One day, when my son was an infant, I had an epiphany: motherhood was really all about fluids. There was the liquid in diapers, the liquidy foods babies eat, the spit-up they produce after eating those liquidy foods, the stuff that comes out of their little noses.
You get it. Cleaning up is a gross job ... but it’s Mommy and Daddy’s job to do. Here are some tips I used for baby-related stain removal:
Milk or formula. These stains are sneaky because they may not show up right away. But if you don't address them immediately, they can turn dark or yellow. Blot up excess liquid and then let the garment soak in cool water. Wash as soon as possible..
Baby food. This depends on what your baby is eating. Banana or carrot puree on a t-shirt? Just rub any kitchen soap (such as dishwashing liquid) on the stain and then wash as usual. For anything tomato-based, you'll need a baby-friendly laundry stain remover. Ditto for greasy or oily foods.
Diaper stains & accidents. I found pre-treating or soaking clothing in a detergent that was safe for both my baby and the colors worked well. Then I’d just wash as usual.
These tips are mainly for cotton clothing, a wardrobe staple in my baby’s closet. Some of your own clothes, on the other hand, may need dry-cleaning.
Beth Weinhouse is an award-winning journalist who specializes in writing about parenting issues and women's health. She's been an editor at Ladies' Home Journal and Parenting magazines, and her work has appeared in dozens of consumer magazines and websites.
Parenting advice is given as a suggestion only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider.