Building Your Baby’s Wardrobe from Scratch

Updated: April 16, 2022
Learn how to build your baby's wardrobe as they grow.
building your baby's wardrobe
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There are many daunting things about becoming a parent for the first time. You work your hardest to keep your kids safe, eating healthy and living a happy life. Agonizing about your children’s wardrobes shouldn’t be your biggest concern. If you start from the get-go, you can effortlessly build your baby’s wardrobe as you go along without spending a ton of money. Read on for tips on putting together your baby’s wardrobe from scratch before he or she is even born—plus ways you can keep that great momentum going throughout their growth!

Buy Neutral Options

When you’re nesting, shopping for baby clothes can be one of the most special ways to spend your time and money. However, sticking with as many gender-neutral (and neutral colored) options as possible will help you build a wardrobe you can hand down to future children. Register for Various Sizes When you’re preparing for the baby to arrive, get his or her wardrobe started by registering for infant clothing in sizes up to and through 12 months. If left to their own devices, a lot of gift givers will gravitate towards newborn clothing. As adorable as they are, tiny clothes are quickly outgrown. Some babies are even born larger than newborn clothing! If you have a lot of different sizes on hand, you won’t be left searching for clothes when your baby grows another size seemingly overnight.

Choose Clothing That Grows with Them

Whether you’re shopping for an infant, a toddler or your growing preschooler, be mindful of how stretchy the clothing is. If there’s stretch, there’s room to grow. Buy pants, jeans and shorts with elastic waists. Cotton tees, short sleeve and long, are a great investment, especially if you buy them a little big. As a rule, it’s better to buy something too large than too small. You can get a lot of mileage out of looser, flexible clothes.

Check the Clearance Racks

If you’re at your favorite clothing store or shopping mall, always check the kids’ clearance rack for what you anticipate will be your child’s size next season. Finding great deals on winter coats, hats, gloves, shorts, sandals and seasonal items can be quite the thrill for bargain seekers. Finding pajamas at reduced prices is also a must. Having these on hand when those old jammies are just too tight is important!

Try Secondhand Shopping

Be open to finding clothes for your kids at consignment shops, secondhand stores and even online thrift stores offering the gently used (or never worn) clothing. Kids outgrow things quite quickly, and clothing is often donated or consigned in great condition. Not only are you getting a great deal on perfectly good clothing, but you’re saving the environment by ensuring those clothes don’t end up in a landfill.

Buy that Special Occasion Outfit

Even though you want to save money and make the most out of your kids’ wardrobes, don’t be afraid to buy a dressier outfit that may not get a ton of wear. Want to get that adorable Easter dress or the super snazzy holiday sweater? Go for it. Don’t sweat these small purchases. Getting pictures of the kids in cute clothes can be an important part of parenting because making memories is important, right? If you’re still nervous about the upfront cost, remember that you can always resell or consign a special occasion outfit when your little one no longer needs it.

Keep Stain Treatment Solutions on Hand

This is a good tip not only for kids’ clothes but for your own wardrobe as well. Life can be messy, especially life with small children who are learning how to eat with utensils and use the toilet. To keep your clothes living their best life, snag those stains before they’ve set in to ensure your clothing lasts as long as possible. Can’t seem to get the stain out of your shirt? Don’t throw it out yet. Keep any stained shirts for your kids to wear as smocks during craft time, at the park or while painting.

In the end, your kids will remember all the fun things you did together, not the clothes they were wearing. Creating lasting memories and enjoying one another’s company is the investment that you really want to make.

Amanda Light is a mom of two children who understands the trials and tribulations of being a parent. She writes for her blog, Prim and Propah, and for, an online thrift store that sells budget-friendly kids clothing. When she is not performing her mommy duties, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, crafts and yoga.