Choosing Baby Clothes: Tips and Ideas
So, you’re expecting a baby and making all the necessary preparations for the arrival of your new family member. How do you go about choosing clothes for your new little person? There’s much more than “blue for a boy…pink for a girl…twice as much for twins” when it comes time to select clothes for your new baby. To avoid the potential pitfalls that ensnare many new parents there are a few things to keep in mind to help make the process as seamless as possible.
Comfort Over Cuteness
Too many parents get all gushy and sentimental when shopping for baby clothes. It’s very easy to look at that little blue sailor suit or little pink petticoat and think to oneself “how cute will little Keanu or Britney look in this!” Consider however that your newborn’s skin is very tender and quite sensitive. That cute little outfit could cause quite a bit of discomfort if it’s made of the wrong materials, doesn’t breathe easily, or is too constrictive. Clothes for a newborn should be soft, absorbent, and made of natural fibers. Think cotton. There will be plenty of time to embarrass your child by forcing her to wear clothes she hates when she’s a teenager. For the time being, choose outfits that put the baby’s comfort over all else.
One point that some parents seem to forget when selecting baby clothes is that they will need to be changed… often. Infant wear with too many buttons, straps, and fasteners can quickly become troublesome as the item needs to be undone and redone again and again to allow access for diaper changing or removing and replacing the entire outfit due to soiling of some kind. Remember that babies are messy little people and that you and your partner are going to be the ones cleaning up those messes, in one way or another, for the next eighteen to twenty years. Make it easy on yourselves now while the child and the messes are still small.
Ease of Care
A very important consideration in baby clothing is ease of care. Always look at the care labels while you’re still in the store and make sure that the item is machine washable and doesn’t have any special restrictions regarding detergents, bleaches, or fabric softeners. You’re not likely to come across any baby clothing that requires dry cleaning, but you always want to be sure. Cotton is definitely the fabric of choice for baby clothing for the reasons mentioned above, but cotton does have a nasty tendency to shrink when washed in hot water. Your baby will outgrow her clothes quickly enough, so items that contain a blend of cotton and other, non-shrinking, fibers may be acceptable. Make sure that the cotton to poly ratio is weighted in cotton’s favor and you should still be all right in terms of comfort while ensuring that little Paris will be able to get into her duds for as long as possible.