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Pre-Washing Baby Clothes: THAT Big of a Deal?

Go ahead; call me a crazy lady, gross, or a bad mom. Everyone differs in opinions on every little parenting choice and I know pre-washing is just one of many things I’ll encounter.

It’s not that I’m all out against the process, or that I think people who do it are strange; I just never really thought anything of it. But I want you to understand my point of view... This is coming from a girl who wasn’t even pre-rinsing her fruit until a few years ago.

I was at my mother-in-law’s house and I had pulled a bag of grapes from the fridge and started munching.

"Did you rinse those off honey?" She asked me. No... I thought.

I mean, I knew I was SUPPOSED to rinse them off but I just never thought much of it. I never got sick before, and they taste the same.

I mean really, am I suppose to run this bag of grapes under the running faucet for a few seconds and all of the oh so dangerous chemicals and pesticides would magically seep right out through every grape, drip down out of the bag, and disappear down the drain. I guess I just don’t get all of the hype.

I’ve never really considered washing my new clothes before I wear them. Do people do that? Ok, some do, I’ve heard. Other people can try on the clothes before me, or return them and who knows, there could be something like stranger sweat on it. My goodness. Or worse... The chemicals used to preserve the clothes and keep them looking nice on the rack.

I’m not trying to mock the situation here, I do understand for some people it’s comforting knowing your clothes are REALLY clean before wearing them, but I guess I kinda like the "brand new" look and smell of clothes before they lose their new clothes virginity in my washing machine.

When it comes to baby clothes, I guess the issue is some babies have allergic reactions or skin irritation from wearing new clothes. My theory is I won’t know until I try. If I put one of her adorable, still-creased Gerber onesies on her and she breaks out in a rash, ok, sure, I’ll wash the rest of them before the first wear. But if she does just fine, is it so bad for her to wear something brand new ONCE?



I’ve heard the argument that people touch the new clothes on the rack so there are germs on them. To that I say: A few germs aren’t so bad. Besides, she needs to build up some immunity at some point.

What if it’s all just a ploy to stop people from returning baby clothes to the stores? No? Ok, maybe that’s my conspiracy theory, but you never know.

I kind of compare it to counting calories. I want to take pleasure in food, and try to eat well, but I don’t want to stop and count the calories on every little thing I eat to make sure I’m doing it right. Somehow you loose a little bit of the enjoyment in the process of eating.

It probably is a good idea to wash the items so I know what will shrink, and so she’ll get to wear them in their correct shrunken size before she’s too big for them. The down side however is not being able to return the said-washed clothes.

Hand-me-downs and second hand clothes I’ll wash. I figure that’s a smart thing to do, but is it really the end of the world if I want to keep her pretty new baby clothes pretty and new on the hanger until it’s time to take off the tag and wear them?

Maybe I will wash her clothes. I have been thrown for a few guilt trips, and it’s not like it’ll take me very long, to do, but I just can’t help but wonder if it’s really THAT big of a deal.

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