Dress little babies for easy comfort

SO YOU'RE expecting a bundle of joy? Choosing clothes for your new baby is not a walk in the park. If you're a new parent, buying baby clothes necessitates some insight into the world of infants.

According to mom Zanele Sokana the predicament of buying baby's clothes starts before your baby arrives.

"The most frustrating part of picking baby's clothes is that the move from infant to toddler happens so fast, it's as if it occurs overnight."

Sokana says you need to prepare your baby's wardrobe for the first year.

Akhona Jwili, a children's clothing designer, says babies can be demanding of garment makers because they grow very quickly, sleep a great deal and also soil their clothes often .

Jwili says most infant clothes are sized by months.

She says there are cute baby outfits to choose from - from dresses to jumpers, to pajamas and swimsuits.

Jwili says in their first year of life babies will go through three sets of everything: 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months and 6 to 12 months.

How do you go about choosing clothes for your new little person?

Jwili has some tips:

l Choose baby clothes that are easy to change so you can change baby any time;

l Make sure that the clothes have easy access for nappy changes as well;

l Try to get clothing with a stretchy neckline or a snap that widens the opening to facilitate changing. Clothing with snap crotches is great for nappy changes;

l Give a thought to how baby will be lying on decorative clothing and how accessories might annoy them. Snaps, zips and elastics can be uncomfortable for baby if they are in the wrong spot or are tight against the skin. Look for clothing that has a layer of fabric between baby and the zip, make sure elastic is covered and check snaps for rough edges against the skin. Comfort is more important than appearance;

l Consider ease of care. Always look at care labels and make sure clothes are machine washable and do not have any special restrictions regarding detergents, bleach or fabric softeners. Cotton is the fabric of choice, though it does have a tendency to shrink when washed in hot water. Babies outgrow clothes quickly so items that contain a blend of cotton and other non-shrinking fibres might be more practical;

l When your baby becomes a toddler, clothing will change drastically. During potty training, dressing your child in a one-piece will no longer be practical so buy clothes with separate tops and bottoms;

l Baby socks are considered a must-have, particularly if your baby arrives in cold weather. It might take some trial and error to find socks that fit your baby. They tend to fall off a lot so you might need to have several pairs handy for replacements.

Choosing colours

Jwili says colour choices can be anything, but mostly baby girls wear pink and yellow and baby boys wear blue, red or white.

One final, very important thought is photography.

Jwili advises parents to take pictures of their baby whenever they are dressed up.

"Babies grow so fast. When you have your baby all dressed up, remember to take some pictures.

"You've got to think about the future because later, when your baby is older, you'll look forward to pulling out the baby album with some of the old pictures and reminisce about the 'olden days'," Jwili says.