For the rest of us, choices need to be made. I'm here to help. So if you're buying for yourself for a first baby or buying for a friend and you don't know a thing about buying baby clothes, this post's for you! For all others, let me know what you find essential in the comments.
- Coming Clean.
First up: it must be machine washable. I don't care how darling that outfit is: if I can't throw it in the wash when it gets pooped, peed or vomited on, then it's just a Single Serving Outfit to me. If I barely have time to shower, do you really think I'm going to have time to take this thing to and from the dry cleaners? Also, the expense of dry cleaning is guaranteed to exceed the value of the outfit in just a couple of trips.
- Material Matters.
Cotton is King when it comes to baby clothes. Soft cotton, please! That which has to come into contact with the world's softest skin should be soft to the touch, shouldn't it? If it feels stiff or like I wouldn't want it touching my skin, I'm not going to buy it or want it for my child.
- It's All About Style.
In the summer Caitlin was born, she pretty much lived in onesies. The twins, on the other hand, need full coverage since it's cold. We have come to love one piece outfits that are fast to get in and out of since we spend a lot of time stripping vomit-covered outfits off. Sleep sacks seems nice, with their instant diaper area access, but they ride up which leaves a fall/winter baby cold. Multiple piece outfits are fine, except that the shirts ride up. Pairing a onesie with a pants outfit is just yet another layer you have to strip away before diapering, which is bothersome for the fumble-fingered in the middle of the night.
- Closing it Up.
Considering we spend an awful lot of time drunk with exhaustion as new parents, anything tougher than a zipper is probably going to be too complex for us to handle on reduced brain power. However, since not everything comes with zippers, here are my preferences in order: zipper, snaps, ties, velcro, buttons (if you absolutely must). Personally, I can't button or unbutton anything from 1 am to 7 am, so those outfits tend to get left at the bottom of the pile until everything else is dirty.
It might seem weird to have a collar preference, but I do. I like outfits to have minimal collar action. If the collar is so large and round that I start thinking about Elvis (fat era) or characters from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (Princess Ardala), that collar it too darned big and is just going to become a collection point for the fluid du jour.
Hey...now that I'm done, I think I'm going to catch a little video. Wow! The stuff we used to watch on TV!