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Whether you're pregnant, already have a baby, or are looking for a baby shower gift, here are helpful shopping tips when buying baby clothes. These will have your baby looking great while still saving you money. In addition to these shopping tips, I also have a separate article about the best places to buy baby clothes covering a range of budgets from frugal to fancy.
Consider seasons when buying baby clothes ahead of time
It can be temping to buy those clothes on sale that are just a little too large for baby right now. But make sure you think about what season it will be when he or she is ready for them. Babies grow so quickly in that first year! If you're not careful about thinking of seasons, you might buy a gorgeous jacket that he or she has outgrown (or still hasn't grown into) by the time winter rolls around. So put come consideration into seasons.
Don't agonize too much over it - there's always going to be some guesswork, babies don't grow at exactly the same rate as each other, but aim to be in the right ball park when buying a season or two ahead. I wouldn't recommend buying more than a season or two ahead.
Save money by buying many generic items at cheaper stores and just a few nicer baby outfits from fancier brands
Your baby won't care what brand of clothing he or she is wearing, and for items like onesies it probably won't make much difference for you either. But for photos, special family occasions or just a 'switch-it-up' day for fun on a regular day, you'll want to have some beautiful high quality clothes.
Stylish yet affordable places for everyday baby clothes
For the everyday basics, you can often get similar prices to major discount stores when you shop at one of the budget-friendly baby and kids clothing stores. They look fancy but are actually just as affordable as the 'big box' stores - something I really wish I'd known when mine were babies. These stores are The Children's Place, Old Navy, and Carter's. All of these have sizing starting as low as Newborn or 0-3 months for everyday clothes. Best of all, you can shop online.
Baby clothes for special occasions
When you're looking for a special outfit for your baby for a social occasion, photos, or just to dress up, my favorite two places are Janie and Jack (sizing 0-3 months and up), and Gymboree (12 months and up). Both have a traditionally styled look with plenty of options for more formal situations.
If you want a trendy photo-friendly look without fuss, I love the OshKosh B'gosh baby overalls (sizing 3 months and up) - here are the links to the OKBG website for their baby girl overalls and the baby boy overalls. They have lots of other baby clothes too. Best of all the OshKosh B'gosh brand is a lot cheaper than you might first think!
Wait until the time for toddler shoes or buy them only a size ahead
Shoes aren't necessary until baby is walking. It's best to buy baby or toddler's first shoes at the time they are needed instead of before. Once you know your child's current size, it's OK to get the next size up so that if he or she has a growth spurt you have another set ready, but as with your own shoes, different brands have slightly different sizing. So just keep an eye on the fit and just buy them close to the time that a new pair is needed.
You can definitely make the most of your money when it comes to buying cute baby clothes when you follow the tips I've given above. These are things I wish I knew when mine were little - I shop at those stores now, but I missed out on some great clothes when they were babies.