Hyper macho, and my favorite author, Ernest Hemingway was put in dresses as a toddler, with his hair kept long. Some theorize that's what made him overcompensate in later years. Most likely it was just a tradition left over from the Victorian age. Clearly the tradition went back farther than that.
I'm pretty sure this sort of shit was worn on big R days, like baptism or communion.But I wouldn't bet on it.
I think pants on a baby just weren't very practical. Clothes were expensive, children grow fast, and the clothes had to be reusable. Also, the mother would have had to make the clothes herself, much in advance of the birth. Dresses were a better idea all around.
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