Turns Out, You're Probably Not Washing Your Baby's Swaddle Blankets Enough

Laundry seems to be a never-ending, constantly expanding reality of parenthood. If you hate doing laundry as much as I do, I wouldn't blame you for looking for any short cuts to take even a tiny bit of laundry off your to-do list. We all know we can't take short cuts with, say, toddler's underwear, but what about the less-than-obvious dirtied duds? Swaddle blankets are used every day of a newborn's life, but how often should you wash swaddle blankets? I mean, really, unless they're spit up or pooped on, is it all that necessary to wash them after only one use?

The truth is, dear reader, there doesn't appear to be a hard and fast rule to how often swaddling blankets should take a turn around the washing machine. When you wash a swaddle blanket seems to depend on the caregivers' personal preference, amount of time they have to do laundry, and whether the swaddle blanket is obviously soiled. It seems fairly obvious that if a diaper has sprung a leak, or your baby puked all over their favorite swaddle blanket after a feeding, the swaddle should go immediately into the dirty clothes bin, or, better yet, directly into the washing machine.

If you are looking for more of a concrete answer to guide you through all things laundry-related, CNN reports that adults should be washing their bed linens once a week. A 2015 poll featured in Women's Health Magazine cited the majority of people wash their sheets "fairly often," with 44 percent throwing linens in the wash at least once per week. Since babies spend more time in swaddle blankets than adults spend in bed sheets, it stands to reason that swaddle blankets should be washed more often, too, and even if there aren't obvious stains.

There doesn't appear to be a lot, if any, expert advice on how often to wash swaddle blankets. But community boards, such as What to Expect and Baby Center, are teeming with parents eager to offer their advice to others. The general range of washing frequency is anywhere from washing after one use, to washing after an outing or obvious stain, to washing every third day. According to laundry advice expert and founder of Mama's Laundry Talk, Lauren Hill, a baby's sheets should go in the wash 1-2 times per week, so a parent could easily apply that same recommendation to swaddle blankets if they deemed it necessary.

Some people seem to think that, as parents, we have all the time in the world to constantly deep clean the nursery. Though doesn't specify how often this intense nursery cleaning is recommended, I would imagine if you're the type of person to do this weekly, you're also the type of person to wash your swaddlers after one use.

Hell, if I had a helper to do this I wouldn't scoff at a consistently deep-cleaned house. As it is, I follow the simple advice of if it's obviously dirty, clean it. If it's not, use your best judgement. I've done so with three kids and, well, not a single one of my children have filed a complaint. Not about the laundry, anyway.