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Article: A Guide to Understanding Baby Care Labels: What Do Those Numbers & Symbols Mean?

A Guide to Understanding Baby Care Labels: What Do Those Numbers & Symbols Mean?

A Guide to Understanding Baby Care Labels: What Do Those Numbers & Symbols Mean?

Trying to decipher a price tag or care label can often times feel like decoding a foreign language.

Your eyes are transfixed on the numbers and symbols, but your brain is not quite processing the information.

“Is it worth the fuss?”, you might ask yourselves.

We completely empathise with your situation, mamas.

But remember, learning how to read labels on children’s clothing is incredibly important, not only for your little one’s health, but for the planet’s.

When you take good care of baby apparel, your child is able to enjoy it longer, you are able to conserve your funds, and also keep precious textile out of landfills.

That’s an ideal situation for everyone involved.

So, here’s the scoop on becoming a label snoop.

While labels may change depending upon the brand and country of origin, most will have some (if not all) of these instructions included:


Look out for the basin or water symbol. This will denote the safe washing temperature (represented with a number or dots) and the right washing method. Greendigo recommends opting for a low-temperature (max. 30°C) or cold wash, on a gentle cycle.


The square symbol represents the drying method (represented with lines or dots), which will help you determine which one is right for your garment. At Greendigo, we advocate for natural drying in the shade.


The iron-shaped symbol indicates the temperature setting (represented with dots) that is most ideal for your garment. Our advice is to go for low to medium heat. Make sure to use a pressing cloth to protect the fabric.


The triangle symbol denotes bleaching and will denote whether the garment can handle bleaching agents (usually crossed off, if not). Greendigo is a champion of all-natural solutions for stain removal such as baking soda, white vinegar, or lemon juice.


The circle symbol with a shirt in the middle denotes the Global Organic Textile Standard. The GOTS marker ensures that the garment is 100% sustainable, from seed to doorstep.

Care Label Best Practices

  1. Access a fabric care symbol chart, and refer to it when shopping for baby apparel, so that you are aware of what each symbol denotes.
  2. Inspect the care label carefully before buying garments, looking over washing, ironing, and bleaching instructions.
  3. Go over short text instructions directing you to wash inside out, reshape while damp, or wash similar colours together.
  4. Try and avoid purchasing clothing that requires to be hand washed, as this is unlikely to withstand wear and tear.
  5. Look out for sustainability symbols such as the GOTS logo, as this will instantly signal to you that the apparel is safe to purchase.

Sustainable Cloth Care:

  1. Opt for a low temperature or cold wash.
  2. Use eco-friendly laundry detergent.
  3. Avoid fragrances.
  4. Hang dry rather than machine dry.
  5. Store garments away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight.
  6. Repair stains and / or damage when it’s first noticed.

Here’s to showering baby apparel with love and care.

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