Buying clothes for your kids is not that easy, given the fact that you need to take several factors into account that include safety, comfort and your little one’s preferences. Combine this with the fact, that the smaller the children are, the faster they outgrow clothes and you may end up feeling that all you do is shopping for children clothing.
The great variety of items offered on the market is not helpful at all as sometimes you may feel getting lost between what’s necessary and what’s trendy. As we understand the struggles of each parent, we have come up with this simple guide on how to choose your kid’s clothes, which can reduce your shopping doubts to a great extent.
When it comes to selecting your kids’ clothing the main rule is that safety and comfort shall come first. It is also necessary to think about shopping for different ages as there are different requirements associated with each stage of the kids’ development. As infants and toddlers are usually the main concern, we have focused on a few useful tips concerning these specific ages along with a few general do’s and don’ts.
Diapers – the essential “clothing”
Do you know that you may need up to 6,000 diapers during the first two and a half years of your child? When you realize that, you also understand how important it is to choose the right diapers. After all, this is one of the essential pieces of clothing that your child will wear for a long time. It is necessary to point out that there is no right or wrong decision here – whether you will choose to use disposable diapers or cloth diapers it is up to you and how your child feels wearing them. Here are a few pros and cons for each type that can ease your decision.
- Disposable diapers
The main advantage of disposable diapers is that they are convenient, easy to use and save a lot of work. All family members can easily change them and they are very suitable for travel. In order to find the right ones for your baby, it is good to sample several different brands. You will find the ones that provide the necessary softness and overall high quality. They should cause no rush too.
The main disadvantage of disposable diapers is that they are not biodegradable and cannot be recycled. That is the reason why in recent years there is a tendency to try and promote cloth diapers as a healthier option for the environment and for the public health in general.
- Cloth diapers
Cloth diapers that can be washed at home are the other option for your little one. They will save you money since you can use them multiple times, however, you also need to take into account the time and materials necessary for that. Cloth diapers come in a great variety of colors, designs, and fabrics. You can also choose between pre-fold, fitted, pocket and all-in-one diapers. Depending on the type you select, you may need diaper pins to secure them and also diaper liners for extra absorbency at night and waterproof covers. The good news is that there are also services that can come and pick your dirty cloth diapers and provide new ones in case you are not willing to wash them for one reason or another.
The disadvantage of cloth diapers is that it takes a bit more time to put them on and that you need to wash them. You will also need a few diapers in order to be able to change them and several sizes as your baby will outgrow them.
With both disposable and cloth diapers, you will be faced with baby rush because of moisture, warmth and the contact of baby skin to urine and stool. Therefore, you need to change the diaper once it is dirty and leave your baby without a diaper whenever feasible.
How to choose your infant clothing
Choosing the clothes for your infant is a hard task at the beginning for any new parent. On one hand, you want all those beautiful mini-versions of your own clothes that look so cute on a baby and on the other, you want your baby to feel comfortable in their clothes. Not to forget, that the pieces of clothing should be easy to put on and off, given the fact that you may need to change them several times during the day. So, here is a list of the essentials you need to keep in mind when shopping for an infant:
- Choose high-quality fabrics – you need to opt for soft and natural materials. Cotton is the best choice for newborn babies and remains the best option for toddlers and bigger kids too. Fleece is also a great material for colder weather.
- Choose machine-washable clothes – you need to be practical. Babies are messy and hence you’d better opt for machine-washable clothes.
- Buy larger clothes – babies grow very fast, so it is advisable to buy clothes that are little larger. Keep in mind, that cotton also shrinks a bit after washing, so if you buy something that is a perfect fit, you may not be able to put it on after the second washing.
- Avoid fancy clothing – it is important to be able to dress and undress your baby quick, so opt for clothes that will facilitate the process and not hinder it. Too many straps, buttons and the like are not recommended as they can also irritate baby’s skin or be a choking hazard. In addition, they usually hinder baby’s movements and are not very comfy to wear.
There are also a few tips that you need to follow when dressing your baby. Always wash new or hand down clothes before putting them on your baby. Choose special washing materials that are baby-friendly as the other may irritate baby’s skin.
It is highly important not to overdress your baby. The rule of thumb here is to put as many layers as you wear. Some go as to suggesting that in warm weather you shall put one layer less on your baby and in cold weather one layer more compared to your clothing. And when you enter a warmer place such as a shop, do not forget to undress your kid as well. Quite often parents remove their jackets but forget that of the baby in the stroller.
