Dressing our children in cute clothes is one of the biggest joys of parenthood. Everyone enjoys showing off their kids, dressed in frilly dresses or cute statement shirts, wearing adorable little booties and shoes. It’s understandable, especially for first-time parents, to want to splurge on clothes for their kids. But as they soon find out, much of the clothes they buy for their kids ends up only being used a couple of times before it’s hauled off to storage, because kids go through so many growth spurts, they often seem to outgrow their clothes overnight! Spending too much on clothes for your kids is a common pitfall for first-time parents, but there are many ways to make sure you don’t go overboard!
1. Plan for the Future
The first mistake parents make is failing to think ahead, and failing to consider what will happen to the clothes when their children inevitably outgrow them. As Kate Pietrasik of Tootsa MacGinty tells Wales Online, “Clothes for children should be built for sturdier purposes than the changing vagaries of style – to be passed from sibling to sibling, or friend to friend regardless of gender.” Keeping this in mind, parents should opt to buy clothes that have some allowance for growth, and can be passed on once the kids have outgrown them. In this regard, it’s best to purchase clothes that are of a sturdier material, and with designs that aren’t dated or too gender-specific.
2. Care for Your Children’s Skin
It’s worth remembering that your child’s skin is much more sensitive than yours, and chemically-treated clothes can leave their skin with rashes and bumps. Some years ago, Beyond Pesticides released a report explaining how some children’s clothes had been treated with an insecticide that acted as a mosquito repellant. Parents purchased the clothes thinking they could save them from spending on mosquito repellant separately and that they could keep their kids safe from diseases transmitted by mosquito bites, but they unwittingly put their kids in more danger, as “Animal studies have shown permethrin, in particular, to be more toxic to young children than adults and to potentially inhibit neonatal brain development.” Rather than risk your children’s health with chemically treated clothes, go for organic clothing. While it can seem to be more expensive, it does better by your children and you can be assured that they’re not being exposed to harmful chemicals.
3. Ask the Kids
Perhaps the most important tip, but the one parents forget most often, is that children should be asked what they want to wear. Once your kids reach toddlerhood, they’ll begin to develop their own sense of style and will want to start self-dressing, rejecting the clothes you choose for them and insisting instead on wearing rain boots and tutus when heading out on a sunny day. Fortunately, you can use this to your advantage: take the children out with you when you’re going clothes shopping, and ask them what they like. This way, you get clothes that you’re sure will get a lot of use, and your child gets to feel like you really understand and care about what they want.
This article is exclusively Contributed to MummySG
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