When I was younger, before I had kids, I used to judge parents who dressed their kids in designer clothes. "They're kids!" I harrumphed. "They don't care about clothes! What a waste of money".

I also used to look down on parents with screaming children in shopping centres. "So much noise! Why don't they control their children?" Naturally, two kids and multiple hasty retreats beaten with screaming children in tow later, my thoughts have changed.

First of all, as any parent who has survived battles of will and tantrums over the days' outfit choice will tell you, kids do care about clothes. Often, they care A LOT.

Kids develop fixations on colours, objects and styles of clothing. Mini Scandi #2 is currently obsessed with anything transport-related. "Big tuck," he shouts with delight whenever we see a truck. "Mo'bike!" I had him in mind when putting together the transport collection for Scandi Down Under.

It is natural for parents to delight in giving their children joy. And if a Swedish-designed t-shirt with cars and trucks on it gives my son joy, so be it.

Another thing I didn't realise when I was so quick to judge before I had kids is that caring for young children, whilst often joyous, entertaining and sweet, can also be relentless, monotonous, and exhausting. There, I said it. When your child is young you are watching them always. You have them either within sight or earshot at all times. (And if you don't, watch out: a hidden and silent MS #2 usually means he is busy shredding a box of tissues or playing with power cords). For me, I found it added to the monotony if the little apples of my eyes were only ever dressed along gender lines in blue, grey, or pink. It cheered me up and added a pop of colour to my day if my kids were in fun, brightly coloured clothes.

Of course, there are also ethical reasons environmentally-conscious parents choose designer clothes. With the growing awareness of fast fashion and the amount of clothing items ending up in landfill many parents are looking around for more ethical options for their kids. See Why Scandi? for a more in-depth discussion of this issue.

At the end of the day, I now subscribe to the philosophy espoused in this NY Times blog articleI pretty much let my kids wear what they want (within reason). And I most definitely try to refrain from judging others' parenting decisions. Hey, whatever works, we're all in this together.

- Steph