In addition to being a writer at Disney Baby and Babble, something you might not know about me is that I’m also a freelance wardrobe stylist, and some of my favorite muses are little ones. I just love kid’s fashion, and putting together cute outfits for my daughter is one of my favorite things. Plus… everything is so much cuter in small sizes, no?
So today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite baby shopping tips to help you put together (or update) your little one’s wardrobe, so you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to baby clothes!
1. Buy plenty of neutrals.
Everyone teased me about purchasing so many neutral clothing items when my daughter was a baby wondering aloud, “Aren’t you worried people will think she’s a boy?” The answer: nope. People tend to just guess that your baby is a boy or a girl based on a whim, so it doesn’t really matter what you dress them in. I’ve had people ask about my “cute little boy” at grocery stores on days when she was wearing a pink sundress and a headband, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Neutrals are great for mixing and matching with more gender specific items (i.e. pairing that pink heart print top with a pair of black leggings) and if you plan on having more little ones you’ll be so glad you didn’t buy Baby’s entire wardrobe in a gender-specific theme. Now that I’m having a little boy, I’m so thankful that I purchased so many neutral items. He already has a substantial wardrobe based on my daughter’s hand-me-downs and I haven’t had to spend a dime!
2. Size up.
I almost never buy any baby item in my little one’s current size unless it’s pajamas, since those shouldn’t have a loose fit (it’s a fire hazard) or bodysuits. Babies grow so quickly that pants and tops that are slightly too big now will fit before you know it and you’ll be glad you didn’t waste money on clothes that were outgrown before they even had a chance to wear them.
3. Choose items that can grow with your baby.
Many items of clothing are designed to grow with your baby like these awesome Disney Baby bodysuits with grow-an-inch snaps. We have stocked up on them in white and they’re the perfect basic. Most times babies grow in length far more quickly than they do in width, so it’s nice to have items that can be lengthened without being too baggy. Many pants also have added cuffs that can extend to grow with Baby and long-sleeved shirts are great too since the sleeves can be pushed up or down to fit. If you have a little girl, you can also buy tops in larger sizes to use as dresses or tunics now and tops later.
4. Shop the opposite section.
Don’t underestimate the cuteness to be found in the opposite gender’s clothing section. I often peruse the boy’s section for my daughter. Sweaters, cardigans, socks and tennis shoes are items that I almost always purchase for her from the boy’s section, because they have a lot more neutral options. As for boys, check the baby girl’s department for leggings that might have a better fit than baggy boy’s pants or tops with a slimmer cut.
5. Consider function.
As a first-time mom, I often ignored function in the name of adorable clothing. Don’t be like me! There are so many great clothing lines out there that blend comfort and style, so don’t give up! If your baby is uncomfortable in an outfit they will be grumpy and crying, and no cute outfit is worth having a crying baby over. Stick with items in soft fabrics and with simple closures (just say no to rompers with 15 buttonholes, because you won’t have time for those). And keep things relatively simple. Accessories are cute, but they aren’t always practical for tiny babes, so choose them wisely.
6. Purchase secondhand.
Baby clothes are often very gently worn (if they even get worn at all!) so buying secondhand makes a lot of sense, especially if you’re on the hunt for particular brands that are a bit pricier. There are plenty of Instagram accounts that host closet sales of their little ones’ gently worn duds, so be on the lookout for those, and even just heading out to your local thrift shop can turn up some wonderful gems. I’ve scored the cutest, little vintage sweaters for my daughter for less than a dollar!
7. Splurge on special items but find bargains for the rest.
Many people would say that putting much effort into dressing a little one is a waste of time and money, but I would disagree. I love putting together cute outfits for my daughter, and I can’t wait to do the same for my son. That said, you don’t have to spend a fortune to dress your child in a way that is cute and put-together. If there are some truly special items that you love, then feel free to splurge, but then build the rest of that tiny wardrobe around inexpensive basics. It really is true how quickly kids outgrow their clothes, so don’t invest too much, but don’t be afraid to have fun with it!