New mums are told to avoid buying brand new baby clothes, especially anything fancy or expensive. Spending lots of cash on designer baby clothes is such a waste, say the mummy blogs, because newborns outgrow each size incredibly quickly, and whatever clothing does fit gets assaulted by spit-up and poo.
I won’t pretend new baby clothes are a great financial investment. I bet most of us have had our babies outgrow an outfit before wearing it even once. That happens. And sure, sometimes after a severe nappy blowdry, a onesie gets chucked before it ever meets the bleach because it is just that disgusting. But what the naysayers fail to mention is that dressing your baby up like an adorable little doll can be really enjoyable. And after carrying, birthing, and caring for that new baby 24/7, don’t you deserve a little fun?
The point is, reality should never get in the way of a new mama fulfilling her heart’s desire — especially if that desire is to coordinate baby’s socks, bib, and headband.
So if you’re tempted by all those darling baby clothes but embarrassed to splurge (especially if you’ve been generously provided with enough hand-me-downs to make due), here are a few ways to rationalise some impulse buys:
1. The photos are forever. You will take more pictures during baby’s first year than you ever will again. Given that these photos will be texted, Instagrammed, enlarged, and framed for your wall and otherwise shared among many, it’s actually a pretty good time to go nuts on wardrobe. Sure, baby is perfect no matter what he’s wearing (or not wearing), but it’s also pure pleasure to see him rocking the accessorized outfit of your dreams — say, seersucker topped with a fedora — commemorated forever (and possibly incorporated into the slideshow at his wedding).
2. You won’t be shopping for yourself. Post pregnancy, your body is in major flux. Your belly might still look pregnant, your boobs may be huge, and you have no idea what size you’ll end up, so it’s going to take a while before you can enjoy clothes shopping for yourself again. Since you won’t be buying much for mama (except maybe a donut to sit on and some Hirudoid), there’s your budget for baby!
3. You won’t always get to choose their clothes. Alas, the window for selecting your child’s outfits is surprisingly small, especially with girlie girls. My older daughter — a self-proclaimed fashionista — started dressing herself at age 2½ and has not requested my input since. I’m glad that I took full advantage of styling her with tutus and leg warmers while I still could.
Being a mum is hard. You give up your body, your sleep, your free time and your sanity and in exchange you get baby love and also — cute outfits. I promise, you will not regret the gingham bathing suit with ruffles on the butt and matching Jackie O sunglasses. Don’t let the “experts” talk you out of all your fun.