Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Wonder of Onesies

When our first child was born, I had two outfits' ready, bought months in advance: one for a girl and one for a boy. The tiny, pink ruffled dress with matching bloomers and bonnet was adorable. The light blue suit with matching cap and booties was precious. Each would make the new baby look like a live doll.

That first baby wore the light blue suit home from the hospital and he was dapper in spite of his wrinkled skin and tightly shut eyes. We soon acquired an entire dresser full of light blue baby clothes: suits complete with shirts and ties, sweat suits, sweater and corduroy sets, overalls with matching shirts, and the ever-popular onesies.

This was what I had been waiting for from the time I was a little girl with baby dolls and Barbies; I had always looked forward to dressing my own baby one day. I knew that once I had my own baby, I would dress him or her each day with care and he or she would always be clean, crisp, and of course, beautiful. But baby clothing, unbeknownst to me and my newborn son, was to be something of a problem.

First of all, the beautiful little outfits which had been so lovingly sent to us by friends and family members were not all baby- or mommy-friendly. While utterly adorable, the suits were completely unrealistic for a newborn who can't yet do anything but lie there waiting for his muscles to strengthen so he can move. And it was even worse when he did begin to move a bit; sliding down in his baby seat or rolling to one side. The suit shirt always come un-tucked and his little back and belly were exposed. Every time I picked him up, the whole thing sort of came apart.

Similar things happened with the other clothing; anything that was split into two pieces immediately came apart the moment our precious baby was picked up or moved. Even the overalls were a problem, as the undershirt always rode up in the back. The only outfit of clothing that seemed to work was the set of onesies a seasoned mother had given us.

As the first weeks of new parenthood passed, it didn't take long to clearly see that the best clothing for our little bundle of joy was the onesie. Onesies are just what the name implies: one-piece outfits that often include covering the feet. They snap all along the legs and bottom, for easy diaper access, and they are easy to get on and off the baby.

Perhaps the best aspect of onesies is their design for keeping baby all in once piece. Newborns are like pieces of jello, with their heads, arms, legs, and even torsos, often going in many different directions at once. Onesies keep them intact, from the neck down, anyway. This is easier on new moms and new babies, not to mention the frequent friends, neighbors, and family members who drop by, eager to pick up and hold the little guy.

As those early weeks turned into months, the beautiful suits, colorful sweat suits and darling overalls hung in the closet, pressed, clean, and unused. Before we knew it, our thriving son had outgrown all those cute clothes, many of which he had never worn. It made me feel sad, and a bit guilty.

The onesies, on the other hand, quickly grew in number. They were inexpensive and could be found everywhere, so I bought several. Yet unlike their clean, pressed counterparts, the sets of onesies began to show wear. Like a high-traffic area of carpet, they became stained, faded, and worn.

As the months continued to pass and our son became mobile, crawling, scooting, rolling, and even trying to walk, the onesies either continued wear or were replaced by fresh new ones. In fact, my son wore onesies up until about the time he became toilet trained and stopped needed diapers. They were so convenient and comfortable.

I ultimately gave most of the beautiful like-new clothes away or sold them in a garage sale. Our next two babies were both girls and none of the boy clothes were appropriate. As for the onesies, I had to buy all new ones, but this time, they were all I bought!

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