I’ve raised four children, cared for five younger siblings, tended to scores of foster care children and worked as a day care supervisor. Over the years I’ve compiled a list of safest, most comfortable and healthiest clothing for babies and toddlers.
First a note about fabric for baby and toddlers clothes: Avoid any fabric that isn’t natural fiber, like polyester blends, lycra, nylon, rayon, dacron and knit. If baby’s clothing have a very small amount of these fabrics for stretch and comfort, that is acceptable. Too much artificial fabric and the clothing will retain moisture and cause itchiness and rash. Baby needs fabric that breathes. Beware of woolen garments; some infants develop allergic reactions to wool. Cotton, flannel and fleece garments are the most comfortable, generally.
Next, look for one piece baby clothing. Jump suits, rompers, Onesies (Gerber brand one piece tee shirts that snap between the legs), sun suits and overall styles are much more comfortable for baby. Avoid garments with elasticized waists. Baby’s tummy and torso is much larger in proportion to her body. It’s uncomfortable for her to have snug fitting clothing around her tummy. It also constricts movement. If you notice ‘train tracks’ (our nickname for marks on the skin left by elastic waist bands), you’ll know that the garment is to restrictive for baby. If you do put baby in outfits with pants and shirt, choose lightweight cotton knit blends with very expandable waists. Babies should not wear jeans.
No matter how cute you think they look, please don’t put elastic headbands on your baby girls. Baby’s skull bones are still very soft and should not be confined. Don’t use velcro bows either.
For sleepwear, choose roomy comfy night gowns, Onesies or sleep suits. Avoid garments with strings or extra fastenings for daily wear. Fastenings can be uncomfortable and dangerous. The best fastening for baby clothing is snaps. Zippers snag and catch. Buttons fall of and can be swallowed. String, ribbon and cords can cause suffocation. Slip-on is good for baby.
Make sure that baby’s socks aren’t too tight, either. We used a loose comfortable slipper sock for our babies called Mukluks. These are knitted stockings with a canvas sole, similar to moccasins. Mukluks are easy to make if you are knitting or crochet savvy. Moccasins make nice baby shoes, too. Pediped has cute comfortable baby shoes, too.
My overall favorite brand of baby clothing is Gymboree’s. I like the styles, comfort and quality of Gymboree’s . Old Navy and The Childrens’ Place also sell a nice line of durable, washable, comfortable baby clothing. Old Navy and The Children’s Place are less expensive than Gymboree’s. For more shopping advice, visit me at www.shopchat.blogspot.com and www.parentinghotline.blogspot.com.