The Easiest (and Best Smelling!) Choice I Made in Motherhood
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Lauren Ramirez has been writing professionally and otherwise since she was 19 years old. Old mom to a chocolate lab and new mom to a baby girl, this former teacher and current higher education professional has been involved in education and childcare in nearly every capacity. Her interests are food, being the most similar to the good sitcom moms, and writing children's books. Happily married and unhappily not on a beach right now.
I’m a millennial mama: and that means that a lot of my what-to-buy-for-a-newborn research wasn’t done the old-fashioned way by poring over pages in well-loved books, but instead on Google, blogs, and different online parenting forums. I found varying results for each category I was researching, and in a way it left me more frenzied than before. It was sensory overload, and at 10 weeks pregnant I was already feeling left in the dust.
But one thing that kept coming up was Dreft baby detergent—a brand my mother and grandmother had both already urged me to stock up on. “You’ll be doing hundreds of loads of laundry!” they exclaimed. I couldn’t have cared less, to be honest. I was too elated at the fact that we were finally pregnant. Months of trying and being disappointed turned into years, and right when we had resolved to give up: bam. The elusive big fat positive arrived. All of those Pinterest pins and baby dreams seemed like they would all come true for us.
We were looking for the best of everything for this little one: hypoallergenic laundry detergent, the best bottles, the cutest clothes. I was knee-deep in research when I discovered a forum talking about scented products for babies, which naturally made my new-mama heart race to ensure I was making the best choice for this little one. Many people were hesitant about the safety of scented products for babies, and thankfully all research concluded that Dreft is safe! In the spirit of giving everything I was looking at the benefit of the doubt, I found out that my grandmother and mother’s urgings about baby detergent were true: for over 80 years, Dreft detergent has been engineered exclusively for babies to take care of their delicate clothes and fabrics, and is the #1 dermatologist recommended AND #1 pediatrician recommended baby detergent. You could pretty much color me convinced at this point.
All of our precious new baby’s clothes that we’d purchased were immediately washed in Dreft, folded up neatly, and ready to be used when the time came. I sat back with my small bump and admired my good choices and hard work.
Not long after my very early nesting period, our sweet little one was born too soon and was lost, all in one fell swoop. I mourned, tucked the freshly washed clothes still rich with that intoxicating baby scent away, and lamented how silly I was to think this would ever come to fruition for us.
After a grueling year, we found ourselves in the family way again: but this time, I was much more anxious. I yearned for kicks, lived for my next doctor’s appointment, and watched what I ate like a hawk. It was even more important to me in this pregnancy that I use only the best things—and so when I was approximately 5,000 weeks pregnant (it was actually week 38, but who’s counting?!) in the dead of summer, I set to washing our baby’s clothes in Dreft detergent once more.
This time, though, I was able to use their newest detergent, Dreft Purtouch, which comes in a recycled bottle and is made using renewable wind power. It’s 65% plant-based and free of dyes, chlorine, and phosphates! This made the choice as clear as day—and as clean as our future little one’s clothes, too (because this stuff works, y’all!).
Pinks, lavenders, whites and mint all went into the same load: and as the laundry tumbled, my mind did too. I once more dried and folded the tiniest clothes and packed my hospital bag, though I was filled with worry once more that these same clothes would never be worn.
The day after my big to-do with the laundry, I went into labor. It was an intense few days that resulted in a caesarean section. However, I didn’t care: our girl was earthside, and she was perfect. The nurses handed her to me for us to connect skin-to-skin, and after some time she donned her very first outfit: the one I’d so lovingly washed in Dreft baby detergent just days prior.
The funny thing is that I don’t recall her having a smell as distinct as that second meeting when she was clothed: I nearly drank in her deliciously new baby smell, an addicting mixture of milk and pure love. I was hooked—and I still get those warm and fuzzy feelings each time I do a load of laundry with Dreft and her much bigger girl clothes now. I’ve talked to so many parents that say the same thing, especially those who get a whiff of that sweet scent now that their little isn’t quite so little anymore. A recent Dreft survey actually discovered that 8 out of 10 parents say using the detergent makes them feel more bonded to baby, which—between the hormones and the sleep deprivation—is something a lot of new moms might struggle with.
The idea behind the iconic scent is one that continues to cement bonds wash after wash. With the gentle ingredients and pediatrician and dermatologist-approved formula. It’s one of the easiest choices this new mama made in those early days. As a matter of fact, it continues to be the easy choice: I’m still grabbing this detergent for our little one nearing her first birthday.
Though still a small and snuggly baby, our daughter is nearing toddlerhood and is very much on the go. However, in those quiet moments where she lets me, I breathe it in and remember a time when I wasn’t sure I’d ever be so lucky as to do mountains of laundry.