The global baby apparel market is a massive one. In 2018, the industry was valued at an astounding $135.5 billion. This number proves the demand for not only cute baby clothes, but safe and comfortable wear too.
In fact, that's one of the reasons the market is worth so much. A growing awareness of the need for comfort and convenience has parents buying baby clothes that fit the newest fashion trends, all while being easy to use. As any parent knows, the more simple their child's clothes, the easier it is to get baby ready in less time.
Do you have a little one on the way, and you've realized that purchasing clothes for a new baby is harder than expected? What considerations should soon-to-be-parents make in regards to dressing their child?
We run through seven critical questions in this guide. Keep reading to take the stress out of shopping!
1. How Safe Is This Clothing Item?
When buying clothes for yourself, likely, you never have to think about the safety aspect of your clothing items. For babies, though, this consideration is of utmost importance.
If an outfit has several adornments, such as large buttons or other add-ons, it could become a safety hazard if they were to fall off. Additionally, as the baby grows and begins to move more, they could easily pull off a button, which will go straight to their mouths and become a choking concern. Other considerations include hanging fabric, which could become a tripping hazard.
Onesies with snap clasps near the bottom are safer, as well as simplistic gear that can slide on or off without stress. Look for things that are straightforward and keep your baby's safety in mind.
2. How Long Will My Baby Wear This?
On average, a newborn baby grows about 1½-2 pounds every month after the first month. They also grow about 1-1½ inches every month.
When buying baby clothes, make sure to think about the timeline. Will your baby be able to fit into this outfit in a few months or even a few weeks? Babies grow at an astronomical pace, especially in those first three months.
Keeping this point in mind, let's move on to our next consideration.
3. What's My Budget for Buying Baby Clothes?
One of the reasons for keeping your baby's growth in mind lends itself to budgeting. It's only natural to see an adorable, fun-sized item on the hanger and want to splurge on it. But can you afford to do that more than once or twice?
As a new parent, you'll want to save your money for the necessities: diapers, wipes, formula if you're not breastfeeding, and more. It's essential to stay practical, buying items that fit well for longer (i.e., stretchier material) or are reasonably priced at the least.
This point goes for anything from the neck down—shirts, outer layers, shorts, onesies, even socks and shoes. Of course, items like hair accessories have natural longevity and will be able to fit your baby's head for a long time.
4. How Comfortable Is This Item?
Clothing is the closest thing to your baby's skin, and therefore, it must be comfortable, soft, and non-irritating. Since your baby can't convey this message to you, it's up to you to choose items that will bring them comfort and keep them feeling cozy.
This point is especially true for newborns around their belly button area, where they've just experienced an umbilical cord getting cut.
Other things to consider as far as comfort goes are as follows:
- Can the fabric handle wear and tear, plus endure multiple washes?
- Is the fabric breathable and not too clingy, thick, and/or slippery?
- Is the clothing item absorbent?
If you can find baby clothes that check all these boxes and provide comfortability, it's a must-have.
5. Is This Item Easy to Put on and Take Off?
We mentioned above that your baby's clothes shouldn't be slippery. Items that fit loosely aren't as snug for the baby and could also become a safety hazard for anyone holding the baby.
On the flip side, the clothing items should be reasonably easy to pull on and off. This point allows parents to quickly change the baby in the case of a potty emergency (it will happen!) and also take some of the stress out of changing your child.
Natural on-and-off items have the added benefit of being more pragmatic, which brings us to our next point.
6. Are These Clothes Practical?
At the end of the day, there's no denying it: it's a baby! Your baby doesn't need a fanciful dress or complicated clasps to be cute as can be. Not only does this make changing your baby more challenging, but it makes it that much more cringeworthy when spit-up and other fluids get on the clothes, which is guaranteed to happen.
In addition to being more convenient, practical clothes are bound to be more affordable. Simple and straightforward gear can easily get made cuter by adding a hairbow. Keep the lace and tulle out of it!
7. How Stylish Is This?
Of course, buying practical doesn't mean it can't be stylish!
Look for timeless items (i.e. pops of color instead of flashy patterns) that are youthful and can match a variety of other things. The ability to mix and match increases your wardrobe selections exponentially, so get a few relatively minimal staple pieces too.
Be sure to also peruse platforms like Instagram and Pinterest for ideas for dressing your baby too.
Good Luck, Parents-To-Be
Buying baby clothes doesn't have to be complicated. Keeping these questions in mind, you should be able to find sustainable, pragmatic, and stylish clothing for your new baby.
At Stevie Js, we sell hair accessories and other must-haves for the little girl in your life. Complete every outfit with an adorable hairbow, and no one will even notice what the baby's wearing!
Shop our collection and be sure to check out our 'Instagram Looks' tab for styling inspiration.