Once a baby arrives, it can seem as if the laundry doubles! Many
parents think they need to use baby detergent to clean their
baby's clothes. It may be reassuring to know that this
isn't necessary for most babies.
If baby detergent isn't getting rid of stains and odors on
your baby's clothing as well as you'd like, it may be time
to switch to a regular liquid detergent. Unless your baby has
eczema, atopic dermatitis
or other conditions causing sensitive skin, washing your little
one's clothes with the rest of the family's clothes
isn't likely to irritate your baby's skin. Liquid
detergents are your best bet because they work for all types of
clothes. You may even want to use stain-removing detergents for
Before making the switch, though, be sure to test one article of
clothing first. If there seems to be some irritation, try using a
detergent that doesn't contain colors or fragrances. If you
still notice a skin reaction, stick with baby detergent for a
little while longer.
Cloth diapers are the only items that need to be separated from
your regular laundry because harsh detergents can cause
. If you use cloth diapers, wash them with mild baby detergent, and
avoid antistatic products or fabric softeners, which often have
fragrances that can irritate the skin. Also, use hot water and be
sure to double rinse each load.
Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: July 2007
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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