Dressing Your Baby
You have bought the crib and the toys and you have decorated the nursery. During your pregnancy you may have taken a childbirth class to give you help during labor and delivery. But what about once you come home with your baby; do you know how to dress and care for your baby once you have gotten home from the hospital?
For a new parent dressing a baby can be a scary thing. Especially so with smaller babies who seem that much more fragile. Many people are afraid they will break their baby if they are not careful. While the likelihood of that happening is not very high, it is easy to understand why people would fear that.
When you start shopping for clothes picture yourself trying to dress your baby in the outfit. If the outfit looks complicated or time consuming you may not want to buy it, especially in the smaller sizes. Also remember to wash all your babies’ clothes in a gentle, perfume/dye free detergent prior to putting them on your baby as you do not want to irritate your baby’s sensitive newborn skin.
Step 1: Pick Out the Outfit Ahead of Time
Don’t wait until it is time to dress your baby to decide what to dress your baby in. Decide earlier in the day or the night before and set the clothes out while your baby is calm or asleep. This will take away the possibility of a last minute choice while your baby is crying, and you having to rush.
Step 2: Think Layers
You should definitely invest in simple onesies for your baby to wear under his daily outfits. When your baby is first born it is harder to regulate their temperatures as the temperature outside changes. If it is hot you can easily remove layers, but if it is cold you will be happy that you have them and so will your baby. You also never know when your baby’s diaper may leak and having that extra layer of clothing could very easily protect that cute outfit you just had to have your baby seen in. Another good reason to layer is that often the cute outfits have stitching on the inside that can lie against the babies’ skin and irritate them. Tags in the back of clothing can be irritating as well, so having the onesie in between the skin and main outfit can help give you a happier baby.
Step 3: Protect the Neck
Just like when carrying your baby around, you have to remember to support the neck while you are dressing your baby. It can be a little difficult when trying to get your baby’s arms in a top, to remember the neck. Your baby might lift a bit, letting his head fall back. If you want you can try to build your baby’s wardrobe with outfits that don’t go over the head, but button down the front, or can be put on feet first.
Step 4: The Head and Feet
Don’t forget about your baby’s head and feet. Remember that body temperature is partly controlled from these upper and lower extremities so you want to keep them covered, or uncovered as well. If it is super hot outside stick to a thin pair of socks for your baby, or let them go sock less. Don’t worry about the shoes until your baby is walking. If you are out in the sun consider a hat for your baby so they don’t get burned, but otherwise keep their head uncovered so that it can “breathe”. In the winter or on colder days, have socks for your baby and a baby “stocking cap” to help keep your baby’s head warm.
Step 5: Take Extras!
It doesn’t matter how old your baby is, you still need to take at least two spare outfits with you to dress your baby in while you are out. This includes extra onesies, socks and caps as well. You never know when your baby will have a blowout, spit up on himself, get sick, become a messy eater, or be victim to an accident on your part like a tipped over soda in the stroller. We say two outfits so that you still have a spare outfit after you change your baby the first time, in case there is a second accident. Take lots of socks with you because it can be very common for a baby to move while you are changing his diaper. Often his feet can end up in the mess and you don’t want him wearing his socks that are dirty. Also, since caps can easily slide and be pushed off the head when you pick up your baby, you want spares incase it falls in a puddle or gets dirty.
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