How to streamline laundry when your baby starts eating solid foods? Talk amongst yourselves.
Gretchen's kid has just started with solid food, and the laundry is looming. She wonders if you've got any laundry tips:
My baby has just started on solid foods and it's really taking a toll on his clothing. We're looking for low stress laundry tips that don't involve lots of bottles of stuff and are easy on the environment and our lives. We prefer to do laundry only once a week, when we can actually fill up the washer. I thought we could throw it out to the hive and see how everyone else deals with this problem.
I've been feeding my kids solid food for ten years and I STILL need laundry advice.
But my general suggestions would be to first, concentrate on stain prevention, and then, on stain removal.
Stain prevention: We had good luck with molded soft plastic bibs (Baby Bjorn makes a good one), but that still leaves the shirt collar open to staining. My suggestion there would be a bleach-friendly "feeding wardrobe;" an oversized cotton undershirt that goes over whatever your baby is wearing at the time. The relatively close neckline will keep everything underneath clean. (Try to snag hand-me-downs from an older sibling or neighbor -- or Goodwill.) You could even cut off the sleeves and most of the body to create a collar-only "dickey." Keep a stack in the kitchen and change at every meal.
If your kitchen is warm, you can always feed topless (the baby, not you). (Or you if that seems entertaining.)
Stain removal: My product of choice: the Spray 'N Wash Stain Stick. Unlike liquid stain removers, you can rub the stick onto a stain and then throw the item into the hamper, where it will sit patiently till wash day. You might want to have a separate basket/hamper for food-covered clothes so you can dump them all in to the washer together on wash day. Add color-safe bleach and baking soda to the wash for extra stain- and smell-fighting mojo.
For stubborn stains, try the Two-Step Stain Removal Presoak.
Who's got more good "optimize the laundry" tips?