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 researched, leaving 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 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 disappointment turned into years, and right when we had resolved to give up: bam. The elusive big fat positive arrived. All 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 discussing 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 looked at the benefit of the doubt. I discovered 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. It is the #1 dermatologist-recommended AND #1 pediatrician-recommended baby detergent. You could pretty much color me convinced at this point.
Our precious new baby’s clothes 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 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, folded the tiniest clothes, and packed my hospital bag, though I was once more worried 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 cesarean section. However, I didn’t care; our girl was earthside and 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 many parents who say the same thing, especially those who get a whiff of that sweet scent now that their little one isn’t quite so little anymore. A recent Dreft survey discovered that 8 out of 10 parents say using the detergent makes them feel more bonded to their baby, which—between the hormones and the sleep deprivation—is something many new moms might struggle with.
The idea behind the iconic scent 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. 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 when she lets me, I breathe it in and remember when I wasn’t sure I’d ever be so lucky as to do mountains of laundry.