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Baby Basics :: Clothing

Baby and child’s clothing is all over taobao.com. If you’ve found a shop with great prices + quality please share in the comments.

I’ve found that the clothing available in the local stores is cheap and very poor quality. Good quality clothing is oftentimes more expensive than the states.

Hand-Me-Downs
We’ve been very fortunate to share clothes with a couple of other families. Their son’s clothing comes to Schäfer while Selah’s clothes go to their newborn daughter. Sharing clothes keeps us from having to buy and store clothes.

Sales in America
Before we go to the states, I make a master list of what each child has and what each child needs. While in the states, we try to buy the basics for each of our children in their next three to four sizes. We search Goodwill and second hand stores as well as seasonal sales at Walmart or Target.

Having a master list keeps me contained when I hit a good sale. Our closets are small so there’s no need to grab another pair of pants when Schäfer already has 4 pair.

I’ve found that, in the US, I can get great clothes for much cheaper than what I can find in China. For example, I can find the Garanimals clothes at Walmart for $1.50 per shirt and $2.50 for jeans or pants.

Shoes
I try to bring back shoes in various sizes and seasons for each of the kids. It’s tricky to guesstimate what sizes the kids will hit in what season, but I do my best.

Local shoes are cheap and easily fall apart. Basic quality shoes are very expensive.

Selah and Sianna have been fortunate to have received several pair of shoes 2nd hand. At age 1 and 2, shoes are not completely worn out.

Summer Clothing
2007-07-27@16-45-29
In the summer months, our babies live in onesies. We live in a very hot, humid place so anything more than a onesie is just unbearable.

These days, I’m sure you could find onesies on taobao. (Anybody tried?)

I haven’t seen many baby swimsuits, but you could search taobao.com.

Winter Clothing
Since we live in the middle of China we are too far south to get complimentary heating and too far north to avoid the cold temperatures. On average, our winters are a damp type-of-cold and we do see some snow. The inside of our house is about the same temperature as the outside. During the winter months, I am constantly keeping the kids layered.

2007-12-18@14-38-19 2012-02-19@16-02-24
Schäfer at 11.5 months                                                   Selah at 13.5 months
All three of our kids have lived in this Land’s End down jumper.

2011-12-12@12-31-51
We have a 6-12m in red and a 12-18m in yellow. I love how the hands and feet can wrap around for total coverage.

2012-02-08@11-23-10 2012-02-11@16-50-59
As the kids grow, we just don’t tuck in their hands or feet. The jumper lasts through the entire winter and then some. (Sianna wore it for 2 winter’s because she is so petite.)

2007-12-30@08-07-44 2011-03-10@17-36-10
We have two “fleece” jumpers. Our kids slept in these with pajamas underneath. They also wore them outside with shirts and pants underneath.

2011-12-31@17-27-23
Again, these style of jumpers can wrap around the feet and hands. When the kids grew a little, I stopped tucking their feet and hands in.

2011-12-23@16-05-03
I liked having two fleece jumpers so that the kids could wear one while the other was in the wash.

2012-02-08@10-27-12
On very cold days, they would wear: shirt, pants, fleece jumper, a down jumper, a hat and mittens. Of course, I was still criticized that my kids did not have enough layers on!

2011-12-19@17-18-11
These down jumpers got lots of wear both inside the house and out. I highly recommend them.

Storage
2010-07-05@09-23-36
Babies grow too fast. The first year alone has 4 different sizes. The second year has 3 different sizes. Once you’ve gathered all the necessary clothes, it’s hard to give them away when the next wee one will need them.

We live in an apartment without a garage or attic or even a built in pantry. I am constantly thinking of simple storage solutions.

For baby clothes, after I have looked over each item and sorted out the ones that are still in good condition, I store the minimum amount in a plastic bag with an index card tapped on the outside. I’d rather have the clothes separated by sizes and seasons rather than all in a box. I then place (read: shove) the bags in the top of our closet until they are needed again.

Shopping List
Available in China
Clothes (taobao.com or local stores)
shoes (taobao.com or local stores)

Bring from America
a few essential pieces of clothes in various sizes

I’m anxious to hear your thoughts. Have you purchased all of your child’s clothing in China? Do you prefer to bring basics from the states? If you know a great taobao.com shop, please share!

2 comments to Baby Basics :: Clothing

  • erica

    I completely agree with you about the clothes in China. When you buy cheap, it will rarely last through even one kid. Otherwise the prices are much higher than I would normally spend on clothes.
    The one thing I do buy in China are long johns. They are often quite ugly, but hold up for a winter… China Wal-Mart seems to have the best options in regards to quality. I also use pajamas for long johns/ or the girls leggings. And sometimes I use all of the above on the chilly days!

    Anytime we are in HK I do some shopping for the kids, there are some good stores located in Central in the alleyways that offer good prices for some basics. I don’t get too much there, but a few things.

    Then I consign anytime I am in America. I know my kids are going to grow, so I will buy 2-3 sizes up. I have ALWAYS been pleased with the quality I get. I never look for the fanciest name brands because even at a consignment those can be expensive. Buying brands like faded glory/circo at the consignment shop will get the cheapest prices.

    Otherwise I fill in the rest from online shopping. My go to places are wal-mart/target/children’s place. I start with shopping through ebates.come, then head to retailmenot.com for more sales. Then I also get email notices when they have sales and often can use multiple coupons.

    Then I have the clothes brought out by friends about a year in advance so it is ready in case of a growth spurt.

    I wish there were more clothing options available in China. Even the shops I have found on Taobao are higher prices than I usually pay… Maybe one day! 🙂

  • Julie

    I know you are on the verge of purge… If you decide to purge, I’d be interested in buying your yellow 12-18m jumper if there is still some life left in it 🙂 It looks like Land’s End no longer makes baby clothes 🙁

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