With temperatures rising, it’s finally time to retire those one-piece winter pajamas and snow suits for the season. The frilly, flowery baby dresses on department store racks may seem like an ideal, irresistible replacement – that is, until you look at the price tags!
So how can thrifty parents stylishly suit up their baby girls for spring without tapping the summer vacation budget or draining the Christmas gift fund? Here are a few tips on assembling a wardrobe for a baby girl, stocked with seven must have outfits for your baby girl that are practical and pretty at the same time.
Seven Must Have Outfits for Your Baby Girl
Outfit #1 – Shirts with Leggings
If your baby girl is just a few months old, bodysuit-style shirts that snap at the crotch are a great choice, as they stay tucked in and make diaper changes easy. A BabyCenter checklist suggests new parents will need three to six of these. For older babies, look for shirts with snaps at the neck or other features that simplify and speed up the process of getting dressed and undressed.
Stretchy, pull-on pants like leggings are great for babies at any age since they can be paired with different shirts to create new outfits that are suitable for almost any occasion. For infants, look for at least two or three pairs of pants with elastic waists that are easy to get on and off. Older babies who don’t wear many one-piece outfits might need a few more options to choose from.
Outfit #2 – Shirts with Skirts
Skirts pair well with bodysuits or shirts, while still offering easy access for infant diaper changes or toddlers who might be mastering potty training. Skirts can also be pulled over a pair of leggings or tights during chilly mornings or spring showers to create a whole new look, in addition to offering layering options as the day gets warmer.
Outfit #3 – Sundresses
Simple sundresses can stand alone on sunny days or be pulled over a shirt or pair of leggings to expand baby girls’ wardrobe options and keep them comfortable in almost any weather. A colorful cardigan is also a great accessory to change the look of a sundress and turn it into the perfect outfit for everything from a play date to a party.
Outfit #4 – Sweaters with Almost Anything
While parents can probably pack up their heavy winter coats, sweaters in sweet spring colors pair perfectly with sun-dresses or shirts and skirts when babies are going from warm-weather outdoor activities, like trips to the zoo, to chilly restaurants or stores that might already have their air conditioners blasting in April or May.
Two or three sweaters in different spring shades make it easy for parents to create new looks when paired with other clothes in the nursery closet.
Outfit #5 – Rompers
Rompers offer an ideal outfit option for play time or picnics in the park. If your baby is crawling or walking, BabyCenter recommends comfortable clothing that’s easy to get on and off and that’s durable enough stand up to repeated washings that are needed as little ones start exploring their world – and all the dirt, grass, puddles and sand piles in it.
Outfit #6 – Dressy Dresses
Since babies typically outgrow clothes at least once a season, parents may only need one dress-up outfit for spring. While it might be tempting to choose something elaborate, it’s important to keep babies’ comfort and sensitive skin in mind when picking pretty dresses.
When matching shoes to these particular outfits, BabyCenter recommends sticking to shoes made of breathable, lightweight material like cloth or soft leather rather than stiff leather. Look for shoes that have flexible soles made of rubber or some other non-skid material that will offer novice walkers good traction.
Outfit #7 – Swimwear
If you anticipate trips to the pool, be sure to put at least one swimsuit on your spring shopping list. If you have your own pool or plan on spending a lot of time in the water with your baby girl during swim lessons or summer vacation days, stock up on a few options, including swim diapers and waterproof diaper covers. And, while it makes sense to look for durable clothes and limit the colors in your baby’s everyday wardrobe to make matching and creating new outfits easier, this is one area where you can go wild with color and cuteness, without sacrificing practicality.
Coordinating colors and getting creative with layers helps when it comes to stretching the wardrobe budget, but it can still be difficult to buy for a constantly growing baby without breaking the bank. In fact, a middle-income family with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend $245,340 on food, housing, childcare and education and other child-rearing expenses up to age 18, according to a USDA report released last August.
And while it may seem like drop in the bucket when compared to the total cost of getting a kid through her first 18 years, the average cost of baby clothes comes out to about $60 a month – or $720 for the first year – according to an article from Investopedia. Fortunately, there are several ways you can cut those costs and make your baby’s clothing budget go farther:
- Buy the best-quality clothing your budget allows. Shop sales and clearance events, buying clothes big enough for next year when items like coats and jeans are discounted at the end of each season, advises Gina Lincicum in an article written for Get Rich Slowly.
- Buy items on consignment. Shopping for used clothes through discount outlets, including online consignment websites like Swap, is another great option for accessing a wide variety of styles and sizes, while also saving money on outfits that will probably only last a year before babies grow out of them.
- Take care of kids’ clothes. Even though baby clothes probably won’t make it into next year’s wardrobe rotation, it still makes sense to take good care of the clothes you have. While your baby girl’s everyday wardrobe can be cute, it should also be comfortable and easy to wash and wear. Save fancy clothes for special occasions.
- Resell what you can. If you’ve taken care of your clothing items, reselling those that are still in good condition will allow you to make some money back on items of clothing that have only been worn a few times. Local sales can be a great place to unload some of these items, while online consignment sites also offer services and support that make reselling baby clothes easier than ever. As an added bonus, reselling clothes cuts clutter and clears out the closets for next season’s new arrivals.
Outfitting your baby girl this spring doesn’t have to be a challenge – and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Coordinating her spring wardrobe around these seven outfit formulas and using the tips above will help you to easily save money without sacrificing on style.
Have another tip on how to build a child’s spring wardrobe on a budget? We’d love to hear it! Share your recommendations on our Facebook page!