If you’re having a baby on a tight budget then one area to really rein in your spending is baby clothes.
In all the excitement of having a new baby it can be easy to go way overboard with spending on baby clothes, when actually your baby really doesn’t need all that much!
If you’re wondering how to save money on baby clothes, it’s actually really simple and the key is to cut back on impulse purchasing. Those babies are tiny, cute and hard to resist. I know, because I still find them hard to resist and I am not expecting right now!
Be very clear on what you need before you start shopping for newborn clothes, and don’t deviate from your plans.
As part of this, set your budget right at the start and keep a careful track of every single purchase you make.
Do this and follow the rest of the tips in this article and you can easily save a ton of money on baby clothes.
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Tips for saving money on baby clothes
Do not overbuy on the newborn size clothes
The newborn clothes are the ones you’re most likely to overbuy on. But the reality is that your baby will be in the newborn size for a very short time.
You only need three to five newborn baby size outfits plus some 0-3 months clothes. Even if 0-3 month clothing is a little big at first this really doesn’t matter.
In my experience your family and friends will also gift you some clothes too, and most likely they will purchase in the newborn size too.
FYI, if you’re looking at this article and need to buy a mama a gift for her newborn, go for clothes in a bigger size such as 3-6 months because she won’t be receiving many in this size at her baby shower!
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Go for practical not fashionable
Practical clothes are easier to get your baby in and out of and they will be easier to wash and keep clean.
Fashionable clothes tend to be more expensive plus completely impractical for the needs of a baby who is dribbling milk all over them.
I found cotton babygros simple to put on, plus I could keep my baby in the same type of outfit day and night in the early months.
Make a clear list
Set out a full list of clothing items you actually need and stick really firmly to it.
I have tips for what to buy on my baby registry list post plus this on newborn baby clothes.
How many clothes you specifically need to buy for your baby may depend on how you are going to be washing the clothes. If you don’t have a tumble dryer to make fast work of drying them, then you may want a couple of extra outfits for when the others are drying.
Bear in mind that if you opt for mostly onesies, then you won’t need to buy socks for your baby. It’s actually a good idea to avoid socks wherever possible, because as your baby learns where their feet are they just pull them off!
Remember to shop for the season
Think about what the season will be when your baby is born and shop accordingly. You don’t need winter newborn hats if your baby is due in July.
Your baby’s winter clothing is likely to be a little more expensive, as items such as cardigans and snowsuits cost a few extra pounds than light summer outfits. Because of this, try to buy in a size up so that they last throughout the entire season and you don’t have to buy another set of clothes halfway through winter.
Tell friends what you need
If people want to throw you a baby shower, then let them know what type of things you need!
Some friends will prefer to just surprise you, so hold off on buying any baby clothes until after you have had your baby shower. This way you can take stock of what people have bought you as gifts before you then finish your shopping checklist.
Search on eBay
There are tons of baby clothes for sale on eBay and you will find many are like new. In fact you may even find a lot of baby clothes that are never worn, just because new parents receive so many gifts after a baby is born they don’t get the chance to dress their baby in all of them.
Shop around on the site and keep an eye on your favourite brands. You could get branded clothes for dirt cheap prices.
Sell the second-hand clothes
Keep your baby’s clothes clean and store them neatly to keep them looking like new. This way you can sell them on as soon as your baby has grown out of them.
With newborn clothes they often are worn so infrequently that they’re still like new once your baby has grown out of them! Check out these parents on the Daily Telegraph who have made a fortune selling second-hand baby clothes.
Choose clothes that are easy to care for
This tip is closely linked with the one above. If you choose clothes that are simple to wash, and especially that do not need dry cleaning, and made of robust material they will last longer.
It may be that you sell the clothes on, but also if you are going to have a second baby then keeping the first lot of baby clothes will save you money on your next child.
Accept the hand-me-downs
Don’t turn your nose up at second-hand items. If you have friends and family who already have kids, then chances are they have wardrobes and attics full of baby stuff.
If they offer you a bag of clothes, then accept. You can always go through it and if anything doesn’t work for your taste then pass it on to someone else.
Avoid the brands
Expensive baby clothing brands really aren’t worth the money! Kitting your baby out head to toe in brands may seem like a good idea at the time, but do you really want to flinch every time they look like they’re about to spit-up on the expensive dress you bought them?
You can honestly get beautiful baby clothes from high street stores and supermarkets that are not only so much more practical, but hurt your bank balance a lot less too.
Search for your local NCT sale
The National Childbirth Trust regularly holds sales across the UK organised through its local branches.
These are an absolute goldmine of secondhand baby goodies, including clothes. Check the NCT website to find your local branch and see their list of events.
If you live outside of the UK, search Facebook and Google for similar baby organisations that have local branches. You may find many organise fundraising garage sales or similar events where you can get cut price baby clothes.
Choose gender neutral
If you’re planning to have more than one child this is especially good.
Go for colours such as white, black, beige, yellow, pastel blue, red and green.
This is especially sensible if you have chosen not to find out the sex of your baby before they are born. While some people will claim you can tell what sex you are having by the shape, size or position of the bump, the truth is you really can’t guess. An ultrasound technician is the only one who can give you the inside scoop!
Definitely do not buy shoes
Shoes in the first year are a total waste of money! Plus with your baby’s kicking feet you may find them a struggle to keep on.
If you purchase all-in-one babygros you can also avoid buying lots of pairs of socks or booties.
When your baby is out and about in the pushchair you can keep their feet and toes warm using blankets or an all-in-one pramsuit.
Search high and low for deals
Signing up to mailing lists and joining parenting clubs run by brands can unlock big savings on baby products including clothing.
Log on to your favourite brand’s websites and social media channels. See if they have a mailing list offer.
Don’t forget to use cash back website to make your purchases. Most big brands can be shopped via websites such as Quidco.
Join local baby stuff sale groups on Facebook
The Facebook marketplace groups are amazing places for bargains.
I personally have sold lots of my kids’ old stuff for a fraction of the purchase price, including a buggy board that cost £90 new for just £15 in nearly new condition.
Many mothers who are clearing out their baby’s old clothes will sell the lot as a bundle for an absolute bargain.
Type your town name into the Facebook search bar and see what comes up. Also ask your friends if there are any buy and sell groups for your town. In the UK a lot of the groups have the name “Kiddibits” or “buy and sell baby stuff”, so add those search terms too.
While there are some people who sell on Facebook and will post, many of the local groups prefer collection only options as it really cuts out the hassle for them.