Dad 101: How to shop for baby clothes

Some helpful tips for new dads on buying baby clothes. 

Babies don’t do a lot when they first come out, so one of the things we can do is dress them up. If you’re having a baby, or someone you know is, shopping for their first outfits can be fun. 

I have to confess that I got very excited about baby clothes. Maybe I should have played with dolls as a kid because I was shopping for cute little onesies (those all-in-one suits, like the ones adults wear to music festivals) for our child well before it was born or before we knew what sex it was.

So that meant a lot of yellow because the first thing you will learn about baby clothes is that they are either pink or blue. Lots of pink or lots of blue. There is not much in the way of a middle ground.

Baby size guide

You can get into trouble with sizes too because there are a lot of zeros to contend with. In baby sizes, triple 0 (000) is not the emergency hotline, it is a baby’s clothing size from zero to three months. Except it’s not really because baby sizes are like adult sizes, they vary wildly depending on who is making them. 

Baby sizes go from size 00000, which is considered a ‘tiny baby’, up to size 2 (for an 18-month- to 24-month-old), but the sizes with four and five zeros are really only for a very small baby. Often kids arrive on the scene ready for a 00 (six to nine months), so think twice about going too small.

Unlike adults, babies are not going to be offended if you buy something a couple of sizes too big - they will grow into it and they will likely grow into it fast!

The other thing to consider is what fabric the baby clothes are made from - when it comes to newborns, cotton is the fabric of choice. Synthetic fabrics can be too warm or irritate your newborn’s skin, so stick with classic cotton and you can’t lose.
baby sleeping  in tuxedo

Be practical

My excitement about buying baby clothes was short-lived because our firstborn ended up with reflux, which meant he liked to projectile vomit his milk shortly after feeding. This meant the average time that he wore any given outfit was about four and a half minutes. 

Not all kids will do this, but you have to be aware that baby clothes come on and off A LOT. 

So while those 25 studs and buttons may look fantastic, you are going to regret your choice when you are changing your baby for the eighth time, at 4am in the morning, in the dark. 

Fashion needs to take a back seat to practicality. 

Stick to the basics. You may want to buy your new baby a dress or jacket or a tiny vest but they will be spending most of their time in a neutral-coloured onesie. You will thank the heavens you have a few spare ones so you can put off doing the washing for as long as possible.
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