I love this topic, mostly because I love doing laundry. I’m also not happy with the Google search results when I ask this question (How frequently should you do baby laundry?). It seems the Internet has a lot of opinions on the topic that are far from how I handled my baby’s laundry from newborn to 12 months.

I think you’ll see that a lot of the answers in this list reflect my laissez-faire approach, and keep in mind that I don’t have a housekeeper or a nanny helping me out. These questions and answers about baby laundry reflect what I did with my newborn, and my laundry style!

Do you need a laundry schedule for baby clothes?

Honestly… no? I never used a laundry schedule for baby clothes, and everyone here is doing fine. I did my baby’s laundry whenever the hamper filled up with onesies, soiled bath towels, burp cloths (lots of those, up to 6 months) and pajamas.

Do you need to do baby’s laundry once a day?

Absolutely not. That sounds like a lot of wasted water and wasted time.

I saw this as the #1 search result on Google and I was kind of appalled to find out that anyone would have time to do their baby’s laundry once a day, on top of caring for a baby and potentially other children. It’s enough of a struggle to even find time for yourself when you have a newborn.

Should you separate your baby’s laundry from the rest of the family?

This is a hot topic among new parents, as there’s no right answer.

What did I do? I washed my newborn’s clothes specifically separately from the rest of the family’s clothes for as long as I could. I would wash them on hot, and I’d put everything in the dryer except for items that were less than 100% cotton, as to not ruin the fabrics (rayon, tencel, polyester, fleece, etc.). I’d use Dreft baby detergent for sensitive skin.

Eventually, as we got into blowout territory and a host of other unexpected stains and spills, I would cave, and throw a baby item into our wash load. For our adult clothing, as well as towels and sheets, I’ve always washed on cold, with Kirkland/Costco regular laundry detergent and I don’t think twice about it.

As time went on, I still “aimed” to do our baby’s laundry in its own load, with Dreft, but I’d throw in other soiled items of ours, like maybe some workout clothes and some bath mats or dish towels.

As you can see, I got more flexible as time went on, and luckily our child doesn’t have any sort of skin sensitivities or allergies. We turned out fine.

Can I wash my baby’s clothes with mine?

I think yes, you can, unless your newborn has a lot of sensitivities, like I mentioned above. In my first few months of parenting, I definitely Googled this a heap of times, and reached out to friends to ask what they do.

The bottom line is that a lot of new parents do their baby’s laundry loads on their own, but the other half of friends I asked said that for convenience, they wash everything in the household together.

Do you have to wash baby clothes after every use?

This actually is something I do, so yes, I wash baby clothes after every use. Only starting at about 12 months did I start dressing my toddler in the same pajamas for 3 nights straight if it remained clean and there was no sweat, drool or other types of mess on the zip pajamas.

Otherwise, yes: from months 0-12, I have put every clothing item worn (onesie, pants, shorts, socks) directly into the laundry.

This is also because I have the fortune of having enough seasonally-appropriate baby clothes in every size to be able to go 1-2 weeks without doing wash, and to keep spares in my newborn/baby diaper bag essentials.

How to get stains out of baby clothes

What I do when there’s a stain (poop, spit up and baby food) is immediately rinse the clothing item in hot water, and scrub with some hand soap.

If that doesn’t get the stain out, and usually it does not, is I spray store-bought generic stain remover on the stains, and let that dry overnight, or throw it right into the laundry and use that as an excuse to run a load of baby’s laundry.

If generic stain remover sounds too harsh for your newborn, try Dreft’s stain remover for infant clothes.

How often to wash baby pajamas

Because I was blessed with a large amount of hand-me-downs in the “zippy pajama” department, I have rarely run out of zip pajamas between laundry loads. Like I said above, for an entire year, I dressed my infant in a new and clean set of zip pajamas every single night.

Was this excessive, if the pajamas from the night before were clean? Yes, probably.

I also just felt like she was such a neat baby that if I didn’t throw yesterday’s pajamas in the hamper, I’d wind up doing laundry like once a month.

How frequently should you do baby laundry in a week?

I remember my sister (who has a baby three months older than ours) saying she would do her child’s laundry multiple times a week.

“Multiple times a week?” I thought. “I do our baby’s laundry once every two weeks.

Yes, it was true! With the number of zip pajamas, onesies, pairs of pants and burp cloths I had, I rarely had to do laundry more frequently than every 9 or 10 days. That was very helpful, because with Dan’s workout schedule and gym clothes, I would be doing OUR laundry multiple times a week as it was.

You can do baby laundry as many times as you want, in a week, but for me: I let the number of clean clothes dictate when everything went in the wash.

How often to do laundry when your baby goes to daycare

Things changed when our daughter started daycare at 9 months. With the fact that she had to go to daycare with a clean crib sheet every Monday, and that it came home with her on Friday afternoons, I started doing her laundry every Friday night or Saturday morning.

This guaranteed that the same name-labeled crib sheet would be ready for daycare drop-off Monday morning at 8:30am.

Did she have a ton more clothes? Yes, I was hardly running low in between laundry loads. I also had more crib sheets, but something in me wanted to send the same dusty-blue one every single week because I thought the other ones were cute and should stay home.

Regardless, I find that doing baby’s laundry once a week when daycare began was what worked for us.

How often to wash baby’s crib sheets

Um…. whenever you want to? (Can you sense a theme here?)

I tend to wash our daughter’s crib sheets certainly if she has a cold, or if she has gotten over being sick. I also wash her crib sheets more frequently if the nights have been warm and she may have been sweating.

Other than that, I change her crib sheets at home when I remember to (oops?). This averages once every week or two weeks. I really don’t know. I also don’t think there’s a right answer, especially if your child is healthy and not dripping mucus, spit-up or drool everywhere.

How to clean baby clothes from hand-me-downs or second-hand

I am a pro at this, as 100% of my daughter’s clothes are second-hand and hand-me-downs. Some of the hand-me-downs and gently used clothes I’ve received have even been new with tags, so we’re talking ‘bout some nice baby clothes here! We got lucky.

When I receive baby clothes, bibs, burp cloths and baby blankets from second-hand sources, I take everything and put it in a load on “Hot.” I have also gone so far as to use settings that would ensure a thorough wash cycle, like cycles that are a notch up from “Quick Wash.”

Then, I’ve dried everything on High, even the delicate stuff, unfortunately. In subsequent washes, I will always take out the delicates and non-cottons and will hang them dry on my drying rack (I have this one).

This is the method I used when I washed all my daughter’s size Preemie (P) and size Newborn (NB) clothes that I received, prior to giving birth. I used this method to pack tiny little onesies and a baby blanket in my hospital bag packing list.