Saturday, February 9, 2008

First-time Parents: Buying clothes for Baby

I haven't posted since November ...
Between the holidays, birthing classes, my job, my pre-natal exercise regimen, and the arrival of Baby Nitpicky, posting on my blog has not been my #1 priority.

Now that Baby's been with us for 2 weeks, however, I am able to catch my breath and reflect on the successes and not-so-successes of the past weeks. I'd like to comment on clothing for newborns ... a topic that I clearly knew nothing about until two weeks ago.

The Nitpicky Consumer's Guide to Buying Newborn Clothing for First-Time Parents

1) One piece is better than many pieces.

A 'onesie' is a heck of a lot faster to put on a struggling newborn than a shirt + pants + socks. And if you've got a winter baby, you really want those feet covered. (Did I mention how quickly/easily babies can kick off their socks?)
Also, a point I had never even considered ... until the umbilical cord falls off (approx. 1-2 weeks), it is nearly impossible to use pants as the elastic usually hits right where that cord is.

2) Over the Head is BAD for new parents

A kicking, shrieking newborn does not like to have clothes put over his head. And if you have such clothes in your drawers, don't be surprised to find that Dad has 'resorted' the clothing after a particularly rough night. i.e. You'll find the over-the-head clothes in the garbage and the zipper/snap-front clothes not in the garbage.

3) Snaps are better than buttons, zippers are better than Snaps

Anything with an open front is good, but when you are after SPEED, buttons take third place, snaps take second and the ZIPPER takes the blue ribbon. [Note: If you have a winter baby, snaps do provide the advantage of being able to just unsnap the bottom half of the outfit, thus keeping the top half of baby nice and warm. I think other people solve this problem by putting on a little tshirt under the onesie, and letting this tshirt stay in place all day (or even for several days).]

4) The little sleeve 'cuffs' that can be folded over into 'mittens' are excellent

It took my husband and I quite some time to figure out what the 'backwards cuffs' were used for. In fact, we didn't figure it out ... my mother-in-law ended up telling us what they were. And once we finally figured this out, and flipped over the cuffs to make little mittens, it was wonderful! Anything that allows you to postpone trying to trim their little nails is really welcome.

5) Unisex colors and patterns are highly desirable

Although getting harder and harder to find (grrrrr), unisex patterns and colors are best. Sonograms can be wrong in predicting gender, and if there are plans for a second baby, wouldn't it be nice to be able to reuse many of the same clothes?


So, keeping in mind these 5 tips, here is my recommendation for the best overall outfit for use by first-time parents:

Gerber's ZIP FRONT SLEEP N PLAY onesies. Love them. Can't have enough of them. I wish they were "Made in USA" but you can't have everything, right? We've obviously got a winter newborn, so the long sleeves and long pants with built-in footies are really great for us.

And my husband likes the zipper. :>

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