Baby Clothes

I have had a baby for nearly 14 months now and there are few things that I have learned more about than clothes. I thought, before I had her, that baby clothes were pretty straight forward: they come in different sizes, you buy cute stuff, you wash it, you put it in the drawer, when baby arrives you make her not naked. OH but it is SO much more complicated than that. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

1. Onzies are pointless. Yes it’s true that, as Lorelei Gilmore would say, “everything looks cute on a onesie,” but those three stupid little snaps just create an extra, unnecessary barrier to the all important diaper. Remember, you’re going to have to get your baby in and out of these clothes a approximately a million times a day so you need easy access.

Plus, that long tab of fabric that hangs down past the diaper after you’ve opened it up is just BEGGING to get smeared with poo while you change a dirty diaper. So then you’ll find yourself changing the whole outfit in no time.

I thought that since I was having a winter baby the way to go was to buy long sleeve onzies, but to me these have become as irritating as the short sleeve sweater (if it’s cold enough for a sweater, don’t you also need sleeves?) because they don’t cover your baby’s legs. So then you have to put on pants too, creating yet another barrier to the diaper, and also making your baby look, as my sister says, like a little old man. It’s not a good look, and it really isn’t convenient.

Lesson: Don’t buy onesies. I know they’re cute, I know they’ll call to you when you’re full of pregnancy hormones or full of excitement over someone else’s pregnancy hormones, and spending way too much time in the baby department of Target, but just don’t do it.

2. Structured Pants are just mean. Oh man are those little Gap jeans adorable, but again, you have to remember about that diaper. You’re not going to want to bother with unzipping that tiny zipper and shimmying those tight fitting jeans down over that big fluffy butt a million times a day. And if you do one day decide that you want to doll your little one up by stuffing him or her in to a pair of structured pants you’ll just feel like a big meany when you see him or her sitting there with the top of the pants pointing straight in to that soft, squishy little baby belly. You’ll have all too vivid recollections of how bad you felt about yourself as you sat there in the car or at your desk wearing pants that you can’t quite admit you no longer fit in to and you’ll have to take your little one out of those mean jeans.

Lesson: Just buy leggings. They’re by far the easiest and most comfortable option for both parents and babies. They come in lots of cute colors and you can even buy ones that look like jeans. Save the purchase of structured pants for when kids are older, say out of diapers. I know a lot of people love tights and those seem like a pretty good option as well. Leg warmers are by far the easiest thing on the market since you don’t even have to take them off to change a diaper.

3. Everyone will give you clothes. No matter how many other things you need or ask for, everyone at your baby shower or who gives gifts around the time of the birth, will give you clothes (especially if you have a girl). Which means that you’re bound to get some of the above “not recommended” items. I know that any gift is generous and to be appreciated, but sometime people will spend a lot of money on things that you just don’t need and that always makes me feel sad. I know that most of my friends don’t have a lot extra and I hate to think that a little of that “extra” went to buying something for me that I am not able to use.

I have not really found a way around this problem. I think on the recipients end just be grateful, and deeply thankful that they wanted to join in your joy, and remember that it is FUN to shop for baby clothes (think back to all those hours you’re spending in the baby section these days) and so probably the gift giver enjoyed getting to shop for you even if the item didn’t end up being useful to you. For those on giving end, if you do want to give clothes, just include a receipt. Don’t take it personally, you have no idea whether this is the first pink onesie your friend has received or the 20th so just include the receipt in case the parents decide to exchange it for something they are more able to use. Better yet, before you shop, ask mom or dad what things they are still in need of. Having a baby is expensive and if you’re generous enough to want to contribute, more than likely the parents will have a pretty clear idea of how you could best help.

OK more thoughts on clothes and the REAL baby necessities next time.

What did you find most/least useful when your baby was new?


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jason Olsen on December 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    And it seems that what each kid tolerates is different, so it’s probably best to wait until you figure out what she’ll tolerate (or maybe even like) before you buy a boatload of something. There’s a whole lot of hats sitting in a drawer with a little girl who tosses ’em off as soon as they’re placed on her head. The cat doesn’t seem to like them either, so they’re just not getting any action.


    • Posted by Jacquelyn on December 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks, Chapel, for making me laugh. I continue to envy you mothers who can share information online like this. Extremely useful. And delightful… because as exhausting as it is, and as full of frustrations as seemingly simple as onzies and as important as being grateful for your friends’ contributions to your children’s lives, these days must be cherished and not wished away 🙂


    • Posted by Metzger on December 11, 2012 at 11:45 am

      Tolerates! Yes, that is the key word. Leggings and socks in our neck of the woods are only good as tree decorations, while the magic of the short and long-sleeved onesie have saved us like a man drowning at sea. Overalls are actually making a big hit despite the weird application method. Snap on footsie pajamas really keep one warm (have adult sizes come back in fashion yet?). Hats ROCK! With little or no hair, as someone recently come to this end due to excessive hair stretches given by babbling nonsense makers, hats make live liveable again. Baby got hand-me-downs and after a few days of wearing them, they grow on you (like a fungus – I mean, a FUN-gus…). Really, though, for a good time and great wear, naked is BEST!


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