I’m practical. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s the middle name my mother intended to give me before her hand slipped and wrote Jane. I’m so practical that the mere thought of not knowing my child’s gender before it was born so I could get everything ready caused me stress induced hyperventilation.
My undoing, however, was babies clothes! I can’t fully blame myself though. It was a combination of lack or experience and temporary blinding by ridiculous cuteness. My reality-based practicality was fundamentally flawed because of the belief system I had of ‘if they make it and sell it, then it must be useful.’ Not so.
Here are some thing’s I’ve learnt so far;
1. Organic cotton, costs a lot more than regular cotton. It doesn’t always wash very well, and can look a bit misshapen after only a few washes.
2. Dresses on babies are nobody’s friend. Newborns are wrapped up most of the time so you don’t even see the dress and as soon as they learn to crawl a dress/skirt gets caught under their knees. Leave the dresses until you have older toddlers.
3. Babies who can move…at all, don’t like getting dressed so buttons are like a cruel and unusual punishment for parents. As are the cute onesies that only have between the leg access so that you have to pull it all the way over their head to gain access. You want to go for the easiest possible option – I recommend multi-access, press-studded options. By multi-access I mean individual nappy access as well as upper body access e.g. studs all the way up the body.
4. While we’re on press-studs, you always want a press studded option for between the legs – you don’t want to have to change the whole outfit just to change a nappy. There is literally not enough time in your life for that!
5. Babies are not brand-selective with their spewing and if you get a constant-up-chucker, like I got twice, you cover up their clothes with a bib 100% if their awake time. In this case, consider perhaps investing in cute bibs!
6. Crawlers and toddlers can find muck on hospital grade clean surfaces. Once they’ve found it – they put it in their mouths to make it wet and pliable and then wipe it on themselves or dribble it out down their front to get rid of it. Infant’s ooze from everywhere is seems. Pre-schoolers draw, paint and squeeze play doh. Life is messy all day long. So when it comes to clothes, the more the merrier. If that means spending less on each item to maximize the volume, then that is the way to go.
7. Under garments that clip between the legs are a must for about the first 12-18 months. Babies are picked up a lot and if they don’t have secure under clothes (especially in winter) their clothes ride up and leave them exposed on the back. ‘Unders’ ensure they stay warm. It also means that when all those messy things happen, you can just take the upper layer off and they are still clothed and when you put them to bed, it’s just taking a layer off and not having to change a full outfit.