baby could be affected by environmental factors, such as a parent giving a snuggle.
Affecting the Immune System and Metabolism
The University of British Columbia researchers concluded that snuggling your kid can influence some epigenetic changes in five areas of their DNA. They may include areas related to the metabolism and immune system. They compared what they found for kids that are in a high-contact group, versus those in the low-contact group.
The kids in the latter group had a molecular profile in their DNA that was underdeveloped for their age. This points to the possibility that they were biologically lagging. This is a statement from a professor in the department of medical genetics, Michael Kobor. According to him, the researchers think that slower epigenetic aging may reflect less favorable developmental progress. Science is beginning to show more and more conclusively that a simple snuggle, a kiss, or a hug can increase the chance for a baby to be healthier and happier in the long run.