Considerations When Dressing Your Baby

Considerations When Dressing Your Baby

From birth, our clothing keeps us warm, comfortable, and safe, protecting us from injury. As we get older, our wardrobe choices come to reflect our roles and our tastes, but long before we figure out what those are, the clothes we wear, like everything else in our environments, affects our learning and development.

We all know how vulnerable babies are. They're very sensitive, they can't verbalize the things they need or what bothers them, and they're completely dependent on their parents and caretakers. That's why it's so important to understand how ill-fitting and uncomfortable clothes can impede their sensory input and by extension, their neurological development. When your child is wearing clothes that are too small, rough, or itchy, not only can they have trouble processing other signals beyond their discomfort, this discomfort can become a source of behavioral issues that may affect them later on.1 Ill-fitting clothing can restrict their movements, stopping them from crawling, walking, reaching, and extending their limbs to the best of their abilities. This may discourage their efforts to move, or make them believe they can't move beyond those restrictions, interfering with their practice and natural movements, and potentially causing issues with their posture and physical habits as they grow.2 Ensuring your baby is always wearing comfortable clothing is part of instilling healthy habits for them.

In addition to ensuring your children have clothes appropriate to their age and size, you should aim for a variety of color and patterns in their clothing. Different colors and patterns can evoke different feelings and emotions in children. While too many different colors and patterns at once could be an overwhelming amount of stimuli for a child to take in, exposure to colors and patterns, on their clothing and in their surrounding environment, is integral to their neurological development, facilitating educational success, positive behaviors, and sound mental health.3 Light shades are calming, bright shades of color and striped clothing can draw attention and encourage bursts of energy, and shades of blue soothe stress and anxiety while symmetrical patterns can encourage positive thinking.1

Babies learn by taking in everything around them and their clothes are one of many constants surrounding them. We all know how vulnerable babies are. They're very sensitive, they can't verbalize the things they need or what bothers them, and they're completely dependent on their parents and caretakers. No matter where they go, what they're wearing will always draw their attention and stimulate their bodies and minds. As they grow, they become able to voice their clothing preferences and this is the beginning of them expressing their individuality. They learn what's best to wear and when, what'll make them the most comfortable and confident, and that begins with you dressing them well and exposing them to different options to choose from. For babies, clothing goes beyond utility and modesty, it's an introduction to aspects of our world and an aid to unlocking the potential inside them. They may outgrow their outfits quickly, but keeping up with their changing bodies is vital.

  1. "How Does Clothing Affect Your Child’s Development?" USA Tales, September 19, 2022,

  1. Rubi, "The Importance of Movement and the Impact of Clothing," Montessori Moms (blog), September 26, 2013,,the%20child's%20desire%20to%20move.
  1. Amy Hitchinson, "The Effects of Colors on Children," The Ivy Academy of Early Learning, August 24, 2020,,motor%20skills%20of%20the%20children.

(Credit for this Hush Lil' Baby Blog Spot Post: Pravita Ramratan)

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