There are many aspects of parenthood that you have to learn through making mistakes (in fact, this describes pretty much all of parenthood).
One such aspect: Don’t wash your baby’s bibs with your white bed linens. I learned this the hard way when blueberry baby food ruined my wedding-gift Pottery Barn sheets, which ended up speckled in shades of blue.
After making similar mistakes, and ruining more of my laundry than I wish to admit, I stumbled upon today’s hint, which is to utilize a bib hamper.
A bib hamper is not nearly as fancy as it sounds, and in my house, it has saved many a bed linen and article of clothing from getting ruined by sweet potatoes or strawberries.
Here’s how my bib hamper came to be: When I’m cooking in the kitchen, I often will dirty a kitchen towel. Before having a mobile baby, I would throw the dirty towels over to the corner of the kitchen by the steps to my basement, where my laundry machines are.
When my son became mobile, however, I wanted a way to keep him from getting the towels, which are often doused in raw meat or eggs.
I happened to have a fabric grocery bag — like the $1 ones you can get at the grocery store or free from a trade show – around. So, I started collecting dirty kitchen towels in that bag. When it came time to do laundry, I would take the bag of dirty towels down, and throw it and its contents in the wash.
After the bed-sheet debacle, how to save my linens came to me: I could simply throw dirty bibs in the bag with the dirty towels and do a wash of just those things. With this approach, I don’t get food on any clothing or non-food related pieces of attire. And it doesn’t matter to me how dirty the bibs or the towels get, or even if they get stained.
I keep my bag, otherwise known as “the bib hamper,” in the corner of the kitchen. After meals, I throw my son’s bib, or oversized t-shirt (my DIY bib – stay tuned for more on that in an upcoming hint), in the hamper, along with any towels I used to cook and clean that night.
I’m happy to report that since my revelation, there have been no ruined bed sheets, and I feel a lot cleaner keeping my food laundry separate from the rest of our laundry.
What are your tips for avoiding bib-laundry mishaps?
Hint Mama contributor Olivia Howell is a new mom living with her son, Weston, and husband on Long Island, who blogs about parenthood over at The Lovely Sisters. She is also a quilter, paleo cook, and loves rearranging her living room on Saturday nights. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.