Hi everybody, and welcome back to Koodle's Blog. I'm Kat, a teacher and a mum of 4. Today we will be discussing a topic that I'm quite familiar with and ought to know well since I've experience it 4 times and continue to do so as we speak. And that is, baby clothes. Ahh...yes, baby clothes, it's ridiculously adorable for all ages with charming little gimmicks like matching outfits for the whole fam and in recent years funny yet functional puns onesies for all to admire. It is futile to resist the cuteness. But there are challenges when tackling these purchases especially when you have 4 boys from toddler to tween, so there are a few things that you should lookout for before deciding on your splurge.
Some things to consider before you continue your reading.
The wants v.s. the needs
This a battle for most parents, the wants and needs, it is not just the parents being the fashionistas in the household it is also the children. One of the things that I find most difficult to handle are my children wanting similar clothing as their friends or other family members. And I'm not saying I can't provide it, but the real question is why? When you're on a budget or wanting to be on a budget, it is important to balance the wants and needs, most of the time the needs will outweigh and at times the wants and need can coincide.
To distinguish between the wants and needs before your purchase, make lists and create catalogs from "priority" to "ehh just for fun". Then decide how often your child will be wearing it. Pick quality over quantity. I cannot stress this enough people! Inspect the clothes you want to purchase to fit the requirements of your needs. Check if they are sturdy, durable, flexible, and multi wear.
Make sure you take good care of your quality clothes as they can also be consider as hand me down clothes for your other children, or your future children, or for donations for those who needs them.
Now on to the top 10 tips to know before buying your baby clothes.
Tip Number 1 - Ask Around
This is definitely a hand me down tip, the easiest thing to do is ask around your family members and friends. Families with children who has already outgrown there baby clothes are usually very happy to give you things for free. You don't need to spend money to get new clothes for your children, it is far more important to get other essentials in order i.e. nappies, formulas and feeds. Children outgrew their clothes really fast so there is no need to buy something new from a warehouse.
Make sure you wash them before using it. Personally I would double wash them. The first wash is to clean the clothes, the second was is to clear my conscious. Hehehe. But honestly, if you inspect the clothes and they are not up to par or your children may have allergies to certain things you should buy new.
Tip Number 2 - Don't assume size
When you're out shopping, make sure to shop with your kids or at least know your children measurements before heading out. Each store usually have their own size measurements so do your research on the stores about sizing or ask the clerks for help. Taking things out the rack without know if it will fit is a no no. This is where your lists and catalogs will come in handy. For a guesstimate, you could measure the clothes along the back of children and make sure it covers their body and a little bit over. Another tip is to measure the bottom lining for the shirt, or the waist band of the shorts to their neck. If there's space covering their neck, perfect, if it's tight then no.
You should buy clothes that a size bigger or bigger in general since they will definitely grow into it. To know if it's the right size, have your children try them on and stick two fingers around the waist bands of the trousers or neckline and sleeves of a shirt, if they are not snug around your fingers they are the perfect size.
It is definitely crucial to keep the receipts, if something went wrong like buying the wrong size or it's too loose you can always return it (make sure you check the store's policy). If not, you probably will have to give them away or swap with your friends.
Tip Number 3 - Don't Buy in Bulk
New clothes should be bought when needed not wanted. Like mentioned multiple times above, children will grow out of their clothes at lightening speed. If you're on a budget the maximum that you could push it would be 1 outfit a week and by outfit is a shirt and trouser. You don't need 5 to 10 of a particular clothing because in 2 weeks time your child won't be able to fit into it.
Tip Number 4 - Buy on Sale
This is my golden rule, I rarely buy things at its normal pricing anymore. Ask your favourite stores or local stores when they will go on sales, your best bet would be seasonal changes i.e. summer collection to winter collection. Make your list for Christmas sales because I guarantee a lot of the things you want will be 50 percent off. Sales does not mean lower in quality. If you look at it like a tablet gadget that changes models every year (not naming any specifics), just because a new model has come out doesn't mean the older version is not of good quality of a well to do gadget.
