Ready to toss those onesies in the machine with hot water and mild detergent? Great -- now consider a few of these tips:
Don't wash baby clothes with your clothes. Baby's unique stains should be kept away from other items, and you probably want to use a more effective (and, by extension, harsher) cleanser on your own dirty stuff, since your skin is a lot tougher.
Measure the detergent. Adding too little detergent will make clothes less clean, and adding too much won't get clothes any cleaner. The latter will, however, increase the likelihood that some of the detergent won't completely rinse out.
Consider a double rinse. For newborn clothes especially, you might want to turn on an extra rinse cycle to be sure all of the detergent is removed from the clothes.
Dry everything immediately. Wet clothing left for hours (or days!) in the washing machine can grow mildew or mold, which can cause health problems.
With all the things new parents need to worry about -- and the things they don't need to worry about but do anyway -- this laundry thing might threaten to push you over the edge. It needn't. It's easy enough to locate the bottle of detergent with the adorable baby on the label. Save your sanity for the 2 a.m. (and 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.) feedings.
For more information on laundry and baby safety, check the links on the next page.