To me, one of the biggest shocks about having a baby around was the shear amount of clothing they went through. At first, with all the various leakages newborns are prone to, it felt like Monkey was wearing a new outfit every two hours. After that, he started growing like a weed, burning through the 4-5 sizes of clothes made to fit an infant’s first year of life. (Can you imagine changing sizes that frequently?) I couldn’t even find time to go shopping for clothing, much less hold out for good deals, before he would grow out of it.
With Sailor, I have all of Monkey’s old hand-me-downs. It’s nice not to be under so much pressure to shop for clothing constantly, but hand-me-downs have their own hazards. Like returning from Old Navy with my favorite white Oxford church shirt that I knew Sailor would need soon . . . except that I already had two in that size and none in the size below it. It is literally impossible to keep track of that many sets of clothing in your head.
Which is why I invented this lovely clothing inventory spreadsheet. It’s made to be printed double-sided, then folded in half to make a booklet you can fit inside your purse. Just go through your stash of the next few sizes of clothing up, and mark what you have on the sheet. I even make things too complicated and have separate marks for “clothing I have which is ugly and I want to replace, but which I can live with if I don’t find a good deal.”
Anyway, I keep my inventory in my purse at all times–it’s got plenty of water stains from leaky water bottles, but it’s still legible. You could keep it on a smartphone or note program like Evernote, but I find check boxes and a pen are easier to keep up to date. Having this information at your fingertips can be a real money saver. Not only do you not end up with duplicate clothing, but you also have the advantage of being able to shop end-of-season sales for 1-2 sizes ahead. You can buy high-quality, brand name clothing for much cheaper if you plan ahead. This piece of paper has been a huge sanity saver for me as well. Hope it helps you too!