What is about young parents these days wanting to turn all their children into little mini me's? Whatever happened to those comfy, pure looking white babygros that were easy access for nappy changing, easy handles for picking your baby up with and easy outfits - chuck on a cardy over it and look like you made an effort?
No such thing in the baby wear department these days. Every outing is a fashion opportunity and as such should be treated with the type of precision planning normally given over to a military operation. Colour co-ordination is the first essential ingredient in baby wear. First, mum works out what she is going to wear then picks baby wear to match in colour. If she has any real taste she will also match the designer labels, unless she lives in Basildon then she will match up fake designer labels from down the market.
So, for arguments sake, let's suggest mum wants to wear her favourite pink track suit - an essential in the Essex girls wardrobe. Baby must be attired in pink baby wear from its vest to its socks to its designer t-shirt and pink headband. There's a strong possibility that this pattern may be broken up by a pair of designer jeans but only if they have dolce and gabbanna emblazoned in outsize lettering across them. Of course, if they are jeans from Basildon market they may well say golce and dabbanna but what the hell, no one will notice.
The fact that the baby may be a boy simply doesn't merit consideration. It's quite fashionable for boys to be wearing pink these days, what with equality and being in touch with their feminine side.
Footwear is an essential item now for babies from birth upwards and don't even think about those soft little booties that just kept their little tootsies warm. Basildon mums are setting a trend for their mini me's to wear designer training shoes and boots despite being at least a year from walking and despite the fact that their little feet need room to grow and develop. Still, they have to learn fashion over function at some point and it may as well be now.
On top of the designer baby wear there simply must be jewellery. No baby worth their weight would be seen out in their Gucci pushchair without gold hoop Essex girl earrings, gold bangle and gold chain. Chavs in training is what they are called and their parents are just so proud!
I once saw a picture of a celebrity mum out with her baby in the mini me ensemble and it just looked pitiful and a little scary! There was mum dressed head to toe in Burberry, carrying a Burberry umbrella, pushing a Burberry buggy that came with matching blankets and bag. And there was baby, in true Burberry outfit including hat and scarf. The whole thing looked like a walking Highland fling and made the mother look like she had no mind of her own. Still, I'm quite sure her baby will grow up with no hang ups about fitting in with the crowd!
This is a worrying trend for parents to get their babies into. First we have the fact of restricted growth from unnecessary shoes to the lack of comfort factor from a baby being stuck in jeans and jewellery all day. There is also the possibility that a baby, particularly a Basildon baby in genuine designer gear, is quite worth nicking these days. Imagine how much you would get on eBay for a baby completely kitted out in an outfit ready for their first showing in the high street to any other passing parent that may get jealous that they also can't make their baby a laughing stock?
Parenting expert Catherine Harvey looks at how many parents are turning their children into miniature versions of themselves through the use of baby wear as fasion accessories for themselves.