Fun fact: the infant clothes industry brings in over $11 billion a year. That’s because new parents love dressing their babies up! There’s such a wide range of cute clothes to choose from, and so little time to try them all out. It’s great fun!
It’s also a surprising amount of hassle to actually get your baby dressed. If this is your first child, you may be surprised at the inconvenient combination of delicateness and strength your baby will show. Kicking and rolling around, it can be a real challenge to get your baby dressed! Here are some tips from people who have been there before.
Protect Those Fingers and Toes
Babies’ fingers and toes are very bendy — you’re unlikely to actually hurt them putting on clothes, but they’re very easy to get caught in the fabric and bent. That will surely trigger a screaming fit from your infant, but it’s easy enough to avoid: bunch up the arms of shirts and the legs of pants before putting them on your baby. Only then push the garment onto the arm or leg; it’ll slip right into the sleeve.
Easy On, Easy Off
Baby sleepers can be very cute, but snapping them up properly is a real pain! A much easier alternative is something called a “baby bag” – essentially a sleeping bag with arms. It’ll keep your baby warm, is safer than using a blanket, allows them to kick and move their legs and is very easy to slip on and off for baths and diaper changes.
Skip the Mittens
Baby’s fingernails can be sharp, so some people turn to little mittens to protect both their babies and themselves from those tiny cuts. This isn’t actually a very good idea, however; most babies are very tactile creatures, holding fingers to their face to keep them comfort. Mittens block those sensations, and can make them fussier – you’re essentially taking away one of your child’s natural coping mechanisms. Just invest in a tiny pair of nail clippers instead.
The Shoes, Too
While we’re avoiding accessories, babies don’t need shoes; at least, not on a regular basis. They’re adorable, but utterly, utterly useless – babies can’t walk, so they don’t need foot protection! They’re also difficult to get on and off little flailing legs. If you want to complete that perfect baby outfit, go for shoe socks instead; they’re cute and much easier to handle.
Two Hands, Please
Babies are stronger than they appear! They can wriggle or push at just the wrong time, and if you don’t have a firm grip, disaster could occur. So, don’t go into the temptation to pick your baby up with one arm while you’re laying out a sleeper. Instead, lay your baby on the changing table first, and then roll them to the side, gently pushing the sleeper under their body. Repeat on the other side, and voila.
Skip the Complicated Outfits
While there are absolutely adorable outfits out there – cute jeans, dresses with frilly ruffles, complicated multi-piece outfits with amazing buttons – remember one fundamental fact of infant life: they are messy. They poop. They pee. They throw up. They do that a lot. That means a lot of diaper changes and clothing changes. Simple onesies and sleepers are a heck of a lot easier to dress and undress. Trust me, you’ll be saving yourself quite the headache.