After spending far too much time sorting out Coco Lily’s drawers earlier this week, arranging outgrown clothes into three piles: charity shop, pack away in the loft and stain removal needed, I was amazed at a. how much I’ve been able to cram into her tiny Ikea chest of drawers, and b. how much was outgrown and unworn. And this isn’t even the first time I’ve had a clear out of her clothes, it’s practically a monthly occurence!
So it made me laugh, well cringe, just a few hours later when I read an article in the Daily Mail that said parents ‘typically spend £327 in the first year on clothes for their stylish offspring, meaning the child wears more than one new item each week.’. And I’m not in the slightest bit surprised. What did surprise me however, was the fact that two in three parents say images of A-list kids like Suri Cruise and Harper Beckham ‘pile on the pressure’ for them to dress their children in a similar way.
Here on cocomamastyle.com I’ve featured those celeb tots and how to get their look, albeit on a budget, but wouldn’t consider that such images ‘pile on the pressure’ for me when dressing my daughter. I just buy things we like, (read: those which Coco Lily yanks off the hanger and refuses to put down) and when we’ve enough tops, leggings or tunics, we stop! But that doesn’t mean we’re not guilty of buying things that never get worn or only get worn once then forgotten about until it’s too late.
So here are my rules for getting the most out of your baby’s wardrobe (to feel a little less guilty about how much it’s cost us!).
Every day is a special day.
The one thing I have learnt is never to save things ‘for best’. Because if and when that day comes, the chances are you’ll have forgotten about that cute little outfit and bought something else, or horror of horrors, it’s shrunk! Or rather that your child, unsurprisingly has grown.
Rotation, rotation, rotation.
When you’ve washed and ironed (I say ‘iron’ what I actually mean is shaken to feel like you’ve removed a few creases) your baby’s clothes, put them back in the drawer at the bottom. We’ve forgotten about far too many lovely pieces by just wearing the same few outfits and as they get worn, go in the wash then get put back on top and worn again.
Let Daddy have a go.
On more than one occasion I’ve turned up to Sing & Sign or playgroup with Coco Lily in back to front tops, vests and leggings, as Daddy dressed her because Mummy was rushing trying to get the change bag stocked or the beaker filled. But despite labels being on the wrong side, the good thing about Daddy dressing the baby is that he’ll pair things you probably wouldn’t choose. OK, so maybe he’s not the most clued up on what’s in in baby style but they do say variety is the spice of life…!
Then once baby clothes are outgrown or past their best, what do we do with them?
I have thrown out a lot of sleepsuits and vests over the past 18 months, there are some stains that just won’t budge and you know when they’ve had it, there’s no one that would want those hand me downs. So I cut them into dishcloth sized squares and use them for cleaning.
Share and share alike.
A dear friend leant us bags of beautiful clothes when Coco Lily arrived (thanks, Liz!) and it was a great help. If you’ve good quality pieces that have hardly been worn it’s such a shame to pack them away for number 2, 3 or 4… Items with sentimental value, of course, pack away but if you’ve someone to share that expensive must-have snowsuit that only got worn twice with, why not. Any good friend will return it to you for your next tot anyway.
If you want to keep the memories but perhaps not store a load of babygrows that will never be worn again, there are some very talented people out there that can take your much-loved baby wear and transform it into a soft toy as a keepsake or play thing for your baby. That way, the prints of your favourite baby sleepsuit or first t-shirt would bring back happy memories as the toy is cuddled to sleep or it sits looking cute on a shelf. We love Chocolate & Ginger who will even personalise your keepsake bear for you.
How do you manage your baby’s closet? Is it all hand-me-downs or are they top to toe in high end babywear? Are you sentimental about outgrown clothes or more than happy to have a clear out?