Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Clothe That Kid: Part 1 - Newborn

In our Wednesday staff meeting, Kara was talking about a baby class she had taken the night before. She said it was a two hour class and they had only covered the feeding and bathing of the baby! So much to learn so many questions to ask!

Something I don't think is offered in any class is how to select infant clothing. What size do I buy? What fabrics are best for my baby? What items do I need to purchase? Well, most super baby stores gladly provide prospective parents with a list of "must have" items. Most of these lists don't mention clothing. So, I thought I would offer a few suggestions regarding what to buy and what size to buy as well.

Let's start with basics. I liked gowns on my babies. Gowns allow for freedom of movement, easy diaper changing access and they keep body temperature regulated. Great for keeping them snug at bedtime! These come in layette sizes and progress up as the baby grows if you want to continue to use them.

Next, I prefer the one piece romper that is footless. The ones with feet are nice, however since foot size varies from infant to infant you may find one that fits the body not the feet. Don't want those toes all curled up! The footless ones are also better if your baby has a long torso. Once you find the correct size, just put on some booties or socks to keep their toes toasty. These come in in layette to about 12 month sizes.

Now, let’s talk “undershirts” or “onesies”. Ok, I’m speaking to the grandmothers out there now! We didn’t have onesies, we had undershirts. They snapped down the side like a kimono and tabs that you (dare I say it?!) pinned to the diaper. Remember cloth diapers?! The wonderful scent of a new stack of cloth diapers freshly delivered to your doorstep, nothing like it! Disposable diapers didn’t come out until the 70’s and my daughter was allergic to the plastic, go figure! Anyway, onesies are wonderful! They cover ¾ of their body and keep their body temperature regulated. In the summer months, they can wear them alone to be cool. These come in layette and go up until around 12 months

When it comes to your fashion purchases, the sky (or grandmother’s purse) is the limit! Some manufacturers will give you length and weight charts on their garment hang tags. This is very helpful, so use them if offered. If a chart isn’t available, a pretty good “rule of thumb” is double the baby’s age and buy that size. Newborn sizes, they are only in that size for a nano second, so don’t buy many. When the baby is 3 months, buy 6 months, when they are 6 months buy 12 months, etc. Do this until they get into toddler sizes.

As far as fabric is concerned, buy as much cotton as you can. Some manufacturers, such as Mulberribush are now offering organic cotton. That may be the ticket for babies with very sensitive skin. Remember, to ALWAYS wash whatever you buy before putting it on your baby. Cotton blankets, sheets and towels are preferred since they too are next to their skin.

I hope you find something useful in all my ramblings. In my next installment, I’ll talk about toddler sizing? What is a “gripper” anyway?! -Sandra

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