Saturday, August 24, 2013

Choosing a Coming Home Outfit

     There are so many decisions to make when you're having a baby. Some of them, such as vaccinations, circumcision, or which form of pain management to use (or avoid?) during labor are a lot more pressing and serious. However, among all these new decisions are the fun ones like decorating a nursery or choosing a coming home outfit.

    Bottomline: you can pretty much choose whatever you want. Simple and comfortable. Frilly and detailed. Heirloom. Well-I-Don't-REAALLY-Care-This-Looks-Cute-It-Might-Fit-YAY. Something to wear over and over. Something you can pass down for the next generation. Something bought or something homemade. Something pink or something blue or something green!

   With my first, it was an easy decision. Automatic, really. Bitty Bug wore the same beautifully delicate white gown that my mother, my sister, and I wore that first day home. It's a precious heirloom. I love comparing the pictures.

    I had every intention of Sweet Pea wearing the same thing. Timing with checking out of the hospital just didn't work out so I'm thankful I brought along a "just in case" outfit. It was a soft, pink, cotton gown we happened to get as a gift when Bitty Bug was born.

    Now for the Little Pumpkin I've actually had to make some sort of an effort. Some part of me is on the Don't-Really-Care-But-Hey-This-Is-Cute. The other part of me could totally fathom spending big bucks on a specially made outfit complete with matching everything that matched the nursery and my own outfit.

   In the end, unless you're bringing baby home nude (which I'm gonna venture to claim wouldn't be recommended even in warmer climates) or using something that might hinder the safe use of the car seat or worse, void the warranty. This still leaves so many options.

Gown/dress or pants/sleeper? Gowns and dresses can work. If it's going to be chilly you're probably going to want to lay a blanket over baby or find some tiny baby leggings so their little appendages don't get cold. You'll just have to push the middle bottom out of the way to make sure the buckle of the car seat is placed properly.

Buttons, zipper, velcro, ties, or snaps? It seems like everyone has different take on what's most user-friendly.  Buttons are usually tiny and tedious. Zippers, well, I've managed to snag skin even with the strip of cloth behind it that is intended to prevent that. Velcro can actually feel stiff which might create an annoying texture on a new baby's skin. Ties may not provide very good closure. Snaps can leave gaps in the cloth which isn't ideal if you're trying to keep baby warm.  A lot of this will be based on the climate where you are. A one-piece that zips will keep in all the cozy warmth. A plain onesie with stretchy is just enough for comfort. Layering is key. That's what those plain white onesies and blankets are for!

One piece or two piece? Most newborn to 3 month outfits are either the long gown OR sleeper/romper style one piece OR a simple top or bottom-snap onesie with stretchy, soft pants. This is purely a matter of preference, I think. There may be some factors to consider when it comes to keeping any irritant off the cord nub or avoiding difficult diaper changes but most infant clothes are designed to be soft, loose, and simple. I've managed to change a diaper without taking a sleeper all the way off (even with feet in)and it's easy enough to slip little feet back in if you do pull them out. Same for pants. It really doesn't take much to slip the little pants off and on. A gown just slides up to their belly.

Shoes, booties, or socks? Any of these are likely to come off those chubby baby feet if they move around enough but it's usually a good idea to have something on their feet since they can get cold so easily. Most booties are just a slightly more structured sock. They may be a good choice for colder areas. Tiny newborn shoes are funny looking, in my opinion. Cute, no doubt, but they really serve no purpose other than achieving a certain look. No matter which you decide on there's a good chance that once you make it home you'll be pulling them off to stare at those perfect toes.

Mittens? Pretty much anywhere you shop for baby clothes you'll find tiny mittens like these. Maybe you all ready know this but newborns (especially those born a little later than average) tend to have tiny little fingernails that can scratch up their faces. Most new parents aren't quite ready to tackle clipping those microscopic things so the mittens protect them. When baby is at the birth center, hospital or home and swaddled up this won't matter so much but in the car or swing it's a nice option so you just don't have to worry about them upsetting themselves with a scratch on the cheek.

Hats? I've heard the theory that you lose most of your heat through your head. I've heard that's a myth too, at least for adults and big kids. But, with their funny proportions most of a newborn IS his or her head. There's probably no need for a bulky winter hat unless you're in the arctic but a simple knit beanie cap will keep their head covered. Babies aren't all that great at regulating their own body temp so even the littlest thing will help. Again, of course, you'll probably be slipping it off once you're home to admire their sweet newborn hair and itty bitty ears.

Boy, girl, or neutral? Obviously, if you know gender that might make this choice a no-brainer. Maybe you still want to go neutral so you can have all your kids wear the same adorable outfit home. You could pick one of each if you're waiting for the birth to find out boy or girl. I've seen way more options for neutral outfits that aren't that bright yellow or bland green lately. If you're looking for neutral something like this set from Carter's,  these options at Gymboree, this one-piece from Crazy 8, or even something silly like this onesie from Etsy. 

   Your baby will need something to wear. It's up to you. You can be as sentimental, comfort-focused, or carefree as you like. Worst case? You'll be birthing at home anyway OR the hospital will have shirts, hats, and blankets.

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