October 20, 2011
I was chatting with a newly pregnant friend the other day and discussing the overall costs of new babies and what you can borrow rather than buy. Clothes came up and, during our chat, I realized I had skipped some math before Astrid arrived. I knew she would grow quickly and was very grateful to friends and family who had the good sense to give us cute clothes all the way from newborn to 12 month sizes. What I hadn’t taken in consciously beforehand (even though I was looking at sizing labels like “0-3” and “3-6 months”) was that Astrid would move up a size about every eight to twelve weeks and, as a result I should pace our volume and spending on her wardrobe.
Mind you, I wasn’t one of those crazy over-shopper moms buying cashmere onesies and tiaras, but I was at Baby Gap scoring discount wrap sweaters every other week. Infant clothes are so goddam cute and babies are so photo-friendly before they can roll away from the camera!
Also, as a second child in possession of a chip on my shoulder about how many hand-me-downs I wore and how few super cute photographs of myself as a baby exist, I was bound and determined my baby would look good and could prove it later. I know she doesn’t care now, but I’m looking out for her future self. The first of many times, I’m sure, that I’ll address my own hang-ups by “helping” Astrid out!
Anyway, looking back, I could’ve cut some costs by buying fewer items and letting them be a little big for a few weeks more. You’ll have plenty of time to buy adorable clothes, I promise. Pace yourself. And borrow where you can! (In the first year, babies move through sizes so quickly that hand-me-downs are often in excellent condition.) You can pay back the favor by passing on your own finds later.
But do indulge in a super-adorable outfit at every size change: she needs something to wear to that photo shoot you have planned for the sandbox!!