What Should My Baby Wear?
With so many baby clothes available in so many styles, colours and fabrics it can be difficult to know where to start when dressing your new baby, so here are a few guidelines to help you decide on what to buy.
The official advice is that your baby should wear a similar amount of clothing to the grownups plus one additional layer, which can often be in the form of a cellular blanket as this can easily be removed if the temperature warms up, (please refer to the Blankets and Bedding article for advice on sleepwear). Always keep a close eye on your baby's temperature as little ones are not able to regulate their body temperature in the same way as older children and it is important for them to never become too hot or too cold.
Pretty vs. Practical
Some outfits made for babies look absolutely adorable in the shop but are not at all practical when it comes to dressing your baby. Three-piece outfits with lots of fiddly buttons soon become tiresome as you try to manoeuvre your baby into the outfit and of course, babies are unable to assist with dressing in any way. The popular babygrow has withstood the test of time for a reason, as these all-in-one outfits are supremely practical, having fastenings that allow you to change a nappy without removing the entire outfit.
Be sure to avoid any fiddly straps, ties, ribbons or fastenings that the baby could become entangled in or choke on. Loose buttons should be removed before they become a choking hazard. Always check that necklines are not too tight and that nothing constricts your baby's throat.
Be aware that there will be times when you will need to change your baby's clothing several times a day, so always have plenty of babygrows, vests and pull-on trousers on standby as you will get through far more than you are expecting! Also, don't forget that babies grow incredibly fast during the early months, so it is best not to spend too much money on outfits at this stage, as they are so quickly outgrown.
As your baby becomes older and starts to crawl, be aware of outfits that could cause them to slip when crawling and learning to walk. Slippery clothes may cause the baby to slide around and lose their balance, discouraging them from progressing.
The time of year will obviously influence your choice of baby clothes. Winter babies will need more layers when outside the house or in very cold weather. A vest underneath the outfit helps to keep body warmth in and there are some wonderful all-in-one snowsuits with hoods for keeping the baby's head warm when out and about. Woolly hats are a popular choice and remember that the cover for your pram or pushchair counts as an extra layer too. Be sure to remove some of these layers when you get home or when entering a warm shop or building.
Summer babies require less clothing, but care needs to be taken about exposing their delicate skin to sunlight. Cool cotton hats and parasols should be used to keep your baby in the shade and loose cotton clothing prevents overheating. Try to keep your baby out of direct sunlight whenever possible.