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Old 04-18-2010, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Am I the only momma out there who can't possibly keep her toddler's clothes clean? I have a very active little 2.5 yr old girl who loves playing in dirt and eating messily. She refuses bibs and loves being outside.
I don't really mind it to much, but sometimes, I wonder if it actually is possible to keep toddler clothes clean. Any tips? comiseration?
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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I have a problem keeping DD's face clean. She'll happily wear a bib, but then smears everything all over her face and hair.

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Old 04-18-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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Many stains will sun out, I'm learning. Just in the past couple days I have put out my DS's shirts in the sun and got out tomato sauce from one and ketchup and mustard out of the other. This after scrubbing with a toothbrush, using oxyclean, washing them 3 times, and freaking out a bit (both are Janie and Jack brand, and I thought they weren't going be saved).

I don't know why I didn't think of it before, as I used to sun their cloth diapers to get rid of stains - but I forgot when it came to colored clothing.

Mine get dirty outside, too. I just had to strip the 3 yr old at the front door after he dug in dirt for an hour and was filthy. I carried him straight up to the shower, and threw the clothes in the wash.

Some kids are just extra messy and attracted to dirt! LOL.

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Old 04-18-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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Certain staining foods are consumed naked or in a diaper. DS doesn't do bibs, and I'm just not a dedicated enough mother to de-stain shirts. If it gets stained, it generally stays stained (and since we're short on sun for much of the year, sunning out stains isn't always an option ). So I try my best to avoid stains.

As for outside stains... We have "outside" clothes. Well, most of our clothes are outside clothes. We only have a few that AREN'T mud-friendly.

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Old 04-19-2010, 02:07 AM
 
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There are times I try to keep DS clean, and other times I really don't. But generally, I don't buy expensive clothes at. all., and I feel most kids can't truly have fun and stay clean at the same time. Now, I'm sure there are exceptions to that rule, but my DS is not one of them! I find when I approach it from that perspective, staying clean or not doesn't bother me much.

For example, tonight my DS was snacking on some red peppers before suppper. Grandma was over and suggested she change his shirt but since we were at home and prepping for a BBQ outside, I just looked at her sideways (she's the one I got the "kids can't have fun and stay clean at the same time" line from originally!) and said he's just going to get worse from here! Which he proceeded to do in fine style. But I'll treat his clothes, and either they'll come clean or they won't. No biggie. And DS? Well, he gets a bath every night after dinner for a reason!

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Old 04-19-2010, 02:24 AM
 
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This has always perplexed me too. I deliberately buy clothing that hides stains well. Our boys come inside covered in sand and mud. The only time we ask them to stay clean is when we're about to go somewhere in the van and we don't want the van to be covered in mud too. Otherwise, whatever they are wearing is fair game for whatever they are doing. Ours come in with rips too.

We live on a farm in the wilderness.

When the three older ones were infants, they ate wearing only diapers. A quick sink bath each and dressing in the clothing from before the meal and we were off. Now they are older and don't tend to spill their food as much, but they do find all sorts of ways to be filthy by breakfast time.

If it's very muddy outside, they put on slush pants over their undies and then hang them to dry so that we can just bang off the mud for later use. They hate the feeling of slush pants over pants.

With blueberries, I put a sleeveless undershirt on our youngest for the duration of the meal, so that I don't care at all whether that comes out in the wash. Naked would be fine, but it's too cold up here for that except in the summer, when they all like to be shirtless anyway.

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Old 04-19-2010, 03:32 AM
 
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Smocks and pinafores. Smocks to go over everything for general playing, pinafores to protect pretty clothes before they get dirty and to hide the dirt after they get dirty.

For an easy, cheap smock, get a button-up shirt a couple sizes too big at the thrift store.

One glance at dd's wardrobe and you'll know that I haven't actually managed to get around do doing anything of the sort myself.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:38 AM
 
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Ughh tell me about it, i never can seem to keep up w/ the laundry. DD always rips her bibs off except for the shirt type, they are kinds that are kind of like a shirt w/ an open back that you tie on

Denim seems to hide stains well so I've been trying to dress DD up in that for park trips

I second the smocks idea!

I also use DS's (3y) hand me down t-shirts to put over dd's (1y)clothes
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiouscanadian View Post
And DS? Well, he gets a bath every night after dinner for a reason!
This is us too! Only, its right before bed. After dinner would be too early for him not to get dirty again....
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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Oh yes. I have a dirty, messy little guy. He loves dirt and puddles! Mud is even better.

And he is a very messy eater. So, he eats in just a diaper.

We also have plenty of clothes that are for getting dirty, and just a few that are for going places where we don't get dirty, like church, or getting pictures made in, etc.

Once when he was younger, way younger, probably 7 or 8 months old, we went out to eat after church with a bunch of friends, and they all thought we were crazy for changing him out of his church clothes into his "dirty" clothes before he ate. : ) But you gotta do what you gotta do.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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sun and oxiclean we have a drawer of clothes that are for when we're going non-messy places and the rest are no worries. they outgrow them so quickly anyway...

i love the smock idea!!

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Old 04-23-2010, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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smocks and aprons? Hmm, that might work better than bibs (we have a little on who refuses bibs too).
And sunshine! that's super easy!
Thanks so much!!
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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Oxy clean is my friend. lol

My 3 1/2yo is in the stage where he HAS to wear the same outfit for like 5 day. He takes it off to bath and sometimes puts on jammies, otherwise I try to get it washed for the next day, but I have tons of pictures of him in the same ugly outfit that he loves sooo much. lol

I also try to steer away from white and light colored clothes as sometimes it is hard to keep them looking good.

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Old 04-23-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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I was at a play group today and noticed that this is the first time the little girls haven't been in frilly little outfits. I have a 16 mo boy who is a climbing, running monster and for months I've given up on looking 'nice'. I was glad to finally not feel alone.
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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17 mo DD will wear my hand-made shirt bib, thank god. But food still gets pretty much everywhere and it's OK by me. I just regular wash them, don't even bother with pre-treating or what not. I'm OK with stains on a toddler! Sometimes I will try to match color of food to the clothing (white=tofu, pear, rice, chicken) but not very hard.

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Old 04-25-2010, 09:54 AM
 
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I can get out just about any stain. It's really pretty easy for me. I've got a few stain removers that I use and work well.

And my kids play hard, too.
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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Toddlers + stains = part of childhood . You can't escape it and I lessen the stress by buying relatively inexpensive clothes.

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Old 04-25-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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The opposite works better for me. I spend a bit more (and shop awesome sales and use coupons) and find that the better quality clothes wash up better and stains come out more easily.
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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This is why I love garage sales & clothing swaps.

Then if the stain won't come out, (I love SA8 incidentally) it's not a huge investment loss.

I agree w/ Polliwog, higher end clothing does have better stain resistability. Another reason I love thrifting.

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Old 04-25-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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My ds is VERY messy. It is a losing battle for me to keep hisclothes clean throughout the day for purposes of leaving the house, so he has some athletic pants that I got for $1 or something at the thrift store that he wears to go outside. when he comes in, unless they are literally drenched in something (mud, water, bubble solution, silly string, etc) I take them off of him, fold them up and leave them on top of his dresser. the way our days are this is usually riht before nap time, so it works outthat hecan sleep in his undies, then the next time wants to go outside and play, he puts them on again. After a couple days or when I just can't stand it anymore, we wash them. He takes a bath immediately before bed and frequently gets 2 baths in a day because I also make him wash after playing outside before we get dressed nice to go somewhere.

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