General Question

gememers's avatar

What do you look for in baby clothes?

Asked by gememers (439 points ) April 5th, 2012

I’m playing with the idea of making and selling baby clothes. I would like to know what draws you to the items you purchase. I’m interested in doing themed pieces that are not gender specific. Are there certain materials you avoid? Functional designs you prefer? What unique, creative touches appeal to you?

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14 Answers

wilma's avatar

I always looked for softness. No bulky seams, buttons, buckles or anything that might cause discomfort.
Ease of laundering, with colors that don’t run and fabric that doesn’t pill. Can it be bleached or otherwise treated for stains? That is important.
I like stretchy, soft, smooth comfortable fabric. Fine knits and flannel are perfect for babies.
Ease of use. Is it easy to get on and off over the head? What about changing the diaper, will that be difficult? or will it be a simple task? Can the garment be removed without going over the head? This is particularly helpful when the baby has a blowout with a poopy diaper. You don’t want to have to drag that up over their head.
I really like soft high quality 100% cotton fabrics, with soft details like stitching or ribbons.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

For my babies’ clothing, I always went in for soft materials. I didn’t really buy anything with scratchy appliques, ruffles or buttons, etc… Just soft things that were easy to get on and off.

jca's avatar

Honestly, I look for cute, comfort and cheap.

Baby clothes need snaps between the legs, for diaper changes.

tranquilsea's avatar

Everything listed above PLUS being easy to get on and off a baby.

SpatzieLover's avatar

What I look for in baby clothes:
Organic cotton, flat seams, easy to launder, easy to put on/take off, colors that readily coordinate with other pieces.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

Affordable and practical. Babies grow out of clothes almost as soon as you buy them.

I also like babies to look like babies and not little adults .. so I like styles to be sweet and kind of whimsical.

wilma's avatar

Gowns like this are one kind of baby clothes that I loved and are really hard to find now.
And I agree with @JustPlainBarb, I don’t like little adult styled clothes, I like a baby to wear baby type clothes.

ccrow's avatar

Um, a baby??:-D
Seriously, though, yeah- snap crotch in anything one-piece, overall, shortall, etc; soft, comfy material; and what is the deal with putting pockets in baby clothes- what are they going to keep in there?! So, no pockets needed. And yeah, plenty of room at the neck for the big round baby head to fit through without pulling ears and hair. And cute, they should be cute:-)

MarcoDemarco's avatar

Cuteness and comfort. Duh! Oh yeah, and they should be dirt cheap. Babies grow fast.

JLeslie's avatar

If you do sleepwear, sleepwear needs to be flame retardant, and most of those fabrics are not soft like a regular onesie. Parents many times just put their babies in regular old cotton, but truly flame retardent resists flames dramatically, it is much safer. If you have fabric that is soft that resists flames that would be a big seller for sleepwear.

Many people above described well what parents look for, soft, easy to get on and off, one piece, well sewn seams, snaps to change diapers. Make sure the fabric is preshrunk, you don’t want the garment to have to be cared for in any special way; washing machine, dryer, no change in the garment.

You could do one piece that look like two piece? Two piece outfits, especially dresses for babies, are not practical, because the dresses ride up. But, if it were attached to a onesie it would stay in place better for mommies who want girly dresses without the annoyances. Just an idea. Maybe they have stuff like that now?

Earthgirl's avatar

Keep in mind that infant/toddler clothing is very regulated with safety restrictions.
See here for some of the primary considerations. Here is another more in-depth explanation with links. Interestingly, the report says that the CPSC is “sharpening it’s teeth” in this area!

I am not trying to discourage you, far from it, just forewarn you! I like SpatzieLover‘s suggestion of organic. There are regulations concerning formaldehyde resin and such that you can be assured won’t be a problem if you stick to organic fabrics.
When it comes to the flammability requirements they are mostly of concern with sleepwear. That’s why you always see the warning label on infantwear “not intended for sleepwear”. Sleepwear must meet very stringent regulations for flame-retardency. !00% cotton can be made flame retardant but it’s an expensive process and most people don’t want to pay for it. So remember the “not intended for sleepwear” proviso. Honestly, a lot of what sells on Etsy from small companies and craftsmen would never pass muster with the giant childrenswear companies like Carter and Gerber. They must meet industry standards and are carefully monitored.

As far as snaps go, if you use them, use plastic not metal. Metal poses the hazard of lead content. Here is a place you can buy the plastic snaps and the snap setter. I highly recommend buying the snaps setter instead of pliers. It works better and is faster. It’s a one time investment that will pay for itself in time saved and longevity.

I also like baby clothes to look like baby clothes! I am not a fan of the miniature adult look. Ok, it’s cute once in a while, such as a tiny little Motorcycle jacket (who could resist?) but generally I love the classics.

Soft, easy to wash, comfortable for baby, all good. Moms know how important those things are.

I think color is a big selling point. Pastels are classic but primary colors are more lively and vibrant and appealing. Themes are good too like this jungle look.
Childrenswear, even whilst staying classic, is getting very trendy. Look at this Oilily Fairy Tale theme. Right up to date with the trends! Movies are crazy for Fairy Tale themes and they have picked up on it. Of course you may not want to go that route, the trendy route, but it’s kind of fun and it’s a big selling point.

I always find that Etsy is so full of creative energy! But you can also learn form the professionals ,like me :)

I think childrenswear is just such a fun and lively and rewarding pursuit. I wish you all the luck in the world. Feel free to PM me if you have questions and I’ll help you if I can. I have some experience in this area.

tom_g's avatar

second-hand, inexpensive, no characters, practical (no pants with zippers), look like they can handle a big poo explosion.

jca's avatar

@gememers: PM is private message. She’s saying to private message her if you have questions.

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