7 Things I Have Learned About Baby Clothes
December 4, 2010
In the short time I have been dressing a baby, I have discovered some truths I believe are universal:
1. The cuter the outfit, the less practical it is (I include here garments with interesting snap patterns that are difficult to maneuver baby’s spaghetti-like limbs in and out of). And the frequent inclusion of pockets, while not problematic, is nonetheless puzzling.
2. Gender stereotyping starts early – I’m thinking here of Lorelei’s “born to shop” onesie. At the time it fit her, she did not yet even have independent control over her head. Born to nurse and burp, maybe, but that was about it.
3. There is no such thing as remotely standard sizing (can you picture one of those dressmaker’s dummies in a standard 3-month-old size? It would look like a little potato on a stick). There were some things Lorelei, a skinny 7-pounder at birth, was sized out of almost immediately. But there are 3-month onesies she still wears now, as a nearly 6-month-old. I think there are probably some back-to-school outfits out there that are too small for her.
4. Baby clothes come bound to their packaging with a ridiculous number of those nearly invisible plastic thingies that need to be snipped off, at which point half of the plastic thingie – invariably, I’ve found, the sharper half – vanishes inside the garment.
The good news is that you locate it again when you strip your baby down to find out why she’s screaming – it’s usually lodged somewhere in her underarm region. (There are also, of course, at least one or two plastic thingies your sleep-deprived self misses entirely, until your baby is half-naked on the changing table, when you discover that the left sleeve of the pajamas is intractably pinned to the right leg.)
5. Anything with supplemental ears: Extremely cute. I don’t know who first thought to do this, but I’m a fan.
6. Overthinking the design of baby clothes can get a little trippy. Example: Lorelei has a pink bear snowsuit (with ears, natch) whose feet are little bear heads. The world would be a very different place if adult clothes – or bears, for that matter – were designed this way.
7. Whatever it is, or whatever part of the baby it’s meant to cover, it all, without exception, eventually winds up covered in drool, poop, pee, half-digested milk, or all of the above.