If you’re planning on having or already have a baby, one of the first things you’ll need to think about are the different clothes you’ll want to buy them to wear. Your baby will most likely be dressed in many layers, and with so many choices out there it can get overwhelming deciding which types and brands of clothing are right for your baby. These 10 tips will help you find the best baby clothing without breaking the bank!
1) Understand baby sizing
The first thing you’ll need to do when looking for baby clothing is understand baby sizing. Children come in all shapes and sizes, which means there are few guarantees when it comes to their clothes. The best way around that is understanding and being aware of what size your child will be at any given time. There are guides available online that will help you figure out exactly how many months or years your child should be before they can fit into different types of clothing (according to brands like Carter’s or Old Navy). It’s important not just because finding clothes will be easier but also because buying something too small could cause discomfort for your child as well as damage their development.
2) Fabric matters
The fabric of baby clothing matters for several reasons. Choose clothing made from soft, breathable materials that are gentle on delicate skin. Synthetic fabrics are great for keeping your little one warm in cooler weather, but natural fibers (like cotton) keep babies comfortable in warmer temperatures. Garments with a tight weave allow air flow while still keeping baby warm, making them a good choice in spring and fall. When buying baby clothing, look at how close together rows of stitching lines are—the closer they are together, the more likely it is that an item will quickly wear out and become hole-ridden.
3) Look for labels
When buying baby clothing, check for labels and certifications. Companies with a good reputation will list several of them on their site. If you don’t find any, go elsewhere. While it’s not always possible to determine if a clothing company is lying just by looking at their website, you can get a sense of whether they’re trying to hide something or not. Look for information about where they make their products and who makes them (if you can find it). Contacting customer service may also be an option; some companies have policies against disclosing that information online but will give it out via phone or email if asked nicely enough.
4) Quality is important too
If you’re in search of baby clothing, look for organic or natural fibers and avoid things that are made with chemicals. You want materials that are hypoallergenic and won’t irritate your baby’s skin. The best choices will also be easy to clean, since it is almost guaranteed your little one will make a mess at some point. When it comes to what you should purchase from baby clothing shops, remember that quality is more important than quantity. If you buy high-quality pieces and add in a few budget-friendly items here and there, your child will have plenty of options when it comes time for size changes.
5) Visit physical stores
Not all retail stores are created equal, so don’t limit yourself to shopping on your favorite site—it could be missing that perfect piece. Instead, go into brick-and-mortar baby clothing stores and browse around; you never know what you’ll find! Consider limiting yourself to only one or two stores at a time, so that you don’t get overwhelmed with too many options. This is also a great way to test out brands and styles without risking much money. Often times online clothing retailers will have generous return policies, making it easy for you send anything back if it doesn’t fit well or isn’t exactly what you were looking for.
6) Keep track of sales seasonality
Many stores have seasonal sales, or at least markdowns for items that are sitting on their shelves. Take note of these days and times to get better deals on your baby’s clothing and make sure you can get them in time. While some items might be marked down throughout a season, chances are there will be a sale just before it goes out of stock again. If you know what you need in advance, consider setting up email alerts with sites like Target and Amazon so you can take advantage of future sales without having to search each site individually.
7) Add variety
Buying outfits in bulk at a big-box retailer might seem like a good idea, but you’ll end up with about two dozen blue shirts. Instead, hit a few different stores and try mixing and matching their tops and bottoms—even if you get duplicates of each, your baby will look more put together. One trick: If you want to splurge on some super-cute shoes (as most parents do), buy them early so they can become an everyday shoe instead of just an outfit accessory.
8) Look online
There’s a reason why people spend countless hours looking through thousands of products online before they purchase anything. People have different preferences, so it only makes sense that they want to see as many options as possible. While many people like window shopping in real life, you can also shop from home with just a few clicks—and probably at a lower price than what you would find in person! Websites like Amazon and Target offer easy-to-navigate online stores filled with an endless number of items, making shopping easy and convenient. Even more, when you are able to compare prices across various vendors and merchants, shopping becomes fun and enjoyable again rather than a daunting task or chore.
9) Take advantage of Amazon Prime Wardrobe
If you’re not a Prime member, start your free 30-day trial now. Your baby’s wardrobe will thank you. Prime Wardrobe offers members a convenient way to purchase and return clothing items at no additional cost. You choose up to 10 items per season that can be shipped and returned with no shipping costs as long as they are all from Amazon (and marked eligible for Prime Wardrobe). Even better: Returns are free if you opt for an in-store exchange at select retailers; otherwise, it’s $2 per item for up to 20 items returned.
10) Try renting a few items first
When it comes to your little one, you might have your heart set on a particular brand or type of clothing. It’s perfectly fine—but before you plunk down big bucks for a big box of baby clothes, try renting a few items first. You can always make a return at some point if you don’t end up using what you got (which is likely!). In other words, skip impulse purchases and make an informed decision about what’s best for your child! It will help reduce buyer’s remorse too when those adorable $30 onesies become stained in under 10 minutes. *Cue mom guilt*