Shop Smart for Your Baby’s Clothes

BabyClothesby Kellie Doligale

Shopping for baby clothes requires a level of practicality to select the proper wardrobe for your child. As much as we all want to dress our little individuals in those adorable sweater vests and tutus all the time, we should also consider how we might want to dress if our days consisted of sleeping, tumbling and learning to hold a spoon.

Here are some tips for buying clothes that will help you get the most out of your money and keep your baby comfortable:

  • Buy for their body. Just like adults, babies are unique. The sizes that run according to age are meant to be a guideline, not an absolute. If your child has a long torso, short legs or broad shoulders, don’t hesitate to buy a size that doesn’t match their age.
  • Select pieces over entire outfits. You’ll get a lot more use out of t-shirts and comfortable pants that can be mixed and matched. If your baby outgrows one piece at a time, you still have other items that can be used instead of having to pack away an entire coordinated ensemble.
  • Overstock on socks. Babies yank them off. They get lost all over town. Dryers eat them like candy. Second only to diapers, socks are the most disposable things meant to cover your baby. Keep a hefty supply of plain white socks in your nursery. If one gets lost, you’ll have plenty of back-ups.
  • Account for odd proportions. Babies have bulging bellies, poofy butts and large heads. If a shirt doesn’t have a stretchy hole for the neck, your little one will not enjoy having it forced over their forehead. When you’re selecting pants, don’t look at the overall length, but rather the inseam. They might look long because it takes a lot of fabric to cover that diaper-shrouded bottom, but you don’t want your baby to end up wearing high waters everywhere.
  • Invest in outerwear. If you’ve got a little room in your clothing budget, put it toward well-made shoes and a good coat. Footwear gets beat up when its owner is learning how to walk, and you can’t put a price on your tot staying warm.
  • Don’t stress the stains. Even infants who only drink milk and sleep 18 hours a day somehow find a way to mess up their clothes. Embrace this fact. Most stores now sell oxygen-powered stain removers designed for baby clothes, and even if that doesn’t work, a stained outfit is now a perfect play outfit.

The most important thing to remember is that at the end of the day, the clothes don’t make the baby. Toddlers don’t if they are wearing Ralph Lauren or secondhand, thrift-store pants. The truth is, they would all rather just be naked.