Those who have had a newborn baby know what it's like, you buy the most adorable outfit for her and she wears it two, maybe three times, before it not longer fits. What a ripoff, it costs something like $40. Baby clothes are really expensive for something so tiny that will only get worn a couple times. Any parent on a budget knows that you have to cut costs where you can when it comes to dressing your baby.
Major brand designers for babies are a good thing though. By designers I mean the elite in baby design: OshKosh and Baby B'Gosh, Carters, Sweat Pea, and other top of the line baby clothing manufacturers. These guys concentrate on the details that matter such as fit, appearances, and comfort. You want to take advantage of nice, flat seams that don't irritate and nylon snaps that don't scratch of pull through the fabric.
In order not to pay top dollar consider shopping around for gently worn used baby clothing and checking with friends and relatives for hand me downs their kids have outgrown. Consignment stores are a great source as is goodwill. Buy six, twelve, eighteen months ahead of your baby and remember that your little bundle of joy is getting bigger by the minute.
The secret to shopping at the consignment shop is to get in good with the owner. Just like with a butcher or fish monger, they will set aside choice items that they know you would want to buy and even call to let you know what's available. If you are careful you can often trade them in on the next size when you baby grows out of the them.
What would you say if I told you there was a place to get gently used baby clothing for the cost of the gas to go pick them up? Freecycle.org is a national movement of community bulletin boards who are committed to the concept of 'one man's junk'. Check www.freecycle.org to see if there's a chapter near you, and join up. Seldom a day goes by that someone doesn't offer a few bags of baby and children's clothing in various sizes. The quality varies, but the younger the baby, the more likely that the clothing is still in excellent shape.
When you get used clothes though, the first thing you need to do is wash them. Pretreat any stains and wash with a gentle laundry soap (you probably use it on all your baby's clothes anyway). Add borax to the water for extra whitening power and be sure to rinse twice if you use bleach. By the time you're done, everyone will wonder how you can afford such lovely, top shelf clothes.
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Jay Inman runs the website Pink Winter Baby Clothing a great resource for keeping your child clothed and looking good.
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