How to Save Money on Baby Clothes {Family Files}

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A new edition of the Family Files and this time we’re talking about what we’ve learned about how to save money on baby clothes. 

Hey guys! Hope all is well. I am so excited that winter is almost over and we’ll be able to get outside a little more often. I’ve been inside a lot more than usual this winter because of Little Bird. It’s been hard, because I like to get out as much as possible but, on the flip side, it’s allowed me lots of time to organize and think of ways to maximize our family budget! One of the ways we’ve been doing that is in Little Bird’s wardrobe. Babies grow SO quickly, and it can be overwhelming to walk into a kids’ clothing store! Everything is so cute and you’ll want to buy it all. I know. In the blink of an eye, you’ve spent $60 and all you have is a tutu and a hat. LOL

So I thought I’d share with you some of the ways we save money on baby clothes.

We Didn’t Buy ANY Clothes Until After my Baby Shower

The nesting urge is intense when you’re pregnant. I remember feeling desperate to fill all the bins and baskets and hangers with teeny tiny clothes. But I resisted. I resisted HARD. My baby shower was one month before LB was born, so it was a challenge to not just run out and buy all the things – but I held off to see what others gave as gifts. THEN, I filled in the holes with what we’d need for the first couple of weeks.

To be honest, I think it really helped that we didn’t reveal LB’s gender. It sorta forced friends and family to buy us neutral clothing (see below), and/or useful baby items like grooming kits, bibs, baby wipes, diapers and baby monitors. We didn’t get any frills or Tonka trucks or anything like that. I can honestly say that we use the living-you-know-what out of every single thing we got at my shower.

Here’s what I recommend for clothes for the first couple weeks (or if you’re buying for a baby shower):

In the end, I purchased maybe only 5 items off this list out of pocket. The rest ended up as gifts. This helped us save quite a bit of cash up front.

I Buy At Least One Gender-Neutral Item for Each Growth Stage

This one is tough. It feels like retailers are onto this concept because once you’re out of the 0-3 month stage, it’s nearly impossible to find clothing in the girls’ section that doesn’t have bows on it or the word ‘princess’ emblazoned on the front. This is why I actually buy a lot of Little Bird’s basics in the BOYS’ department. I find most have basic greys, greens, navys and whites that I can’t find in the girls’ department. I do, of course, buy her some girly things – but I always balance it with gender neutral. (This is also why we decorated her nursery in whites, blues and teals.)

Why is this a cost-savings? Well, for one, neutrals match everything. A grey onesie still goes fine with pink jogging pants! But it’s also a long game in case we end up having a second baby. If No. 2 ends up a boy, then we have stuff to get us started in the wardrobe department! {There’s newborn LB rocking her gender-neutral oatmeal colored sleeper!)

Ask for Token Milestone Gifts & A Gift Card

Little Bird was born in October and some people gave us gifts when she was born, but others waited the six or seven weeks until Christmas. We communicated to our close family that we were looking for clothes in a certain size (at that point 3-6 months and 6-9 months). This was HUGE in helping us build LB’s wardrobe out into the spring. Beyond that, we basically put the kibosh on people buying her big giant toys. The urge is there when there’s a new baby; but we were pleasantly surprised when friends and family sent small toys (like stuffies or chewies), story books and gift cards for clothing stores.

I resisted the urge to run out and spend all the gift cards on Boxing Day sales and instead filed them in my planner at strategic points of the year when the seasons will be changing and when LB will be entering a new growth phase, so I’ll have money right there to spend on the clothing she needs.

Getting some of the ‘One-Off’ Items Second Hand

There are some baby things you can’t live without and retailers know that and mark them up at a premium. Examples are toddler shoes, rain coats, snowsuits, snow boots and other things like that.

In this case, it makes absolute sense to purchase second hand or ask friends and family for hand-me-downs. We lucked out big time because good friends of ours have two sweet little girls just a few months older than LB. As a result, we’ve been gifted quite a few lovely hand me downs. Guys – take them. Wash them and I guarantee you will use them. Then you can pay it forward to the next New Mom in your life 🙂

Put a Bib on it – EVERY Time

I know it’s an extra step when you’re dealing with a squirmy baby, but you’ll thank me. One thing is certain, baby stains (like puke) are often stubborn and over time they can really yellow and dull clothing. For the first three months, I made sure LB was wearing a bib EVERYWHERE with the exception of when she was sleeping and swaddled in her crib (in which case the swaddle acted like a bib) or when she was in the car seat (when she’d usually be sleeping). Our bibs took a beating, but her newborn and 0-3 month onesies all still look basically brand new. Now that she’s older, she is much less barfy (we are more dealing with drool these days), so I’m not as strict about the bib thing. If spit up happens, I rinse with soapy water as soon as I can.

With all this said, I do have quite a bit of fun shopping for LB, so I think I’ll work on some cute inspiration posts to scratch that shopping itch too! Watch for those coming soon 🙂

Meantime, what are your tips for saving on kids clothing? How do you feel about shopping in the girl/boy department for your little ones?

Chat soon!


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