When it comes to baby clothes, its easy to get carried away and overspend (I mean, everything is just so gosh durn cute!) I remember buying my little one an adorable ‘going home’ outfit to leave from the hospital in.
Yeah… we didn’t use it.
I just couldn’t see the point in undressing my newborn out of his cozy pj’s, putting him in something NOT comfortable, driving 10 minutes and then putting him back in his pj’s. *shrugs*
I probably spent about $30 on that outfit and it only got worn maybe twice before he outgrew it.
But, even besides special outfits, baby clothing is pretty expensive. And babies grow so fast, most items don’t see much wear.
If you’re on a budget (like me), those are powerful reasons for cutting costs when it comes to baby’s wardrobe and sent me on a journey to find out where to buy cheap baby clothes (or even get them for free).
That doesn’t mean driving out to the cheapest shop you can find. No. Designer duds for baby DO make sense – and by designer, I mean those well-known baby brands like OshKosh and Baby B’Gosh, Carters and Sweet Pea.
Wait, what?! Didn’t I just say you shouldn’t spend too much on baby clothes?
I can explain!
Designer brands concentrate on the little details that cheap clothing manufacturers skimp on – little details that make a major difference in fit, appearance and comfort. You want flat seams that don’t irritate, and snaps that don’t scratch or pull through fabric. But you also don’t want to have to pay $30 for a sleeper!
The answer is shopping around for gently worn used baby clothes.
Here’s the scoop on saving money on baby clothes:
1. Try Yard Sales
Yard sales are a great source of baby clothing finds in the spring and summer months. You’ll often find great clothes that are barely worn in bulk lots, so you can pick up sizes for the next couple of years. Check the newspaper for upcoming yard sales – baby clothes are often one of the advertised items!
Yard sales are also cheap as chips. Make an offer and you’ll likely be able to pick up the whole batch.
2. Ask Around Family and Friends
What’s cheaper than cheap? That would be free!
If you know someone who’s been keeping baby clothes, just in case they have another, ask if you can borrow them. If they don’t currently have a little one in the size you need, they might just say yes.
A friend of my husband kept all her baby clothes in plastic tubs and used to loan them out to her friends all over the place. It was great! I didn’t have to buy most basics from 0-3 years old!
3. Check the Consignment Shops
Another great place to buy designer baby clothes super cheap is a good consignment shop.
If you strike up a relationship with the owner, she may even start to put aside items she knows you’ll love and give you a call to let you know what she’s got. Once you’re done with the clothes you can often sell the same baby clothes BACK, or trade them in on the next size up when baby outgrows them. Win – win!
4. Look on Freecycle
Another way to get free items for only the price of the gas required to go get them. 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. There’s rarely a day that 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 clothing will still be in relatively pristine condition.
5. Check out the Thrift Shops
Don’t overlook church and community thrift shops as sources of good, well-cared for baby clothing.
Heads up on Junior League thrift shops – if there’s one near you, you’ll find beautiful clothing for baby at bargain basement prices.
6. Craigslist or Gumtree
This is like the online version of a garage sale, only it’s open 24/7.
There are loads of parents trying to sell off their old baby things (including clothes) on sites like Gumtree. Look for bulk lots (it’s more efficient) and don’t forget to make an offer – list price is often a guide rather than a firm prcie!
Caring for Gently Used Baby Clothes
When you do pick up used clothing for baby, launder it as soon as you get it home. Pretreat stains if there are any, and wash with a gentle laundry soap meant for baby. Add borax to the water for extra whitening power, and be sure to rinse at least twice if you use bleach.
When you’re done, you’ll have the best dressed baby in town. And no one will ever know you didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on your baby’s wardrobe (unless you tell them of course!)