As much as every parent loves their children, we all struggle to keep our children looking presentable. Unless the kids are at the playground, it is generally accepted that childrens clothing will be neat. Some children are natually clean, but for others it remains a serious challenge. What can parents do to help our kids?
For a child who is prone to ruining clothing, it may seem counter intuitive to buy expensive childrens clothing. However, outfits made from cheap fabric stain more easily than well made outfits do. Spend the extra money to get material made from natural materials. Even after multiple washings, polyester and other man made material is more likely to retain stains and the odor of perspiration.
Using the appropriate washing methods on childrens clothing will help keep it looking tidy for longer. Remember to wash sweaters on gentle and place on drying racks horizontally to prevent stretching. Knitted sweaters that are safe for machine washing will pill more if put into the dryer. Take a moment to use a stain stick on oily dirt before washing to prevent it from setting in the cloth. Blood, often found on childrens clothing from minor accidents, must be soaked and washed in cold water or it will permanently stain the fabric.
Keep your child's habits in mind when selecting colors and patterns for their garments. Heathered knits and small, busy patterns do a better job of hiding small stains than solid colors do. It goes without saying that white and light colors are generally a bad idea for most kids.
If your children's tops are not staying tucked into their pants or skirts, a belt may help keep the shirt in place. If it pulls out anyway, wearing a vest that drapes past the waistline will hide most shirttails. While it is considered fashionable to have them extend below the level of the sweater or vest by some, it presents as sloppy looking. T-shirts look especially disheveled looking when hanging out past a sweatshirt or other outwear.
For kids too old to wear bibs at mealtime, encourage them to put a cloth napkin or kerchief around their neck to protect their shirts. If they are reluctant to do so, wearing a casual sweatshirt over their clothes can keep their shirts clean. Another common cause of spills on clothing is drinking in the car. If the child is thirsty and can not wait until after the car ride, sippy cups and sports bottles will prevent most messes. Keeping a spare change of clothing in the car for emergencies is practical at any age.
Remember that changing out of school clothes into play clothes and reserving dress clothes for formal occasions will help to preserve the condition of the garments. It is a habit that many of us have fallen out of, but is an easy way to help prevent staining and tearing.
Most children, with some loving guidance from their parents, are able to keep themselves clean. These tips for keeping childrens clothing neat will make the job a little easier.