7 Lessons All New Moms Learn The Hard Way About Washing Baby Clothes

Having a baby is one of the most amazing experiences anybody can ever enjoy, but as any mother already knows, there are some unforeseen incidences that come up once the stork delivers that little bundle of joy into your arms. There’s fatigue and the self-doubt and the poop (so. much. poop.), and all those picturesque visions you might have had of cradling the little one some blissful moment of rocking chair zen go right out the window when the messy reality of parenthood sets in.

It’s still the best, of course, but bracing for impact in advance can be a serious advantage to stepping into that new life-long gig, so here are a few key pointers about what to expect from the world of washing their wee wearables.

1. First of all, a basket with small holes is a high priority item.

Those tiny newborn clothes are about as adorable as anything you’ll ever buy, but they can be kind of a pain when you’re trying to transport them from the dryer onto your folding station. If your usual approach to moving a load from point A to B is the grab-a-handful-and-go technique, your pathway is just gonna be littered with tiny socks and onesies and everything else that’s teeny enough to slip through the cracks. It’s bad enough when you’re in recovery from, you know, the crazy miracle of life itself, so you don’t need an extra reason to keep having to bend over and pick a zillion things off the floor. Save yourself some trouble by investing in a basket that’s got small enough holes, if any, that’ll keep all those cutesy little pieces in one place.

2. You’ll probably stop hanging things up about three months in.

Chances are, your nursery closet will look like a Pinterest board before the babe comes home but a few months down the road, it might start to appear as though a tornado has come through. If so, relax. It’s all good. There’s no hard and fast rule that says you’ve got to spend whatever precious free time you have fitting every single outfit back into some neat vertical arrangement. Chances are, the kiddo’s gonna go through a handful of outfits a day anyway, so easy access is really the only thing that matters. Save yourself the trouble and take a nap instead, pal.

3. Matching sets are just going to get mixed up.

Try as you might, those little mix and match sets are going to get discombobulated. It’s a rule of nature, apparently, and cannot be avoided. The good news is, your baby is going to be cute whether his or her tops and bottoms are coordinated or not, and frankly, these things tend to look enough alike that most people won’t even be able to tell the difference anyway.

4. Vom bombs and blowouts need to be taken care of immediately.

This is verrrry important. Spit up and runny number twos sour up super quick, so to avoid mildewing, they need to go in the wash the same day as they happen. It’s a pain, but you do not want to smell what happens if they fester.

5. Baby bath towels are absurdly hard to fold, so manage your elegance expectations. 

By now, you’ve probably got a system in place for how to fold your towels, and you’re a swoop-tuck-turn champ of the towel scene. But those baby towels might throw even the most trophied towel aficionado for a loop because they’ve got that weird head flap thing that helps dry baby’s head but also creates lumps in the tri-fold and the material is so delicate and thin that it takes a whole new skill-set to figure it out. So, same rules apply as with everything else: No need to get fancy with it; just do your best to get in whatever storage compartment you’re using and don’t sweat the tidiness of it.

6. Velcro bibs stick to literally everything.

Bibs that have velcro instead of button clasps -- or even worse, ones that are supposed to go over baby’s head -- are super convenient and quick to put into place during mealtimes. But when it comes to cleaning them, they like to play hitchhiker and stick to anything and everything they come into contact with in the dryer cycle. One way to avoid this frustrating situation (after about 100 times of having to rip them off of another item, it’s enough to make you go blue in the face) is to simply fasten them before they go into the wash. Easy peasy.

7. The sock monster works overtime with baby gear.

If you thought Missing Sock Syndrome was bad with your grown-up socks, you haven’t seen anything yet. Baby socks are so itsy bitsy and just love to move into the little debris catcher space, so whenever you empty a load, take a peak in the rubbery rim and make sure none snuck in there unnoticed.