Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dressing a Toddler

Upon Milo turning one this week, the e-mails I had been receiving entitled Your Baby: Week # now have the subject line Your Toddler: Week #. It seemed a little soon to make the switch seeing how some experts don't label a child a toddler until they are walking (which Milo is decidedly not). Regardless, having this pop up in my inbox reminded me of the troubles I am having dressing this not-quite baby, but not really toddler either.

I know girl clothes are cuter than boy clothes and that people buy more clothes for girls than for boys, so I can in some ways understand how there are three racks of "boy" items in stores with the rest of the space being devoted to pink princess crap. In other ways, seriously, they're all kids why aren't there more gender neutral items?

More practically though, I really like Milo to still have at least one layer that is a onsie. Since he's not walking, I like the snaps to hold the shirt in place while he's crawling all over and being picked up. Also, he's often rashy on his stomach and back and I like the protection the onsie offers. Sadly, there are fewer and fewer onsie options the bigger he gets.

Call it the hippie in me, but I also really prefer and usually insist on all cotton for Milo's clothes (mine too, come to think of it). Why are the older kids items more often made with synthetic fabrics? The chemicals, the questionable flame retardants, the itchiness; ugh, ugh and more ugh. I don't want these next to his sensitive skin.

The final problem I have with toddler boys clothes are the asinine sayings and images on them. All too often I see shirts emblazoned with negative words such as here comes trouble or little monster. Words have power and I don't want to dress Milo in a shirt that could negatively impact his behavior or how others view him. If it's not the words, it's the images. For me, commercial characters are usually out and I certainly don't seek out licensed gear. I, also, am not a fan of the camouflage, the John Deere or the other motorized vehicle type images.

So when I take away all those criteria, the shopping options are limited. There are some things at the Gap I like, especially their basic items, but again I would prefer the majority of the clothes didn't scream GAP. Land's End has great, hard core basics that I am sure I will turn to in the future, but for now, Milo is a tad too small for most of their clothes. I super love Mini Boden items, but I can't afford dressing a messy little boy who needs changed often in their outfits. Pretty much every place else (Kohls, Carters, JC Penney) I've learned to avoid, because it usually ends with me leaving in a huff.

Am I being too picky? Any other thoughts on where to shop my not quite baby, not quite toddler?

1 comment:

Sara said...

Children's Place is a favorite of mine. Also, Hanna Anderson has a lot of organic cotton basics. They are more expensive but you get what you pay for. Her pj's are fabulous. (What size is he in? I can send you some things that meet your criteria!)