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How to Dress a Baby. Dressing a baby is a piece of cake—that is, after you’ve mastered
a few tricks for maneuvering her head and limbs through those tiny neck and arm and
leg holes. You will need A baby in need of dressing A soft, safe surface to dress her
on and the clothes you want to dress her in. Step 1. Decide what the baby should wear based
on the same factors you use to decide for yourself—the temperature, the time of day,
and the activities you have planned. In general, babies should wear one more layer than you
do. For comfort’s sake, choose soft cotton clothes and avoid anything with buttons or
appliqués that could come loose, ribbons or strings that could wrap around limbs or
necks, and rough inside seams that could scratch baby’s skin. Step 2. Lie the baby down on
a safe surface, such as the bed or a blanket on the floor. Changing tables generally aren’t
roomy enough to dress a baby safely and easily. Step 3. Change your baby’s diaper first,
if need be. Talk, sing, and play with the baby as you dress her to make it fun for both
of you. And don’t forget to give her a big raspberry on the belly at every opportunity.
Step 4. If you’ll be out and about, choose a one-piece outfit that snaps or zips up the
front from ankle to neck—they’re easiest to put on and take off for diaper changes.
Lay the outfit out and place your baby on top of it. Slip her feet through the leg holes
or into the feet, pull her arms gently through the sleeves, and snap or zipper her in. Step
5. If you’re opting for a two-piece outfit, put on the top first. Choose tops that will
go easily over your baby’s head. A stretchy neck or snaps or buttons on the shoulders
work well. If it’s a snap-top, simply lay the shirt open on the surface and lay the
baby face up on top of it. Slip one arm into a sleeve at a time and snap the shirt closed.
A kimono-style t-shirt with snaps on the side is best for infants, especially if their belly
button hasn’t yet healed. A tee that snaps at the crotch, like a onesie, is best for
older, more active babies—it’ll stay tucked in. Step 6. If the top is not a snap-on, use
both hands to stretch the neck of the t-shirt as wide as possible, then slip it over her
head. To get her arms through the sleeves, reach into the sleeves, grab her hand, and
pull it through. Lift her body slightly with one hand to pull the body of the shirt down
so that you can snap it. Step 7. Now put on the bottoms. Avoid bottoms that have to be
zippered or buttoned; elastic-waist pants are ideal. Bunch up one leg at a time, reach
in, and pull your baby’s foot through. Then lift her hips slightly with one hand while
you tug the pants up and over her diaper. Step 8. If her feet are bare, slip on socks.
Choose stretchy ones with a roll-down cuff; they’ll stay on better. Booties with elasticized
ankles are also more likely stay on. Avoid patterned socks with loose strings inside—these
could get tangled around those tiny toes. Step 9. Now pop a hat on her head, and any
other extra layers she may need, and let her know what a fashionable little baby she is.
Did you know During the 1600s, American babies were generally dressed in so much clothing
wrapped so tightly that they were usually immobilized from head to toe.