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Regular adult size clothes hangers won't work for baby, toddler and elementary school age kids clothes. This is because the regular size hangers are far too large - you simply won't be able to fit your young child's clothes on a normal hanger. Even if by some miracle you can get it to fit on, the material is likely to get stretched in awkward places and the outfit ruined.
Fortunately there is a smaller size of hanger: kids clothes hangers. These are simply a mini version of the regular sized ones in your closet. Kids hangers come in different shapes and styles, but they're all designed to fit clothes from the baby sizes up. Just like regular hangers, you can get the regular shape for shirts, or you can get clip-style ones for long pants and skirts. You can get the kind with or without a bar at the bottom.
Kids hangers come in different materials, although I've yet to see a wire one. Most typically, you'll see plastic, velvet flocked, or wooden ones.
Where to buy baby and kids hangers
Here I'll cover the best places to buy these, starting with basic and working my way up to fancy. Basic works just fine for everyday purposes, but having some fancy ones on hand is ideal for hanging up special outfits - for example, your baby's coming-home outfit or a formal toddler outfit. A fancy hanger also makes a great addition to a baby outfit that you're giving as a baby shower gift.
You can shop Dollar Tree online now! They usually have kids clothes hangers in stock at all times of year. They're not fancy, just a basic plastic kids and baby hanger, but it's great value for money. You can get multiple hangers for a dollar. This is a great option if you need plenty of hangers at a cheap price point.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond has closed some of its retail stores but don't worry - they're still going strong online. Here you have a variety of choices: their kids clothes hangers come in basic plastic, velvet flocked, different colors, pants and skirt clips, and so on. I was pleasantly surprised at the budget-friendly price point.
Buy Buy Baby
Despite being a baby store, Buy Buy Baby had less slightly choice in kids clothes hangers than Bed Bath & Beyond. But it's still worth checking out because when I looked, they had some styles of baby hangers that Bed Bath & Beyond didn't have.
Amazon.com has the advantage of having every type of kids clothes hanger you could want, whether basic or fancy. There you can get everything from basic plastic kids hangers to velvet flocked ones to wooden kids hangers.
They also stock extendable kids hangers, which is where the hanger arm has a cover that can slide outwards so you can adjust it to make it bigger as your child grows (you can also adjust it back inward as needed if you need more baby sized hangers for another child). This sounds ideal, but there are some disadvantages to it as well - I cover these further on in the article.
If you're looking for a really fancy hanger - maybe a personalized wooden kids clothes hanger, or something similarly beautiful, then Etsy.com is the place to shop. You can take a look at their personalized children's clothes hangers here.
When will my child outgrow kids clothes hangers?
Typically the start of middle school is when your child will have outgrown kids hangers. It's easy enough to switch to regular adult size hangers then.
Alternatively, you could get these extendable kids clothes hangers from Amazon.com, but I'm not completely sold on the idea. This is because the colors and overall look are better suited to young children. This isn't a problem initially, but by the time you have a middle school boy, he won't want a closet full of pastel hangers, even if they expand out to adult size.
The bottom line
You do need kids clothes hangers while your children are still young because their clothes won't fit properly on adult hangers. Fortunately you have plenty of options for where to buy these baby and children's hangers. The places I recommend for this are Dollar Tree, Bed Bath & Beyond, Buy Buy Baby, Amazon.com and Etsy.