How many outfits do you have that your baby has never worn? I don't mean baby clothes she doesn't yet fit into, I mean clothes that she never fit into? It's happened to all of us. You got the outfit as a gift, tore off the tags, washed it, hung it neatly in the closet...only to realize, three months later, it was the wrong size for the season. Well, I've figured out a way to dress my baby for a year without buying any baby clothes.
I need to first start off by saying my daughter has a very generous set of grandparents who shower her with baby clothes far more often than they should. I also had an overwhelming outpouring of love at my baby shower and after my daughter was born. Both of these facts have helped me to go nearly seven months, already, without having to buy any baby clothes. Does that mean I haven't bought any baby clothes for my daughter?? Of course not. We all get suckered by the cuteness of Carters! (In fact, I once walked through Carters and told my husband it looked just like my daughter's closet! We had everything in there!) But, had I stayed in my house for the past half a year, or never stepped foot in front of a rack of baby clothes, my daughter would never have had to go naked. That being said, I could easily go through her entire first year without buying any baby clothes.
My baby's closet was fully stocked months before she was even born. I think a good part of the reason is because I found out I was having a girl. Have you ever seen a little girl's outfit you haven't walked passed (or scooped up) while saying "awwww, look!!!" Baby boy's clothes have come a long way, too. So many of them are irresistible as well. That being said, I think finding out the sex of my baby was a big reason I got so many baby clothes as shower gifts.
Secondly, I learned from some of my friends' mistakes: never cut off the tags. This is essential if you want to return or exchange baby clothes that don't fit, are out of season, are duplicates....or are for the wrong sex! What if you find out you're having a girl, get a closet full of pink, only to give birth to a little boy? Without the tags you may not be able to return the items!
If you have the receipts, keep them as well. (A word to the wise: Babies 'R Us is a stickler when it comes to having a receipt!) Don't make the same mistake I did, though. I have all the receipts, but they're in one big bag. I don't know what goes with what. Instead, it's better to attach the receipt to the outfit so you don't have to try to guess what all those receipt abbreviations mean.
I've created a step by step guide to going through your baby's clothes in order to figure out what you can exchange and what you need to replace it with, in order to get a year's worth of free baby clothes. The first step is to see my suggestions, below, for your baby's bare minimum first year wardrobe. Next, round out the wardrobe by following my step by step guide to getting a year's worth of free baby clothes!
Suggested First Year Wardrobe Essentials:
** 5 short sleeve onesies in sizes 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 12
** 5 longsleeve white onesies in whatever size your baby will be wearing during winter (this will allow your baby to continue to wear short-sleeved onesies during the winter months by layering the two)
** 2 fleece PJ's (Get the next bigger size of whatever he'll be wearing during winter. For instance my daughter was born in August (and she was only 5 pounds), but she's been wearing 6 month fleece pj's all winter. They were a little big in November, but they're perfect now as the cold season ends)
** 2 Cotton PJ's in every other size (these can double as daytime outfits)
** 3-4 cotton pants/jeans/sweatpants in every size, except summer sizes when you'll only need 2 or 3 pairs (remember, your baby may be able to fit into pants longer than tops and 3-6 month pants may still fit when she's 7 months)
** 4 shorts in the summer size
** 3 full-body footed outfits in every size (can double as pj's)
** 5 printed onesies or shirts in every size
** 1 jacket in the winter size
** 2 sweaters (one should be heavy)
** 1 cold weather hat
** 1 summer hat with a brim
** At least 12 bibs
** At least 5 pairs of socks
** You don't need shoes for a baby younger than 6 months! They either don't stay on, aren't comfortable or don't fit for longer than a week!
at 11:26 AM