When dressing your new baby, choose clothes that are soft and easy to put on. That usually means cotton clothes without too many buttons (especially in the back) and nice wide arm and neck holes.
I like to appraise the outfit before I start to dress my baby, stretching out the neck hole (just by making taut side to side and front to back) and also stretching out the arm holes, not only at the sleeve but also at the shoulder. Also, check to make sure all the snaps, buttons and zippers are in good condition.
1. Get comfortable with your little one on a flat surface, and sit right next to her. I like to talk to her about what's going to happen. It's silly, but fun, to talk about her clothes and what you're doing. Sit and hold your baby up next to you.
2. Start by holding the garment by the neck, gathering the material so you can get the whole thing over the head in one move (rather than dragging the full length of the shirt over your baby's face).
3. The best way to get a shirt over your baby's head is to remember how babies are delivered from the birth canal: the widest part of the head first. So begin at the crown of your baby's head, and then carefully, but not too slowly, ease the garment around the front of the baby's head (so that his or her eyes aren't covered) and down over the face and back of the head.
4. After the head is through, and while keeping the head supported, put one arm at a time gently through the sleeve. Make sure that you watch out for the fingers and the thumb, too. They sometimes get caught in the sleeves.
5. Then, while baby's still "sitting" up, pull the onesie (or shirt, dress or pajamas) as far down as comfortable. Remember, it's helpful to keep talking with your little one.
6. Lie your baby down, face-up, and fasten the snaps (usually) around the diaper area, then work your way down the legs. Some baby clothes now have zippers that zip up the legs, which are wonderful. Just keep your fingers between the zipper and the baby to protect your baby's skin.
7. If baby's not going barefoot today, put on baby's socks or booties and shoes. Save the hat or bonnet until you're heading out the door.
8. Take a deep breath and relax -- your baby's dressed! That means at least one of you will be dressed today!
So, what do you need to have? Here's a quick checklist:
- A clean, diapered baby
- An entire clean outfit: bodysuit or onesie, one-piece outfit, dress, shirt & pants
- Accessories: undershirt, tights, socks or booties, jacket.