Many of us are guilty of imposing gender stereotypes on a child as soon as they are born. In fact, the influencing often begins before birth, with gender reveal parties and baby showers taking on a pink or blue theme depending on the gender of the baby.
Then, we continue the practice by dressing them in traditionally feminine dresses or masculine outfits throughout their childhoods.
Have you ever considered why we dress baby girls one way and baby boys another?
You might find there aren’t many arguments to do so. In this article, Steve Cochrane of premium kidswear retailers Childrenswardrobe shares his insight into the benefits of choosing gender neutrality when it comes to building up a wardrobe for your baby or toddler.
You’ll have more options
New mums and dads have more choice than ever before when it comes to baby clothes.
From niche boutiques to high street giants, there are a whole wealth of companies out there that produce adorable baby clothes in every colour of the rainbow. So, why be boring and limit yourself to just pink and blue?
By taking gender out of the equation, you can dress your baby in either hue as well as yellow, green, purple, red, and everything in between.
Plus, there are many gender-free themes and motifs to explore such as cute animals or geometric patterns.
It’s a good idea to expose your baby to as much variety in their outfits as possible early on in life, so they’re confident and creative enough to try new things when they’re older.
It’s better for the planet
Babies grow out of clothes quickly, so their old garments often end up in landfills and cause issues for the environment.
Many parents hand down their old baby clothes to prevent this, but if we refuse to dress our babies in clothes designed for the opposite gender, then we are severely limiting what can be reused.
By dressing your baby in all kinds of clothing, you can provide more hand-me-downs that cater to your friends and family than if you only limited your baby to girls or boys clothing.
This means that the people around you will need to buy less new clothes and avoid the environmental impact of fast fashion.
It can save you money
On the flip side, another advantage to dressing your baby in clothes designed for either gender is that you can use them again if you have more children, which saves you money.
You’ll have twice the clothing to choose from and you won’t need to fork out for new clothing for any younger siblings, reducing the cost per wear of each item.
It prioritises comfort
One of the main advantages of embracing all types of clothing means that you can prioritise comfort rather than making sure your baby looks like a boy or girl.
Some babies might prefer wearing silky materials but hate wearing frills and fiddly details, or maybe they’re less fussy when they’re wearing looser clothes.
By treating each garment the same, you can build outfits that better appeal to your baby’s senses than if you restricted your clothes shopping to boys and girls sections.
It can help your kids become more confident
Gender neutrality means variety, and by dressing them in lots of different outfits you are exposing your children to options without prejudice.
This can help them develop creatively, as they learn lots of new colours, textures, shapes and styles of clothing early on that can give them an advantage later in life.
When they’re old enough to dress themselves and make their own decisions, they’ll find picking their own outfits a lot easier and develop their personal style.
Then, they’ll be much more confident when it comes to recognising their own interests and expressing themselves as they grow.
There are a few different reasons to choose a gender-neutral wardrobe for your baby. The tips in this guide can help you avoid stereotyping based on gender and choose clothing based on other factors instead.