Your baby will grow quite fast in the first year and you will likely change a lot of clothing. So, do not buy too many pieces in one size, as chances are you may end up not putting them on at all.
Basic rules for dressing your toddler
After the first year, you are faced with an energetic toddler that learns how to walk and run and is generally much more active. The clothes that you are going to select should match this activity. Once your kid starts moving around, you will need clothes that are more durable.
You can opt for bright colors as they stain less easily compared to pastels. Besides, it is easier to spot a child wearing a red jacket rather than one with pale blue or pink. Bright colors are also unisex, so you can use them for a sibling if need be.
When choosing the clothes, you need to take into account once again that comfort is the leading factor. T-shirts and overalls with adjustable straps are two pieces of clothing that are essential for this age. Once your toddler starts walking, you will also need to add proper shoes that facilitate the activity. A raincoat should also be added to the wardrobe of your little one.
Once again, your leading rule is to opt for high-quality clothes, made of soft and natural fabric. It is still good to avoid designs that may irritate the skin such as appliqués and sparkles.
Once your toddler gets to the age of being potty trained, you need to choose clothes that the kid can easily put on and off by themselves and also add underwear. Cotton underwear is the best choice, no matter if you will go through training pants and pull-up diapers or not. It is breathable and won’t cause skin irritation, while synthetics do.
The main tip to follow is to try and offer your child a functional wardrobe by choosing comfortable clothes that facilitate their movement.
Don’t let your kids “grow” too fast
One of the rules to follow when choosing clothes for your kids, regardless of their age, is not to let them grow too fast. In other words, do not dress them in clothes or put accessories that are inappropriate for their age, no matter how cute they may look in them.
Our kids are exposed to fashion since they use smartphones and tablets and they may know better than us what is trendy at the moment. Still, we can dress our kids fashionably but properly for their age. The main rules to follow are:
- Always choose comfort over style
Comfort should always come first when we talk about kid’s clothing. The younger the child, the greater the importance of this factor. With time, we can combine it with style. However never compromise with main aspects such as high-quality materials and design that pose no danger to the child whatsoever. Even when we choose clothes for a special occasion, it is important the kid is able to move freely, run, sit, bend and twirl without any limitations.
- Avoid overdressing
It is better to underdress than to overdress regardless of the occasion. There are casual clothes that are comfy and look fantastic. Always put your child’s preferences first and don’t force them to put fancy clothing unless they want it.
- Dress according to the weather
Choose the right clothes according to the weather outside. Quite often kids can’t make the appropriate choice and while you can give them some freedom it is not ok to let them wear sleeveless clothes when it is cold no matter how fashionable that looks.
Let your kids’ have a choice
Kids like to have control and you can let them have their input about selecting what to wear. If you have a toddler between 2 and 4, you can start by offering them two options to choose from. Thus, you select the appropriate clothes for the weather or the occasion but you give them a choice. You can do the same when shopping – offer a few pre-selected items and let them chose the one they like.
As kids grow older, you should allow them to make their own combinations. Quite often, you won’t agree with the selection of colors or types of clothes but remember that they have their own taste. You can simply share your opinion that this looks funny or awkward and ask them why they want to match them. This helps the kid form their preferences and encourages them to express what they want.
Shopping for kids’ clothes can be quite fun but you need to keep in mind that it is also a very responsible activity. Always put their safety and comfort first and try to combine it with the style they prefer. There are several main rules that apply to kids’ clothing regardless of their age – high-quality, natural, breathable materials, good design, freedom of movement, easy to clean. Follow these guidelines and you will make the right choice when it comes to buying clothes for your children.
You can also browse through the fashion items on our website and choose a piece of clothing or accessory that can make your kid smile.
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I like that you talked about how you need to take into account that comfort is the leading factor when choosing clothes. Our daughter is starting to outgrow her current clothes, so we are thinking of buying her new sets. I think the mommy and me matching clothing would be fun for both my wife and daughter, so I’ll try to buy at least one set.
My wife and I want to buy new clothes for our daughter since her current ones don’t fit her anymore. We’re glad you explained the importance of choosing comfortable clothing pieces instead of putting style first, so we’ll definitely keep this in mind when we go shopping next week. Thank you for the tips on buying clothes that let our kids move freely.
My toddler always wants to choose his own clothes! We are a french family based in the UK and I always give him free run of the websites. So he can pick what he wants but still I get to keep my french routes!