Baby Clothes: A Helpful Guide to Shopping

Tips for New Moms

As the mother of a beautiful, rapidly growing six month old I have run into a few challenges. I knew that my first child would be a learning experience and every day I witness something new and exciting as he grows. Tyler was born 10lbs 6oz on the day after Christmas and when we took him home we were amazed that most of the clothes we bought were too small. A friend of mine advised me when I was about six months pregnant that even though tags on clothing say they fit a certain height and weight, it is most often not the case. Unfortunately, I had washed the clothes and was unable to return them. I was stuck with a box full of clothing he has never worn.

At almost seven months, Tyler weighs in at 21.2 pounds and is 28 inches long. Even though he is clearly in the range of size 3 diapers (which state the weight range of 16-28lbs), he only fits in a size 4. We have wasted too much money on purchasing clothes and I would like to share what I have learned with new moms. If you are interested in saving money and have found that this is a common problem, read on!

Tip #1:

Keep all receipts for clothing

Whether you are buying socks, shoes, pants, dresses, or shirts, keep every receipt for the clothing; even if it’s just one article. It is best to keep all these receipts in one place. I have a specific folder for this reason.

If you find clothes on clearance that you feel might fit your baby in the future make sure the return policy is within that time. For example, if your baby is in six month clothing, and you find something that might fit him or her at twelve months but the return policy for the store is only 90 days, it’s best not to assume your child will be wearing that specific size at that time. Some stores do accept returns without a receipt, but if returned during a clothing clearance you will only get a fraction of what was paid.

Tip #2:

Do not rely on the height and weight printed on the tag!

If you are planning on buying clothes, the height and weight may not always agree with your baby. This situation is especially true when they are between sizes and/or if their torso fits one size and their legs fit another. The best way to avoid this is to take your baby with you shopping and try an article of clothing on them. Of course, I understand this is not always possible. Babies can be difficult to change at times when they’re fussy from being in a department store for too long. If this is the case, do not buy too many articles of clothing because you will be forced to return them and shop again. It is better to go back to a store knowing what you are looking for than assuming something will fit.

Tip #3

Keep all tags on the clothing until you try them on your baby.

If you buy something new and try it on your child when you get home, it’s better to keep the tags on in case you need to return them. When I purchase clothing a month ahead of time, I use this tip so I know what store I bought them at and what receipt to match it up to. (Tip #1) If you usually wash the clothes before putting them on your baby, try them on first to be absolutely certain they fit before taking the tags off.

Tip #4

Remember that most clothes are season specific.

If your baby was born in the winter, do not assume that he or she will be in summer clothing labeled 6-9 months. You may find that all those short sleeved items you purchased fit your baby sooner and it may be too cold for them to wear. Similarily, if your baby was born in the summer, buying long sleeved sweater type clothes may not fit them when the winter comes around.

Tip #5

Brand names don’t last as long as you think.

I know what you’re thinking. I can’t vouch for the longevity of the actual articles of clothing. However, I can state that purchasing expensive clothing for a baby if you don’t have it is almost always a waste of money. Some children will stay in a specific size for a few months, but if he or she grows quickly, they will be out of that size before the clothing can even depreciate and be found on the clearance rack.

Tip #6

Research nearby discount clothing stores.

There may be a few discount clothing stores near where you live or work. Just because the items are discounted does not mean they will not serve their purpose to keep your baby clothed and happy. Some stores also carry second hand clothing which was donated by people like myself, with the tags still on and never worn because they could not be returned. You will be surprised to find the beautiful clothing that some of these stores have.

Tip #7

Do not buy too much clothing for a certain size.

If you purchase twenty outfits that are a size 12 months and your baby either grows out of them or doesn’t grow into them, you are stuck with too many outfits that won’t be worn. If you did not save the receipt or keep the tags on your money will be wasted.

If you are as interested in saving money as I am, these tips will be very helpful for future reference. If you are having a new baby or know someone who is, please pass this article on to them. If you found this blog helpful, I welcome your comments and suggestions! I wish I had known these things when I first stared six months ago and I’m happy to share them with all of you. Good luck and happy shopping!

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