Tip Number 5 - When in doubt buy cotton
When it comes to choosing fabrics, it is best to know the types they have. When in doubt buy cotton; cotton is comfortable, breathable, stretchy, washable, and durable. Most cottons are hypoallergenic for those who are prone to allergies and it is not harsh on the baby's skin to cause rashes or itch. Try your best not to follow crazy trends like pleather leggings, even though you baby are definite rock stars of your life but overheating can cause some serious damages. It is essential to buy air-able fabrics because newborns to 1 year old are still adjusting to outside temperature as their sweat glands are not yet fully functional. Watch out for overheating signs like warmth and flushed skin, rapid breathing, fussiness, and decreased activity of arms and legs. So, when in doubt buy cotton.
Tip Number 6 - Stretchy Trousers and Pants
From a first hand experience multiple times of explosive nappies, yes, at some point you will come across explosive nappies. The stretchy-er the better! When your children, no matter what age, gives you explosive poo you are going to want to be able to stretch the pants and trousers as far as you can for easy access in and out of the ick and poo without getting them all over your child and anything else. Of course you will often be around poo other than this episode, you should already be well adjusted to being around poo (it's unavoidable). Stretchy pants could only help the overall damage, but if your kid run around the house butt-naked with poo on.. I mean..
Tip Number 7 - Ins and Outs
You are going to need something that is easy for the child to change into and change out of. Think about how the children will be wearing the outfits and how you are going to bend their bodies to fit into it. Most of them are not as bendable and well balanced as much as we think. Notice when changing children, you really have to hold them quite sturdy and gently especially the head and neck area. If you're planning for a tight fitting clothes, it is not going to work. Again back to stretchy clothes, it's an easy swoop! I honestly recommend cotton leggings, even now my third kid is 6 and I still have him in leggings.
Tip Number 8 - Mix and Match
Trust when I say a neon green with florescent polka-dots is not going to match a lot of things that you already have in your wardrobe. When buying clothes, you want them to match other things so they can be worn more than once mixing and matching with your other pieces. Neutral colours works best with many things, hence baby clothes are usually in neutral pastels or whites. Tip; with neutral clothing it compliments photos really well because at this age you really want to document everything and flashy colours will definitely look overwhelming.
Tip Number 9 - Snap Crotch
I know, snap crotch sounds...odd. Yes, snap crotch, what I mean is buying clothes or onesies that has a snap bottom. It will help with changing nappies and also really good for older children in their rolling around age. I recommend for age between 1 to 3, wearing snap crotch onesies and then legging on top. Not only does it look fabulous, the onesie won't be climbing or crumple when crawling and it's super comfortable in a car seats and pram.
Tip Number 10 - Clothes Safety
When dressing your kids, this is above price obviously, look at the clothes safety by looking at the labels and tags on the clothes. Learn the icons it will help you identify its safety features. Ask yourself the following questions:
Is it fire resistance?
Will it melt?
Will it smoke?
Is it in good condition?
Are there any sharp objects?
How dangerous is it for your child to be wearing?
Think about all scenarios and possibilities that could happen, for example, zippers can be dangerous for young children. Even for us zippers caught on our skin and that bloody hurts, imagine on a baby's skin...definitely unbearable. Young children at this age also likes pulling so ties and hoodies are not the best choice for possible choking hazard. Another choking hazard like chords, bows and buttons aren't great either. Some clothes are instant death trap guys! Watch out!
Alright guys that's it for the top 10 tips for baby clothes. It will take a lot of trial and error to experiment on and find the right clothes, so don't worry about it if you didn't get it right the first time. But of course make sure safety comes first! Learn about the fabrics that are suitable for your children, but once you know it, you know it! Use common sense. Don't go crazy on clothes but go crazy on shoes! More on that, next time. Thanks for reading!
If you want to know more about baby's sweat glands, check out the sources below: