Cute Gender-Neutral Outfit Ideas For Babies
There are numerous reasons many parents no longer subscribe to the dated concept of “pink for girls and blue for boys”. The belief that children should be able to express themselves without being confined to strict gender norms is becoming increasingly accepted worldwide, and indeed, why shouldn’t we let kids be kids?
While some parents may revel in the gleeful spectacle of a gender reveal party, others prefer to let societal gender expectations take a back seat. As well as specifically targeted toys and games, sex-specific colour-coded clothing may be a contributing factor in reinforcing gender stereotypes. From this perspective, you may be keen to incorporate more gender-neutral pieces into your little one’s wardrobe, so here are some suggestions.
Remember, any colour can be gender-neutral. Up until the 1940s, pink was considered a predominantly masculine colour. Most of us are subconsciously biased to automatically assume “girl” when we see a baby wearing pink, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. A baby boy can look adorably smart in a dapper pink shirt or polo for a family function or day out.
Although pastel colours didn’t become a popular choice for babies and toddlers until the mid-19th century, soft tones are often associated with comfort and tranquillity. Bright colours may entice young children but can be overstimulating for babies, making pastels the ideal option for nursery decoration and newborn clothing. Although pastel colours are often considered feminine in general, they tend to hold less gender bias in comparison to their brighter counterparts.
Simple, classic hues are transeasonal and perpetually stylish. In terms of colour theory, earthy neutrals such as beige, olive and mustard are considered warm, friendly and often associated with nature - perfect if you have a little one keen to explore.
The principal requirement for baby clothes is practicality. Between multiple nappy changes and messy mealtimes, you’ll be whipping clothes on and off all day long. Skinny jeans, puffy jackets and frilly dresses may look charming, but grant your little one minimal freedom of movement, which is vital for muscle development and coordination. When it comes to practicality, consider layers that can be easily removed if needed. Soft fabrics such as organic cotton will allow your baby’s delicate skin to breathe while helping regulate their body temperature.
Dungarees and Onesies
Bodysuits, onesies and dungarees are adorable, gender-neutral options that keep your baby warm and comfortable. Baby dungarees come in a range of fabrics, including corduroy, denim, linen and jersey, excellent for adding another layer of warmth to a simple outfit during cold days. It is advisable to opt for a pair featuring adjustable straps to ensure a perfect fit and snaps for speedy nappy changes.
If you want to steer clear of overtly gendered garments, avoid patterns with stereotypically feminine or masculine patterns; for example, hearts and flowers for girls, cars and dinosaurs for boys. Instead, consider polka dots, stripes, leaves, stars and clouds. When your little one becomes older and begins to develop their own personality and preferences, gear their clothing around their interests. Allowing children to make their own choices regarding clothing helps to boost self-esteem and encourages a sense of independence and identity. Until then, keeping patterns and motifs neutral will allow them to gravitate towards styles and textures they truly enjoy.
Lions and Tigers and Bears
When in doubt, turn to the animal kingdom. Garments featuring natural elements and creatures are staples of children’s clothing regardless of gender. Nevertheless, it is common to see certain animals gendered similarly to specific colours. Boys’ clothes often feature sharks and reptiles, whereas you won’t go far in a girls’ clothing section without seeing a whole heap of unicorns and rabbits. Regarding baby clothes, woodland critters are the go-to option - squirrels, foxes, deer and racoons all feature on unisex baby garments. The same can be said for jungle and farm animals.
In summary, categorising our children into specific societal roles starts from day one. Instead of following a set of arbitrary, subjective rules and worrying about whether or not a garment is “meant” for a boy or girl, focus on what is more important - comfort, practicality and ultimately, a happy, healthy child.