Baby Clothes

Buying clothes for a growing baby is a bit challenging for many new parents because none of the sizes printed on the labels correspond to the baby's actual age. Particularly if the baby was large at birth (9 pounds or more), you might have to skip the 0 to 3 months clothing right from the start and go directly to a 3 to 6 month wardrobe.

A basic layette consists of a half dozen undershirts and onesies, non-flammable sleepers/rompers (with covered feet), a couple of gowns, at least four pairs of socks or booties, a couple of sweaters, a light jacket, pants/tops, 2 hats or bonnets (knitted for winter; brimmed for summer), 4-6 receiving blankets, buntings and snowsuits (for colder climates) and absorbent bibs.

After you have your basic layette, you should be okay for at least a few weeks. What to buy after that time depends mainly on your baby's growth spurts and also your budget. Not everyone can afford to buy brand-new clothes every few weeks. If your baby is progressing as most do, you should expect to buy larger sizes of clothing (including diapers) every few months. Buying even 9 to 12 month sized clothes on clearance when your baby is only three months old can save you a lot of money.

You will want to buy clothes for both playtime and for special occasions. When it comes to fancy and frilly special-event outfits for baby girls, make sure the material isn't scratchy and that it doesn't get in the way of regular activities.

You can buy as little or as much clothing as you like for your baby, and the choices are seemingly endless. But do bear in mind you will more than likely be flooded with cute babywear at your baby shower (as well as after the birth), since there's always an abundance of baby clothing given as gifts. If you want to buy your baby clothes before the birth try to opt for outfits in bigger sizes. Your new little one will grow an incredible amount in his or her first year, and babies generally aren't picky about what they wear as long as it's comfortable.

Make sure the baby clothes you buy say "machine washable" on the labels, because you'll have neither the time nor the energy to wash clothes by hand. As a general rule, you should always wash new clothes before dressing your baby in them. Not only does it clean them up after they've been hanging and handled in the stores, but it also makes them softer. Also, some say that washing first can help prevent skin rashes or irritation for babies with sensitive skin.

Once your children have outgrown their baby clothes, you can make a valuable contribution to society by donating your old baby clothes to various charities and organizations.