It Will All Come Out In Wash by Tessa Little
Fact: Babies are messy! Yes, I agree that they are also adorable. However, the amount of washing, cleaning, and a general need for hygiene generated by a baby is totally disproportionate to its size. In those early years you seem to be fighting a non-stop battle cleaning up sick; vast quantities of poo; food squished by little hands; finger paint meant to stimulate tiny brains; dirt-covered hands from playing outdoors……. the list can go on and often does. Your baby will keep you busy as you make a valiant attempt to keep them and the things they use clean.
In the past months as I have gone through the above list wielding my sanitizing wipes, I have learned (sometimes the hard way) that baby gear is not always easy to keep clean. I have had the experience of frantically scrubbing for ten minutes only to have an accusing stain for my efforts. This has taught me that it is worth buying items that have that amazing combination of being functional, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to clean. The obvious advantage of hygiene aside, you may find that being able to keep items clean allows you to use the item for longer; enables you to use it again if you have another bundle of messy joy, or gives you the ability to pass it on to someone else.
To help you survive this messy time with your sanity intact, here are some of my suggestions for some items that you might want to purchase with a removable cover or the manufacturer’s guarantee that the item can be washed easily.
If you have a choice about which nursing pillow you get, I recommend getting one with a removable cover. Mine was gifted to me sans cover so when I accidentally got chocolate on it during an early morning feed, I had to dab it clean. As I planned to keep the pillow the stain that remained didn’t bother me. However, having a removable cover allows you to keep the pillow nice and fresh in between uses or before you put it into storage. It also allows you to give it a good wash if something more sinister than chocolate falls on it.
Another fact- sometimes nappies leak! When they do, their contents need to be cleaned up from surfaces. If this surface happens to be what is effectively a large cushion, this can add some unnecessary stress to your day. If you buy a baby nest, for your own long term sanity, invest in one that can be cleaned by putting it in the wash.
Before your baby learns how to crawl and walk, he will spend a lot of time playing where you place him. Getting your baby a playmat that has a removable washable cover allows you to ensure that spills and germs get washed away easily.
Car Seat Blankets
Because of lockdown, my little one did not travel in a car for months. When we went on our first long trip, she was spectacularly sick all over her car seat. In hindsight, if I had a removable car seat blanket then what became a lengthy task of cleaning the cushioned areas of the car seat would have been made a lot simpler as I could have just removed the dirty blanket. Lesson learned.
High Chair Covers
It is almost unbelievable how a small amount of food can be mushed, smeared and seem to take on the biblical proportions of the loaves and fishes. Ensuring that the parts in your baby’s high chair that cannot be wiped clean are able to be easily removed and washed will save many tears. Yours, not the babies. An additional tip regarding high chair covers is that if yours needs to be washed and not wiped, if possible, get a spare cover so that when you put one in the wash, you have the other to use for the next mealtime.
These items are only a small selection of things that you will acquire for your baby and that you will have to get clean. However, they are quite significant in terms of the amount of use they will get as your baby grows or how costly they are to replace. The ability to keep them clean benefits you in a variety of ways and ultimately benefits the health of your little one as well.