#903 Thrifty Baby: Go Gender Neutral With Baby Clothes And Items

11 Apr

baby in white sleeper

I loved baby in white.

Have you ever tried matching 40 different shades of pink shirts, pants and sweaters? Each shade is slightly off from the other one, so in the end there are 40 pieces of clothing that don’t coordinate. There are polka dots, horizontal stripes, vertical stripes, plaids, florals… all in shades of pastel that aren’t quite right with each other.

My reasoning for gender neutral clothing as a money saver is that there is no need to buy a whole new wardrobe for a second child of a different gender or different sex twins. And moms of girls don’t have to refuse moms of boys hand-me-downs, or moms of girls can hand-me-down to moms of boys. It also makes outfits easier to coordinate and mix and match, a g0dsend fashion saver. This is mostly applicable for “girl” clothing, i.e. pink and purple, as “boy” clothing is easier to switch up.

baby swing

The non-pink baby swing option.

As for high chairs, play mats, swings and all other baby items, not everything has to be princess or pink if you’re having a girl. I go with jungle, khaki or other neutral choices. I find it to be easier on the eyes when I walk into a room. Philosophically, I find the princess theme for girls to be setting a disquieting emphasis on unrealistic materialistic, relationship and lifestyle choices. She’ll get enough of that from society, school and peers not to be bombarded with it at home.

If you’re “one and done” then it won’t matter as much, but for multiple babies, it’s cheaper to be able to use as many hand-me-downs as possible from older siblings and family members. Here are some suggestions for going gender neutral with baby clothes and items that have worked well for me:

  • Love the color wheel: I love yellows, greens and reds. There’s so much more than pink and blue. Call me crazy, but I loved white for my baby.
  • Pants:
    baby outfit

    Black shoes, grey pants and a cute, Baby Gap pea coat makes a great mix and match outfit, pulling from boy, girl and gender neutral clothing options.

    Pants are very easy to go gender-neutral and helpful for coordination. Khaki and grey cotton pants seem the most available. Some pants have “girly” details and styling, but pants with straight-forward cuts are easy to find.

  • Pajamas: PJs are another clothing item with which it is easy to go neutral. I like anything cotton and comfy.
  • Shoes: Black or brown shoes go with everything. Navy is a close runner-up. They’ll outgrow them so fast that great, barely-worn shoes can be found at a lot of yard sales, on eBay or from other moms.
  • Accent pieces: For girls, it’s more fun to have a super-cute top or sweater in pink or frilly than the whole outfit. The whole outfit is overkill.
  • Someone will confuse the gender of your baby. My daughter could be in hot pink, and people would still call her “little guy” or “buddy” sometimes. It doesn’t matter. People get confused or don’t pay attention. I’m never bothered by it. She likes the attention. People most rely on the pink or blue cues to say “he” or “she” but, more than once, the pink outfits elicited “he” from strangers. In non-pink or blue outfits, it’s hard to tell with babies. Most people just ask.
  • Grandparents will fill in for you. Grandparents love to fulfill the typical gender roles of babies. It’s their generation, and they’ll fill you up with pink dresses or full-camo track suits.
  • There’s always the pink option and the other option. All baby items come with the pink option and the other option, which is a neutral tone.
  • Don’t overthink it. My daughter wears her boy cousins’ hand-me-downs and loves some of those. She’s got some pink shirts and PJs she loves. Whatever she wants to wear is fine with me. I’m not bothered if it’s pink or “boy.” I like balance. I also can’t resist some killer Goodwill finds, like a Polo Ralph Lauren pink and white cotton cardigan in pristine condition (girl) or a brand new Janie and Jack sailboat T-shirt (boy), both for less than $2.


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