Dressing Little Girls Under Two

Shopping for little girls is so much fun! This week I've been busy switching out clothes for the fall and washing the newborn stuff. Inspired by my friend, Natasha, I thought I'd share some of my ground rules for dressing Claire and Maggie. 


I like to have about twelve outfits for each size/season. Two for each day of the week besides Sunday, plus an extra to keep in the diaper bag for carsickness incidents.

For newborns...

I like really little babies to be comfy, so for the first couple weeks or months I feel like they should wear mostly sleepers, day and night. With just a few outfits and dresses for church thrown in. If I lived in a warmer climate and had newborns in the summer months, they'd probably mostly wear onesies and comfy rompers instead. 

In the summer...

 Spring and summer in Seattle are pretty variable temperature wise. It's often pretty cool in the morning {when we're out and about the most} but then really warm in the late afternoon when we're outside again after naps. Plus, we need real summer clothes for visiting family and friends that live outside the Pacific Northwest. So, I like to do four long-sleeve shirt/pant outfits, four short-sleeve/carpi outfits, and four play dresses or rompers. Claire did have a pair of shorts this summer, but I feel like they're awkward with diapers, especially cloth ones. 

In the winter...

Fall and winter are pretty simple. I like to have about ten long-sleeve shirt/pant outfits and then a couple play dresses. That way, on a nice fall or spring day, Claire can wear leggings with a dress in the morning and then strip them off in the afternoon when it's a bit warmer out. 

Sets and Separates. 
This will change when she's outgrown clothing that's sized by months, but usually half of Claire's outfits are matching sets. Cute and so, so easy. 


onesie shirt
{old navy}

The other half are separate shirts worn with jeans or jeggings. For babies under one, especially in the winter, I don't like their shirts riding up and their bellies being exposed. So onesies are awesome and even better are shirts that are actually onesies in disguise!



Jeggings are the best. I feel like they look weird with onesies though. That's where real jeans come in. Especially for babies under one, I like jeans with comfy elastic waistbands. They stay up better and I don't like seeing the indentation real buttons make on their little bellies. I look for plain, gender-neutral pairs that could be handed down to potential little brothers in the future. 


For play...
Crawling babies don't wear play dresses. It just leads to a lot of frustration. But I love simple, comfy cotton ones for walkers and non-mobile little ones. I really like the ones with onesies built in, but I've only ever found short-sleeve versions.

For church...

church dress

 Everyone in our family dresses up for church, even newborns. Crawling babies wear dresses just for church and get to change right afterwards. It can be hard to find nice dresses that aren't sleeveless, but everybody in our family has to have their shoulders covered during Mass. We either layer a onesie underneath or add a cardigan on top. Especially after the newborn phase, I like to have about four nice dresses per size/season, with maybe an extra special one for Christmas or Easter thrown in.


In the summer...

pajama set

For older babies and  toddlers, I like to have three of the three-piece sets that come with shorts, pants, and a top. 

In the winter..


 I like to have six sleepers. Nightgowns are really handy for newborns with their many middle of the night diaper changes. Claire didn't like to be swaddled, but she did use a wearable blanket for the first couple months which kept her legs nice and cozy. When she got older and started protesting the blanket, we layered a onesie under her sleepers for extra warmth.


In the summer...

{old navy}

I like to have a windbreaker with a hood and a light-weight sweater to wear over dresses.

In the winter...


I like to have two coats - a nice one for church/special occasions and a waterproof one with a hood for everyday. It doesn't get too cold here, so a big, puffy jacket isn't really necessary.  We got one of those little fleece suits for Maggie this year. I'm curious how much we'll actually use it.


For non-walkers...

 baby shoes

Especially in the cooler months, once babies have graduated from wearing sleepers all the time, I like them to wear shoes. Mostly because socks just don't stay on. Unfortunately that can be the problem with a lot of crib shoes too. I can usually find a pair of dress shoes with velcro instead of useless elastic, but sneakers with velcro are harder to find. The Robeez style shoes {there's lots of different brands out there} work really well though.

In the summer...


I like to have a pair of sneakers, a pair of white dress shoes, and a pair of sandals. This year, we got the sneakers and dress shoes at Stride Rite. They can be pretty pricey, but there's sales and coupons to be found. The quality just can't be beat. I also ordered a pair of white Saltwater sandals from Amazon {the reviews recommended a size smaller and that worked for us}. Not only are they so cute and classic, they fit great and held up really well.

In the winter...


 Last week, we made another trip to Stride Rite to pick out a pair of sneakers and black dress shoes. Claire has wide feet and high arches, so some of my favorite styles {like Keds, Converse, or Tom's} don't work for her. Instead, we got a more durable pair of dress shoes so she can wear them with some of her dressier outfits. Sneakers just don't work with everything, you know? I also ordered a pair of rain boots from Zappos {again the reviews recommended a size smaller and I'm glad I listened}. Since these have handles, she can actually get them on and off herself.


In the summer...

swim suit

I like to have two bathing suits, a one-piece and a two-piece rashguard set. Two reusable swim diapers worked perfectly. It's also handy to have a cover-up, even if it's just a sundress dedicated to the task. I like to be prepared with a sun hat and sunglasses, even though Claire rarely uses them. The only sun hats she'll consider keeping on are the ones that tie under her chin.

In the winter...

lace socks

I like to have a hat {that also ties under her chin}, a pair of mittens, and one or two pairs of plain tights. It's really hard to find tights for little babies! My best bet has been choosing dresses that come with a pair. Six or eight pairs of socks has always been more than enough. Plain white is simple and easy, although I also like to have one cute lacy pair to wear with dress shoes when it's too cold to go barefoot but not quite cold enough for tights.

Favorite Brands.

Most of Claire's clothes are from Carter's, either at Costco or online. After that, it's a mix of Gap and Old Navy, with a few things from the Children's Place and Gymboree. I do most of my shopping online, but Claire's music class is in our little outdoor mall, so I often check the clearance rack at Baby Gap while we're over there. And I sometimes pop into Janie & Jack when they're having a major sale.

 I'm not the best at saving money on kid's clothes. It's definitely something I could work on. We're really lucky to have grandmas with impeccable taste who also really like shopping for baby girls. I try to stick to the clearance rack and almost always use a coupon code. I haven't really done much shopping for future sizes yet. Claire wore size 0-3 months for more like six months, then zoomed through 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 9-12 months in another six month span. She did wear 12-18 months for that exact time frame and just moved into 18-24 months, so I think her sizing is pretty predictable now.

The two consignment stores in our town have like the exact same prices as the clearance rack, so there's not much incentive to shop there. I have found pretty great stuff at thrift stores {usually one or two outfits per size/season} but browsing the clothing section with a toddler can be challenging to say the least, so we mostly stick to the toys, books, housewares, and furniture sections at Goodwill.

I feel like if I wanted to do more thrifting for both the girls' and my wardrobes, I'd have to go at night or during weekend nap times. That's fun sometimes and I know great deals are out there, but honestly I'd rather just hang out with my husband at home!

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