Parenting Highs and Woes: Endless Washing

Wowie, it has been a while hasn’t it?!

So what’s been happening? Well, basically, I have been getting to grips with motherhood. The highs and lows, the smiles and poo-splosions and everything in between.

There is so much that comes with being a parent that no book prepares you for. You will have never missed sleep as much as you do when you have a baby, even on a Monday morning when you think you are tired, YOU ARE NOT TIRED. I used to hate going to bed, “what a waste of a day” I naively thought… HA!

Also, the whole of your attention is on little one, all the time. Even when baby is sleeping you are thinking about grabbing a second to eat, shower or even what housework you could do.

Housework… that is a whole other ball game after a baby enters your life. On the one hand you have NO time, none whatsoever and honestly any time you do have you just want to sit and have a cup of tea or watch some trash on telly. But on the other hand you know the house needs to be somewhat clean because you are now responsible for the health of another, and somewhat fragile, individual, so the nine inches of dust you’d usually let slide is probably no longer acceptable.

Now let’s talk about washing because good Lord there is some washing. I am the type of lazy sod that sticks everything in together on a mixed load setting, part of the beauty of wearing all black. However, tiny clothes could not be more complicated! First you have the lights, the muslins and lighter clothes. You then have the coloured clothes and lastly the towels. Three separate washes for one tiny human being, unreal. And they boy do they make a mess; poop, wee and sick… oh my!

Like I said I am lazy, I can honestly say that I rarely, if ever, look at washing labels for my own clothes. Has this meant that I have shrunk some woolen items, sure, but life is too short for the amount of washing that needs doing; that is until you are paying £12 for a pair of tiny jeans (this is a lot to me, they are TINY). Suddenly those hieroglyphic looking symbols seem much more important than they once did.

Hands up, who knows what they all mean? I don’t believe you and according to a survey by Data Label56% said they find them confusing, 24% said that they don’t understand the symbols, and a further 32% confessed that they were sometimes confused by them‘. Now I know the one with the number in, that is machine wash and the maximum temperature *pats back* and the one with the hand is hardly rocket science but the rest, who knows?! Well, in an effort to be a more adulty adult I have used the infographic below to find out what the rest are.

Washing label infographic

Infographic by Data Label

And now you know, YOU’RE WELCOME – side note, as a parent I now have Maui’s song ‘You’re Welcome’ from Moana stuck in my head, GREAT.

Now this won’t change my washing habits for my own clothes but I may pay a little more attention when it comes to washing the wee one’s clothing, well, the nice none poo stained pieces.

Speaking of which, all you new mums and mums-to-be out there, here are four tips for washing baby clothes that may save you tears, time and money.

4 Tips For Washing Baby Clothes

Washing up liquid and cold water for poo-splosion stains

Have you ever watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding? I am like the dad obsessed with Windex but instead of a window cleaner it is washing up liquid. This stuff is incredible for getting stains out of pretty much anything and breastfed baby poop is no exception. This poop is mustard yellow, often comes out in force and in excess, meaning that clothing is not safe.

These smelly outbursts are the bane of many parents’ lives. Luckily you can do something to stop the stain setting. Run the item under COLD water, not warm or hot as this sets the stain. While it is wet squirt some washing up liquid on the stain, take two parts of the fabric and work in the washing up liquid by rubbing it together, rinse under cold water and repeat.

If you can’t deal with a stain immediately put the item in cold water and leave it to soak, this stops it from setting and will allow you to work some magic on it at a time where you have your hands free.

Do not wash towels with clothes

Our baby towels are white, so naturally I put them in with the white muslins and vests. Everything was fine. I then got lazy (obviously) and started washing light coloured clothes with the towels, the pieces that had colour on them came out a little bobbly. The only way I can describe it is like when you leave tissue in your pocket and it is a bloody mess, that.

I assumed it was the muslins so I thought, hey, none of his clothes run so I can wash towels with his darks, BIG MISTAKE. Cue me having to use a lint roller on teeny tiny tops and trousers in a desperate attempt to get all the fluff off. To this day they are still a bit bobbly and I never wash towels with anything other than muslins now.

Sun bleaches out stains

This is a tip I have seen in action but not tried myself (mainly because my washing up liquid trick always works), but apparently if you try to remove a stain, wash the item and it is still there, stick it out in the sun and it should bleach the stain out or at least lighten it. This tip comes from cloth nappy mums who, as you can imagine, have a LOT of stains to deal with.

Put baby socks in a netted bag or pillow case

Everyone knows about the monster that lives in your washing machine (or tumble dryer if you’re fancy) that nicks one of each of your socks, well it works overtime when it comes to baby socks. There are several pairs of little socks that have just gone missing. A simple solution to this problem put them in a pillowcase, tie the end up and put them in the wash. You can also buy netted bags for this exact purpose. This should be the end of missing socks because they are bloody expensive… £5 for five little pairs of socks, really?!