If you’re expecting a baby, you likely have a lot of things to think about. If you have recently had a baby, then you have even more things to think about! There’s feeding, changing, getting into a routine, and other things. The last thing you want to worry about is dressing your baby in fashionable clothing which isn’t a good, practical choice. Fortunately, there are a few simple rules for baby shopping – and here they are.

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Understand sizing.

Like adult clothing, sizing varies from company to company, so it’s never an exact science, but there are general rules. Generally, sizes cover three-month age bands, but if your baby is particularly big or small, they may fit a size other than their age. Don’t worry if your baby is in the ‘wrong’ size. All babies are different!

Don’t buy in bulk.

Buy a few baby clothing and more often. Don’t go out and buy hundreds of sleepsuits in one size all at once, as your baby will outgrow it before you can blink. Before the baby is born, buy a few things in a range of sizes, as you won’t know what size your baby will start in until you meet them. If in doubt, buy bigger sizes. You can always tuck items in if they’re too big, but if clothing is too small, it can irritate or hurt your baby.

Think of the type of fabrics.

New babies have very sensitive skin, so it’s important to buy clothing in the fabric that won’t be uncomfortable for them. Most experts recommend cotton, or softer cotton blends, or choose organic material if you can (organic fabrics are often expensive). Some clothing doesn’t have tags and has sizing information printed in the back instead. This may seem like a better solution than tagged clothing, but the ink can irritate. If your baby develops a rash in the area, switch to tagged items. You can always cut the tags out if needed.

Fastenings are important.

When buying clothing, it’s also essential to think about how garments go on and come off. Buttons can be a nightmare for baby clothing as babies tend to wriggle and buttons take a long time to do up. Snaps, zippers, and even magnets are a much better idea. Stretchy neck holes and snaps at the collar are great as they’re easy to get on and off over the baby’s head, and snaps at the crotch make changing a diaper a little more straightforward. Having elastic, stretchy pants is also a must!

Stay safe.

Make sure that any clothing items you buy have never been recalled for safety issues. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a list. Also, avoid anything that might come off, such as buttons, hooks, or bows, as these can be choking hazards. Most baby clothing companies avoid these, but if you have friends or family members who are making clothing for you, make sure they don’t decorate the items with anything that can come undone. If you do have anything with appliques, pull on them before every time the baby wears them to make sure they’re still on properly.

Don’t break the bank.

You can get great, reasonably priced baby clothing easily. Don’t be tempted to spend too much, as your baby will grow so fast that they won’t wear any item for long.