Congratulations on the newest member of your family! In addition to loading up on diapers and burp cloths, you will have to think about how to dress your ever-growing infant.
Factors like affordability, durability, style and comfort certainly are important when it comes to shopping for infant clothes. Do not, however, overlook the importance of safety when selecting clothes for your baby.
Below are 10 tips for buying clothes that are safe, long-lasting and comfy for your baby.
1. Beware of choking hazards – Skip clothes with buttons, decorative embellishments (like ribbons), hooks or snaps. These items can come off easily and pose a choking hazard. Remove these ornamental touches from gifted clothing.
2. Beware of strangulation hazards – Similarly, beware of drawstrings; these can pose a strangulation hazard. Fortunately, these usually can be removed easily from items such as sweatshirts and pants.
3. Skip loosely knitted fabrics – An infant may poke a finger or toe through loosely knit fabrics, such as sweaters or socks. This can cause discomfort or even injury if the finger or toe gets caught in the item during removal. Opt instead for tightly knit fabrics.
4. Check seams –Skip clothing items that have seams with too few stitches. This signifies a poorly constructed garment and one that is more likely to “fall apart” after washing or during wear.
5. Stay up to date on safety recalls – Infant clothing is subject to safety recalls issued by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Drawstrings are the most common reason for recall, but other concerns include choking hazards and flammable materials. You can find current recall listings at cpsc.gov or contact them at (800) 638-2772.
6. Beware loose-fitting clothes – You may stock up on clothing items intended for when your baby reaches the next stage of growth. However, do not put your infant in baggy or loose clothing. This may pose a suffocation hazard. Opt instead for a snug – not tight – fit.
7. Flame-resistant clothing – Parents and safety experts alike typically favor flame-resistant materials. However, note that most infants will not be in a situation where they are exposed to heat sources that pose a fire risk.
8. Avoid rashes and irritation – Check all tags to determine if they will scratch or irritate your baby’s delicate skin. Use laundry products that are free of added perfumes or dyes to reduce the chances of irritation or allergic reaction.
9. Wash all items before use – All infant clothes should be washed before use, whether they are new or used. This may remove certain skin irritants and soften the materials for a more comfortable fit.
10. Use one-pieces at night – The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one-piece sleepers as a safe alternative to blankets or quilts in the crib.
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