Newborn Must Haves Part Three - Dressing
How much do you need, what do you need, how much should baby wear, why is there so much laundry? These are questions I get a lot of in my Infant Care Class. The answers aren't necessarily black and white simple, so let's see if we can answer some them as easily as possible. What Will I Need & How Much Will I Need To Start? You won't need a ton of clothing items to start and to be honest, with all the gift giving that happens with new babies, you may end up with way more than you need. Here is the minimum you should start with:
7-9 Diaper shirts. These are the clothing items that usually go underneath other items. You can see examples of them in the picture above.
Several sleepers in newborn size. These are the footie, long sleeved pjs that look so cute on babies. These tend to be on the big size and may seem like they don't fit but baby won't take long to grow into them. Often these are the items that you get way to many off.
You will want to look for sleepers that have zippers over snaps or buttons. Those snaps and buttons can often have you undoing them and redoing them because you didn't get them lined up properly, several times.
You will want to have a hat for either sun or cold weather. Hats aren't necessary when you are at home unless your home is quite chilly
Several swaddle blankets. These will act as a layer of clothing when you are dressing baby in layers. Consider choosing swaddle sacks with velcro as opposed to just large pieces of fabric. These can make swaddling easier and they can be snug without being too tight or too loose and unravelling.
How Many Layers Should Baby Wear? Newborns aren't capable of regulating their own body temperature in the beginning. They don't sweat or shiver so we have to help them with this regulation through clothing. It is a fine balance though, between over dressing and under dressing. The old adage used to be, "Dress baby in one more layer than you are wearing." And this may be a good one rule to follow if you are at home in your temperature neutral dwelling. But what if you are going out and its mid August and its so hot you wish you had no layers on? Would you really dress baby in two layers? No. You will have to use some common sense added into this rule. If it is quite hot, one layer will be sufficient, or even just in their diaper. And always protect babies under 6 months from the sun by keeping them in the shade. It is cold out, definitely consider 1-2 layers more than what you will be wearing. Consider layers of blankets if you are in and out of cold repeatedly, such as going to the shops, transferring from home to car to another house or shop. Clear as mud right? Well the good news, baby will tell you wether they are too hot or too cold. If they are fussy, or crying, check to see if maybe it's because of their temp. Not fever temp but physical temp. Pick them up and feel the back their neck? Is it warm or cool to the touch? It may be that they need a layer removed or added. Why So Much Laundry? I mean they are just little tiny babies, how do they create such massive amounts of laundry. Well that's because they are terrible at holding their liquid consumptions and they will leak from both ends, a lot. Which can mean doing multiple clothing changes throughout the day. They are basically a drunk rock star diva during a concert, every day. As a result you may want to invest in multiple burp cloths to protect not just their clothing but yours as well. What Do We Wash Their Clothes In? This one is a simple answer. And you have options. Because baby's skin can be quite sensitive in the beginning of life you can chose either a baby specific laundry detergent or to wash everyone's clothes together, you can chose a "free from" laundry detergent. Like a Tide Free or Gain Free that are free of phosphates, scents, dyes and other harsh chemicals. This can make laundry time easier and cheaper as baby specific detergent can be more costly. Well, good luck with your drunk diva baby.