Posted in Infant

Lets Clear Things Up: Baby Clothing

Dear baby clothing designers,

I’m writing to you to give you some tips on designing the next line of baby clothes, because obviously, you have no idea what it is like to be the parent to a small child.

First and foremost, you really need to understand that babies are a rather persnickety bunch.  They aren’t extremely patient when it comes to getting dressed.  As such, it is imperative that the clothing be quick to put on.

For instance, the best kind of pyjamas, are the kind that zip up.  Seriously, you need only unzip, put the baby in and then zip back up.  Voilà!  It only takes about 30 seconds.  This is a perfect time frame for a middle of the night (MOTN) changing.  Pyjamas with snap buttons are a pain to put back on, especially with a tired parent and an impatient squirmy baby.  I must admit, however, that snap buttons *are* loads better than actual buttons on babywear.  As for two-piece pyjamas, well, they are also a pain.  Though the pants get easier to put on as the babies get older and control their legs better, pulling a top over their head and then getting their tiny flailing little arms through the arm holes is almost always a recipe for a crying baby.  Plus, I find that two-piece pyjamas require that the parent put a bodysuit on his/her baby, because,  well at least in my household, said baby always seems to end up his/her tummy and/or back uncovered.

Speaking of bodysuits, the best ones are the ones that have buttons all the way; they are the easiest to put on because they do not require pulling anything over the top of the baby’s head.  Because, in case you haven’t noticed, though they may be little, babies have huge heads in proportion to the rest of their body.  That reminds me…It is imperative that if you are going to create a piece of clothing that will be pulled over the head, it be large enough (either by adding snap buttons or actual buttons) or the fabric be stretchy enough to indeed do so.  Oh, and if you’re going to add buttons to create a larger opening for the head, please do NOT place them at the back of the shirt especially whilst designing clothing for babies that still cannot sit up with support.

File:Neoteny body proportion heterochrony human.png
See what I mean about the head?
(Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoteny, originally published in: Journal of Heredity (1921) Volume 12, pg 421)

Whilst we are on the subject of size, another thing you must take into account is that baby bums are big.  Or, rather, diapers make baby bottoms bulky and cloth diapers make them even bulkier.  I’ve encountered waaaaaay too many bodysuits that I cannot use anymore because they are impossible to close over my son’s diapered tush to count.  I know that they sell extenders, but seriously, babies grow up so fast and go out of their clothing so quickly, would it really be *that* difficult to just make the bodysuits longer?

Now, with regards to pants, though jeans are really cute, they can be a pain to put on.  Remember how I explained that diapers create big bums?  Well, when you make a pair of jeans that has a really tight waistband and it takes 15 minutes just to slip on the pants, it’s a big no-no!  Sure they won’t fall off, but it makes changing diapers a pain in the proverbial a**, especially when there are no snaps around the legs and the parent is compelled to pull off the pants and then fight to pull them back on.

Finally, what is it with all of the girl clothing?  Every store I walk into holds at least twice as many girl ensemble than boy ensembles.  I mean, I know that little girls are cute in their skirts and dresses and bows and tights and everything, but would it really be that hard to think up some really cute ensembles for boys too?  They can be cute as well!

Sincerely,

First-time mom of an awsomely-cute-wiggly persnickety 3.5 month old little boy.

You see?  I told you he was cute!
You see? I told you he was cute!