Thursday, April 16, 2009

On choosing clothing

Hi all!  This is my first post on this blog- my name is emeraldwednesday and I have a 3 1/2 month old son.  I'm so glad to be able to contribute and hope that I can be helpful to someone once in a while.

So the other day I was thinking about baby clothing and how much what I look for has changed since I was pregnant and buying the first little newborn outfits.  As a mom in the trenches, I have a completely different perspective and list of requirements versus when I was a starry-eyed expectant lady.  I still want cute duds for my little dude, but practicality trumps all- and before, I didn't know what really *was* practical.

As you get to know me, you'll find that I'm all about the bulleted list.  (Probably too much time either in science or in corporate life; not sure which.)  Anyway, without further verbiage, here's my list of what I've found about baby clothing.  Some findings may be obvious, others not.

  • The "month" sizing means little to nothing.  Every manufacturer has its own ideas of how big, say, a three month old should be.  Right now my DS is wearing 3-6 months in Old Navy and "just one year" (by Carters), 6 months in regular Carters, 3 months in Baby Gap, and 6-9 months in Circo (the Target brand).  As you can see, you can't even depend on two divisions of the same company to get it the same.  The "pound" guidelines are much more helpful.
  • Regarding one piece sleep and plays- snaps, especially snaps that go down both legs rather than just one, are much better than zippers that go down one leg.  You don't have to practically undress the baby for a diaper change, or put baby's leg into contortions to get it in and out of the sleeper.  Zippers can also ride up into the baby's face if you wear them in an upright position.  All that said, I prefer one piece outfits to separates in the beginning- fast, no matching to worry about or pants to remove for diaper changes!
  • Never buy anything where the only closure is down the back!
  • I find "envelope" or overlap necklines easier to deal with than ones with snaps.  They open wider.
  • Bodysuits (the onesie type thing) don't ride up the way Tshirts do when you pick up the baby.  
  • I needed many more changes of clothing than I expected to.  Babies tend to spit up and diapers can leak.  I had visions of going with quality over quantity with clothing, but unless I wanted to use crazy amounts of energy, water, and time doing laundry constantly, that wasn't going to work.  I hit sales now, and am thinking of buying used if possible, for both budgetary and environmental reasons.  There are buy/sell/trade shops around for baby clothes; this may be an option.
  • "Baby legs" (legwarmer things) are an awesome alternative to pants that don't have to be removed for diaper changes.  There are tons on etsy!
  • You can get "garment extenders" for snap-crotch shirts to get a little more use out of them.  I also hear that you can get something to attach to Tshirts to sort of convert them into bodysuits, but I haven't checked into that yet!

That's all I can remember for now.  Anyone have anything to add?  I'm sure I can use more advice on this from people who have more experience/older kids.  :-)

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