Kid Clothes- How to get Ahead and Save Money
Before I had my son, I got a lot of advice from my sisters and mom regarding what you “need” and “don’t need” before baby comes. Specifically, I was told that emphatically you did not need more than a couple of newborn outfits because “we have big babies” and he will be out of them in a week. I followed this advice and was fully stocked with 0-3 month and 3-6 month clothes all washed in Dreft and hung up, just waiting for my little chunky monkey to get home.
My son was born weighing 6lbs 9oz. He had a short palette, GERD, and my milk did not come in for 5 days. Although I must say, for this I was well prepared. I had bought 2 boxes of Holle Pre baby formula just in case my milk supply runs low or doesn't come in at all. During this time our "just in case Holle boxes" came in handy.
By the time my baby went to the doctor for the first time, he weighed 5lbs 14oz, and let me tell you, he looked RIDICULOUS in the 0-3 month jeans and t-shirt he was wearing. What’s more, all the cute summer outfits I had bought him in those bigger sizes would never get worn because it would be Christmas before he wore that size. I had some shopping to do. But- I had to learn to work backwards in order to avoid paying those insane prices on seasonal outfits.
After that humiliating period of rolled up pants and onesies slipping off his shoulders, I learned a little something about seasonal clearance. My son was born in the summer. He wore newborn size until he was three months old. I unfortunately could not avoid buying the summer novelty outfits in the summer, and thus paying an arm and a leg for them. But, the winter and spring outfits that were on the clearance rack at that time made it possible to purchase 3 and 6 month clothing for a fraction of their original cost.
As the summer drew to a close, all of those expensive summer outfits I bought in newborn size began to make their way to the clearance rack as well. I purchased those same outfits that I had spent upwards of $50 on, in 12 month size for more like $10. When I got everything home, I stored things in shoe boxes labeled by their size. My first year experiment went extremely well, as I did not have to purchase hardly anything for him through 12 months. However, as each season has changed, I have made sure to hit that clearance rack and stock up on items for the following year. He is going on two now, and I have yet to pay full price for clothes for him.
All that to say, the lesson I learned from my newborn blunder is that stocking up on a bunch of pre-baby baby clothes, albeit so tempting during that nesting phase, can be really risky. My advice would be to have a couple of newborn outfits on hand for when you get home from the hospital, and within a week or so when you are ready to go on a little outing, hit up that clearance rack with your partner! It will be really fun, and you’ll get ahead of that growth curve and save money while doing it.
Oh and one more tip on how to save.....
... Buy off season! Its always cheaper but just as cute!
- Jennifer Akiyama