Baby Clothes

Baby Products

Your baby clothes should be easier to get on and less expensive than this christening gown.
A baptism often means getting dressed up in a formal baby christening gown, but otherwise your baby clothes will hopefully be a lot easier to get on, more comfortable, and less expensive. Photo © Karen Frazier Photography

Parents usually only use a few criteria when they choose baby clothes, including price, comfort, and style, but they should add safety to the list when choosing baby clothes.

Baby Clothes

Is safety really a concern when you buy baby clothes? When you consider that your baby may be safer in clothes that are flame-resistant, snug-fitting, and don't get her overheated, then it is very important.

Certain types of baby clothes, with stretchy fabric, openings down the front, or easy opening crotch, are also more convenient than other baby clothes.

Choosing Baby Clothes

As part of every layette, or set of baby clothes that parents usually buy before their baby is born or ready to come home from the hospital, experts usually recommend that you have some:

  • T-shirts
  • onesies
  • a few outfits
  • baby socks
  • hats
  • receiving blankets
  • hooded towels
  • sweater
  • burp clothes
  • washclothes
  • diapers

And of course, older infants and toddlers will need more outfits as they get out more.

Safe Baby Clothes

In addition to snug-fitting, flame-resistant sleepwear for older infants and children, features of safe baby clothes that you should look for include:

  • no drawstrings, which are a strangulation hazard
  • no extra buttons, ribbons, or decorative items on clothing for infants or toddlers, since they can come off and be a choking hazard
  • tightly knit fabrics, so a baby or infant can't get a finger or toe through a loosely knit sweater or sock.

Should all of the items in your layette be flame-resistant?

That usually isn't possible, as according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, "the rules for flame resistance or snug fit do not apply to sleepwear for sizes nine months and under because infants that wear these sizes are insufficiently mobile to expose themselves to an open flame." So it's OK to put your newborn or younger infant to sleep in cotton clothing that isn't flame resistant.

As soon as your baby is old enough to fit into flame-resistant sleepwear, it is probably a good idea to make the switch though.

Clothing Recalls

Surprisingly, there have been about 75 recalls of children's clothing items in the past few years. While most of these are items with drawstrings (jackets and sweatshirts), others include clothing for infants and toddlers that could be a choking hazard (pieces come off the clothing) or a burn hazard (clothing doesn't meet flammability standards).

Reviewing clothing recalls from the Consumer Product Safety Commission can help you make sure that you don't have any unsafe clothing in your home.

Washing Baby Clothes

Do you have to take any special steps when washing baby clothes?

The most important thing is to probably wash your baby's clothes when you first buy them, especially if you are buying second-hand baby clothes.

Other than that, you could use a specialty "baby" laundry detergent, such as Dreft, Tide Free (Ultra Tide Free, Tide Powder Free, etc.), All small & mighty Free Clear, or Ivory Snow, etc.

These special laundry detergents for babies may only be needed if your baby has eczema or sensitive skin though. If your baby isn't having any skin problems, you might just wash your baby's clothes with a regular detergent with the rest of your family's clothes. An extra rinse cycle may be all that you need to avoid irritating your baby's skin, instead of a special laundry detergent, although even that may be unnecessary.




U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Guidelines For Buying Children's Sleepwear.

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