Baby Clothes – You Don’t Need Much

Our baby is nearly ten weeks old already.   Not sure where all that time went, but we’re having a blast getting to know him, and judging from his more frequent smiles and laughs, he seems to be enjoying it as well.   One thing he’s doing is growing.   Very quickly.   He was 6 lb, 15 oz when he was born, and he’s 13 pounds now.   He’s getting taller, wider, stronger… pretty much just growing everywhere.   I’ve already had to alter all the diapers we made before he was born, otherwise none of them would fit him anymore.   And he’s outgrown all of the “newborn” clothes that he had.   Happily, they were all hand-me-downs… we haven’t bought any clothes for him at all yet.

Watching how fast he’s growing, I’ve come to the conclusion that having large quantities of baby clothes is a huge waste of money and space.   Our son has a dresser full of clothes, a bunch in the closet, and a big pile in the crib (he’s still sleeping in our room, so his crib is for storing clothes right now, and it’s our cat’s favorite place to nap).   Some he outgrew before he ever wore them.   I notice that I tend to put him in the same things over and over – the ones that are easiest to put on and take off.   I wash them, hang them up to dry, and then put them back on him, straight from the drying rack.   In reality, we probably needed about a fifth as many clothes as we have.   I’m glad that most of it was hand-me-downs from friends, some of it third and fourth hand, and yet still in great shape.   Their babies only wore the stuff a few times before they outgrew it too.

Most people get more than enough baby clothes as gifts, but what do you do when your baby outgrows all the gifts you got while you were pregnant?   A lot of mothers (and some fathers) start to go clothes shopping with a vengance.   (a lot go shopping while they still have stuff that they were given – inexplicable, but true).   It’s hard to resist the pull of cute little baby and toddler outfits.   Little plaid shirts and khaki overalls?   Freakin adorable!   I’m not immune to it – I know they’re cute, and I can pretty much picture my little guy in any cute outfit I see.   So my solution is to avoid seeing them in the first place.   I don’t shop in “first hand” stores at all, but I’m even avoiding thrift stores.   I’m trying to eliminate clutter from my life, so shopping for fun – even in thrift stores – is not on my list anymore.   We’re planning to stay in our current house forever, so we really need to make sure we don’t keep accumulating stuff.   That includes baby and kid stuff.  

When our son outgrows the clothes we have now, I’ll go to my favorite thrift stores and find several outfits for him.   Then I won’t go back again until he’s about to outgrow those.   I don’t want to fall into the trap of continually shopping for clothes for him.   Because, let’s face it – if I go into a thrift store “just looking” at all the little baby boy stuff, what are the chances that I won’t buy anything?   He couldn’t care less what he’s wearing, and we think he’s adorable no matter what he’s wearing.   So we’re going to try to keep it all to a minimum.   But it will be fun to shop for cute little outfits once he outgrows the stuff he has now…

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  1. says

    Boy oh boy can I relate to this! Maisie was born 8lbs 5oz and gained steadily. Most of the little outfits we got at the baby shower were only worn only once or twice. She pretty much wears the same 3-4 comfy outfits all the time. I’ve donated a lot of stuff and sold some at a used baby store.

  2. says

    10 weeks old already!

    Yup, I totally agree with both of you. My kids only wear about 1/3 of their closet. I have to admit though, that when I’m behind on laundry I’m very happy they have extra stuff! I do buy a lot of things from thrift stores, but I sell most of it to the consignment shop, and make a (very small) profit.

  3. says

    I absolutely agree. Here in TX, our children lived in Onesies around the house. Those were quick, easy and cotton. They only wore “real clothes” when we went somewhere. Even in the winter they wore Onesies under their clothes. I hated how their shirts would always rise up leaving their little tummies exposed. I can’t stand seeing parents paying retail for baby clothes – even grandparents.

  4. says

    My first was born in April and wore mostly diapers for the first few months due to the summer heat. My youngest was born in October so there was more opportunity to dress him. ;-) I also avoid thrift stores even though I love shopping at them. It is so much fun to hear about your little boy, brings back memories from twenty years ago for me. :-)

  5. says

    that puts a different spin on gift-giving
    perhaps I’ll just be giving expectant parents money from now on–everyone else is giving them baby clothes galore
    what my Mom likes to do is to give the Mother something for herself because she is so often left out (and she has a big work ahead of her).

  6. says

    I totally agree. My daughter was 8 lbs 14 oz at birth and didn’t ever fit into a lot of her newborn clothes. But of course I had taken the tags off and washed everything before she was born. I didn’t really save receipts or anything, so I find myself changing her frequently so at least she can get a wear out of each outfit. But she mostly wears the same couple things, especially around the house. I packed up all her 3 month clothes not too long ago (she is 15 1/2 weeks old and over 15 lbs and in 6 month size, especially considering the bulk of cloth diapers) and I was very sad to do so, but also very much thinking what a shame it was that she only wore some things once or not at all. Since I stay home with her, if we don’t leave the house, she isn’t usually in anything more than a onesie, although I am starting to make more of an effort to dress her in cute outfits everyday, even if it is only for Daddy to see when he gets home from work. I am for now saving all her clothes for future children or to hand down to family when they have children, since she is the first baby from my generation on both sides.

  7. FrugalBabe says

    GC – I agree… having a baby has changed my outlook on gift giving for new babies too. I love getting gifts for new babies, and in the past I’ve tended to pick out cute outfits. Now I’ll be leaning towards gift cards, or practical stuff like diaper rash ointment, or wooden toys for when the baby is older. Or a gift for the parents (food!) I never realized how many clothes people get – and we didn’t even have a baby shower… can’t imagine how much stuff we’d have if we had!

  8. Christine says

    When I have children, I’m planning on having no more than 4-7 outfits. I can do laundry twice a week and they will always have something clean to wear.

  9. Emma says

    hey, i must say i love this blog! i’m a bit of a lurker though i haven’t commented before. recently i found out that i am pregnant and i’ve always wanted to do cloth nappies (your blog has been great inspiration i must say :D) would you suggest getting larger clothes sizes for a newborn? as so to fit over the nappy? i’m going to be a single and young mum and i want to do the best i can for my child and so want to keep it frugal so there is more for the things that really matter. anyways thank you for the blog! much love, emma

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