Buying baby clothes can get very costly. Babies grow so fast in their first year that stocking up for their first twelve months of life can really hit your wallet hard if you aren’t careful. And if you take into account how cute their little outfits are, it can be hard to resist the temptation of not filling up your whole house with them.
Are you planning to do your baby clothes shopping and want to know where and how to get the best value for your money?
This ultimate baby clothes shopping guide will show you how to stock up for months, possibly even years to come without leaving you broke.
Get ready for some SALES
Here in the UK, there are some sales almost all the time. And the discount can be as much as 50 percent, or in some cases even higher.
When I first found out I am expecting a girl, I couldn’t wait to hit the stores and buy first outfits for her. So, from my 20th-week scan appointment, I headed straight on a baby shopping spree.
I remember I bought some sleepsuits and vests, the usual stuff for newborns.
Once I had those first baby clothes essentials, I started to look around different shops to see which one have reasonable prices and good quality clothing.
That’s when I realised that you could actually buy a lot of baby clothes from sales. In fact, I think ninety percent of all my baby’s clothes I purchased from sales.
Things that you won’t find as much in sales are baby vests and sleepsuits. So, I sometimes get these at full price.
My number one destination for baby clothes was Next Clearance. That was until it closed down in my city. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.
Next Clearance has high-quality clothing for an even better price. I found some great bargains there, even better than some supermarket labels.
Other stores I use that have regular sales are H&M, Boots, Marks & Spencer outlet, Asda and Morrisons. I also found some real bargains in TK Maxx.
With so many regular sales on, I really don’t see any point in buying baby clothing at full price. At least, not before my Little Miss decides it’s time to choose her own little outfits.
Baby and toddler events
It is yet another great opportunity to get some good deals on baby clothing. Places that hold regular baby events are Asda, Boots, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury’s or Morrisons.
Apart from baby clothes, these events offer some great deals on other everyday baby essentials, such as nappies, baby wipes, baby food, travel systems, toys and much more. Anything that’s related to babies and toddlers you can find there. And that’s why I like them so much.
You can stock up on these essentials by buying them in bulk during these events or at a discounted prices. You can easily find dates for upcoming events simply by Googling ‘Baby and Toddler event’.
If you don’t mind buying second-hand clothes, charity shops can be an option too. For some, it makes perfect sense not to splash their cash on expensive brand new baby clothing, considering how fast babies grow in their first year and how little the clothes will be used.
You can tell many items are worn-out, but some still look like brand new. I have even found some new clothing in charity shops, still with its original tags.
Not everyone, however, is keen on charity shops and the idea of buying clothing someone used to wear previously. My partner is one of them, and especially when it comes to baby clothing. Although I bought few items in charity shops, he never knew, because they were all looking like brand new (shhh).
Make a note of clothes you are buying
How do you keep track of clothes you buy, so you don’t end up with 20 tops in 3-6 months size? Simply put it down on a piece of paper.
To avoid buying too much of any clothing, I recommend you make a note of any baby clothes you buy. You can see mine on the picture to your right.
I divide it according to different sizes, and then I make a note of individual items in each size, plus how many of each item I already have.
If you aren’t careful, you can quickly lose track of how many items you have. That’s especially the case for things you can actually buy quite cheaply in sales, such as T-shirts and leggings.
Summer vs. winter-born babies
When you are buying your baby’s clothing, think ahead. There is probably no point in the purchase of a thick winter jacket for a newborn if he is going to be born in summer.
I saw so many beautiful outfits in the ‘wrong’ sizes when browsing the sales rails. My daughter was a summer baby, so I knew on average what sizes to buy her winter clothes in.
On the other hand, in summer time she would be only a few months old, so I didn’t have to buy any summer clothes in bigger sizes than 0-3 months. As it turned out, I didn’t even need as many dresses or shorts as I bought. She only wore them a couple of times each, not more. So much for a summer in England.
Look for practicality and don’t buy unnecessary items
When babies are born, and for the first few weeks of their life they will sleep a lot, so you won’t need any fancy clothing. Sleepsuits and vests will be just fine. My daughter was wearing mainly those in the first month. You may want few special outfits for occasions such as baby photo shoot or visits from friends and relatives, but I would keep these to a minimum.
Consider comfort of your child too. Why would you want to put jeans on a newborn? It still amazes me when I see them in such small sizes. Soft material that’s easy to put on works best.
And don’t forget that all-important access for a nappy change. I didn’t pay too much attention when I did my shopping and ended up with few outfits with no opening in the crotch area, so I had to undress my baby first before each nappy change.
Don’t buy too many items in newborn size, instead, go for 0-3 months. If you have a big baby like I had, you may find the newborn size outfits are too small for your baby. Wait, but what if your baby is premature? In that case, you can send your partner or a friend to get some ‘tiny baby’ outfits for you. Alternatively, if you want to be on a safe side, just get 1-2 outfits in this size.
One of the most useless items I had were baby mittens. Yes, some babies really need them, as they can easily hurt themselves with those sharp little nails. My daughter didn’t scratch herself a lot, but I still tried to use them, mainly as a precaution. However, they didn’t stay on her hands for longer than few minutes. So, I would say that if you want to get them, buy sleepsuits that have mittens already integrated.
Don’t buy higher priced items such as winter jackets or snowsuits too much in advance. All babies grow differently. Some babies are bigger for their age, and others are smaller. I bought a snowsuit for my baby in size 6-9 months as she would be six months old in December. She only had it on a couple of times before it was too small and I had to go for a larger size 9-12 months.
What about baby shoes? My advice, don’t bother buying any until your child starts walking. It isn’t recommended to use any shoes until children can walk properly on their own. All those cute pram shoes can be very tempting to buy, but your little one really doesn’t need them. You can get some warm booties for winter months to keep their tiny feet nice and cosy. Then wait to have their feet measured once they start walking.
And you are ready to go…
These are my top tips when it comes to shopping clothes for your baby. If you just want to take one tip with you, it has to be the SALES. You will save yourself a lot of money.
Let me know how you get on with you baby clothes shopping in the comment box below.