From the time your child is born you will be making choices in children’s clothing. After having a baby, women usually receive some clothes as baby gifts. Often these are small sizes that your child will outgrow very soon. So you can see that buying clothes is an ongoing task for parents.
As an infant, a baby will change sizes every few weeks. Buy durable clothing in washable, comfortable fabrics. Babies have many accidents so you’ll need to buy clothes that are easy to clean. If you use bright colors instead of pastels, they will not soil or stain as easily. When shopping for children‚s clothes, many women seek high-quality clothing. But if you‚re on a tight budget, you can always wait for clothing store sales at places such as Gap, Old Navy, Disney Baby, or Babies R Us.
With the knowledge that a child will outgrow their clothing quickly, some women go thrift shopping and check garage sales. Many times these clothes are barely worn and may even look almost new. Thrift shopping is a good way to find children’s brand name clothing without paying the full price. Sometimes clothing for boys in larger sizes is harder to find at these sources because of the wear and tear. Finding clothing for girls may be a bit easier. The key to finding great clothes at a bargain is to shop often. Visit your local thrift shop once a week and frequent yard sales in your area.
Yard sales are even better than thrift stores in some ways because you can bargain with the seller. Try picking out a bundle of clothing and other items; then make an offer for the entire bundle. You might be surprised at how little you will pay for items. Also, check for bargains through the newspaper classifieds. Occasionally, you’ll see offerings for children‚s clothing directly through the ads.
Preparing for Ever-Changing Sizes and Needs
When your child gets to the toddler stage, clothing needs will change. During and after potty training, separate tops and bottoms will be more practical. Dresses and pull-on pants make training easier and encourage the toddler to be independent. Buy clothes that are easy to put on and take off so your toddler can learn to dress himself. You will need to buy good shoes that are comfortable. When fitting shoes, allow a half-inch in front of the toes when standing and make sure the heel fits properly.
If you have younger children of the same gender but different ages, or if you plan to have another baby soon, keep unsoiled clothing put away for the next child. This will save you money, and younger children usually never know the difference. Store the clothing in a dry, tightly sealed plastic container to keep mice and moths out. Include a fabric sheet to keep the clothes smelling fresh.
Buying Children‚s Clothing for School
When your child starts school, clothing needs will again change. At this time, your child may want to help pick out clothes. Before you go shopping for clothes, have your child try on last year’s clothes and see what can still be worn. Then look for clothing that is comfortable, washable, and easy to keep clean. Many mothers choose children’s clothing that is simple with large buttons and has zippers with pulls, elastic waists, and large neck openings. Buy clothes that are appropriate and safe. Avoid big legs, loose ribbons or sashes, and slippery shoes. Even if you can’t afford expensive fashionable clothes, choose basic clothing in colors and styles your child likes.
Watch for store sales on school clothing and save money if your state has tax-free shopping days. In the winter, dress your child in layers. While they are outdoors they can wear their coats, hats, gloves, and scarves. Inside, they can also wear layers to remove if they become uncomfortable. A sweatshirt over a button-up shirt or a t-shirt under a button-up shirt will provide this option. Many women with smaller children choose clothing that will be easy to remove when going to the bathroom. The teachers always appreciate this!
Remember that some styles may be cute and very stylish but not comfortable or practical. Look at women’s magazines to get ideas, or talk to other mother’s that have more experience with children‚s clothing to make the best choices.