Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Baby Items for the First Year: Clothing

     This post is a continuation of a "Baby Items for the First Year" series. In it, I'm sharing items that we've found to be essential as well as those that we've not found necessary. Every Mama's list is going to look different based on preferences and lifestyle. The following is simply what we've found useful for our two children. 

We've already covered BATHINGSLEEPINGTRAVELING, FEEDING and so today we'll focus on DRESSING.

*Note: This post may contain an affiliate link to I am a personal affiliate with, and as such receive a small compensation for each product purchased through the link provided. (Thank you!).  I am not an affiliate with Children's Place, Target, or eBay. I simply mention these stores as places we frequently enjoy.

      When it comes to clothing, a child's needs are not that great. It's tempting to purchase those amazingly cute outfits offered and advertised by brands and/or stores. I like for my children to have nice, put together outfits after all. However, babies will go through clothing rapidly the first year. I've found that the wisest means of providing clothing for my children are by 1) shopping secondhand and 2) limiting quantity. Though there is some flexibility for genders, occasions and seasons, I typically aim to have the following items per size for each of my children:

    • pajamas x3
    • Toddler Boys' Just One You™ Made by Carter's® Pajama Set Zen Red
      Image source: Target
      • I discovered with my first child that pajamas were best purchased new. I would purchase some secondhand only to discover they were shrunk too much and would be too short quickly. I also didn't feel like I saved a tremendous amount, as purchasing from the store typically runs about $4 a pair (I shop sales!).
      • Initially, I purchase the packages of Gerber sleep/play outfits. These are about $12 for three pairs in the store. When length becomes an issue, we  then switch to two piece pajamas. These can be much more expensive (closer to $12 per set). I've purchased some secondhand and I've also purchased some on sale in the store (Target is my favorite place to find quality two piece pajamas). 
    • white onsie undershirts- one pack of short sleeves & one pack of long sleeves
    • socks- 6 pairs
      • for babies up to 9 months, I purchase one pack of white Gerber socks per size. 
      • for babies 9 months+, I purchase socks from Children's Place. I typically purchase a variety of white, gray, black, navy, brown (plus pink for Annelise). 
      • When I had my first child, I purchased a wide variety of brands and colors of socks. I always ended up not having an appropriate size or color though! So, I decided to simplify quite a bit. I now purchase only one type of sock for the early months, and then when they fit the smallest size I begin purchasing socks only from Children's Place. This brand is the best that I've found so far. They are also the only ones that carry basic colors (like those mentioned above).
    • light jacket x1- This is usually a knit material. 
    • warmer fleece jacket x1
    • warm winter coat
    • mittens and snowboots (Although new snowboots are typically more expensive than I typically pay for shoes, they are so very hard to find and so simply easier to purchase online). 
    • shoes- I stick to the basic colors and styles for shoes such as sneakers, boots, casual brown shoes, casual black shoes, white Keds for Annelise, Crocs or other type of sandal. I do not purchase character shoes. I also do not purchase shoes that can only be worn with certain colors or styles of clothing. I prefer for shoes to be able to match a wide variety of clothing and occasions, which insures the best purchasing value.
      • I purchase most of their shoes at a consignment store. If I can't find what I'm looking for there, then I'll look on Ebay. I've found wonderful quality sneakers for them there!
    • sweaters x1-2- These may be pull over sweaters or zip-up sweaters in a basic color or pattern so that they easily match the rest of the clothing.
    • outfits x8- I aim for only eight outfits per child. I wash laundry frequently enough that eight outfits is sufficient. Although the quantities of each is flexible, the following is a basic outline per child:
      • Tennyson:
        • pants/shorts x8- blue jean pants/shorts, khaki pants/shorts, printed shorts, overalls, athletic pant
        • shirts x 8- mixture of prints, solids, button-up, and knit
      • Annelise:
        • dresses sets x6- A dress set includes a shirt if necessary (such as with sleeveless jumpers) and leggings or tights. 
        • skirts/pants/shorts x2- typically khaki or denim
        • shirts x2- matches the skirt/pant/shorts options
    • snowsuit x1- each child also has a snowsuit. Quality snowsuits can be very expensive, but I feel they're worth the investment especially since we live in an area that receives a lot of snow each year. I have found some suits on consignment. Ebay is also an excellent place to purchase snow suits at a great price! 
Dresses for Annelise-
These are all either Gap, Children's Place, Gymboree or Carters brand, and were purchased at a consignment store for only  $13 total. Several of them are brand new and still have the tags on them! Add a couple pairs of pants/shorts/skirts and tops and this size is complete. :)
     Shopping secondhand and limiting clothing options really simplifies purchasing and storing clothing. When I go shopping, I have my list in mind as to what everyone needs, and we then just check off the list as we find the items. Any items I don't find are purchased on eBay or new from the store. If I'm purchasing from the store, I try to find the item on sale. However, I don't have a lot of time to sit and watch for sales, so I do purchase items full price. I typically don't have to purchase too many items full price, and so it's still affordable. 

Things We Didn't Need:
       We don't do holiday outfits, as these can only be worn for a sort period of time and may not be appropriate for the next child. We also don't do "church outfits." Instead, I dress the children in a manner in which everyday attire is also appropriate for church or other occasions. I also don't purchase shirts or other clothing items with graphics or writing. Instead, I opt for simple stripes, plaids, or solids. In general, I aim to get the greatest wear out of clothing and for that clothing to be quite nice in quality. As such, I generally stick to finding classic pieces that mimic adult styles (ie. khaki pants and button up shirts are a frequent outfit of choice for Tennyson. Annelise often wears simple dresses with leggings or tights underneath). 

Up Next:
  • diapering
  • playing
  • healthcare/ grooming


  1. I love this series! We have been really blessed with our first child in that we were given many hand-me-downs....almost too many?! I love your thoughts on simplifying and keeping things (and laundry) easy!

    1. Glad you're finding this series helpful! It will eventually be completed. It's taking me forever to get it all done. Such is the way blogging with babies goes for me though. hehe. :)


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