So you’re planning a bris. You’ve booked the mohel, decided where to hold it, and searched through your closet 15 times trying to find anything that makes you look like the baby has actually exited your body. (Black, black, 100 times black!) And all of the sudden you realize that the baby has to wear something, too!
So what should a baby wear to his own bris?
You may want to dress your baby up. After all, it’s his big day! A baby tuxedo! Baby button-down shirt with baby slacks! Even a baby tie! But actually, it’s not the best plan. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
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1. Something Easy to Wear
The mohel is going to want your baby in something easy. I recommend something that’s easily opened from the bottom but will stay on at the top—that way your baby will still be partially clothed during the actual circumcision. Babies this age get cold so easily, and you’ll want to keep him warm. When we had my son’s bris, we put him in one of those one-piece, long-sleeved outfits that have snaps all the way up and down. (Something like this.) The mohel could easily unsnap the areas she needed access to and keep him fully dressed on the rest of his body. Win-win.
Another option is one of those sleep sack-like things but with an open bottom (see an example here). They’ll keep your baby warm and toasty, but make it easy for the mohel to get the work done.
2. Christening Gown? Bris Gown!
Or you could take it up a level and buy a fancier gown. Perhaps a repurposed christening gown? I know that they’re traditionally used for christenings, but just be sure you get one that doesn’t have an embroidered cross on it and you’re all set. There are some beautiful gowns out there. It’s like the bris version of a baby tuxedo.
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3. Bris Clothing Lines Actually Exist
In my searching to find the perfect bris outfit, it seems someone has beaten me to the punch. Amazingly, this company has created multiple bris clothing lines, each with its own open-bottom gown style for the big day, complete with accessories from booties to hats. Personally, I don’t think you need a lot of accessories that could just get in the mohel’s way. If there’s any accessory needed, it’s the baby kippah that has little strings attached so that it can be tied under his chin so as not to fall off. (Here’s an example.) But even that I’d take off during the circumcision itself. When someone has a sharp tool near your baby’s penis, it’s probably best to remove as many distractions as possible—booties, hats, and kippot included.
It comes down to this: a bris is a stressful day for everyone involved. It’s inevitable that the baby will cry, which will likely make you cry. (Although I should add that I once went to a bris where the baby slept through the whole thing! I wish the same for you.) Making the baby’s outfit as stress-free as possible will go a long way in easing the day for him and for you.
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Mazel tov, good luck, and remember, it’s only one day. And you made it through childbirth—you can make it through this!