When it comes to all things baby, there are two opposing camps. One is like a rainbow implosion of a theme park – obnoxiously bright and busy to the point of garishness because the consensus among both child development psychologists and paediatricians is that colours, shapes, and patterns can encourage a baby’s development.

However, in recent years, a muted trend has dominated social media feeds and favoured by modern millennial (and younger) #aestheticMums like Kylie Jenner. Think neutral-coloured baby gear (like oatmeal bonnets and taupe onesies) and earth-toned nurseries and toys (like sand-coloured stacking cups). 

Comedy writer, Hayley DeRoche, coins this “sad beige parenting” and “sad baby clothes for sad beige children”. Her funny satirical videos mocking the austere baby items in marketing campaigns featuring children with equally dour expressions (versus happy looking little ones) quickly went viral, spurring other hashtags like “sadbeigemum” and “sadbeigebaby”.  

Harsh critics of the less-than-colourful trend have deemed it “poverty cosplay” even, since these less-than-colourful baby items spotted in these perfectly curated nurseries of minimalist calm also spot heftier price tags and aren’t affordable for the average parent. While they may suit parents who cling on to their minimalist aesthetic, refusing to let their homes resemble a daycare creche or a bouncy ball castle, it begets the question: Are they optimised for babies and are they fun and cheery for the child? 

We’ve rounded up some must-have baby items with form and function (extra brownie points for baby gear that double up on duty or can grow with a child even), that strike a balance between what’s optimal and needed for the little one, and what’s tasteful, classy, and stylish for the pickiest grownups.  

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