Guilty Pleasures: Dressing my Daughter

We barely had to buy either of our children anything. Our kind and generous friends and relatives passed on furniture and clothes, bought us presents and even on one occasion donated baby-related itTiny Ugg bootsems won in a raffle. I struggle to think of one thing we bought for our son ourselves. Every time we tried, a kind grandparent would jump in and say: ‘Let me get that for you.’

Once we knew our second baby was going to be a girl, I started wandering through town and looking at baby clothes. We needed nothing. Once again, zealous loft-clearing friends had provided us with more than we needed for our little girl, and still mums I barely knew were clinging to my sleeve at the children’s centre saying: “Oh, are you having a little girl? I’ve got baby clothes for you. Really good quality. I can bring them tomorrow.” And yet, I desperately wanted to buy little dresses.

“Maybe I like to show my love through gifts,” I mused one evening. “I just want to buy something for our daughter because I love her.”

My husband, dispenser of harsh truths, observed: “Little babies don’t need or want anything other than milk and cuddles. You don’t want to buy pretty dresses for her sake, but for your own. That’s not love, that’s retail therapy.”

The thought of ‘accChristmas dressessorising’ your baby, especially your unborn baby, is a little distasteful I feel – but so hard to resist. The companies out there know how to get the money out of our bank accounts. Changing bags are a case in point. Yes, they have handy pockets, but really you’re just splashing out on a new designer bag. A friend put me on to this awesome website for the ultimate yummy mummy. Just look at the women on the front page, with their pearls and their pushchairs! Only one picture has an actual child in it, although the ‘mother’ looks too immaculate to be the primary carer – where are the snot and sick stains? But I digress…

Our daughter is here now, and most of the time I am sensible and put her in sleepsuits. Ultimately, she spends most of her time asleep, so it makes sense. But occasionally I let myself go and allow myself a joyful fifteen minutes rummaging through all the lovely donated clothes and picking out a pretty dress – and teeny tiny tights – and a soft woolly cardigan – and tiny Ugg boots. Perhaps I am treating her like a little dolly on these occasions, but I do get to give her a big squeeze when she’s all dressed up and start whispering an important truth into her ear that I will need to keep telling her throughout her entire life, until she believes it: you are beautiful.


17 responses

  1. Of course your baby is beautiful and surely you need to practice choosing and dressing her now so that you are an expert when she is older and needs your assurance and help in enhancing her appearance!!! I think I most mothers feel as you describe but with a girl there is more scope for fun with the clothes on offer!

  2. I know I have no sons and no daughters, but even I see the appeal of dressing up your little tiny in perfect little outfits. I totally agree with everything you said above, about accessorizing your child and whatnot, but still. So cute!

    Let us never underestimate the irresistibility of things just because they are tiny. It is a scientific fact that every item can be make 55% cuter by being very, very small. 🙂

    • So true! Maybe I can persuade the Toddler to eat things by making them very very tiny as well: teeny tiny fishcakes, mini roast chicken, a tiny farm made with vegetables…

  3. We use a lot of hand-me-down clothes as well. In fact, some of the clothes that my youngest children are wearing came from the eldest, via several friends’ children who wore them along the way! But I still wanted to buy them clothes. I get around this by buying them one item or outfit brand new in summer and one in winter. That’s not overdoing it, and that way, they get something that is a) brand new and b) specifically bought for them. It’s also not being wildly extravagant, so ticks all the boxes! Loving catching up on your blog.

    • Thanks! Yes, that sounds like a sensible solution. How do your kids feel about wearing hand-me-downs? As I child I loved it. An older cousin would pass on bags of clothes and it was always a bit magical, going through the bag and discovering what was in it. Also, I completely idolised her so when I wore her clothes I felt like I could *be* her a little bit.

      • My guys love it. Especially because when the next brother up passes clothes on, he puts them in different bags – one for Zac and one for Conal – so they feel like the clothes have been chosen for them. But then again, they don’t really know anything different! Funnily enough, they also love passing clothes on, and like to choose who the clothes are going to go to!!

      • They are just fine about it, but then they don’t know any better. The next brother up sorts out his hand me downs and gives them to a specific boy, which is nice! There’s a bit of hero worship there, and with the cousin who passes things down as well, so that helps immensely.

  4. Dressing up a boy can be interesting but I definitely think that dressing up a little girl is lots more fun. Finding the right outfit, doing up their hair in different styles with the right colour of ribbons, etc is just so sweet. Little girls most of the time when they are about 2 or 3 years of age start being so conscious about their appearance that they are the ones requiring our help to make sure that they look their best although they have a pretty clear idea about what they want.. 🙂

  5. As your husband said, all they really need is love and cuddles but how can any woman resist those beautiful clothes on offer nowadays?! I bet she looks too cute in those baby ugg boots! Thanks for linking up to #oldiesbutgoodies

  6. I don’t see anything wrong with that! Having had a girl after two boys, I was really looking forward to dressing her and choosing clothes! We didn’t have that many donations/ presents, so most of her wardrobe has always been chosen by me. And, now she’s a bit older, she chooses herself too!

    • I’m looking forward to going shopping with her when she is older! And I promise faithfully that I won’t try to enforce my own taste in clothes. Well, maybe not all the time anyway.

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