How to Dress and Undress a Baby

Follow these step-by-step directions for dressing and undressing your baby.

Dressing and undressing your baby is wonderful face-to-face time that you can spend interacting with each other. Talking to your baby calmly can help keep her relaxed during the process. When putting clothes on or taking clothes off your baby, always make sure to:

Handle your baby carefully and gently. Work slowly and tell him what you're doing. As you dress and undress your baby more often, you'll become more comfortable and the process will go more smoothly.

Remove clothes with care. When removing any item of clothing, work to carefully loosen it. Be careful to not twist your baby or move too quickly to avoid overextending his arms or legs or putting him into any uncomfortable positions.

Choose the correct size clothes. You don't want to dress your baby in clothes that are too short or too tight. The neck of any shirt should be comfortable and the legs should be long enough so that he can extend his legs.

Make sure your baby's clothes are safe. If your baby's clothes have buttons or decorations, make sure they are securely stitched so that she cannot remove them.

Choose layers when dressing your little one. Dressing newborns in layers is a great way to make sure that they are warm and comfortable. Layers can be easily added or removed depending on the temperature and your baby's comfort level. A good rule of thumb: Dress your baby in as many layers as you are wearing, with perhaps one more on hand to add on in case your baby gets cold.

Place your baby on a safe, flat surface. Lay a blanket down to cushion the surface.

How to Dress a Baby

  1. When putting a shirt over your baby's head, gather the entire shirt like an accordion up to the neck. Holding the opening of the neck, carefully place the shirt over your baby's head and slowly pull the shirt over her body.
  2. Gather the sleeves up to the cuff and put your baby's hand through the opening. Carefully work the sleeve up the rest of her arm.
  3. When putting on pants, start at your baby's feet and gradually work the outfit up her body.
  4. If you need to fasten the back of an outfit, gently turn your baby on to her tummy or sit her up with support.

How to Undress a Baby

  1. Begin at your baby's head and carefully loosen and slide the outfit down over the body.
  2. Be sure to support your baby's head and body with one hand as you lift him to reposition clothes. Remember to avoid twisting or jerking any of your baby's limbs at any time.
  3. Carefully unsnap each snap and loosen or rearrange the item until it can be easily removed. For instance, use two hands to remove the socks gently rather than pulling them off the feet.
  4. If you need to turn your baby on his side, be sure to support his body weight.
  5. To get a bodysuit or shirt off of your little one, carefully lift her up off the table, and support her head and body. Slowly remove sleeves, working down toward the wrist.

Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.

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