Shopping for baby clothes for the first time can be extremely overwhelming for first-time parents. More often that not, you end up buying too many items that the baby doesn’t wear or that don’t fit and end up having to spend more money on clothes once the baby arrives. Earlier in the week, we spoke with Kristin Swati, the founder and owner of the Fawn Shoppe, an online children’s boutique on the topic of organic children’s clothing. Today, with Kristin’s help, we’ve put together a shopping guide for parents who are welcoming a little one soon.
NN: We know that parents or parents-to-be are thinking about their children long before they are born. What are your top tips for new parents who are shopping for clothes for their baby?
KS: 1. Indulge! There is nothing like a gorgeous layette to help one escape from the doldrums of maternity wear.
2. Shop Online for quick, convenient purchasing. It is certainly easiest to shop for baby once one knows the gender and well before the baby is born. But of course many parents keep the sex a surprise, and some cultures dictate that all shopping is done after birth. Online shopping makes it a lot easier to buy things once baby is here if parents prefer to wait.
3. Purchase basics in 3- and 6-month sizes. On sizing, we recommend buying up to size 6 months on basics with the heaviest concentration in the 3 months size initially. Smaller babies may stay in the newborn (NB) size for up to the first month but larger ones may wear size 3 months from birth. Though it’s hard to know, family size is a decent predictor. When unsure, size 3 months is a good bet for the bulk of your layette. Oh..and to be clear, size 3 months may also be quoted as size 0-3 months by some designers.
4. Pay attention to indoor temperatures. Don’t forget that baby will be inside most of the time in the beginning. Therefore, the temperature of your home is the relevant one and not the temp outside. This actually makes buying easier because certain pieces like long-sleeved onesies will be great no matter the season. Layering is also fantastic for babies on the go.
5. Watch your baby to see if he/she is comfortable. Rules like “dress your baby in one more layer than you have on” don’t apply to every baby. Far more effective is touching the baby’s hands, feet and neck to feel if he is the right temperature. Of course sweating means to remove clothing right away. Common sense.
NN: What are the must-have clothing items that expecting parents should purchase for their baby?
KS: On our list of must-haves are:
1. Gowns. Yes, boys can wear them too. Most modern ones really don’t look like actual gowns anymore but more like a onesie that doesn’t end and is open at the bottom. For the first few weeks nothing makes changing easier than a gown. Pull up; change diaper; pull down. Nine Naturals Pick: Striped gown from Giggle.
2. Onesies. Loads of them. We love kimono button style in particular for healing bellies. And sleeves with hand covers are nice. Clipping newborn nails is a little nerve wracking for most new parents. Nine Naturals Pick: Kimono-style onesies from Giggle.
3. Leggings. To go over the onesies if temperature dictates. Layering is key. Nine Naturals Pick: Leggings from babylegs.
4. Socks. Bundles are great. Dryers like baby socks more than anything else so buy a lot. Nine Naturals Pick: Sock sets from Trumpette.
5. Swaddle blankets. Even if you never quite figure out the swaddle or your baby hates it, you will use these for everything from cleanup to nursing cover to impromptu sunhat. Trust us. Nine Naturals Pick: Organic Cotton Swaddle Cloth from aden + anais.
6. Footies. Not as easy for changing as the onesies and gowns but the built in socks make them well worth the multitude of snaps. Nine Naturals Pick: Footies from Paige Lauren.
7. Weather specific needs. Depending on season, you’ll want a couple of sunhats, a snowsuit (yes, strollers sometimes have these built in…but we liked the suit for baby wearing purposes once baby hits 3 months or so), and plenty of warmer hats. Nine Naturals Picks: Organic Sunhat in Keyhole Print from Feather Baby, Cuddle Me Infant Snowsuit from Barefoot Dreams, and the Cable Hat & Booties Set from Egg Baby .