Green Baby Clothing
When it comes time to dress your baby, you will want to make sure that the clothes you choose for her are as gentle and pure as she is. Fortunately, there are green, natural alternatives for every item you will need to dress your precious baby.
Seek out Hand-Me-Downs
Ask around to find friends or relatives who may be ready to pass on their baby clothes. More often than not, gently used baby clothes have only been worn a time or two. Some may even still have the tags on, as babies often grow so quickly in their first years that they may simply bypass many of the clothes their parents had prepared.
Be sure to check baby clothes for loose buttons, long strings that could catch, zipper pulls that could detach, and appliqués or embellishments that could be chewed or pulled off. Current federal safety regulations prohibit drawstrings on children's clothing to prevent strangling, but hand-me-down clothing may have been made before these regulations went into effect.
Seeking out hand-me-downs and second-hand baby clothes is a great way to fill out your baby's wardrobe, especially in her first year. Because babies grow so quickly, the wear on the clothing tends to be minimal. And you are likely to get a whole closet full of clothes for free or for a fraction of the cost of new.
Buy It Big
When you do buy baby clothes, always buy a larger size than you think your baby will need. Babies grow so fast in the first few years that it would be a waste of money to buy an outfit that only fits them for one day. Buy a larger size to ensure a longer life for the clothes.
Remember the Weather
As you stock up on baby clothes for the next few months, remember to take the weather into consideration. If your baby is due in winter, look for newborn to six month clothing in heavy fabrics and designs. Stock up on sweaters, heavy pants, and jackets. If your baby is due in the summer, you will need lightweight T-shirts and rompers in these first sizes.
As a general rule of thumb, infants usually need one additional layer of clothing over what adults need, to stay warm. If you are comfortable in a T-shirt and sweater, dress your baby in the same with a onesie underneath. Don't overdress your baby by bundling her in clothes that will just make her sweat.
Keep It Simple
The most important factor in choosing clothing for your baby is ease of use. It doesn't matter how eco-friendly a garment is, if it is difficult to take off or put on, you might as well just toss it in the pile to give away.
You may want to get a winter coat to keep your baby warm on cold days. But if you plan to keep baby's coat on while traveling, choose a thin coat that will not interfere with her car seat harness. Thick winter coats do not allow for tight buckling and could leave your baby unsafe in her seat. Look for a winter coat that provides warmth without bulk.
One-piece jumpsuits, or rompers are usually more comfortable for a baby than two piece outfits. And remember that you will need to be able to change the baby's clothes and diapers easily several times throughout the day. So look for clothing with snap crotches and stretchy necklines for easy on and off. Try to avoid buying clothes with lots buttons or complicated clasps. Do not buy scratchy materials or seams or those that will be otherwise uncomfortable for your baby.
Seek out Greens
Look for clothing made from natural untreated fibers that are certified as 100 percent organic. Many online and storefront retailers now stock such clothing. Try BoodaBellie, (www.boodabellie.com), Sage Creek Organics (http://sagecreekorganics.com), Sckoon (www.sckoon.com), Better For Babies (www.betterforbabies.com), Under the Canopy (www.underthecanopy.com), and Pur Bébé (www.purbebe.com) for great selections of organic cotton, wool, and hemp baby clothing. You can even find organic baby clothing at mass retailers like Wal-Mart (www.walmart.com) and Target (www.target.com).
Beware of Tagless Labels
One of the latest trends in children's clothing is to use tagless labels that imprint the products materials and safety information directly on the garment rather than on a separate clothing tag. These tagless labels were intended to reduce irritation on children's clothing. However, many infants and young children have reported reactions to chemicals in the ink used to produce these tags. Reactions range from minor irritations to severe chemical burns. Government officials and clothing manufacturers have begun to look into this problem, but until the issue is resolved, it makes sense to steer clear of tagless clothing.
For the Feet
Don't forget your baby's feet when you gather clothes for his wardrobe. Onesies and footed rompers are perfect for keeping warm from head to toe. If you do need to get baby socks, be sure to have several pairs on hand for replacements, as they tend to fall off frequently. And look for socks made from organic cotton or other organic natural fibers. Newborns and pre-walkers don't need shoes, but slippers, like the Weebit from Simple Shoes (www.simpleshoes.com) that are made from organic and recycled-content materials, may help to keep socks on and baby-feet toasty.
When your baby does start walking, you can still let her go barefoot most of the time to help her figure out how her feet work. But if she is walking outdoors, you may want to put shoes on for protection. Look for baby shoes that are soft and flexible, so that baby can use his or her feet properly for balance, with a non-slip sole to provide traction.