New Mom’s Guide to Shopping for Baby Clothes

Babies can wear anywhere between newborn and 12 months on average, and therefore when shopping for baby clothes, it is important to look for shops that stock clothes for that age bracket.

The following is a must-have list of baby clothes that first-time parents will need:

  • Mittens or socks to put on their hands (those nails grow fast and they will scratch their face and eyes until they develop better fine motor skills)
  • Socks. Lots of socks as they tend to fall off (I can’t tell you how many mismatched newborn socks I have). My daughter actually has very small and narrow feet, and I went through so many brands until I found some that stay on, though she loves to kick them off and be barefoot in general. I tried Old Navy, Gerber, Garanimals, generic, Carters, etc. The ones that stayed on for us were Peds! (They’re carried at many retailers.)
  • Hats. Cotton hats or sun hats for summer or wool/knit hats for winter.
  • Onesies (I went through 2-3 a day at first with diaper leaks and spit ups. Depending on how often you plan on doing laundry, I’d recommend 14-21.)
  • Matching outfits. They are too much work for how often I had to change my daughter’s outfit. She spent most of her time in onesies or PJs and only wore cute outfits when going out or having company. Once she turned 6 months, I started with the adorable outfits.
  • Pajamas. I prefer zipper pajamas because messing with a million snaps in the middle of the night during sleep deprivation is not on my list of things to do. Some people swear by snaps. I also chose footie pajamas, even in the summer, as we have central air. I highly recommend Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit if you are having sleeping issues OF ANY SORT!

When buying baby clothes, it is important to bear these things in mind:

  1. Accept hand me downs, it will end up being cheaper (or free). Shop at the thrift store for cheap, second hand clothing to save money. I go to Salvation Army on half off day (Wednesdays near me). I have come home with tons of clothes for the amount it would cost to buy 4-5 outfits new.
  2. Buy clothes that have a full snap opening at the bottom or a long zipper on the front so as to make it easy for diaper changes.
  3. Buy one size ahead of the baby’s size because clothes tend to shrink when washed. Follow the instructions on the tag for this reason. Most babies wear one size up, unless they’re very small or a preemie (such as my daughter, who actually wears one size down!)

Things to Avoid:

  • Do not be tempted to buy too much especially when you only have one child. A lot of the clothing may end up not being used since babies grow so fast.
  • Avoid clothes with bows, collars, and buckles, as these could end up being chewed by the baby or choke the baby.
  • It is important to bear in mind the weather during the purchase so as to avoid having heat rashes on the baby in hot weather. I received some adorable outfits at my baby shower that I couldn’t use because they were out of season.
  • Since babies do not like anything over their heads, it is best to avoid this but if there is no choice then the cloth needs to be one that is stretchy and the neck opening is soft. TipTake off onesies by stretching the opening down over the body. This is genious for spit up and diaper leaks.
  • Check the clothes for loose buttons or zippers that can detach when buying.

These are all lessons I’ve learned for saving money on baby clothes by reading, asking on forums, and a few were learned the hard way. I hope this list saves you some hassle and money!

Do you have any tips for mom’s that I’ve missed? I’d love to hear your advice and experiences!

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