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Dressing Your Little One: Factors All Parents Must Consider When Picking Out Baby Clothes


One unspoken but monumental challenge for parents is choosing the right clothes for their newborn. At first glance, putting together tiny outfits seems simple enough. But beneath the surface lies a crucial responsibility: ensuring the comfort, health and safety for your little one!

Infants, with their delicate and sensitive skin, rely entirely on us to make thoughtful choices on their behalf. Without the ability to articulate their preferences, it falls upon us as parents to evaluate every aspect before adding items to their wardrobe. 

In this article, mothercare provides a comprehensive guide, equipping all parents with the essential knowledge to make informed decisions about dressing their babies. From selecting the perfect fabric and finding the ideal size, to seamlessly integrating your baby’s routines and assessing the true value of each purchase, here’s all you need to know before you head out shopping!

Fabric

The single most important factor with regards to choosing newborn attire is the choice of fabric. The fabric directly impacts the quality of clothes. Being able to feel the fabric firsthand will enable parents to better determine whether or not it is kind on the skin. 

Skin-Friendly 

Babies take up to two years to develop a full skin barrier, and until then, their skin remains thin and sensitive. Select gentle textiles that safeguard against irritation and feel good against their soft skin. Search for fabrics labelled hypoallergenic or dermatologically tested.

Breathable and Absorbent 

Similarly, babies are unable to regulate their body temperature as effectively as adults. Help them achieve comfort with clothes that offer thermoregulating and moisture-wicking properties. Cotton and bamboo are examples of lightweight and breathable fabrics.  

Natural and Sustainable

A useful way to sift out quality fabrics is to keep an eye out for those derived from natural sources. Organic fabrics are typically produced with less chemicals and thus pose less risk of allergic reactions compared to synthetic materials. 

Safety 

Not all infant apparel is created child-safe. Parents should exercise utmost caution when picking out clothing pieces to ensure that they meet established and personal safety standards.

Decorative Elements

Although dressing up your little bundle of joy can be extremely fun, it’s wise to steer clear of decorative elements such as sequins and hooks that could potentially loosen and become choking hazards. These small objects demand careful supervision or secure fastening to ensure safety. Moreover, buttons made of certain materials can sometimes cause contact dermatitis. mothercare’s nickel-free copper poppers reduce the likelihood of rashes and are firmly affixed for maximum safety. 

Long Cords

Ribbons, lace, and drawstrings can not only cause choking but also entanglement and strangulation if they inadvertently wrap around the neck or body. 

Fabric Finishes

A tragic backstory of children’s lives lost due to flammable nylon clothing accompanies the introduction of flame-retardant sleepwear. However, these fabrics undergo chemical treatments that are said to be toxic, alongside certain wrinkle-free and stain-repellent finishes. Among these substances are Bisphenol A (BPA), formaldehyde, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

Sizing

Parents often face a dilemma when deciding whether to opt for a larger size or stick with a snug fit. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, several guidelines can assist in getting the appropriate measurement.

Size Chart

Size guides act as a helpful point of reference when in doubt, but do keep in mind that these standards vary across brands and are categorised based on averages. As such, some sizes will not correspond accurately to your baby’s age. It’s recommended to take your baby’s measurements before stocking up on baby clothes.

Upsizing

Suggested to size up? While babies do grow quickly, a snug fit ties in with various safety precautions. Loose clothing risks injuries by getting caught, while tighter fits reduce air between fabric and skin, lessening the risk of severe or rapid burns in case of fire accidents. The optimal size, therefore, balances freedom of movement and stretch, and prioritises safety.

Functionality

Baby apparel carries many functionalities that accommodate babies’ and parents’ daily activities. Considering these aspects when browsing baby clothes can help to simplify tedious and time-consuming chores while ensuring the comfort of your baby. 

Changing 

Many baby clothes are designed to dramatically reduce the amount of time parents spend on changing their infants, which stacks up quite considerably when you factor in how often that is (the answer is up to ten). All-encompassing outfits, such as bodysuits, often come with colourful poppers that snap open and close to make the entire process from removing to putting on a new nappy faster and easier. 

Sleeping 

This is any newborn’s favourite pastime – so it goes without saying that their sleepwear has to be the perfect balance of warm, snug, and soft. Parents can never go wrong with sleepsuits that feel like a warm hug as well as mittens and socks or toe-safe designs that regulate body temperature and protect from scratches. Opting for interlock knit, known for its smoothness and stretchiness, can promote better sleep in infants by minimising irritation and allowing freedom of movement.

Weather

The weather can be volatile in Malaysia. Think about how certain clothing choices can affect your baby on humid days versus the chillier monsoon season. While covering them from heat to toe helps to maintain body heat, dressing too heavily in hot environments can lead to discomfort and heat-related complications.

Moving Around

As babies grow bigger, they become curious little explorers. Encourage a safe, comfortable and supervised expedition with slip-resistant soles to keep them steady on their feet, whether they’re just learning to stand up or beginning to move around.

Easy-Care 

The washing machine is every parent’s best friend. Seek low-maintenance baby clothes that can handle machine washing and frequent laundering, saving you from spending endless hours scrubbing, soaking and drying to tackle messes.

Cost 

High-quality baby clothes often command a premium price because of their superior craftsmanship. The following points expand on factors to consider when justifying the cost of your purchase. At mothercare, however, we uphold the philosophy of providing excellent quality at affordable prices, bypassing the hurdles of contemplation and hesitation. Explore our collection here.

Practicality and Durability

Costumes and miniature formal wear may be cute, but they aren’t always practical for everyday use. It’s better to prioritise comfort over style by choosing pieces that can serve you and your baby well for the long term. 

Versatility and Flexibility

Meanwhile, don’t forget versatility. Besides bodysuits, separates offer a different perspective as they can be mixed-and-matched for switching between seasons and occasions without compromising on essential qualities.

Quality vs Quantity

Babies grow about 2.5 cm per month from birth until they reach 6 months of age. That said, there’s no need to stockpile on newborn clothes as they will quickly outgrow them. Instead, invest in quality infant apparel that can withstand this fleeting (but hectic!) period and provide long-lasting wear.

Final Thoughts

With these points in mind, are you ready to go shopping? At mothercare, you’ll never have to sacrifice one thing for another – our infant clothing is meticulously crafted to achieve the ideal blend of both needs and wants. From organic cotton all-in-ones and eco-conscious accessories to safe, irresistibly soft rompers, our collection offers something for each and every need. Our sleepsuits, in fact, are the culmination of over six decades of expertise in baby apparel – featuring the likes of nickel-free poppers, slip-resistant soles and integral scratch mitts. Should you have more questions or concerns, our Nursery Advisors are here to assist you every step of the way, too. 

Start shopping with us today!

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