Clothing or infant clothing is adult clothing designed especially for infants or small children. Infant fashion is an active consumerist practice which represents the cultural representation of a system characterized by cultural differences in wealth, sex, ethnicity, or social status and embeds the idea of different social roles in children’s dress. The notion of infant fashion as a cultural consumerism has been developed from infantile style culture and the process of infantile fashion design, which has been a precondition for the emergence of retail clothing, in which children were seen as the primary consumers. This process of infantile design has generated its specific vocabulary and included concepts such as sex and identity, or more recently, color, race, and identity.
Infant garments have to be loose fitting so that babies do not get a constrictive or tight feeling when wearing them. Clothes meant for babies have to be lightweight so that the skin is not easily damaged. When we use terms like “infant garment”, we imply that the clothes are worn by infants even before their third birthday. Infant garments differ from infant dresses because they are usually meant for very small children up to a minimum age of six months and even beyond. There is no clear-cut demarcation between infant dress and infant garment; however, the dress codes typically differentiate between infant frocks and shirts and baby suits and dresses.
Clothing for infants is categorized into different groups according to their sizes: babies’ outfits, day clothes, cribs and toddler suits, and sleepwear. Babies’ outfits generally cover the body from the wrist up to the ankles and are designed in a way that the feet are comfortable. Day clothes are usually white and can be used only when the child is awake. Cribs and toddler suits (commonly called “sleepwear”) are designed to cover the body from the wrists to the knees and are available in different sizes, colors, and patterns to suit varying needs. Sleepwear is required when the child sleeps at night and is most suitable for newborns, toddlers, and young children. Children’s sleepwear is generally made of light cotton, but can be washed if needed.
A newborn baby can be dressed in formal or casual clothing according to the occasion. A baby can be dressed formally for his/her first Christmas with a Victorian-style cot in crepe and velvet, or for his/her first Halloween with a ghost, princess, or fairy theme dress. For a slightly formal occasion like a wedding, a baby can wear a fitted white or pink dress with frills around the collar and sleeves. Infants can also choose a dress for his/her nine months onward that will help him grow into a bigger and more well-dressed little one.
Little ones like to dress up in cute little onesies, socks, booties, and t-shirts as well as in sweaters, fleece, and down and indoor-temperature layers. A small baby can have fun wearing clothing that has bright colors like pinks, blues, yellows, oranges, and other solid colors. He/she will enjoy wearing these clothing items until he/she is potty trained, at which time he/she can move on to adult clothing. Babies can be dressed in infant t-shirts, baby jeans, and baby sweatshirts with ribbons and bows.
Soft-sided and gender-neutral baby clothes are also available for newborns. These are soft-sided dresses that have either a boy or girl printed on them and are usually sleeveless. Babies can wear these gender-neutral babies clothing with a matching comforter or sheet set. Gender-neutral baby clothes are great choices because they won’t leave any parent wondering if their child is a boy or girl. Gender-neutral babies clothing has the benefit of being very comfortable for infants as well.