Greetings all! This is my first post that I am writing since becoming a mother. I am still very much a rookie here, but so far motherhood has changed my life and has really given me reason to think about many things in a very different way.
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We were so ecstatic to become parents after a long and expensive journey to parenthood. For so long I had avoided children’s stores whenever I needed to buy a gift for someone because it was a reminder of what we could not have. Amazon became my best friend and go-to place for gifts for the kids in our life.
When we finally adopted our daughter at the end of June this year, I almost felt like it was a rite of passage to be able to enter children’s-specific stores. We even created a registry at one store, at the urging of family members who were anxious to share in our joy and get gifts. We bought a few things there- (those Velcro swaddler things- Summer Infant Swaddleme– have made a world of difference in our nights!), and the couple times we went we were with family members who wanted to get gifts for us, which was wonderful.
On one of those shopping trips, shortly after we got our daughter, my sister (who is thrilled to be a first-time aunt) purchased several newborn sleepers for our princess. Weighing in at just over 6 lbs. at the time we brought her home, we figured she would get some great use out of those. Plus they were brand new and absolutely adorable.
Like a Weed…
Fast forward a mere five weeks and our princess has TAKEN OFF in her growth. She weighed 8 lbs. 15 oz. a week ago- she’s got to be over 9 lbs. by now. We joke to family members that you do NOT want to eat what she’s eating (formula) unless you want your weight to increase by 50% in a month!
Not only is she almost out of her newborn diapers that we still have a huge box of, but she is already outgrowing her newborn clothing! I’m sure all you parents out there are nodding and smiling- surely we should have known this? – But we cannot believe it. Prior to this I had a vague concept of the fact that she would grow fast- but it brings it all into perspective to see this kind of growth in a mere month!
Suffice it to say, it makes me VERY sad to see her already outgrowing the adorable brand new clothing that friends and family members have been gifting! I have been trying very hard to make a conscious effort to try to get her into all her cute outfits as often as possible. But I don’t wash clothes every day, and even in the five days or so that some items sit in the laundry basket I feel she is outgrowing things! Those adorable brand new sleepers and onesies that my sister spent $50 on? I just packed them away in storage for (hopefully?) future use. Or at the very least for someone else’s future use!
I’ve had more than one person offer to give or lend me their child’s baby clothing- and I’ve been taking them up on it! We even dug through a bin of our nephew’s old clothing. Sure he’s a boy and most of the clothing items are for a boy, but we found some great items in green, yellow, and white. I do have to admit I avoided the blue items, which my father-in-law thought was silly. I am not sure why, but it just feels wrong to purposely dress a girl in obvious boy clothing.
Thrift stores are also a great place to find kids clothing! On a recent trip to our local Goodwill store I purchased 6 kids t-shirts and a super cute little sundress, for a total of $12. All in perfect condition. The only drawback was that it took me a solid 45 minutes of rack-surfing to encounter these gems- thrift stores aren’t exactly known for organization.
The moral of the story?
Do NOT buy brand name new clothing items for kids, especially babies (who do not care and will never know or remember where you bought it)! Buy used or borrow, or at least shop discount stores. Those cutesy brand name baby clothing stores that you find in malls the world over? Waste of money unless your child happens to have some sort of disease that causes him or her to not grow. In which case you probably have more important things to spend your money on than brand new and brand name children’s clothing anyway!!
What do you think? Do you think the cuteness and trendiness factors are worth the price of brand name new children’s clothing?
Suggested Reading: This is somewhat off-topic, but for all you parents out there- my favorite parenting book so far is The Happiest Baby on the Block. This book, although not specifically geared toward frugality, offers a wealth of information for parents including the all-important topic of how to help your baby to sleep! We read this book cover to cover before Baby CMF came along and we had her sleeping through the night by two months using these techniques. Maybe it was somewhat luck (good temperament?), but we think using these strategies helped a lot.
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