Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Clothes for your new baby do not have to be elaborate or
expensive. A number of factors determine what you should
purchase immediately before your baby's arrival:
- What season of the year is it? You obviously need more
clothes in winter than summer.
- Where do you live? You will need more clothing if you
live in a cool climate.
- Do you have a washer and dryer so you can launder
clothes more often?
- Do you have friends or relatives who might loan you
- Will you receive gifts and presents after the baby is
CLOTHES FOR A NEWBORN
4-6 T-shirts--size 6 months
4-6 Gowns, kimonos, or sacques
4-6 Rubber pants (buy less or none if you will only use
4-6 Receiving blankets
4-6 Stretch suits
3-4 Blanket sleepers (less if your baby is born during the
1 Snowsuit or pram suit for winter
3-4 Pairs booties
HINTS ON BUYING CLOTHES FOR A NEWBORN:
- Always buy clothes that are size 6 months or "up to
18 lb." Your baby will grow very quickly the first few
months and will outgrow anything smaller.
- Buy clothes according to your baby's weight, not
according to her age.
- Look for clothing that is easy to put on and take off:
t-shirts with snaps or large openings at the neck,
sleepers that have zippers that go from neck to foot,
pants with snaps at the crotch so that it is easy to
- Make sure that seams in clothes are not scratchy or bulky
and that there are no loose threads to constrict your
baby's toes or fingers.
- Buy blanket sleepers with nonskid feet so the baby can
have better footing when it tries to crawl and walk. You
can also put masking tape on the bottoms of the feet
(remember to take tape off before you wash!). For
extended wear, the sleeper feet can be cut off when the
baby outgrows the sleeper in length. (Old sleepers can
become Halloween costumes with a little embellishment!)
- Don't buy a sacque for babies who are 5-6 months old
because it hinders crawling.
- Buy plastic bibs (toddler size) that are large enough to
cover your baby's whole body--the large size saves on
baths! Use smaller bibs to catch excess drooling.
- Buy a snowsuit that is large enough to fit over the
baby's other clothes for the entire winter. Also, don't
buy a snowsuit with a slippery outer layer: it can be
almost impossible to hold onto a squirming baby.
- Children's clothing in sizes 0-14 such as kimonos, gowns,
stretch playsuits, and sleepwear, must meet federal
standards for fire safety: such fire-retardant clothing
burns more slowly and will stop burning when removed from
a flame. THIS PROTECTION CAN BE LOST IF YOU DON'T WASH
THESE CLOTHES PROPERLY; always follow the manufacturer's
instructions for washing.
DRESSING YOUR BABY
- In your zeal to keep your baby warm, don't cause
sweating or heat rash!
- Rather than one heavy outfit, use layers of clothes
which you can add or take off as needed.
- With proper clothing, your baby's neck will be warm
but not sweaty; her hands will be slightly cool.
- Warm weather calls for as little clothing as
possible: diapers and a t-shirt--if it's really hot,
skip the t-shirt.
- Babies sunburn very easily--be sure to protect them
from direct sun with light clothing and/or sunscreen.
HINTS ON DRESSING YOUR NEWBORN:
- Babies panic when their breathing is obstructed: remember
this when you pull clothes over your baby's head. The
best procedure is to gather the clothes at the back of
the head, put the clothes on the back of the head and
then pull them quickly over your baby's face.
- To take clothes off, take the arms out of the sleeves,
and then pull quickly over your baby's face.
- The only easy way to put on stretch suits is to lay the
suit out on a flat surface, place the baby on top and
then put the legs in first with the arms last. Snap from
top to bottom so that you get the snaps right.
- When you are trying to get your baby's arm through a
sleeve, gather the sleeve up accordion-style so that
there is only a short distance to guide the arm through.
- Babies are not usually fond of head gear, so use a cap
only if weather is very cold or if the baby will be
exposed to direct sun.
- A baby has no need for shoes until she begins to walk
outside the house. Walking barefoot provides better
balance and helps strengthen muscles. Socks or slippers
also make it harder for your baby to crawl and walk.
- Tennis shoes are perfect first shoes. They are neither
expensive nor stiff.
- When you buy shoes, get a proper fit. Take the baby
along and make sure the shoes are 1/2 inch longer than
the longest toe (with socks on the baby's feet).
- If you do buy leather shoes, sandpaper the soles to give