The washing machine has just finished its latest load of baby-related laundry. As I pull the tiny items out of the drum and into a basket, I count 92 separate pieces. It takes quite a while to hang them out to dry and they end up occupying two clothes horses and every radiator in the flat. The reusable nappies account for a large proportion, but there are also muslin cloths, bamboo wipes, bibs and baby clothing.
There’s also the lining of Moses baskets that get sick on them, Mummy’s clothes that get sick on them, the odd pair of Daddy’s trousers with poo on them, white towels with poo on them, bathroom floor mats with sick on them.
Some things I would recommend with postnatal laundry;
• A washing machine/drier combo. At the very beginning of F.’s pregnancy, our washing machine broke. It was an amazing piece of timing; we could shop for a replacement washer knowing we were going to need it for baby things. And we chose a combined washer/drier with a large (9kg) capacity and a good range of economy programmes. Those features have been invaluable because the washing never stops. A warning though; the tumble dry function on our mid-priced isn’t 100% effective. Especially for heavier items, hence why I’m hanging out so many things to dry. But it gets a good start on the drying and that’s good enough for us.
• Collapsible toy baskets. The kind that are like a coil of metal wire, surrounded by netting. I think they are intended as toys baskets but are invaluable for laundry. When they are empty, they fold up flat. Great for saving space.
• Laundry schedule. Put on a load every evening so it’s ready for you the next morning.
• Only buy new clothes, linens and soft furnishings that can be washed at 40°C. Delicates that need 30°? We never find time to wash them.