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Between feeding, changing, burping, and soothing, the last thing you want to worry about is baby clothes that take too much effort, rub your baby the wrong way, or are otherwise not worth their space in the nursery. But once you know a few simple rules for shopping, even the most harried diaper change will go more smoothly and your little one will enjoy his new world in comfort and style.
Know how sizing works. These are general guidelines; sizing varies from company to company, just like adults. And the number on the label is not an indication of how your child should be growing.
Age size: Newborn = 0-3 months. 3 months = 3-6 months 6 months = 6-9 months 1T = 12-24 months 2T = 25-36 months 3T = 36-48 months 4T/4 = 48 months plus; size 4T will have diaper room, size 4 will not. Look for soft fabrics. New babies have sensitive skin. Some experts recommend all cotton, although soft cotton blends also work for many babies. Organic fabric is often softer than either of them, although usually pricier. “Tagless” clothing, where size and washing information are printed on the back of the neck, sometimes causes skin irritation. If you notice your baby has redness in the area, switch to clothing with tags-you can always cut them out.
Make sure it’s simple to change a diaper, too. Most baby bodysuits and sleepers have snaps at the crotch. Steer clear of overalls for infants and similarly complicated items, unless they unfasten. Baby bodysuits with envelope folds at the neckline can be gently pulled down over your baby’s body and removed if there’s a diaper blowout (you don’t want to pull them over the head). Go for stretchy elastic on pants. It may be tempting to get your little one a pair of blue jeans just like yours, complete with button fly. But unless they have a stretchy elastic waistband, it won’t be fun getting them on your baby.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) mandates that sleepwear made for sizes 9 months to 14 months must be either made of flame-resistant fabric or snug to protect children from burns. Don’t buy oversized sleepwear for your children age 9 months and up unless it is flame-resistant. Sleepwear for infants up to 9 months old is exempt from regulations (since babies are unlikely to come into contact with open flame before they are mobile). At 9 months old and under, babies should sleep in wearable blankets, swaddles, or sleep sacks.