When choosing your baby's clothing consider carefully the comfort, fit and ease of care that they will provide. Dressing a baby can be one of the most challenging of chores. There are ways of making this task more pleasant and not such an impossible task. Just like during diaper changes, entertainment is a big plus when you are trying to dress your baby. Try a mobile or singing, make dressing time a sociable time. Play games like peek-a-boo to keep your baby distracted.
Make changes only when necessary. Don't feel like you need to make your baby into a runway model, with frequent unnecessary changes. This will only make your baby more resistant to getting dressed and undressed. Select clothes with easy-on, easy-off features in mind. Wide neck openings or openings with snaps are your best choice. Clothes made of stretch fabrics are easier to put on than fabrics with less give. Of course if your baby spits up you will want to change her. If this happens frequently, you should consider using bibs to keep clothes clean and always have a burp rag ready for little messes.
Stretch the neck openings with your hands before attempting to place it over your baby's head. Gently ease it over your baby's head keeping the opening as wide as possible in the process. With sleeves, try to reach in to them and pull baby's arms through. Be careful when using zippers. Pull them away from baby's skin to prevent pinching. Select clothes with snaps for ease of diaper changing. Stretch suits and the like are good daytime wear choices.
Infants under six months need a little bit more protection since their temperature mechanism is not working properly just yet. In colder weather alot of lightweight layers are more effective and less restrictive than several heavy garments. A very young baby should wear a hat in weather that is even slightly cool. When the temperature is near freezing, make sure the hat covers the ears. You will also want mittens for the hands, a scarf or neck warmer, and warm socks for the feet. Even a well bundled baby should not be out in very cold weather for very long. You may also want to consider a snowsuit or bunting made with down or imitation down. This will provide extra warmth in extreme weather. To prevent overheating, remove a few layers of clothing while inside a building or traveling in a car.
It is better to use all acrylic blankets or sleepers when a baby is napping in a cool room. They offer the best combination of warmth and washability.
In summer months, parents still tend to overdress their babies. A good rule of thumb, is that your baby needs about the same number of layers or thickness of clothing as you do. Take into consideration the environment you live in, if you are comfortable in a short sleeved shirt, your baby probably will be too. Lightweight, loose fitting clothing is a good choice in warm climates. A light cap, hat or sun bonnet will protect baby's head and face without overheating it. When indoors in hot weather, make sure that the draft from an air conditioner or fan doesn't blow directly on your baby. Summer colds are just as miserable as winter colds!
For sleeping on a hot summer night, a diaper will usually do just fine. If you keep your house cooled, you will want to add a light sleeper or t-shirt to prevent a chill.
For more information on what types of clothes to buy for your baby go to the Let's Go Shopping chapter in the prenatal section of this site. The chapter entitled, Your baby's first wardrobe will provide you some extra pointers in choosing clothing.
As your baby begins to grow you will find that there is little uniformity in the sizing of baby's clothes. Only you will be able to determine what size your baby needs at any particular age. It's best to buy clothing a little to large, for baby to grow in to. To small clothing can be very uncomfortable to your baby.