The Mom & Me Wardrobe : Cheap Practical Edition


For the first 3 months of her life, my daughter would rarely be seen in pink. No miniature tutus either. No bows, frills, or rainbow sparkles.
Why? Because she was a newborn baby. In about an hour or less, her clothes would just be covered in vomit that I wasn’t able to fully remove–or they were victim to a horrendous blowout where I had to actually throw them away.

What I did use? Socks, plastic-backed bibs…and plain white utilitarian “onesies”–those legless snap-crotch bodysuits. Yes, she could have been mistaken for a boy, but it really didn’t matter because I wasn’t wasting time trying to save a $60 outfit made of fairy dust from the clutches of diarrhea stains. They’re unisex (for those waiting for the gender reveal), they’re easy to remove, they are bleach-able, and baby won’t risk choking on some ribbon that she just yanked off. They’re so cheap they can be discarded guilt-free if they are suddenly poo-covered. Voila, life is simplified by at least an iota.
Heck, you could even decorate them at a baby shower with fabric markers if you want, then save the “artwork” back when baby outgrows it. Orrrr…if you’re not a bleach user, you could get baby heavily patterned and dark-colored clothes, which will also hide stains.
While we’re at it, here are some more practical, inexpensive, and comfortable new-mom clothing items you may find helpful.

For Mom:

  • Yoga pants. Pretty much the same thing as those comfy maternity pants with big stretchy bands around the belly, except half the price and a wide variety of designs. Not sure if these would be good for recovering c-sections or not, but you can always fold the stretchy band down. Get them in black. Really, get EVERYthing in black, for the reason mentioned above–no one will be the wiser on how many different colors of baby food, milk and poo have gotten on your britches.
  • Nursing tank tops with built-in shelf bra
    Rather than trying to wrangle with my itchy nursing bra underneath a regular shirt, I preferred just tucking nursing pads into the shelf bra of a tank top with unclip-able straps. Nursing tanks were comfortable, went with everything, and could be dressed up with a vest, scarf, or a jacket.
  • Button-front nightgowns, AKA “mom pajamas”
    OK, these look like the ones your mom used to wear–extremely modest, over-sized and usually covered in outdated flower print. But they are are SO convenient because you just unbutton the front and remove boob to nurse. And your new udders and hips aren’t going to have any issues fitting into what is basically a really long t-shirt.
  • “Sport bras”
    Yeah, you probably guessed these won’t really be for “sports”. But these babies will stretch to meet your ever-changing boob size, are super-comfortable and wire-free, and are usually able to hold a lot of engorgement weight.
    I like the wide-strap full-coverage cotton ones because they breathe better and I get less sweaty.

For Baby:

  • The “good brand” of diapers
    If you’re still expecting, take advantage of people wanting to give you stuff! For those planning on using disposable diapers, ask for a more expensive brand of diaper in more than one size on your registry, because baby will grow fast. When you buy diapers, you can get the cheap ones and use the expensive ones for overnight, when baby sleeps longer at night than during the day. It really makes the difference between cleaning a 3 AM blowout off of bedding and clothes, or just off of a tiny butt.
  • Second-hand duds
    Infants grow so fast and it’s expensive to buy a whole new wardrobe every 2-3 months. There is no shame in outfitting baby in previously-loved clothes. The very first time they wear something new and it gets washed, it becomes “used” anyway (or will look that way after the first time they become covered in vomit), and many items of clothing available second-hand are in nearly new condition. A good way to save money is to get a lot of clothes in the next couple of sizes up from what baby fits right now, at a consignment or garage sale.
    Sizes are confusing. If you have already had your baby, find more items that fit by bringing a onesie that fits well right now and comparing things with it. Any items a little larger, disregard the size on the tag and treat as the next size up, then make stacks with similar-sized items. I ended with up clothes tagged for 3, 6, and even 9 months, which were all about the same actual size! Then, bag up each stack and label the bags, and keep where you can remember them. When baby outgrows their current duds, you’ll have a whole wardrobe for the next stage all bagged up and ready to rotate into use. Don’t forget to buy future clothing appropriately for the upcoming seasons. I received beautiful “12 month” winter clothing from friends, but thermal footed clothes may not work for a one-year-old who was born in the summer. And finally–enjoy sorting through the adorably tiny socks and jackets!


Image by talesin at


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