Baby Care – Clothing and Accessories

A mother-to-be derives great enjoyment out of getting the layette ready. But, pleasant as it is, the monetary cost, the laundering time, and the effort of actually putting clothes on the baby must also be kept in mind.Diapers are the only form of clothing that need to be bought in quantity. Babies grow quickly in the first months, and their needs constantly change. When shopping for the layette, keep the following in mind: (1) clothing should have growing space; (2) garments should be easy to launder; (3) all items should be safe and comfortable for the baby to wear or use; and (4) garments should be simple enough to take a minimum of time to dress and undress the infant.Trendy clothes for tots may look cute on dolls, but are often impractical for real, live babies, who loathe being dressed and undressed and express their exasperation by crying loudly and angrily. A crying baby is rigid and uncooperative, as the parent fumbling with buttons and ribbons soon discovers. It is well worth searching for clothing that is secured with snap fasteners rather than that which must be pulled and tugged over the baby’s head. Infant clothes should be loose and easy to slip on and off. In addition, older babies will try to chew on buttons, so snaps are much safer.The newborn baby’s tender skin is easily irritated by the starchy substance in new materials. It is wise to launder all clothing, diapers, wrapping blankets, or similar articles that will touch the baby’s skin before they are used. Use mild soapsuds in warm water for washing clothes the first time and make sure that all the soap is thoroughly rinsed.It is also wise to remove all labels from inside the garments. Labels can irritate a baby’s sensitive skin.The most important article in the baby’s layette is the diaper. The choice is wide. A new parent should consider the following:(1) If a diaper service is available, does it also provide the diapers? Is the price reasonable?(2) Disposables are of course convenient for traveling, but are not as absorbent as cloth diapers. Is there enough storage for the large quantities needed?(3) Is there time enough for a parent to launder and sterilize diapers?Remember, the diaper service has to be arranged before the baby’s birth.When laundering diapers, do not use harsh detergents; many parents prefer to use mild soapsuds. Even more important, it is essential to rinse diapers thoroughly after laundering to prevent irritation of the baby’s skin.