Phoebe asked:

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Peter I think it was intended to add to the mystery and horror. The child had been dead so long, had died so young, and been in such a deprived condition that they couldn't remember if they were a boy or a girl.

The reference to wearing dresses and having long hair might refer to old customs relating to very young children. The dress was perhaps a sort of smock.
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by Neil Gaiman (Goodreads Author)
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