Helpful tips for dressing your baby and mastering this many-times-daily task.

Baby being dressed
Credit: PhotoAlto/ Veer

Choose your location. The floor, a changing table, and your bed are all convenient places to change your baby. If you choose a high surface, remember to keep a hand on her at all times. Once little ones become more mobile, it's generally easier to dress them on the bed or floor rather than a changing table, which has a smaller surface area.

Support Baby's head. An infant isn't able to support her heads on her own for the first several months, so remember to keep your baby's head and neck supported as you dress her.

Guide Baby's head through the neck hole. Put your arms through the shirt and stretch the neck hole with your hands; then, with your hands still inside, put it over Baby's head. Do this before putting arms through the sleeves.

Putting on the sleeves. Put your arm inside the torso of the shirt, find your baby's arm, and gently guide it through the sleeve. If the shirt is long-sleeved, it's often easier to bunch the sleeve so you can guide your baby's arm through the opening with your free hand.

Put her in a few thin layers, especially when you'll be in cold weather or an air-conditioned room. A good rule of thumb is to dress her in one layer more than you're wearing. If she starts sweating, remove a layer.

Pick the right fabric. Natural fibers, such as cotton, soft wool, and fleece, are best for babies, especially for bottom layers that touch the skin.

Keep her occupied. If your baby is squirmy, offer her a toy to capture her attention. Ones that require two hands are best.

Be aware of choking hazards. Avoid clothes with strings or ribbons, like hoodies, which can be unsafe for little ones.

Accessorize! When going outside, don't forget a warm hat and mittens in winter, and a sun hat in spring and summer.

Add shoes -- or not. It's not necessary to dress babies in shoes before they can walk. If you do forgo shoes, be aware that socks slip off little feet easily.

Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.

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