New moms and dads, we know you’re all about buying the cutest little outfits for your little ones. So we got a baby clothes merchandising specialist to give you the lowdown on what to avoid and what to look for, so your little one looks cute, feels comfortable, and is right in style.
Do not buy anything with drawstrings/ sashes. Kids have a tendency to trip over these, or worse, choke on them. Look for garments that are pre-stitched or have mock strings. If you’re crushing on a cute outfit with a belt or sash, know that belts or sashes intended to be tied at the back should not be more than 360mm in length (for ‘young children,’ they also must not hang below the hem), when untied. Those intended to be tied at the front of the garment should be no more than 360mm in length. Measure from the point where they are to be tied.
Since babies spend a lot of time lying on their back, make sure the first set of clothes you invest in are all with front placket openings, or openings by the shoulder.
Avoid clothing with beads and sequin, as babies tend to put things in their mouth. The thread fastening the bead or sequin may loosen over time, leaving these embellishments as choking hazards. All small parts are very dangerous to children under 36 months. Keep this in mind for garments with any buttons, beads, bows, tassels, pom-poms, sequins, diamontes, fasteners and labels.
- Look for natural fabrics that are breathable. Think soft cottons, linens, bamboo, wool or hemp fabric, and now organic cotton
- Buy light pastel shades, that are naturally dyed, rather than chemically harsh dyed clothes. Synthetic clothing typically comes from petroleum products, which contain toxic chemicals that can cause allergies and disruptions to the immune and reproductive systems. These synthetic fabrics also do not allow the baby’s skin to breathe, sometimes resulting in skin rashes and eczema.
- Stick to prints and light embroideries over heavy sequin and beadwork.
- Buy bottoms with elastic waistbands; they are easy to put on and remove.
- Stick to simple silhouettes as clothes with too many straps, frills etc. prevent free movement of the child. As children are learning to walk and crawl, the extra fabric gets in their way and irritates.
- Avoid smooth fabrics, even silks in the beginning, as these do not absorb, and the child cannot get a grip on its outfit. Choose instead a thicker cotton or wool.
- Buy stretchy, comfy night wear, with loose necks and flaps at the crotch, all of which allow for easy changes, especially when you and your baby are half asleep during midnight ‘accidents.’