How to dress your baby and save money - another not-a-Mommy-blogger post

I saw a baby dressed in designer jeans and posh trainers today.  It was about an hour old.  In fact, I swear I could see the umbilical cord poking out from under its Stella McCartney shirt, still purple and throbbing.

Either I'm well out of date on the way foetuses develop in the womb these days (like, fully dressed for partying, Jimmy Choo shoes included, and definitely about to make its mummy need a metre-long episiotomy) or that baby was put into grown-up clothes and taught to say 'Mwah, mwah, dahling you look MARvellous' and sip Chardonnay and eat canapes with one hand before it had its first breastfeed or chance to fill a nappy with a tarry substance sufficient to surface the M25.

Here is a picture of what my babies used to wear when I was a mummy/mommy way back. After all, covering a baby up is really just about keeping them warm, for heaven's sake.  No need for FUSS.

We had things in perspective in the 1980s.  And, without so much kitchen technology as you all have now, we didn't have so much time to spare.  So, while we were wrapping the chicken for the oven, we multitasked and wrapped the baby, too.  Job done.

We just had to be very careful about which one went in to roast.  Finding a raw chicken in the pram, just when one's boobies were as leaky as a disgruntled civil servant, would have been most inconvenient.

Okay, I exaggerate, I admit it.  But the truth isn't much better.  This is what my babies really wore.

Yeah, yeah, you preferred the foil.  I see your point.

A friend of mine still mocks me for the fact that my babies lived in sleepsuits, or, as they were called, Babygros, until they were about three when I reluctantly bought something radically different, say, a cream one rather than white, or one with buttons instead of poppers.

Anyway, let me tell you, 'Babygro' is a misnomer, because I had my babies in them day and night for years, and they didn't grow an inch.  Yeah, sure, the poppers strained a bit, and the sleeves looked a bit short, and the kids' feet turned in on themselves somewhat, but the babies didn't get any bigger.  I thought of writing to the Babygro suppliers under the Trades Descriptions Act, but I was so busy taking the kids to their hospital appointments with the Growth Specialist I didn't have time to pen the letter.

Turns out it wasn't their hormones after all.


Back to the tin foil it was, then.  I should have known better than to listen to people who said they needed to be in 'proper clothes'.  I found the giant catering packs of foil did the job very well until the kids were teenagers, and their limbs straightened out a little, but then they rightly pointed out that it was no good shouting up the stairs and telling them to STOP MAKING SO MUCH NOISE when we'd dressed them in stuff which crackled if they moved an inch.  Fair point.  We stopped complaining about the noise.

Now they've left home (they all went pretty early - I reckon that was to do with teaching them to be independent, though I hate to brag) I miss those morning sessions wrapping them up in the kitchen foil and putting their rucksacks on their backs for them and seeing them off on the school bus.  There was talk of bullying and teasing, but you know how kids are.  They blow things up out of all proportion.

Anyway, modern mummies and mommies and daddies and doddies.  Take a lesson from an experienced old hand and save yourself some cash.

PS  Foil, right?  Foil, not cling film.  What? You want the kids to look like idiots or what?


  1. I love your methodologies.......foil garments means you can wipe drools and dribbles right off with a sponge.


    Why doesn't this catch on?......I might even try it on myself next time I make spaghetti.

  2. I feel I must point out that , without a layer of goose fat of at least an eighth of a centimeter thick on the baby's chest , less than three layers of foil will not keep the baby sufficiently warm in the winter months .
    And don't forget to double wrap children's ears on frosty mornings .

  3. Fran, are you asking people to spend actual money on babies? Have you seen the price of tinfoil recently?

    On the other hand, once you've wiped the doodoos off, you could still use it for roasting chickens. Provided you ironed it flat again, of course. But what would baby wear while the chicken was roasting?

    I hear cat litter trays can be quite useful.

  4. Wouldn't have worked in Scotland - the sun would have reflected off the foil and the baby would have got cold.

    Thistledown, that's what we wrap our babies in here. Soft and warm. A bit tickly but you can't have everything.

  5. Not to mention the reflective quality. Safer for little snookums at the school crossing!

  6. My kids pretty much lived in sleepers and 'onesies'. I can't imagine spending ridiculous amounts of money on stuff they'll outgrow before it even has a chance to be worn out!

  7. I once saw a baby boy dressed in a leather biker jacket and pants. I just about puked.

  8. will the grandchildren wear foil in a family tradition? Post pictures please!

  9. Ewwwgh. Cling film? The mind boggles at the squishing...

  10. We swear by babygros (they're our favourite expletive). The only way my kids will ever have designer labels is they go out to work and buy them themselves. And if they do that I'm putting up the rent.

  11. I hate to admit this sad secret, when I was a very young mummy many years a go I made matching mother daughter outfits and thought we looked soo cute. No way would I have dressed us in matching foil or cling film outfits.
    Foil tears too easily and cling film a bit too see through, I was very modest in those days.
    As for designer clothes-not yet invented.

  12. Dear Missed Fran,
    I guffawed at the tin foil and tittered through the rest of this. Glad to see you're still in such fine form.
    xo Me

  13. If you combine the tin foil and the babygro you could use the baby to infiltrate NASA. After that, I'm out of ideas.

  14. I hope all new mummies/mommies pay heed. I think you were on to something:-)

  15. I always though the point of babygros was that they were telling the baby: "grow baby grow!" I'm disappointed that it didn't work. Not that I've ever been a mother. Well, not that I know of, anyway.

    One thing though, is it better to wrap a baby with the shiny side out or in....?

  16. Lo - please post a picture of yourself cooking spaghetti dressed in foil.

    SmitandSon - yes, goose fat a good idea. Makes babies slippy, though, so people should be extra careful.

    Friko - while the chicken is roasting, baby can be put in the top oven to keep warm. Simple.

    Isabelle - I swear the jumpers my mum used to knit me were made of thistledown.

    June - 'snookums' is a great word.

    Jemi - Amen to that. Why waste money on kids that is needed for chocolate and wine?

    Karen - black leather jacket? No way. Was he a Hell's Angels baby?

    Nana - the grandchildren will be kept in large plastic containers. Foil is so last year.

    Jenny - easier to tell when the nappy needs changing, though. Or just do without the nappy. Even easier to tell.

    Steve - that's the attitude. You will go far.

    Linens and Royals - I think your kids lost out by not being dressed in foil matching outfits. You have not given them the full childhood humiliation experience.

    Deborah - thank you for guffawing and tittering. Most gratifying.

    Stan - that idea is quite sufficient, thank you.

    Lane - what they don't learn here, they won't learn anywhere.

    Val - I always thought they were like 'grow-bags' into which you plant tomatoes, that kind of thing. And definitely shiny side out. Wouldn't like to be accused to not showing the kids off.

  17. WHen my daughter was born, a friend sent a full designer Burberry outfit, including trousers, a jacket and a jaunty hat. For a two-week old sproglet. Foil would have been far more practical.

  18. Annie - That's a full-on outfit. Try to change the nappy, and you soon find out why it's impractical ...

  19. I'm very glad I wasn't reading this in the library. Gave me a good giggle

  20. I bet it did, Japanese Student. Do you remember your babygros? You were probably in them until your late teens ...


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