Dressing a Toddler

During that first year, you may have found that Baby had outfits hanging in their closet that they never even had the chance to wear. Since people can’t resist buying adorable baby clothes, friends and relatives may have gifted you with an overabundance of little newborn outfits that your baby quickly outgrew. They may have even skipped a size altogether at some point as a result of a growth spurt.

Now that the first year is over, you’ve probably found that the gifts of clothes have slowed down.  Luckily, so has your little one’s growth. According to the Mayo Clinic, most babies triple their birth weight during the first year, but only gain about 5 pounds in their second year of life.  
So, what does that mean in terms of buying clothing for Baby?  Here are a few tips for dressing them and getting the most bang for your buck.
  • Choose quality items: Quality over quantity is a major factor to take into consideration when it comes to buying clothing for a toddler. Since most children begin walking by 18 months, chances are your little one is already on the move, and keeping their clothing intact is going to be the last thing on their mind as they explore. Help get the most out of their wardrobe by picking clothes that are durable enough to withstand climbing and falls without tearing. It’s also good to remember Baby is going to get messy, so it’s helpful to choose items that are easy to clean and won’t fall apart during their many washes.
  • Know your sizing: There’s a wide range of normal when it comes to height and weight for toddlers, so while some children this age may still comfortably fit into 12M clothing, others may be venturing into 2T territory (or larger). But how does sizing work, and what is the difference between 2T and 24M anyway?  While toddler sizes are based on years (2T), corresponding month sizes (24M) tend to have the same weight range, but are shorter in terms of the hem. Some brands also run larger or smaller than others. When buying clothing, it’s important to look at the tag, which generally tells the height and weight range the article of clothing is intended to fit.
  • Buy for the season: While it may be tempting to buy that super cute snowsuit that’s on clearance in July, try to fight the urge. Toddlers growth slows down considerably at this stage, but they do go through growth spurts, too, and it’s impossible to tell exactly how big Baby will be by the time winter rolls around. Limiting your purchases to items that fit right now rather than trying to predict what size they'll be wearing in a few seasons can cut down on clothing that takes up storage space but never quite makes it onto Baby’s body.
  • Comfort over style: Baby is much less fragile than they were as an infant, but their skin is still very sensitive. Clothing made of soft, breathable fabric will get along best with their skin, and since they are still probably in diapers, seek out clothing that pulls on and off, rather than clothes with buttons or zippers, will make for easy changes.
  • Buy on sale: Little clothes can come with a big price tags, but being a savvy shopper can help you save some cash. Signing up for websites and apps that will alert you to sales will help keep Baby looking stylish without breaking the bank. 

  • Jay L. Hoecker. “How much should I expect my baby to grow in the first year?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, October 10 2014. Web.

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