But as I peek into my closet, I realize that a lot of my clothes don’t work anymore with the lifestyle of a stay-at-home mom who has her baby with her all day. I didn’t anticipate how much I had to think about before putting on an outfit.
Let me give you a run down of what I have to consider when dressing up, especially during baby’s first year or so. You might find it helpful.
- Neckline. You’ll stoop down to pick baby up from the stroller or pick up toys from the floor and you’ll be too busy to watch your neckline. And imagine when baby starts pulling on things including your shirt…
- Material. No more wool, lace or anything itchy -- baby’s face will be resting on it, and you won’t want to irritate that sensitive skin.
- Details. Avoid tops with sequins, beads, small buttons or tiny pieces. If they come off with baby’s rigorous pulling, these could be a choking hazard, not to mention a pain to pick up from the floor. Be careful of zippers, too. They could scratch baby’s delicate face.
- Nursing. You don’t have to be confined to v-necks, button downs, or nursing tanks. Do consider how you want to nurse – from the top or bottom of your clothes. If you choose bottom, then long tunics won’t work.
- Hemline. It can be difficult to watch your hemline too, so mini skirts that flow with the wind pose a flashing danger.
- Restriction. As always, pants do a great job of giving you freedom to bend down and run around. Pencil skirts, not so much.
- Height. Good luck holding a wiggly 20-pounder wearing 3-inch heels. I suggest going with nothing more than 2 ½ inches or you’ll risk hurting your ankles, or -- much worse -- your baby, if you do trip. Besides, trendy flats are now a great excuse to not wear heels, even if you’re vertically challenged like me. So find a good place to keep your 4-inch heels for now.
- Stability. Clearly, stilettos need to stay in the closet, too - at least for now. Thank goodness for Cuban heels and wedges to give us more stylish options.
- Goodbye necklaces. Before babies are old enough to put them in their mouths or pull the chain off, these may scratch or put a funny mark on their tiny faces when they rest on your neck. Try colorful scarves instead, or go bare-neck and find other accessories.
- Studs. These are safer than danglings, both for baby and for you (no risk of torn earlobes).
- Sharp edges. Watch for them on watches, bracelets and rings. So give that chunky engagement ring you used to wear a rest for now, else you risk scratching baby with it.
Hair and Makeup
- Goodbye lipgloss. Even if you plan not to kiss baby’s face with your sticky gloss on, your little one can rub his or her face on your lips. But don’t give up your lip balm.
- Hair Length. If you’re like me who can’t make the short mommy haircut work, you can try wearing your hair up in a ponytail and covering it up with a few strands, or using fun clips to do a nice up-do. The point is to keep your hair off your shoulders and off your baby’s face.
- Bangs. You don’t want to keep brushing them off your face to see where you’re going, so it’s a good idea to keep them pinned with cute clips and fashionable headbands or securely tucked-behind your ears.
- Carry alls. If you can cram all of baby’s stuff into a chic carry-all purse with lots of pockets and still have room for your own essentials, good for you (seriously, this is possible). Otherwise, grab one of those stylish diaper bags that serve the same purpose.
- Alternate diaper bag. Have another one that’s neutral enough for either sex for when daddy comes with you. This way, you can alternate holding the bag without emasculating him.
- Quick transfers. It could be a pain to transfer stuff from one bag to the other (trust me, especially when in a rush), so I found that putting all my necessities in a wristlet/pouch is particularly helpful for quick diaper bag changes.
I never thought it could be this challenging to dress up now that I'm a mom. But, despite all these limitations, it’s not entirely impossible to feel comfortable yet still put together – even hot! All we really need is a little planning and creativity, and we can keep our sweats in the closet. Go hot mommas!