Dressing Your Baby On a Budget

I LOVE having a little girl! And I LOVE dressing her! It is so hard for me to control myself when shopping with her, I can drop $100 like it’s nothing in a Carter’s store! Unfortunately or rather fortunately, we are not Kim and Kanye so we can’t drop that kind of money on baby clothes, so here are my best tips for dressing your baby–boy or girl– on a budget.

Dressing your baby on a budget


Buy secondhand

Buying secondhand is a great way to get quality items at great prices! Sometimes you even get more expensive stuff than you would normally buy.  Definitely have standards when looking for second hand clothes.  I want my secondhand clothes to look new or nearly new. No stains, tears, over-sagging or discoloration. I also generally don’t buy cheapo clothes (Walmart, Old Navy or Target brand) secondhand. I have a price point in my head that unless it’s in amazing condition I don’t like to spend more than $5 (preferably less) on a piece of clothing secondhand.

Garage sale dress

Garage Sales are a good place to find killer deals on baby clothing. Lots of parent’s want to clear out all their baby stuff and they do it at garage sales. Check things carefully for stains and wear and tear. You can also join online garage sale groups on Facebook for you area. If dragging a baby to a garagel sale, seems overwhelming ask a friend or relative who shops at garage sales regularly to keep an eye out for certain sizes and items to buy for you.

Clothing lots on Craigslist is another smart way to stock up on baby gear. You can search by size and normally their are a decent pictures. Always meet up at a public location with buyers and don’t feel bad about inspecting the condition of the clothes before buying (and saying no thanks if it’s not up to your standards).

I love shopping at Consignment Stores for baby clothes! My favorite is the Once Upon a Child chain. Each store differs in variety and quality, but I’ve generally been happy. I love that everything is organized by size and color, too. Prices will probably be higher than direct sales, but your paying for the convenience. Our local store has a “grab bag” event twice a year where you can stuff as many sale items as you can in a bag for $15. I had 17 items in my bag so each item was actually less than a dollar apiece. Sign up for email updates from your local sale to find great sales and specials like this!

Haul from Once Upon a Child


Online consignement sellers, like ThredUp are great options for buying quality used clothing online. The great thing about these kinds of sites is you can get some seriously nice brands, for small change and they are all inspected for quality and condition. Some of these boutiques offer referral credits as well!

Don’t overlook freebies or buying great clothes off friends! Some people just want to get rid of stuff without the hassle of throwing a garage sale or taking all their stuff to consign, so never be afraid to tell someone you’re potentially interested in buying their great-looking kids clothes!

Buy quality brands on sale

Carters baby clothes

For many things, it is totally worth it to me to buy new, quality brands. For starters, this is my first child and I know I can potentially reuse clothes for other future kiddos so I want them to hold up the best they can. I generally try to spend between $5-10 (or less, obviously!) per piece. I may spend a little more for a special event outfit or a staple that I know will get a lot of use, like the cardigan above. Also, it’s not bad to hint to Grandmas to get quality pieces you love from stores like these.

I loove Carters clothes, but I (almost) always wait to get at least 50% off (kind of like Hobby Lobby!). Their clearance section online or in stores is excellent if you can be patient and shop ahead seasonally. Other stores I check for sales at repeatedly are Baby Gap, OshKosh and Gymboree. You can also find great pieces for cheap at T.J Maxx and Marshalls.

Another great spot to get reduced price new clothes is Zulilly! They offer short-term special offers on adorable clothes! Soo cute!

Buy Cheap (aka WalMart, Target, Meijer)

Cheap baby fashion ideas

Sometimes you need what you need and you need it now! I use stores like WalMart, Target brand, Meijer brand and Old Navy to more or less fill in the gaps of my little ones wardrobe. I also skim the sections for super-clearanced items I may need or want to stock up on. I literally, just got a winter coat on sale at Meijer for $6! I also get tights and socks here. Walmart also has some cute bows and hair clips as well. I’m not a huge fan of Old Navy for kids clothes, they do have some cute stuff, but I think it’s overpriced for the quality. So definitely look for sales when you can get stuff dirt cheap, but, for me, it’s not a building block of my baby’s wardrobe.

Final Tips

Carters & Secondhand

  • When your dressing your baby mix types of pieces together. Second hand leggings with new tops. A cute skirt with a thrifted top. And don’t be afraid to break of sets of clothes from retailers to breathe new life into the clothes your little one has been wearing for awhile.
  • Don’t limit yourself to one gender clothes! I always browse the little boys section for cardigans, pullovers, and even jeans!
  • Take cues from adult fashion. Some days I think I’d totally trade wardrobes with my daughter! If you’d wear it (or dad would wear it!) it’s probably perfect for your little one. (Although I also love “baby clothes” like rompers, sleepers, and woodland creatures on baby butts!) I also like to follow the “balance” fashion rule, even when it comes to baby clothes. That is, a loose, flowy tops pair with a tighter bottome like leggings and a more fitted top with a flouncy skirt or flared jeans.

kate and layla

  • Also, experiment with different brands and fits as your baby grows! Carter’s has been a great fit for my little one all along, but now that she is getting bigger I’ve noticed I’ve had to size up on pants faster.
  • Keep a running list of what you have and still need for future sizes so you can know what you actually need. Remember it isn’t a deal if you don’t need it! Keep your list on your phone for convenience or print out a handy baby clothing inventory like the one below and keep it in your baby’s closet. (Right click, save as picture, open in photo viewer, print full page.)

Baby Wardrobe Inventory


Have fun dressing your cuties! It’s fun to be darling, but it’s better to have darling clothes that wiggle, stretch, and are all around comfortable for your little ones!

Where do you shop for baby clothes? Do you have any budget-friendly clothes shopping tips for kids or adults? 

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Thanks for reading! I appreciate you!


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  1. Clothing lots on Craigslist are interesting options. Garage sales are good options as well. It’s nice that you acknowledge there are some days when you just need to fill in the gaps with convenient options.

  2. Hey Kate,

    Wow, such a great list of resources !!

    When it comes to infants, it is necessary for people to not just get high quality but also essential infant products. This is because they are infants; you have to get the hypoallergenic recommended products and the safest products for your toddlers. In getting these things, you have to know the substances used in making regular crib sheets.But yes one should always try to buy the baby clothes and other items on a budget.And always try to look for second-hand clothes.

    Thank you so much for great sharing.

  3. Hello Kate,
    Great article and idea. Your baby is so cute and adorable. I especially like the baby wearing. It’s such a great way to be able to get things done and your baby enjoys the ride. Thanks for sharing!

  4. These idea of yours are really helpful. My sister was pregnant but her husband was looking for a job. So, their economic status was poor. When she asked for my help, I tried my best but that wasn’t enough. I started looking for a solution. And I found your website. I showed it to my sister. She started to use your tips. When I asked her how was it? She said it was a lifesaver. Thanks a lot for sharing these tips.

  5. Amazing article about the baby. Really your baby dressing are cuties! I’ve two kids. I was looking for some baby clothes. I found the super post. I’ve inspired the post. Your information is so helpful. Thanks for sharing the beautiful!

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