Baby fashion in China
I’ve never been one of those persons who love babies, drool over them and want to hold every baby on sight. To be honest, I never cared about babies and I had only held a baby once before having my own (that baby was my friend’s and she started crying as soon as I touched her). However, I’ve always thought that baby clothes are impossibly cute. That is, until I came to China and witnessed their baby clothes… It’s time for another one of my “OMG what were they thinking?” lists!
– Split pants
Absolutely every western person who comes to China and sees this finds it hilarious. Traditionally, babies in China are potty trained very early: their caregivers (normally their grandmas) hold them in a squatting position and whistle, and babies learn to pee and poo when they hear that whistle. Because of this, they stop wearing diapers quite young and, to facilitate a fast positioning and evacuation of number 1s and 2s, they wear pants that are open in the crotch and leave their privates exposed for everyone to see.
I had warned my MIL that there was no way in hell my baby was going to wear split pants, so when she brought a bag of second hand clothes from C.’s cousin’s baby, I picked out all the split pants. Later my MIL bought some pants in a Chinese store and they are not split, but I can see that the sewing in the crotch is different and simpler than the sides so you can easily cut it open if you want. This way the pants become split but the “hole” is not big and round like the one in the picture so it’s more discreet.
– Extremely ugly designs and patterns
Whenever I pass by a Chinese brick and mortar baby/children clothing store I become so depressed. The designs are so incredibly ugly, with random English words here and there, colours that don’t match, two piece outfits that look like pyjamas but are supposed to be worn during the day, polyester princess dresses and endless frills for girls… “Lucky me”, one of C.’s friends brought us a box with Chinese style baby clothes. They are too big for now so Baby A. has not worn them yet, but I have already decided he will use them as a pyjamas. There is no way my baby is going outside in these:
– More layers than an onion
As I’ve mentioned several times in this blog, Chinese people believe cold is the number 1 cause of death. Cold, that silent killer! Babies are especially vulnerable because, well, they are small (never mind that babies are actually little furnaces). So they have to wear clothes upon clothes until they cannot even move and their little cheeks are bright red because they are boiling inside. Also, even if it isn’t cold outside yet, if the lunar calendar says autumn has started, then you have to start layering up.
– Back bib
This is related to the previous point. Because babies and children are forced to wear so many layers of clothes, they often sweat a lot. Enter the back bib! It is a piece of cloth that is placed on the child’s upper back, between the skin and the clothes, to absorb sweat. It even has a cute end that sticks out. Why remove an obviously not needed layer of clothing when you can use a back bib?!
– Caterpillar shoes
These ones are mostly fine, I guess, and I suppose they are comfy and convenient because there is no need to worry about laces. But they annoy me anyway because absolutely every child in China owns a pair of these shoes!! They are everywhere!! It’s like a caterpillar plague!!
Ok, this is not something that Chinese babies wear every day, but it’s something that is given as a gift for newborns: gold bracelets and pendants. They bring good luck or protection against evil spirits, I guess, and are supposed to be worn at the very least on the baby’s one month or 100 days banquet. I received like 7 or 8 of these gold things. Am I supposed to have Baby A. wear all of them at the same time on his 100 days banquet? And what do I do with them later? Well, looking at the bright side, I can sell all this gold in the next economic crisis if need be…
Bonus: shaved heads
This is not a piece of clothing/accessory but, like the caterpillar shoes, it is widely seen: many Chinese people still believe that if you shave a baby’s head, their hair will grow thicker and stronger. I say “still” because this was believed in Spain before too. Therefore, most Chinese babies, both boys and girls, have their heads shaved around the 3 months mark. Will I shave Baby A.’s hair? I guess you know the answer…
What do you think of these baby items? Is there any particular baby fashion trend in your country?
More posts about clothes and fashion in China here.