January 24, 2013

Non-Baby Baby Care Essentials

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Every list I’ve ever seen for prepping for baby’s arrival always include baby items: toys, clothes, etc. There are also a lot of non-baby specific items that can make caring for a baby so much easier. Here’s my list.

Laundry

Turns out, babies are messy. Poop? Purees? If it’s not coming out one end, it’s coming out the other. My laundry room has become a variable chem lab of detergents. In my arsenal:

  • A Plastic Wash Bucket – Or a sick if you have one close by the washer and dryer. Immediately pre-treating is often not practical, so I keep a plastic wash bucket with a little soapy water. When I have a particularly badly soiled garment, I throw it in to soak during the day until I have a chance to get it.
  • A Pre Treater (I used Oxiclean Gel Stick) – Really any pre-treater will work (and is a must!). After Nicki goes down I use a gel stick and go after any poop, purees or vitamin stains. Usually spit-up, breastmilk and formula come out with just detergent. Be prepared to need more than one iteration, especially after purees that weren’t presoaked.
  • The Heavy Duty Stuff (I use Oxiclean Powder) – I kid you not, this product got Gatorade out of my white nursing bra. The powder is really great for bibs and burb cloths in high heat. Most days I just use a perfume and dye free detergent and the gel stick for a spot check, but when that doesn’t work I turn to the powder.

So far we’ve only lost three items (2 onesies and a bib) that just would not get clean again. The bib was my fault. In an effort to get the squash out I washed it on high heat and the colors ran. Well, that count is not including things that started to wear due to frequent washing. You just can’t win.

Cleaning Baby

  • Underpads – We use the wipe and tuck diaper changing technique, but sometimes a little stray poop gets out. This was especially true early on when we didn’t have much practice. We cut these pads in half and place them between Nicki and the changing pad cover after particularly messy diapers to avoid mishap since, you know, poop stains. Since they’re thin, they also work well under blankets for naked baby pictures. (Another option would be changing pad liners. The problem with the reusable liners is they tend to curl after multiple washes won’t lie flat, and they’re not as soft.)
  • Heating Pad – Nicki, like all newborns, hated being cold. Bath time was fun, but getting out? It didn’t help that our bathroom has no door (it’s a weird California thing) so there was always a draft no matter how warm the house was. We used the heating pad to warm up the towel and our snugly little bug was much happier.

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