The Baby Bikini Debate

How do you feel about the baby bikini?

Summer is fast approaching.  Well maybe not but when you have a little one growing like a bean stock everything is fast approaching.   Darling Daddy has even commented on how excited he is for this year, and all the new things we can do with Amelie this time around since it is our first summer with her being truly active.

So looking ahead at summertime activities and the first thing that comes to mind is swimming at Papa, Abuelos and Grandpa’s pool.  I am immediately shopping for her next bathing suit and come across the most adorable two pieces, or more specifically the Babi-kini..  Yes bikini’s for babies.  But here is the drama, there is a lot of buzz around this tiny two pieces.  I wasn’t quite sure how I felt initially, so I googled a little more, just to see what the opinions were out there and well, you either love them or hate them.  As for those who are the later they have very strong opinions about the exploitation of young children.  Now if you don’t believe me here is one of the more extreme stances I came across

“It is hoped that parents will understand that ‘baby bikinis’ are totally inappropriate and that they contribute to the sexualization and commercialization of childhood. We should not be compromising the sanctity of our children’s early years.”

Images from Babikini.com also featured on Zulily.com

Yikes, that seems a little extreme, in my humble opinion.  After all we are talking about babies here.   Even still it is a bit of a gray area and I am on one side of a very fine line.    I truly don’t see the harm in a baby sporting a bikini at the beach or pool, which is so obviously exaggerated it is plain cute in its ridiculousness.   Lets be real, our babies were in diapers or naked plenty of time in their first 12 months.  Not only that but it is already completely acceptable to adorn our infants and tots in oversized headbands or strings of pears for timeless photo keepsakes.   No one seems to have a problem with that so why would a bikini be much different? After all they are all just props to play up the cuteness, and nothing more.  When I see my child or any other, nothing but adorable and sweet innocence floods my mind.   I cannot say that if I see a one or two-year old in a small two piece that I am envisioning Toddlers Gone Wild.  

But here is the other side of that fine line…once a child becomes a certain young age and even develops a sense of self-awareness then I definitely find it inappropriate and actually cringe a little.   Id say I would be comfortable up to three years old.   After that I couldn’t even fathom putting Amelie in bikinis, or popular dance or pageant competitions complete with fake eyelashes and Mac makeup.  That to me is inappropriate and where I draw the line because at that point it is no longer innocent, but has become provocative.  <insert above quote here>

So to sum it up, I think these little bikinis are totally adorable to an extent, and to me Amelie would be just as sweet as she was wearing nothing but her pink lemonade Tutu on her 1st Birthday party.  With that said, I do have some rules: 1. No slogans, icons or logos on the butt, or top.  2. Full bottom for diaper coverage  3.  She can pull it off for this summer, maaaybe next.

Here are some more conversations on this topic.

So that is my take on it for now.   I am curious as to what my friends, fellow Moms, and peers think.  Do you agree or disagree?

5 thoughts on “The Baby Bikini Debate

  1. This is a sticky topic. And because I have a boy, I won’t be facing this same issue anytime soon. But I still wanted to comment because I had a reaction to the photos you posted that surprised me.

    I’ve seen plenty of baby bikinis and I remember wearing two piece bathing suits when I was little. But those were more like little sports bra style ones or little tankinis. Essentially, the same coverage as a one piece suit, but with some of the middle showing as well.

    I don’t see anything particularly offensive about any body parts, but the way others see them is what concerns me. If some perv finds a toddler’s belly button to be anything other than innocent, then that is their disgusting problem.

    The pictures i see here are of string bikinis with triangle tops. And those are different – to me. My first thought was “what are those triangles even covering?” Well… Nothing at this age. But that type of bikini is designed to show a lot of skin. I remember getting one as a teenager and thinking it was pretty revealing and therefore, more sexy. The sports bra type did not seem sexy to me. it’s more discreet.

    So… If I someday have a little girl, I don’t think I would have any issues with putting her in a cute little two piece bikini. But I personally would not want to see my baby girl in a string bikini.

  2. I’m with Laura on this. I love the idea of the bikini but I think with the sports bra style, there is less risk of accidental slippage which we ladies have all experienced at one point or another. I do think that having her wear a bikini will help with her self esteem though! It gets her comfortable with her own body early on which is important.

  3. Good point, you never know who is looking. Keep in mind IM speaking in context of swimming at my grandfathers house, Amelie’s Abuelo’s house, my dad’s pool or our backyard. At a year and a half there are no boobies. She currently has one tankini and a one piece. Sometimes I let her play in her diaper and swimming diaper cover only which I saw at my community pool all the time growing up.
    There is always a threat, no matter what they are wearing. I refuse to modify every innocent thing I do to prevent the probable factor. When it comes to toddlers or young girls its a very different story. Im only referring to this summer and wouldn’t pursue it after that.
    We photographed amelie smashing her birthday cake in her tutu…no top. Everyone loved it. If I become over protective I ruin the fun and innocence. I am well aware of the dangers and being protective by who we are around and where we are with our baby, including who is registered in our neighborhood.

    • I actually prefer the idea of just a diaper and no top rather than a triangle bikini. Im not even sure why. I think I just see the string bikini as suggestive maybe? I think it’s very important to teach children to be comfortable in their own skin and not be ashamed of their body parts. So it’s just finding the appropriate approach to each situation. We are starting swimming lessons tomorrow and I was wondering what my little boy should wear. Turns out he has an adorable pair of hand me down swimming trunks to wear over his swim diaper. But if I hadn’t found them then it would’ve been just a diaper. Im interested to see how the other babies will be dressed. But above all else, I hope everyone has a blast – that’s what’s important 🙂

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