Thursday, May 28, 2009

Clothe That Kid: Part 2 - Toddler

Well, you've made it through the sleepless nights, bouts of colic, and endless diaper changes. Welcome to the toddler years!

Now your little one is sleeping all night, smiling, laughing, attempting to feed themselves and seem to have a mind of their own. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase Terrible Two's...well, they are not terrible, it's just that it can be difficult for them to articulate exactly what they want. They can become very frustrated, sometimes while you’re out in public. You will get lots of stares and comments from on-lookers. Don’t pay any attention to them! They’ll pass by right out of your life and you’ll never see them again. Spend your time comforting and consoling your child. Your child is WAY more important than any comment or stares.

One piece of advice I will give you, don’t take your toddler shopping. They get bored quickly and you can’t entertain them and shop too. Try to either get a sitter or better yet, shop online or from a catalog. You can sit and drink your coffee while you shop. You can shop while they’re napping, or even shop in your jammies and fuzzy slippers. Most importantly--you'll be shopping in peace!

Okay, now you’re shopping. What size do I buy? What does that “T” after the size mean? What are grippers? Grippers are the snaps on the inseam of pants. Before your child is potty trained, they come in pretty handy. Nothing worse than having to take off pants to change a diaper!

The “T” after the size means Toddler. When my children were small, the “T” was a pretty good indicator the garment would have grippers. I don’t think too many manufacturers are adding grippers to their garments today. Pretty much today, the “T” simply identifies a size range.

I told you in my segment on infant sizing to double their age and buy that size. With toddlers, it is pretty much “buy a size larger than their age”. If they are 2, buy a 3T, 3 buy a 4T, 4 buy a 4T or 4/5. Also, tops with bands at the wrist will allow you to buy larger. The sleeve stops at the wrist, so it doesn’t have to be pushed up to wear. Same thing with pajamas. Ski pajamas (those without feet) stop at the ankle so you can order larger for more wear. However, always remember to follow the manufacturers sizing guidelines regarding safety. If they have to be worn snugly to meet government standards, then that’s what you must do. Brands like Sara’s Prints which are inherently flame resistant, do not have to be worn snugly.

Toddlers are a fun age. This is the age you can still decide what they wear. Once they start school their friends will influence your purchase. Remember, two year olds know what they want, but can’t verbalize. Three year olds know what they want and can ask for it. Four year olds know what they want, can verbalize it and want it right now! Four year olds are great because you start to have real conversations with them. They are very inquisitive and loving. Usually they are big huggers at this age. Enjoy their toddler years, they prepare you well for school!

The next segment I will talk about sizes 4-6x/7, the wonderful elementary school years. Dressing for school pictures, school plays and recess! You’ll discover what cargo pockets are really for! - Sandra

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