As parents, you can go any miles for the betterment of your child. The new parents seem the most obedient beings. They absorb all the information, shielding your baby from any harm. At all stages of parenthood, ranging from newborn to teenage and young adults, you will get advice about how to handle the kids. However, we particularly receive suggestions on taking care of the newborn kids. Many of these are based on multiple superstitions and beliefs. Making the baby wear black beads or a kala tikka(black dot) from kajal to protect from the evil eyes of others and general well being of the baby are some of these believes.
One such belief surrounds using second hand clothes for the new born baby instead of the shiny, new designer clothes. Our mothers and/or the beloved mother-in-laws are always on the toe when it comes to taking care of the new born. They have a bagful of suggestions and beliefs to protect the baby. Read below to know more about such beliefs as well as the scientific reasoning behind the use of second hand clothes for your baby:
Providing the newborn baby with used clothes for the initial period has deep roots in our culture. It is a custom practiced in few sects, and some say it will bring good luck to the newborn. These are ancient beliefs from the period when infant mortality was high. The birth period and post-natal period were a crucial time when due to lack of medical services, the health of the child and mother was possibly affected. Therefore, people waited for some time, till the survival of the baby is assured and then purchased new clothes and even named them. They believed that new articles attracted evil and bad luck from other people. This fuelled the tradition of using ‘hand-me-downs’ for the newborn!
Trotting to the rational viewpoint in this regard: The fabric of the new clothes may be treated with chemicals and other agents. Baby skin is special. This can be harsh for the extremely delicate skin of the new born baby. In addition to this, the new clothes may also have innumerable bacteria on them, in the due course from production to landing in your closet. Therefore, to protect the skin of the baby, it is advised to use second-hand clothes for the baby.
So the idea is to prevent damage to the baby’s skin, for which you may even wash the brand new clothes a couple of time and it should suffice.
Let’s have a look at the other advantages and disadvantages of wearing used clothes for the new born baby:
Babies outgrow their clothes very, very soon. In general baby clothes are not subjected to a lot of wear and tear and are used only for a few weeks before they are either packed away or put on sale. Hand-me-downs from someone from the family or a friend is even better as you know from where the clothes are coming from. Not only this, the below pointers will make you at least think again about using used baby clothes:
Apart from the fact that you may not like the idea that your baby is wearing a second hand or a hands-down dress, there are some other arguments which may prevent you from using used baby clothes for your newborn:
Most mothers want to but fresh, new and colorful clothes for the baby and dress them like dolls. This again can be an issue with using old baby clothes as mothers want to dress their babies in clothes of their own choice. A mix and match therapy could prove useful for this.
Our elders will probably save you or your husband’s baby clothes for your children. They may come forward with this little surprise for you on time. Usually, the hand me downs passes within the family. In case you do not want to take the efforts of buying new clothes and subject them to multiple washes you can buy second hand baby clothes in good condition. It is available in various online platforms, charity shops and specialized baby stores. However, you should wash the clothes thoroughly with a gentle soap and hot water to avoid any discomfort to the baby.
If you are buying baby clothes that have been used earlier, you need to be a little careful and check for buttons, zippers, clasps, pockets, belts, etc., to ensure that what you are buying is proper and you are not spending your money on something that needs lot of work later on. If something would require a lot of repair, it is better left as it is.
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