Babies and Toddlers grow like weeds and keeping up with their growth spurts can be quite expensive. Here are some tips for your baby clothes shopping that will help you save money and time.
1. When in Doubt, Size Up
Size charts are usually based on age, but some indicate the height of the baby in centimetres, as well, which will help you to make more accurate judgements. It pays off to buy clothes a size or two bigger, to accommodate your baby’s growth spurts. Otherwise, your baby might only wear an item once or twice before it no longer fits. Have at least sufficient clothes in your baby’s current size and one size taller for one or two weeks worth of laundry. This way you won’t have to run the washing machine every day to accommodate your baby’s needs. When buying clothes in bigger sizes, beware of the seasons, too. You may want to wait with buying winter clothes until the fall to make sure that what you buy will indeed suit your baby.
2. Check the Fabrics
The most common fabric for baby clothes is cotton and some items are made of cotton/polyester blends. While cotton is very absorbent, soft, and warm, cotton/polyester blends dry quicker and don’t wrinkle as much. You may want to refrain from purchasing linen, cashmere, and knit ware, because they are more difficult to care for, and might require dry cleaning or hand washing. When purchasing cotton, also beware that it can shrink up to 10% with washing.
Another thing to keep in mind is that “100% organic” only means that the cotton was organically grown without pesticides. It is still possible, however, that chemical products were used in the fabrication process for processing and dying. You can always contact the manufacturer to hear what their definition of “100% organic” is. A baby’s skin is very sensitive, so it gets irritated easily; hence it is advisable to wash clothes before your baby wears them for the first time.
When your toddler is reaching the age for potty training, underwear with their favourite characters or animals, can come in handy. Telling your toddler to help “keep Elmo” try might be more effective than anything else you say.
3. Go for Comfort
For your own comfort, you should strive to buy clothing that it easy to handle and comfortable for your baby. When your baby is uncomfortable in his or her clothes, because they are too rough, too tight, too lose, too hot, or too cold, it will voice its opinion loudly. So, let your baby’s comfort guide you when making purchasing decisions, not aesthetics.
Look for items that are easy to put on and off, because it will allow you quick access to the diaper area, and help when a change of clothes is necessary. It will also make your life easier when you have to add or remove extra layers of clothing to accommodate temperature changes. Easy on and off clothing will allow you to dress or undress your baby or toddler without much cooperation from their part.
Avoid clothes that could be scratchy, such as zippers, plastic, or tight elastic bands. You may also wish to bypass clothing with buttons. Not only are buttons more time-intensive to open and close, they are also a choking hazard if they come loose. If your baby clothing does have buttons, you may want to give them a quick pull after each washing to ensure that they are still attached firmly.
4. Safety is Key
As indicated above, buttons can easily become a choking hazard, and so can little bows, snaps, hooks, and other attachments. It is advisable to check them each time after washing to make sure they won’t come loose. Garments with drawstrings at the neck and waist should also be avoided, because they pose a strangulation hazard. If the clothing you have bought (or received from relatives and friends) has drawstrings, you can cut them off for extra safety.
5. Clothes Don’t Have to be Expensive
Because babies quickly grow out of their clothes, “used goods” are often like new. If you purchase baby clothing used, however, you have several advantages. For example, the clothes have likely been washed many times already, which will have reduced the chemical residues from the fabrication process. Used baby garments are usually also a lot cheaper and the frequent washing before it is passed on to you, will minimize the risk that the clothing will shrink any further when you wash it.
We hope that this guide will help you when browsing our “For Babies” category and when you shop for baby clothing in stores.
Your Post a Note Team
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net