New parents or friends and family of new parents might notice the term “onesie” on baby supply lists and registries. These baby clothing items come in all different colors and patterns. Some have long sleeves, some have short sleeves, and some have no sleeves at all!
These options might be overwhelming if you’ve never purchased a onesie before. And if you’re not a parent yourself, you might wonder — why should I buy these for the new baby? What about those cute matching shirts and leggings?
Here is everything you need to know about onesies and why they’re the best choice for newborns and infants:
What is a onesie, and why are they great for babies? Can’t onesies be for older children and adults too? And where did the concept of a onesie even come from?
A onesie is technically a one-piece garment. If you hear the term onesie used for a piece of clothing for older children and adults, it is most likely referring to something like footy pajamas. Note that pajama-style onesies typically don’t have attached feet like the nostalgia pajamas for adults.
An adult onesie could also be a jumpsuit or a romper. But most often, people will say “jumpsuit” rather than “adult onesie” when referring to one-piece garments for adults. Additionally, onesies might suggest a loungewear garment, while jumpsuits can be high-fashion or work-appropriate, depending on the style.
Still, we most often say “onesie” when talking about the piece of clothing for babies that snaps underneath their diapers. A baby onesie can also have full arms and legs. This distinguishes it from a onesie bodysuit… but that’s not the only difference.
Let’s look at the difference between onesies and bodysuits:
Onesies vs. Bodysuits
All bodysuits are onesies, but not all onesies are bodysuits. Here are the major differences:
- A onesie can be loose, but a bodysuit is normally more fitted to the baby’s body.
- A onesie can have arms and legs, while a bodysuit only comes down to button around the baby’s diaper. A bodysuit can also have short sleeves, long sleeves, or be sleeveless. The key factor that makes it different from other onesies is that it is legless.
- Bodysuits are more stretchy and made from soft, comfy material, while onesies can be more loose-fitting and made from all different types of material. For example, onesies designed for cozy sleepwear might be made of fleece instead of a cotton blend.
Even though onesies can be different from bodysuits, when people talk about onesies, they are often imagining the classic infant bodysuit. “Onesie” has now become the common term for the infant bodysuit.
Why Do Babies Wear Onesies?
Babies wear onesies because they are comfortable for kiddos and easy to use for parents. Onesies make it easy for parents to change their little ones’ diapers.
Onesies are generally more comfortable than infant formalwear or heavily structured pieces. For example, Tabeeze are 100% GOTS Certified Organic. Such garments are extra-gentle, non-irritating, and feel soothing to sensitive skin.
Since baby bodysuits are usually made with a light, breathable material, they can be an outfit on their own in warm weather. But they can also be a great first layer for your baby’s outfit in cold weather. A onesie ensures that your baby’s skin stays protected and warm, even if those outer layers are separate pieces.
Certain onesies may also be worn as daywear or sleepwear. They are comfortable for the baby in the daytime and through the night. Some options are interchangeable.
Onesies and Diaper Changes: Make It a Breeze
Best of all — onesies like the Tabeeze Bottom-Up Baby Bodysuit are the easiest way to access and change your baby’s diaper. Since it simply snaps at the shoulders and the crotch, when your baby has a messy diaper, all you have to do is unbutton the top. Instead of trying to pull a traditional onesie over the head or deal with pants, the Tabeeze Bodysuit shimmies down feet first.
Are Onesies Better Than T-Shirts?
If onesies make it easy to change a baby’s diaper, wouldn’t a t-shirt make it even easier?
The problem with dressing your baby in only a t-shirt is that it doesn’t give as much protection. If a diaper blowout happens, a onesie protects your furniture and clothes from the blowout. A t-shirt doesn’t provide that layer of protection between a blowout and the baby’s surroundings.
Another issue with using t-shirts instead of onesies is when your baby is older, they will start playing with the tabs of their diaper and may even try to take them off to run around in only their skin as their suit. While this can be very cute, once again, there’s no protection between the baby and the furniture if they have an accident.
Where Did Onesies Come From?
Who came up with the idea of onesies for baby clothes in the first place? The onesie has an interesting history that dates back to the 1800s. It originally started as an undergarment and sleepwear piece for adults and evolved to be most commonly used on infants.
The first documented patented design for a onesie is the union suit. The union suit was part of the dress reform movement during the Victorian Era.
Essentially, the union suit was a one-piece underwear garment that gave women an alternative to corsets and bustiers. Eventually, it became popular for men and children as well.
Later, in the 1950s, a man named Walter Artzt invented “Babygro.” He trademarked the name for his one-piece sleeper that had snaps to make diaper changing easier. This is the first one-piece that most closely resembles what we now know as the baby bodysuit!
Around the same time that Walter Artzt made his brilliant innovation, Winston Churchill was making fashion statements of his own with the siren suit.
What is a siren suit? Well, it’s a one-piece outfit that Churchill popularized. He may have been inspired by the boiler suits that working-class men had been wearing since the Industrial Revolution.
His were not working coveralls, though. Churchill commissioned stylish one-pieces as loungewear, but they have been nicknamed siren suits because he could quickly pull them on in the event of an air raid during World War II.
Gerber and the “Onesie”
Later in the 1980s, the company Gerber trademarked the name “onesie.” However, we now use that term to refer to all one-piece bodysuits for infants and sometimes even adults, whether or not it’s made by the Gerber brand name.
How To Choose Onesies for Your Baby
While there are plenty of onesies out there, how do you know which one to choose for your baby?
Here are some things to look for when choosing a high-quality onesie for your little one:
- Comfortable: The onesie should be comfy and cozy. Look for onesies that are made with soft and natural cotton fabrics. For example, the Tabeeze Bottom-Up Baby Bodysuit is nickel-free, phthalates-free, and solvent-free, and it’s 100% GOTS Certified Organic.
- Convenient: Onesies make dressing your baby and changing diapers easy and convenient. Tabeeze designed a onesie that makes it possible to dress your baby from the bottom up. The shoulder flaps are fumble-free, so you can spend less time dressing your baby and more time snuggling.