Childrearing

Not Having To Wear Pants Is One Of The Big Perks Of Being A Baby, So Don’t Try To Take It Away From Them

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babies-in-diapersNobody wants to wear pants; wearing pants just one of those things we have to do when we are grown-ups living in society. We pay taxes. We wear pants. And even when it’s hot out, we have to wear more than just underwear. One of the few times in life when it is OK to run around outside without any clothes on is when one is a baby. That’s one of the big perks of being an infant, so it’s not fair for grown-ups to butt in and try to take it away from them.

Yesterday a very level-headed and logical friend sent me a link to an online rant that had annoyed her deeply. I love a good rant, but this one was about how all us terrible moms out there had better not let our babies run around in diapers, even when it’s over 100 degrees outside.

“This is one of those things that drive me crazy,” says Baby Center writer Denise Cortes. “I see it everywhere. Babies wearing nothing but a diaper. Naked babies at the park. Naked babies at Trader Joe’s. Naked babies at Walmart. Naked babies at church.”

That sounds pretty cute to me, and I’m pretty sure Anne Geddes is living in a palace right now because that sort of thing is cute to a lot of people. Babies romping around the playground in just their diapers might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but assuming a good sunblock has been properly applied, nobody is getting hurt when a baby runs around in a diaper.

And you never know why the baby is wearing just a diaper, anyway. Maybe it’s too hot. Maybe there was a diaper situation. Maybe the onesie was red and there have been rumors of a wild bull rampaging through the countryside. Maybe the mother is trying to be the next Anne Geddes and wants some good playground photos for her portfolio. Either way, the kid is fine.

People spend too much time policing babies’ outfits. The other day someone came up to complain at me because my baby’s socks did not match. I thought that was pretty ridiculous, because she is a baby. The fact that she had socks on at all was basically a miracle. And the reason her socks did not match is that at some point during our trip she pulled one off and threw it out of the stroller. By the time I noticed, it was gone forever. Luckily, she had done that often enough that there was a random sock floating in my bag, so I just stuck that on the naked foot and went about my day assuming nobody would notice. Boy, was I wrong.

“A good rule of thumb is to add an additional layer of clothing than what you are wearing,” Cortes points out as she exhorts the parents of the world to avoid letting their babies run around in underwear. I’ve heard the same thing, but the version I heard is that your baby should wear one layer more than whatever you are comfortable wearing. The past week, I have not been comfortable in any number of layers at all. If I am naked and still uncomfortably hot, I think the baby gets a pass. That’s the dream, right? We want our children to have all the opportunities we don’t have. Right now, I don’t want to have to wear pants.

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