The first few times that you dress your baby, you will probably fumble through it and you may even start breaking a sweat. Who would have thought that putting an outfit on a baby would be so challenging. The good news is that since your baby will go through multiple clothing changes daily, your skills will quickly improve.
So, what's the best way to put clothes on your baby? First, put the garment over your baby's head. Do this by scrunching up the fabric starting from the bottom to the neckline. Then stretch out the neckline and guide the garment over your baby's head. Next, you will need to get an arm through the sleeve. Do this by taking the sleeve and scrunching the fabric; then place your fingers in the arm hole from the outside of the sleeve, grab your baby's hand, and guide it through the sleeve. Now repeat the process with the other arm. If the outfit has pant legs, take one pant leg and scrunch up the fabric from the foot opening end to the waist. Put your fingers through the foot opening, grab your baby's foot, and guide it through the opening. Repeat the procedure for the other leg.
The environmental temperature will play a big part in how you dress your baby. It's important not to overheat your baby but at the same time, to keep her warm. Keep in mind that newborns, especially premature infants, loose heat quickly. A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one additional layer of clothing as you have on to feel comfortable.
How do you know if your baby is too hot or too cold? Touch her skin. Does her skin feel hot? Is she sweating? Does she look flushed? If so, remove a layer of clothing or blankets
Remember that heat escapes from the head and the feet, therefore, it is important to cover these areas when going into a cold environment. When your baby is sleeping, hats should be removed because it can become a suffocation hazard.
Lastly, be sure that your baby's clothing is free of dangerous items such as drawstrings, ties, buttons, bows, appliqués, and hooks which can become choking or strangulation hazards. Inspect your baby's outfits frequently to ensure its integrity.
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Author : Diba Tillery RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST
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