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The NINA Onesie: Zips and mittens please!

Looking for baby clothes with zippers? With built in mittens? Without buttons? Baby clothes without tags? Without words?

The Onesie was the first item we started working on for this collection. We knew it was the most reached for item in a newborn’s wardrobe. We set out to perfect it. We interrogated other onesies. We got suggestions and feedback from lots of parents. Our first version was good-ish. We made tweaks. And here we are.

We knew we had the fabric spot on. Organic, Peruvian Pima cotton. Indisputably softer, longer lasting and more resistant to bobbling after washing. This makes for luxury baby clothes that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Read more about why this cotton is so brilliant here.

How else could we make the best onesie for newborns?

The zip vs buttons debate

The faithful zip is the winner. It goes down, then it comes up. Making all those changes easier, especially for new parents with newborns. No poppers/buttons/snaps on NINA onesies. And when it’s up, it has a little hood to cover it up and prevent it from digging into your baby’s chin.

Some amazing things we read online when deliberating over zips vs buttons:

  • "The few we did have with zips were awesome. So so handy, especially in the middle of the night when trying to wrangle a tiny octopus into their clothes."

  • "The dreaded poppers on baby clothes!"

  • "Life is uncomfortable enough when you're a baby - let them be in a onesie all day like we all want to be."
  • "For some wise parents, poppers are just something found at a 90's rave or in the gay community. They instead opt for zipped sleepsuits, which can make life a lot easier."

    It wasn’t a foregone conclusion to go with zips. In fact, our very first version of the onesie did indeed have poppers. But after much testing and discussing with parents, zips won.

    Built-in mittens to protect baby's skin

    Designed with baby’s skin and sleep in mind, our built-in mittens mean less itching and less accidental catching of their faces with their nails. So less scratches and more sleeping. A lot of the time we simply call them anti-scratch mitts.  It’s a small touch but can make the world of difference.

    Because our onesies are made with only natural and organic Peruvian Pima cotton, they are already extra breathable, hypoallergenic, and naturally temperature-regulating.

    Built-in mittens have another purpose too which is keeping your baby warm. According to the experts at Stanford Children’s Health, babies struggle to adapt to different temperatures – they can lose heat nearly 4x faster than adults. When they’re cold they use extra energy and oxygen. Which is why it’s important to keep your baby at a decent temperature, neither too hot nor too cold. A short but sweet article we recommend reading.

    And did we say they’re built-in? Your baby will not be able to pull them off, unlike standalone mittens.

    Timeless baby clothes without words

    Our ‘Elevated Essentials’ collection features plain baby clothes in a range of timeless and stylish colours. We discovered that prints and other design features don’t just detract from the soft material but can also reduce the quality and softness of the clothes. Especially if it’s a plastic-based slogan or print that is essentially glued onto the fabric.

    Not only that, but prints and slogans are susceptible to short-term trends – NINA baby clothes are designed to be timeless. No seasons here. To be honest, as outsiders to the fashion industry, I struggle to understand how fashion companies work in this way, churning out new designs every few months. Just one of the mad and unsustainable things about the fashion industry.

    We wanted to really emphasise how soft organic Peruvian Pima cotton was. We don’t give enough attention to our choice of fabrics and why this is an important choice, for sustainability and for baby’s skin. Organic Peruvian Pima cotton is one of the finest fabrics, ideal for our precious newborns.

    We don’t love plastic, but we do love embroidery. Something about how handmade and thoughtful it feels. Our first version of the NINA onesie had embroidery across the front chest. “Let’s go kiddo” it said, simple and stylish, with some distinctive swirliness. It was lovely…

    But we’ve got the circular economy in mind. This is the perfect cotton to be recycled. I don’t mean to be handed down to your second child or your goddaughter or your nephew (though our clothes are designed to be loved for a long old time, and passed on to others to love just as much). I mean the mechanical process of breaking down old onesies and using the fabric to make brand new onesies. This is great for sustainability as it avoids making new clothes from scratch.

    The technology of cotton recycling is in relative infancy. We know that it requires high quality materials for it to work successfully. This is why Peruvian Pima cotton is the ideal cotton for a sustainable future as it is la crème de la crème of cotton. Its cotton fibres are longer than most others, meaning it can withstand the heavy machinery impact of recycling more than other materials. This is durability at a whole other level!

    It’s also why we’ve chosen to go with plain baby clothes for our first collection - they’re much easier to recycle since they don’t require any upfront work to remove designs.

    Baby clothes without tags (too tickly)

    Labels are pretty annoying. Tickly tags.

    You’ll notice that we don’t have these little pokey-outey tags (albeit sometimes silky) in the inside of NINA baby clothes. They’re another potential cause for irritation. We fancied avoiding this.

    Baby’s skin is up to 5x thinner than adults’ skin. It’s therefore more sensitive to its environment and so more susceptible to irritation. About 20% of babies have eczema (most do grow out of eczema as they grow up). We decided to err on the side of caution and go with baby clothes without tags.

    We still have the same information for you but printed on the inside of the fabric – much kinder to skin and more comfortable for babies.

    Check out the NINA onesie here.