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Old 11-12-2012, 05:49 PM   #1
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Finding gender neutral products?

I'm a little new to this since my oldest is only 18 months. But how do you find gender neutral products? Several times I've been looking for something only to be stuck with 2 choices: blue with cars or pink with princesses. Bath soap, electric tooth brushes, even bandaids. I'm not even going to get into clothes. I'm not sure how I'll feel about it when she's a little bit older and has a preference, so I'd love to hear from people that have BTDT already.

I guess gender neutral parenting can be done in many ways. I just strive to avoid stereotypes and be open-minded as baby figures out their identity. But I'm finding so many products that are only available in a very girl or very boy version. I'm loving Ikea - most items work well for either

This article more or less sums up my approach:
http://news.yahoo.com/common-sense-g...173800492.html

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Old 11-12-2012, 06:02 PM   #2
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Re: Finding gender neutral products?

My daughter is a month younger than yours and I feel your pain so badly. I had thought about only buying "boys" stuff, on the grounds that trucks don't have penises any more than flowers have vaginas. But I find I resent that too.

My strategy thus far has been to boycott products that blatantly appeal to gender stereotypes. The sad thing is that most gender neutral stuff I've found is organicky and not marketed to children, with ecru, natural, earthy tones that I also find boring and uninspiring. The holy grail for me are products in primary colours, blacks and whites. IKEA's good for that.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:10 PM   #3
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Re: Finding gender neutral products?

Yep I feel you! My DS is 3.5 and we had to go buy a bike helmet for his preschool last night. Well he is currently obsessed with The Little Mermaid. He reads the book 50X a day and watches the movie as often as we'll let him. So of course we get to Target and the only options for boys in his size are Spiderman and Cars. He's never watched either and doesn't like either. So those were out. He zeroed in on the Disney Princesses because Ariel is in there. DH didn't like it but I told him to deal. DS is happy and that's what matters! That aside, he doesn't have any clue who the other princesses are, and I wish there had been plain colors! Online shopping might be your best bet - Ikea perhaps?
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspopo
I'm a little new to this since my oldest is only 18 months. But how do you find gender neutral products? Several times I've been looking for something only to be stuck with 2 choices: blue with cars or pink with princesses. Bath soap, electric tooth brushes, even bandaids. I'm not even going to get into clothes. I'm not sure how I'll feel about it when she's a little bit older and has a preference, so I'd love to hear from people that have BTDT already.

I guess gender neutral parenting can be done in many ways. I just strive to avoid stereotypes and be open-minded as baby figures out their identity. But I'm finding so many products that are only available in a very girl or very boy version. I'm loving Ikea - most items work well for either

This article more or less sums up my approach:
http://news.yahoo.com/common-sense-g...173800492.html
As far as toys go, we have wooden blocks (got the Melissa and Doug ones at Ross), Little People sets, play doh, crayons and all that art stuff, Haba makes nice gender neutral baby toys. Also, my girls play with babies and their play kitchen, but so does my son! He has been sleeping with a baby doll the last few nights. Ds likes his trains and cars, but so do my girls. I don't really go out of my way to find specifically gender neutral toys, but I have found that my kids all play with the same things. Don't overthink it too much.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:21 PM   #5
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Re: Finding gender neutral products?

Your lo is getting to an age where she could choose for herself between two choices. So if you're getting Band-aids, and they only have the two gender choices, let her choose! Green and yellow colors are going to be your best friend. I've never really had a problem finding gender-neutral stuff, you just have to know where to look.

For toys, look into Montessori/Waldorf -type stuff. IME, grandparents are the worst about gender-specific stuff-- with my two boys, every gift has been trucks and camo all the way.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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I just let them choose. We used nighttime pullups for awhile, and they had Cars or Cinderella. I let her pick, she chose cars. For me personally it's not about buying androgynous items, but not steering them towards or away from items based on gender. I buy DD "boy" clothes if I or she likes them, and toys as well.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #7
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Well, we buy a lot of things used and I just don't see gender there. Toys wise, most of the stuff we have is made of wood and isn't gender specific. My daughter has a pink magnadoodle, which costs $1 more than the red one, because there were no red ones available. My son is getting a pink bilibo because pink ones are $7 cheaper than every other color on Amazon.

I'm always still sensitive to this subject, but now I follow my daughter's lead. She wants to pretend to be a princess now. It just happened, despite my internalized princess resentment. Soon, I'll have talks with her about the media and the messages it sends to kids. I've been shielding her from commercial media as much as possible but she's 4 and the world is going to find a way to get it's message through. It's up to me to make sure she knows how to see through it.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:23 PM   #8
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I buy online.

And it's not about the gender neutral to me - although most things at our house are green. To me, it's because I don't want a ton of princess or cars stuff and that's all the local stores currently sell. Or other character gear I don't want.

So, I go online. Need a nice normal training potty? Online. Need a booster chair? Online.

Although, Target is pretty good too. They carry a lot of neutral stuff. They're just an hour away from here so it's easier to go to Amazon.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #9
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Oh, but I don't go out of my way to avoid 'girl' things. She's barely 2 and she's had a preference for a long time now. She likes pink. And if I purposefully avoided something she chooses, then that's just as bad as never giving her a choice at all.

She's welcome to choose cars or dolls. Or whatever.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:48 PM   #10
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The older they get the harder it is to influence them! My dd is 4 going on 14. Honestly the best thing we have done is to keep dd from experiencing tv marketing I think. We have tv but only netflix so she doesn't see commercials. She saw a walking doll this past weekend at my ILs hotel and now she can't stop taking about it. They are sponges.

I do boyish and girly stuff. Grandma introduced babies early and with enough reinforcement that there is no way to avoid that. But im ok with that, I detest the princess thing though. Thankfully we have avoided it thus far. Dd was a firefighter for halloween and thats what she wants to be when she grows up, or a police officer. I think she is pretty balanced.

Another thing we try to do is ask her opinion on things before telling her. For instance she asked me if our foster can't was a boy or a girl and I asked her what she thought. She said boy because the baby didn't have big eyelashes. Our dfs has long thick black lashes and dd has pale blonde lashes so she was kind of stumped when I asked her that lol! Fwiw I don't wear make up.or have dark lashes I don't know where that came from. Media is all around us and probably is the biggest influence over our kids, aside from informed parenting.
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