Welcoming a new baby into your family is an exciting time, but it can also be financially challenging. Baby clothes are just one of the expenses that come with parenthood. But there are some savvy strategies you can use to save money on baby clothes without compromising on quality (or safety). Here are some tips to help you stretch your budget while dressing your little one in style.

1. Shop secondhand

One of the most effective ways to save money on baby clothes is by shopping for gently used items. Consider visiting thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or eBay. You can often find high-quality baby clothes at a fraction of the cost of new ones, because babies outgrow things so quickly—many clothes are only worn a couple of times.

2. Accept hand-me-downs

Friends and family members who have had children may have a stash of baby clothes they no longer need. Accepting hand-me-downs can save you a significant amount of money. Be open to receiving clothes in various sizes to ensure your baby has a wardrobe for different stages of growth.

3. Attend clothing swaps

Look for clothing swaps with other parents in your community. These events allow parents to exchange baby clothes and other items their children have outgrown. It’s an eco-friendly way to refresh your baby’s wardrobe without spending a dime.

4. Shop sales and clearance racks

Keep an eye out for sales, discounts, and clearance racks at baby stores and online retailers. Shopping during seasonal sales and clearance events can be a great way to find deals.

5. Buy basics in bulk

When it comes to essentials like onesies, socks, and plain white tees, consider buying them in bulk. Many retailers offer discounts for purchasing baby basics in packs. This can be especially cost-effective when your baby is still in the early stages and goes through clothing quickly.

6. Choose gender-neutral colors

Opting for gender-neutral colors like white, gray, or green for everyday items such as sleepers and bodysuits can be a smart move if you plan to have more children in the future. Then you can reuse these items regardless of your baby’s gender.

7. Stick to practical purchases

While it’s tempting to splurge on adorable outfits, focus on practical purchases. Babies grow rapidly, and they may only wear certain outfits a few times before outgrowing them. Invest in a few special outfits for special occasions and prioritize comfortable, versatile, and easy-to-clean everyday clothing.

8. Check online marketplaces

Online marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy often have a wide selection of baby clothes at competitive prices. Additionally, you can find handmade and unique items on Etsy that can add a special touch to your baby’s wardrobe.

9. Sign up for store loyalty programs

Many baby clothing retailers offer loyalty programs or email newsletters that provide access to exclusive discounts and promotions. Sign up for these programs to stay informed about money-saving opportunities.

10. DIY and customize

Get creative and consider DIY projects to personalize and enhance your baby’s wardrobe. You can decorate plain onesies with fabric markers, create custom bibs, or add patches to old baby jeans for a fresh look.

The bottom line: how to save money on baby clothes

Saving money on baby clothes is totally possible with a little planning and resourcefulness. From shopping secondhand and accepting hand-me-downs to keeping an eye out for sales and choosing gender-neutral options, these strategies can help you build a cost-effective and stylish baby wardrobe. Remember that babies grow quickly, so prioritize practical purchases.