Shopping for clothes seems like a simple and fun task, one that doesn’t really require much consideration. We pick clothes based on our style and choose the colors which suit us the most. So, naturally, shopping for baby clothes should be no different, right? Well, not exactly. Though we like dressing up our girls and boys in cute little baby dresses and cool outfits, there are some things to consider before purchasing baby clothes. For starters, babies have sensitive skin. Also, your baby’s immune system is not fully developed yet. This means that you need to choose baby clothes with extra care, so as not to irritate their skin. Their health comes first, so researching the products before buying them is of the utmost importance.
Choosing the right material
There are two main types of fabrics: natural and manmade (also known as synthetic). If you are buying baby clothes, always check the product information and opt for natural fabrics. Natural fabrics can be plant-based, such as cotton, or animal-based, such as wool. The reason why you should go for natural materials is that synthetic fibers are chemically treated. When these chemicals are in constant contact with the skin, they can permeate it and cause a variety of health issues. And unlike adults, newborns have delicate skin, so they can’t exactly protect themselves from these harmful toxins. The onus is on us to provide them with clothes that won’t irritate their skin and cause rashes and allergies. Besides the risk of skin irritation, these chemicals have also been found to cause cancer, so it is best to avoid them altogether.
The alternative would be choosing clothes made from natural fabrics. However, even cotton clothes can be chemically treated. The solution is buying baby dresses, pants, and tops made from organic cotton. Even though regular cotton is a plant-based material, before being picked – it is treated with chemicals and pesticides. These are used for bug resistance. Compared to regular cotton, organic cotton isn’t chemically treated. No pesticides are used, so the products made from these plants are hypoallergenic. Like I’ve mentioned, that is very important for the skin of newborns. Besides having an end-product that is safer to use, the manufacturing process is also safe for the workers. Lastly, this material is environmentally friendly since it requires fewer resources and doesn’t pollute the soil. Bonus green points: washing synthetic materials pollutes the oceans, as they release microplastics in the washer.
Taking care of your baby’s clothes
The process of caring for your baby’s skin doesn’t end with buying adorable and quality pants and baby dresses! It may seem obvious and it’s probably something that you already do, but please, by all means, after buying, make sure you wash the clothes before putting them on your baby. The reason for this is that before clothes reach the store, there is no telling what they came in contact with. Washing them will remove any harmful bacteria.
Yet, there is another reason why clothes should be washed before use. If the clothes are dyed or chemically treated, then putting them in the washer can remove any residue dye or chemicals which can irritate your little one’s skin. Another thing to note is the products you are using for washing clothes. When washing baby clothes, you should use a mild detergent that isn’t scented. And the new baby dresses you just bought can probably do without fabric softener. The smaller the number of perfumes, dyes, and chemicals – the better! Washing clothes at 60 degrees Celsius is a foolproof way to get rid of bacteria. However, if some clothes are especially dirty, it is best not to mix them with the rest.
Don’t cheap out on baby clothes
So, your baby girl wore those few cute baby dresses just a couple of times and it seems like she already outgrew them. So you might be thinking, is constantly buying quality new clothes in a size up is a good idea? In the long run, it is not worth it to cheap out on baby clothes and shoes. Clothes are in constant contact with your baby’s body and can affect his/her wellbeing.
If you are worried about the cost and the waste caused by constantly replacing the things you buy for your little one, note that they can be donated or gifted. Babies outgrow clothes so fast that almost no damage is done to them and they are as good as new. Buying quality clothes means that they will last longer. After your baby has outgrown them and they are no longer of any use to you, you can wash them and gift them to friends or family members who are expecting. Or, if you don’t personally know someone that can use them, you can always donate them.