Three Tips for Dressing Kids with Success
It’s 15 minutes until its time to rush out the door, no one has their teeth brushed, no one has shoes on, and mom is still packing lunches. We’ve all been there and muddling through the morning routine can be exhausting. There is no amount of coffee in the morning that can make those kiddos snap out of sloth mode and into high gear. My kids are still little at 17 months and 3.5 years old, but we struggle sometimes with getting into motion and being timely, especially when it involves mom getting everyone ready and out the door to go somewhere. Inevitably you think you have it all together and then the oldest can’t make it to the bathroom in time and the baby throws up everywhere. This is real mom life. You find ways to make it work and tricks to help you get places in a timely fashion. I have narrowed down three tips that I keep in mind when purchasing clothing for my kids and for when dressing them. Hopefully these handy mom hacks will help you save time and show up at that event looking well put together.
The first tip is FIT. Kids grow so fast and purchasing clothing is an expensive, revolving door. You no sooner than buy new things and then find out that their little feet have grown once again and you are back on the hunt for new shoes. When I shop for my girls clothing, I always think about FIT first. I ask myself some questions. What size are they wearing? How tall are they and how much do they weigh? Does it look like it has room to grow? Is the fabric flexible and soft? All of these things help me to pick out clothing that will continue to grow with them. I have little girls, but the same principles can apply to those little guys as well. I purchase things that are a little bit bigger so that they will grow into them. For me, having two little girls means hand me downs in the future, so I look for things that are good quality that can withstand the joys of childhood. I enjoy shopping at local sales such as Whale of a Sale or Indy Kids Consignment because I can purchase gently used play clothes for them to wear and then I am less upset when mud puddle jumping happens. I also purchase outfits that are fancier, but are soft and flexible so that my kids don’t mind dressing up because there are no complaints about what they are wearing. We have all had the experience of trying to stuff our kid into an adorable clothing item that we’ve been dying to snap a picture in, but it quickly becomes trying to wrangle an alligator into something that is itchy and not so fun for them. My best advice is to pick things that can double as fancy, but fun and then it’s a win-win situation.
The second tip is FABRIC. My oldest daughter is super picky about tags in clothing. She instantly realizes there is a tag in there and she complains. And even though she is a princess, tutu wearing girl, she refuses most princess dresses due to the itchy factor. So, when it comes to everyday clothing, I choose things that are soft, stretchy and will move with her. Whether your little one is an infant, a potty-training nightmare, or a picky pre-teen, choosing comfortable clothing is a must. I like items that are soft and stretchy because kiddos like to run, jump and play without restriction. Clothes can still be fashionable without having to be restrictive. In addition to texture of fabric, I also consider washing instructions. If something has to be dry cleaned or hung dry only, I avoid those. We all know that kids create multiple loads of laundry a day and what mom has time to hang up all of those tiny clothes and baby them through the washing process. I like to throw everything in the wash and then the dryer and call it a day. Cotton clothing with polyester is usually soft and can withstand the washer and dryer. Spending less on versatile clothing makes it easier to accept those stains from unpreventable accidents, and we all know that kids are messy. I learned after being a mom that treating a stain right away is the way to go. White vinegar and baking soda have become my number one go to stain treatment. I make up a combination of one cup white vinegar and one tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to cover the item and mix this in a soaking pan. I then place the item in there overnight to soak and poof, the stain is gone. This has worked for slime and chocolate on clothing. Another mom hack I have come across is a Fels Naptha bar. This bar works great to rub on tough stains and get them out before going into the wash. It is trial and error sometimes, but finding what works for you can speed up your laundry process tremendously.
The third tip is FLEXIBILITY! While flexibility can refer to fabric choices, I use flexibility to think of providing clothing that lets your little one be him or herself. As much as I want to control what my kids wear, I have to step back and realize that they are little people who are growing and developing their own take on this world. One way I allow my daughter to be more independent is by giving her two options to pick from. This still allows me to be in control of what the options are, but yet giving her the freedom to choose which one she wants to wear. I also pick out her outfit the night before school, which allows me to not have that battle in the morning. Many times, I awaken to her already dressed in the pre-picked outfit. Whew, that helps mom out greatly! In addition to letting them have a choice, just letting kids be kids is important too. Allow them to jump in rain puddles or lick that popsicle down to the dripping stick. In the end, these are the memories that we will look back on when they are graduating high school and will cherish forever.
So, the next time you go on a shopping adventure for kids clothing, keep these three tips, fit, fabric and flexibility in mind. Stock up on that morning coffee and put on your patience face because raising kiddos is a bumpy ride. At the end of the day, snuggle those grimy little sweethearts close and cherish those little moments!