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Here are the places I recommend for baby clothes. A lot will depend on whether you're looking just for everyday pieces at an affordable price point, or an extra-special outfit for a photo or event. I'll let you know a little bit about each place and what it's best for. If you're looking for a beautiful item to give at a baby shower, I've got that covered as well. First let's take a look at sizing.
The baby crowd: 0 to 24 months
From the point of view of clothing brands, standard baby sizes are considered to be between 0 (newborn) and 24 months. In the US, baby clothing is labeled via the number of months, so the typical sizing gradation goes like this: Newborn (NB), 3M, 6M, 9M, 12M, 18M, 24M. Different stores might have different sizing, e.g. 0-3M. If in doubt, always buy a little larger - babies grow quickly.
Above the baby years, you're looking at toddler sizes, which are labeled by age and the letter T, e.g. 2T, 3T, 4T and so on. You might be wondering what the difference is between a 24M and a 2T item. In theory they're about the same, but if you happen to see the same item in the same brand offered in both sizes, you can expect the 2T to be very slightly larger than the 24M.
Preemie size - be careful here
Preemie size is the smallest available, it's smaller than newborn size, and comes with the size label "P" or "Preemie". Be very, very careful about buying preemie unless you're absolutely certain it's needed. Don't buy preemie sizes for someone "just in case", it will come off very much the wrong way to the mother-to-be. The only times you should be buying preemie is if:
- you know for a fact that the baby will have to be born premature due to some medical reason, or
- it's your own baby, or
- the mother-to-be has requested preemie sized items, or
- the baby has already arrived and it is in fact premature and you live nearby and can go get preemie items in-store (or can have it shipped to them quickly - in that case pay for a faster-than-standard level of shipping).
Even if the mother-to-be is small and they're expecting a smaller-than-average baby, let the closest in-town relatives be the ones to rush out and buy preemie clothing if that's necessary once the baby is born. Or buy it, but wait to give it to the mother-to-be until you know it's actually needed.
OK, let's move on and look at different stores! The ones I've listed vary quite a bit in terms of style, pricing, and so on, but I've commented about that so you'll never feel lost.
Carter's is my recommended go-to for everyday baby clothes. This is because of adorable styles, excellent coverage of all baby sizes, and an affordable price point. It's a good all-around choice.
The only downside is that it's almost too easy to find Carter's items: besides their online store and their physical stores, they're often stocked in department stores also. This means that there's a chance that baby might wind up with two identical outfits gifted from different people (not as much of a problem as it first sounds though).
I love the middle ground it occupies between boring store-brand onesies at one end, and fancy brand names at the other end. But this also means that if you're looking to make an impressive statement at a baby shower with a really nice brand, Carter's won't be the best choice for you - some other brands below are though.
My kids wore a lot of Carter's and it worked really well for us for everyday items - the clothes are stylish and practical, and they come out of the laundry looking good.
The Children's Place
The Children's Place is another good all-around choice for baby clothes. While the price point is similarly affordable to that of Carter's, I feel that The Children's Place brand has much more cachet. In part, that's due to their clothing being sold only in their own stores (and their online store) which have very much of a boutique look and feel.
I was given some Children's Place items for my kids when they were born, and having only ever walked past their cute stores, I was instantly wowed by what I felt was the exclusivity factor of the brand. I'd put the Children's Place outfit on my baby and feel like it was a really special thing. Much later, I realized that The Children's Place is actually a lot more affordable than most people think it is, and you rarely need to buy anything at full price because they often have sales on.
If you're shopping for a situation where you care a bit about the brand, especially for a new parent, The Children's Place is what I'd go for over Carter's, although actually you get a bit more of a choice of styles at Carter's. It's a tough choice! If you're debating between the two, I do recommend checking out the layette sets from The Children's Place - you can find baby boys and unisex styles here, and baby girls and unisex styles here.
Janie and Jack
If you want an excuse to splurge a little on something really special and boutique-style - perhaps for a special photo for your baby, or something that will make a wow statement as a baby shower gift, then Janie and Jack is definitely the place for you! They have beautiful traditional baby styles with high quality fabric.
They also have a baby gift section where many of the clothing sets come in a beautiful gift box (those items will have the words "gift box" in the product title, and when you look at the product details it will show you a pic of what the gift box looks like). This is something you won't find anywhere else. Besides clothing sets, in the baby gift section you'll find other things like board books, soft toys, and teething rings, all of them very high quality.
Janie and Jack is priced a little higher than the other places I'm mentioning here, so if it's above your budget don't despair - there's plenty of other options on this page, although admittedly none with such a strongly high-end traditional look. It's a good idea to take a look online and see, because if you can afford Janie and Jack it's worth it.
The universally loved brand OshKosh B'gosh is a great choice for baby! And it's not as pricey as you might think it is - when they're having a sale, their pricing is in line with the more budget-friendly brands like Carter's. They have traditional styles with a casual twist, for example polo-neck onesies for baby boy. To get started, you can find their collection of baby boy clothes here and baby girl clothes here. They don't do gender-neutral, unfortunately.
And yes, the iconic OshKosh B'gosh overalls are available for baby in a variety of styles. These overalls are available for boy and girl babies (not just for older kids!) with the famous OKBG logo front and center. Those are a great choice for a baby shower gift that is sure to go over well.
Some of the best value for money in baby clothing is to be found at the playful casual wear store Old Navy. In particular, they have great multipack bundles of stylish adorable designs that go well together - they're neither boring nor garish, they're just right. And they're excellent value for money. As a great starting point, take a look at the baby girl multipacks and the baby boy multipacks. You can also visit their gender-neutral shop here.
To sum up, if you're buying everyday baby clothes, I'd recommend Carter's, The Children's Place, and Old Navy. On the other hand, if you're looking for something a little more special for your baby or as a baby shower gift for someone else, then you should go for Janie and Jack or OshKosh B'gosh.